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Sef / December 26th, 2015


EW.com interviewed Disney/ABC executives, showrunners and cast members about TGIF which was a big thing back in the 90’s for ABC’s television nights on Fridays.  We copy and pasted the part where Ben and Michael were interviewed about Boy Meets World. You can read the rest of this great article by going here: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/12/23/tgif-oral-history-abc

JACOBS: Teddy [Harbert] called me twice, both TGIF-related. Once, he said, “Over my dead body are you killing that baby dinosaur.” I said, “Ted, they went extinct. I didn’t do it. If you’re going to cancel the show, I’m going to cancel the dinosaurs.” The second time he called with that tone in his voice, he said, “Over my dead body am I going to allow you to marry two 19-year-old kids.” I said, “Why don’t we try running the question on ABC.com: Should Cory and Topanga be married?” He said, “We’ll get 10,000 hits and no one will be interested.” They put up the question at 8 o’clock and in 20 minutes we had over a quarter-million hits and the thing broke. Out of 250,000 hits, 250,000 answers were positive. Teddy called me the next morning and said, “Could you please marry them in Sweeps?”

JACOBS: Dinosaurs was going to leave the air, and I’m walking through the hallways of Disney and they’re saying, “What’s your next show?” They wanted something for TGIF. So I’m walking and this fellow grabs me and brings me into his office and shows me some charts. … I came out with his advice being that my next show should be very influential to the youngest demographic, which was 2 to 11. I thought of Family Ties and Growing Pains, where you had stories about the oldest male child, and his younger sister would be the comic irritant. I thought, what if I turned it around? What if we did a family show that didn’t focus on the oldest child as a series lead? What if we got off it and attracted both sides of the demo because we had a middle child? The story was argued over. The network had never seen something like that before.

SAVAGE: I was a teenager on a television series that was certainly going through my own experiences and upbringing and becoming an adult. I always thought the writers did a nice job of writing to those experiences. As the show grew in popularity, our live studio audiences were pretty wild. That was the most immediate reaction.

JACOBS: At the beginning of the series, Shawn, Feeny, and Topanga all tested higher than Cory Matthews, because these were characters that viewers understood. You understood Shawn immediately. You understood Topanga as odd and lovely and wonderful. Feeny was the authority figure; he tested highest, even with kids. But by the second season, Cory eclipsed everybody. What happened was, the kids wanted to be Shawn and wanted to be Topanga. They don’t want to say they want to be what they are. Cory became a hero for being himself, and everybody flocked to the fact that, “Wait, I have potential in just being who I am.” And kids were finally honest enough to answer the question correctly: who do you associate with? I am Cory Matthews.

SAVAGE: There was a certain camaraderie between us and the other kids on the shows. You’re all going through something relatable and there’s a certain kinship and an immediate understanding of this unique way to grow up. It was an innocent time. There was no social media.


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