Didn’t we scratch our heads when we heard that little Ricky Schroder was dropping his Silver Spoons for a .40 S&W and becoming one of NYPD Blue’s newest detectives? He was a lil’ cutie, and then he somehow grew up big enough to carry a badge, weapon, drop the ‘y’, AND drop trou in ABC’s Emmy winning police show. As Det. Danny Sorenson, Schroder made his mark at the 15th precinct for about three seasons, and then moved on to the medical genre, both comedic (Scrubs) and dramatic (Strong Medicine).
Now, Schroder will get to suit up in body armor (or a hoodie) as CTU operative Mike Doyle, and help our man Jack out of this scrape or that. Of course, I’m not implying that Jack is needy in the department of strength, determination, or just plain chutzpah – but still, every dude needs a buddy, a helping hand, a Curtis, a Tony (RIP), or a Chase (who literally lent a hand).
Of course, child stars grow up and if they continue acting then they’ll take on adult roles, but it’s especially fun to see someone like Sarah Michelle Gellar go from Erica Kane’s annoying daughter to a bright, beautiful slayer of vampires or Alyssa Milano become a kick-ass Charmed One. Probably the most incongruous, yet excellent, role of a former child star was Macaulay Culkin’s portrayal of Club Kid Michael Alig in 2003’s Party Monster.
Historically, 24 has been a hub of sorts to child stars. Schroder’s fellow Strong Medicine alum, Sara Gilbert, who gained fame as Roseanne’s Darlene, also played CTU techie Paula. Sadly, she died in a bomb blast at CTU during Day Two.
And of course last year, former Goony Sean Astin gave a solid performance as Lynn McGill, an admin suit who was alternately insightful, paranoid, stupid, and brave. He too, succumbed to an attack on CTU during Day Five. Audrey Raines may live in the greater Los Angeles area, but Kim Raver used to call Sesame Street home. Of course, the most visible rising actor of all of them, Kiefer Sutherland, began his path to Jack Bauer as a teen in Max Dugan Returns. This quiet but enjoyable little flick also starred his dad, Donald Sutherland, and another former child star that has made a bit of a name for himself, Matthew Broderick.
I suppose it makes sense, this coming of age thing. Regardless, Rick Schroder should be a great addition to the cast of 24. Now, I wonder who’s going to replace Edgar? I hear Dustin Diamond might be looking for a job.