Boy Meets World
Boy Meets World is an American television sitcom created and produced by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly. The show aired on the ABC network from September 24, 1993 to May 5, 2000, lasting seven seasons.
|Boy Meets World|
|Theme music composer||Ray Colcord (seasons 1–4)|
Phil Rosenthal (seasons 5–7)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||158 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Michael Jacobs (entire run)|
David Kendall (seasons 2–3)
Bob Young (season 4)
Mark Blutman (both; season 5)
Bob Tischler (seasons 6–7)
|Production location(s)||John Adams High School (fictional) in Philadelphia|
Walt Disney Studios
(500 South Buena Vista Street, Burbank, California)
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||21–23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Michael Jacobs Productions|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||September 24, 1993 –|
May 5, 2000
|Related shows||Girl Meets World|
The show chronicles the everyday events and life-lessons of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage). It also stars Cory's teacher George Feeny (William Daniels), best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), brother Eric (Will Friedle), and love interest Topanga (Danielle Fishel). The show also features Cory's father Alan (William Russ), mother Amy (Betsy Randle), and sister Morgan (Lily Nicksay), while introducing the characters Angela Moore (Trina McGee-Davis), Rachel McGuire (Maitland Ward), Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn), Eli Williams (Alex Désert), and Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence) during its later seasons.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||Nielsen ratings|
|First aired||Last aired||Viewers (millions)||Rank|
|1||22||September 24, 1993||May 13, 1994||8.4||#37|
|2||23||September 23, 1994||May 19, 1995||11.5||#36|
|3||22||September 22, 1995||May 17, 1996||10.1||#48|
|4||22||September 20, 1996||May 2, 1997||8.7||#41|
|5||24||October 3, 1997||May 15, 1998||11.6||#55|
|6||22||September 25, 1998||May 14, 1999||10.9||#58|
|7||23||September 24, 1999||May 5, 2000||8.7||#73|
Season 1: Middle schoolEdit
The first season begins with Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) and his best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), two average sixth-graders. They do not care about schoolwork, despite the efforts of their longtime teacher George Feeny (William Daniels). Initially, their main interest is sports, though later Shawn and then Cory begin to express an interest in girls. This season focuses specifically on Cory's relationships with the other characters in the show. He begins to understand his parents more and respect them for all that they do. His relationship with his elder brother Eric (Will Friedle) becomes confusing as Eric's constant obsession with girls is foreign to Cory, and he becomes more protective of his younger sister Morgan (Lily Nicksay from this season through the end of the second season). Cory begins to show interest in Topanga (Danielle Fishel), a smart outsider in his class, though he often hides this by insulting and berating her. Cory and Topanga have known each other since they were kids, making romance in their relationship even more predictable. Cory and Shawn's friendship is tested for the first time, and Cory must often choose between doing what Shawn wants him to do and doing what is best for their friendship.
Seasons 2–5: High schoolEdit
During the second season, Cory, Topanga, and Shawn start high school and meet Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn), an unconventional English teacher. Although they initially view Mr. Turner as cool, they soon realize that he is a teacher above all else, which earns him the nickname "Feeny with an earring" from Cory. Throughout the second season, Cory and Shawn try a variety of ways to become popular with their classmates. In doing so, they nearly get into fights with school bullies and in trouble with Mr. Feeny (now their high school principal). Eventually, though Shawn becomes more popular, he maintains his close friendship with the less popular Cory. Shawn's mother Virna deserts her son and husband Chet (Blake Clark), which upsets Shawn greatly. Chet then leaves to find Virna. After this occurs, Shawn lives briefly with Cory and his parents, but soon figures out that it's just not the right fit for him, and later moves in with Mr. Turner. Cory tries at some points to begin a relationship with Topanga, but this is mostly because he does not want to be left out of the dating game. Sensing this, Topanga is wary of his advances, and despite the mutual attraction, the two do not date during this season.
During the third season, Cory finally admits that he wants to ask out Topanga but cannot work up the courage to do it. Consequently, his best friend Shawn asks her out. Although Cory was hurt, he soon realized Shawn set the whole thing up so he could unite Cory and Topanga and make Cory confess his feelings for her. He tells her how he feels, and they become a couple. Later in the third season, Cory and Topanga are worried that their relationship has hit a rut, and decide it would be best to break up while they are still able to keep the friendship. They get back together a few months later when Cory follows her to Disney World to win her back. Eric spends this season desperately trying to make up for his first three years of slacking off in high school. He makes progress, but it is not enough; he is not accepted to any colleges or universities as of his high school graduation. He decides then to take a year off and figure things out, beginning with a summer road trip. After finding out in the season finale that Cory feels estranged from him, Eric invites Cory along for the ride. Shawn nearly makes several life-changing blunders this season, but Cory and then Mr. Turner help him to make the right choices. Cory endures several tests of character this season—everything from being credited for a great deed (which he did not deserve), to being insistently pursued by another girl while he is with Topanga. Sometimes Cory makes the right decision, and sometimes the wrong one, but he learns from each.
