Fish Police is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and based on the comic book series created by Steve Moncuse. The series premiered on CBS in 1992, with a six episodes first season. From February 28th to March 13th, three episodes aired, but the show was then cancelled after poor television ratings. The remaining three episodes produced, have never been aired in the US. However in Europe the series was aired in its entirety. Fish Police was the last Hanna-Barbera series to premiere on CBS.
The series later briefly aired on Cartoon Network in the mid-90's.
Deep within the depths of the murky underwater metropolis, Fish City, a scaly police detective battles cold-blooded criminals in this comic tale of carps and robbers. (Based on the comic book series by Steve Moncuse.) Set in the underwater world of Fish City, the noir-style series follows a group of gill-bearing police as they take on organized crime.
Inspector Gil — The main protagonist of the series. Gil is a detective in a similar mold of classic film noir stylings. He sees things as very black and white demonstrated by his 'good/bad' narratives during episodes. He has been in a relationship with Pearl for five years (to which some have joked that they should have been married by now) and maintains a flirtatious 'friendship' with Angel. Dialogue in the first episode implies that he is friends with several other fictional characters, such as Fred Flintstone and Kermit the Frog.
Chief Abalone — The angry, ill-tempered Police Chief at Gil's precinct. He appears to dislike his staff, but secretly has faith in them, particularly Gil.
Mayor Cod — As the title implies, the Mayor of Fish City. He is rather cowardly and somewhat inept.
Detective Catfish — An undercover officer at Gil's precinct. He has known Gil for quite some time and they appear to be good friends, demonstrated when he is visibly saddened when Gil is sent to prison for crimes committed by an impostor. Among his disguises, he occasionally dresses in drag. His design is identical to Gil's appearance in the original comics.
Pearl — The owner of her own diner that Gil frequents; she is also his main love interest, with them having been in an on-again, off-again relationship for five years. She often hopes for Gil to change into a more exciting person, as she feels their relationship has become predictable. She often grows jealous of Angel, due to her constant flirting with Gil.
Angel Jones — The lead singer at Calamari's club and another love interest for Gil. Despite his protests in the first episode that they are just friends, Angel strongly hints at being interested in Gil with her constant seductive flirting with him throughout the entire series. She has a very voluptuous figure and seems to be slightly inspired by Jessica Rabbit. The series itself makes note of this in the first episode, where she parodies Jessica's infamous 'I'm not bad...' line.
Goldie — The secretary of the Police Station. Goldie is a widow having been married more than five times. She usually makes very dry and witty sarcastic remarks towards her colleagues.
Tadpole — Pearl's younger brother who works at the precinct with Gil. He usually seems to know exactly what Gil or anyone else is thinking whenever he is given an order (a running gag in the series is a character wondering aloud, "How does [he] do that?!") and seems to work in forensics.
Biscotti Calamari — A squid crime boss who keeps his operations extremely discreet. He is confident that the police can never touch him for any of his crimes and even appears to contribute towards them occasionally, believing it is better to be on their good side should he ever need them. This has led Gil, Catfish and Abalone to take a great disliking to him and his methods.
Sharkster — Calamari's sleazy smooth-talking shark lawyer. He is quick to defend his client in whatever way possible, but does so in the slimiest possible way, seemingly knowing that his client can commit any crime and get away with it. He frequently uses his knowledge of the law to cause headaches and obstacles for Gil, causing the two to dislike each other greatly.
Mussels Marinara — Calamari's dim-witted and overweight bodyguard.
- Edward Asner - Chief Abalone
- Georgia Brown - Goldie
- Tim Curry - Sharkster
- Héctor Elizondo - Biscotti Calamari
- Robert Guillaume - Detective Catfish
- Megan Mullally - Pearl
- John Ritter - Inspector Gil
- Charlie Schlatter - Tadpole
- Frank Welker - Mussels Marinara
- JoBeth Williams - Angel Jones
- Jonathan Winters - Mayor Cod
Hanna-Barbera Productions pitched the series to CBS Entertainment and the series was quickly picked up by CBS, but due to the high cost of the series (at the time the average half-hour sitcom cost about $500,000 or less an episode, while "Fish Police," cost closer to $600,000), CBS ordered only six episodes.
Due to its primetime time slot, 8:00pm on Fridays, the series had a decidedly more mature tone than most other animated Hanna-Barbara series as episodes would often be filled with innuendo and cases of mild language. The series' tone was also due to it being part of a spate of attempts by major networks to develop prime time animated shows to compete with the surprise success of Fox's The Simpsons, alongside ABC's Capitol Critters and CBS's own Family Dog. All three series were canceled in their first season.
- Margulies, Lee (February 28, 1992). "TV Ratings `Fish Police' Can't Get Arrested". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1992-03-04/entertainment/ca-3206_1_fish-police. Retrieved on September 29, 2014.
- Cerone, Daniel (February 28, 1992). "'Fish Police' on Endangered Species List". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1992-02-28/entertainment/ca-2993_1_prime-time-programs. Retrieved on September 29, 2014.
- "CBS tries to hook a live ~`Fish' Toons moving into prime time, but Will `Fish' float?". Hartford Courant. February 28, 1992. http://articles.courant.com/1992-02-28/features/0000205235_1_capitol-critters-fish-police-animation. Retrieved on 2011-01-06.