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What’s with Johnny Depp’s Affinity for Old TV Shows?

Night Stalker, Old Tv Shows

He may be one of the biggest stars in the world but Johnny Depp is still, like many people of his generation, a child of television. At 49 years of age Depp is of a generation that grew up with TV as their babysitter and some wholly weird stuff on the tube. Depp was a teenager when the TV series “Dark Shadows” aired in reruns of its brief, unusual stint on network TV.

It’s really no surprise then that Depp would fixate on the character of Barnabas Collins and wants to try the character on for size; he and his generational compatriot, director Tim Burton grew up fascinated by the series. We will see how well the role fits Depp when “Dark Shadows” arrives in theaters nationwide on May, 13th 2012. Here’s a look at other examples of Depp’s boob tube fixation.

“Kolchak: The Night Stalker”

Johnny Depp was a teenager when the completely original and entirely unusual, for broadcast television, “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” became a brief cultural phenomenon. The series never became a hit but like “Dark Shadows” the series hung around in syndication through Depp’s formative years. It’s reasonable to guess that Depp was part of the small but loyal ‘Kolchak’ fanbase as little else explains why Depp passionately pursued a feature film of ‘Kolchak;’ going as far as recruiting “Shaun of the Dead” director Edgar Wright and dangling another “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie to get Disney to make the “The Night Stalker.

“The Lone Ranger”

Johnny Depp’s interest in making “The Lone Ranger” into a movie has little to do with his having been or not been aware of the show in his youth. In an interview posted on Youtube Depp stated that his main interest in the movie came in the opportunity to play the character of Tonto and to right the wrong in how the character was presented in the original television adaptation. It’s a fact that the original Tonto was a living stereotype. The unforgettable irony however is that Depp as a white man playing a Native American flies in the face of his attempt to right this wrong. For the record, Depp claims to have some Native American heritage.

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“21 Jumpstreet”

Spoiler Alert! If you didn’t know that Johnny Depp appeared in adaptation of his Fox TV series “21 Jumpstreet,” now you know. For years Johnny Depp fought the glamour boy-teen idol stereotype that the series left him with in the early 1990’s. It’s no wonder then that Depp leapt at the opportunity to help Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum send up his former series. Depp’s cameo, alongside his former co-star Peter DeLuise, brings a shocking and definitive closure to Depp’s Officer Tom Hanson.