The fourth season opens with Cory and Eric's return from their road trip. In this season, Eric finds himself confronted with life after high school. After having a couple of jobs and meeting people that teach him some interesting lessons, Eric decides to retake the SAT and give college another try. The Matthews' patriarch Alan (William Russ) decides to quit his job and open a sporting goods store with Eric as his partner. Topanga's mother is transferred at her job to Pittsburgh, which is over 300 miles (480 km) from Philadelphia. The news devastates Cory, but Topanga runs away from her new house and returns to Philadelphia. Topanga's parents decide that she can live with Aunt Prudence (Olivia Hussey) in Philadelphia until she graduates. Shawn's mother returns for a brief period but then leaves again under unknown circumstances at some point between season 4 and season 6.
Later that school year, Mr. Turner gets into a severe motorcycle accident in which he almost dies. The next year Eric moves out of his parents’ house and begins college at the fictional Pennbrook University (a pastiche of local Philadelphia schools including Saint Joseph's University and the University of Pennsylvania). He moves into an apartment with Jack (Matthew Lawrence), who turns out to be Shawn's half-brother. Shawn clearly shows his hatred toward Jack and refuses to live with him because he was upset that Jack never called or checked to see if Shawn and his dad were doing okay (Shawn eventually discovers that Jack never received any of Shawn's letters, or he would have come to see him immediately). However, after being convinced by his father and others around him, Shawn moves in with them but finds he has nothing in common with Jack, which causes a lot of tension. A new student, Angela (Trina McGee), moves to Philadelphia and begins to date Shawn. Over winter break, the students go skiing on a school trip. Cory sprains his ankle and Lauren (Linda Cardellini), a ski-lodge employee, takes care of him. The two kiss, but Cory lies to Topanga. When Topanga finds out that he lied, they break up. Cory, upset about the break-up, gets drunk and is arrested, along with Shawn. The two agree never to drink again, but Shawn breaks the promise and shows up at school drunk. With the help of Angela and Jack, Shawn realizes that alcoholism runs in his family and that he needs to stop drinking.
Topanga forgives Cory after encountering her own kiss with an old friend from grade school. She realizes no kiss means more than the ones she shares with Cory. Cory and Topanga reunite and attend the prom together, where they are named King and Queen. On prom night, Cory's mother Amy (Betsy Randle) announces that she is pregnant. Mr. Feeny decides to retire at the end of the school year and move to Wyoming; however, he soon returns from retirement and goes back to teaching. Topanga is accepted to Yale, but Cory does not want her to leave him. At graduation, Topanga tells Cory that she decided not to go to Yale because she wants to be with him; then she proposes. The couple's parents are upset that they got engaged so young, but Cory and Topanga decide to elope. However, at the last minute, they decide that they want to get married "the right way," in front of family and friends.
Seasons 6–7: CollegeEdit
Shawn, Cory, Topanga, and Angela join Jack and Eric at Pennbrook. Rachel McGuire (Maitland Ward), a new student from Texas, moves in with Eric and Jack, causing tension as both boys have crushes on her. Angela and Shawn break up due to his claim that they should meet new people and, despite Cory's efforts, decide to stay just friends. They eventually are brought back together by way of Angela's father during his visit to the college, recruiting students for his R.O.T.C. program of basic training in the army. Mr. Feeny returns to take some classes but then is offered a teaching job at the university. During their freshman year, Stuart (played by Ben Savage's older brother Fred Savage), one of their professors, makes inappropriate—and unwelcome—sexual advances towards Topanga, causing Cory to shove him through a glass door at the Student Union. Cory is suspended but for only one day; the Dean (Bonnie Bartlett) believes that Stuart had crossed the line. Mr. Feeny and the Dean eventually gain feelings for one another and begin dating.
Cory and Topanga face a major obstacle in their marriage plans when Topanga's parents go through a divorce, and she decides to call off the wedding. She breaks up with Cory completely and tells him that she doesn't believe in love. Topanga is convinced that she is doing what is best for herself and Cory until her mother comes to explain everything and tell her that love is worth the risk.
