Yes, that’s a starfish on his badge. Clever, right?
Hollywood studios are some of the most risk-averse businesses on the planet. But every now and again, someone takes a chance on a long shot that becomes a runaway hit — which causes every other TV network/film studio to then try to duplicate that success. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, that success was “The Simpsons” on Fox, an upstart network willing to try anything to gain ground on the “Big 3″ networks, even if it meant making the first primetime animated series since “The Flintstones.”
Predictably, other networks followed with primetime cartoons of their own. In 1992, while “The Simpsons” aired now-classic episodes like “Homer at the Bat” and “A Streetcar Named Marge,” CBS debuted “Fish Police,” a Hanna-Barbera creation that featured the voices of Hector Elizondo, Tim Curry, Jonathan Winters, Megan Mullally, Robert Guillaume, and John Ritter in the lead role of Inspector Gill. It was, in two words, astoundingly bad. CBS canceled it after three episodes, realizing too late that, yes, they really did make a show called FISH POLICE. Seriously. Fish police, dude.
I’ve got a couple clips embedded below so that you can witness this animated abortion. John Ritter could read Gill with more life now than he did back then.