Chet dies of a heart attack, and Jack reacts by admitting feelings for Rachel. They start dating, which causes problems for Jack and Eric. Crushed, Eric decides to move out of the apartment so that he doesn't get in the way of Jack and Rachel and later sleeps in Mr. Feeny's car. Shawn goes on a road trip to deal with his father's death, saying he won't come back. He does return however when the new Matthews baby, Joshua, is born prematurely and has a small chance of survival. Shawn receives a letter from his mother, confessing she is not his biological parent. Shawn unsuccessfully searches for his biological mother. Alan offers to adopt Shawn, but he decides that it was not necessary because Shawn knows that he is already part of the family.
Shawn and Cory have challenges in their relationship throughout the season, including on the day of Cory's wedding. Shawn admits that he is no longer Cory's best friend and gives him away to Topanga. Despite this, their friendship remains intact, but Topanga sometimes feels left out. Cory and Topanga get married and move into a shabby apartment for married couples on campus. They struggle for a while, wondering why Alan and Amy refuse to help them, but Alan later admits that he didn't want to deprive of them of the joy and bonding that comes with building a life together when you're new to marriage. They eventually make it a wonderful home and realize that they are capable of doing things on their own as a married couple. The group is growing up—they have to start thinking about what to do with their lives. In one episode, the newer friends get involved in a prank war with the originals (Jack, Rachel, and Angela vs. Cory, Shawn, and Topanga) which ultimately results in an ill-considered prank that exposes a very private secret of Rachel's. The friends are almost completely torn apart by all of this, until Eric and Mr. Feeny intervene by reminding them of the importance of their relationships and, as a result, everyone makes up.
In the series finale, Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric all head to New York City, where Topanga has been offered a dream internship at a law firm. Angela decides to move overseas with her father, and Jack and Rachel join the Peace Corps in Guatemala. The final scene has Cory, Topanga, and Shawn having a final meeting with Mr. Feeny in their old sixth-grade classroom, along with Eric, with each one telling him how important he is in their lives and to cherish each other forever.
- Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), the series main protagonist who goes through real life scenarios and learns the meaning of life through many life lessons.
- George Feeny (William Daniels), Cory and the rest of the gang's teacher who gives them many life lessons throughout the course of the series.
- Amy Matthews (Betsy Randle), Cory, Eric, Morgan, and Joshua's mother; Alan's wife.
- Eric Matthews (Will Friedle), Cory's ditzy, wild, and crazy older brother.
- Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), Cory's childhood best friend who comes from a troubled family.
- Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris), a nerdy child in Cory and Shawn's sixth grade class who has a crush on Topanga.
- Morgan Matthews (Lily Nicksay (seasons 1-2), Lindsay Ridgeway (seasons 3-7)), Cory, Eric, and Joshua's sister.
- Alan Matthews (William Russ), Cory, Eric, Morgan, and Joshua's father; Amy's husband.
- Topanga Matthews (née Lawrence) (Danielle Fishel), Cory's main love interest, who became his girlfriend, and later wife.
- Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn), a cool high-school teacher of Cory, Shawn, and Topanga who fostered Shawn.
- Eli Williams (Alex Désert), another teacher at John Adams High School and Jonathan's college best friend.
- Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence), Shawn's lost half-brother and another one Rachel's love interest.
- Angela Moore (Trina McGee-Davis), Topanga's best friend and Shawn's main love interest.
- Rachel McGuire (Maitland Ward), Topanga and Angela's best friend who is also Eric and Jack's roommate.
Theme music and introductionsEdit
Boy Meets World used a number of theme songs and opening title sequences over its seven-year run. Season one was the only season of the series that incorporated the names of the main cast and series creators within the opening title sequence, while those credits were shown along with the credits for producers and that episode's director and writers during the show's cold open for the remainder of the series. Every episode of seasons one and four through seven utilized a single theme song for every episode; however, the entire second season and part of season three used various instrumental themes composed by Ray Colcord (who also composed the incidental music used between scenes and commercial breaks throughout the show's run). This practice ended with "The Last Temptation of Cory" (season 3, episode 9) as one of the cycled themes became the sole opening title music for the rest of that season. The final theme, written and performed by Phil Rosenthal, of the band Twenty Cent Crush remained for seasons five through seven, though the visuals changed from seasons 5 to 6 to include Trina McGee-Davis (when she moved from recurring cast member in season 5 to series regular cast member in season 6) and Maitland Ward (who was added as a regular cast member in season 6).
ABC Family was the first network since ABC to show all the accurate introductions for each of the show's seven seasons. For the broadcast syndication and Disney Channel airings between 1997 and 2007, the opening title sequence from season four (along with a slightly modified version of the theme music from that season) anachronistically replaced the title sequences for the first three seasons, while the opening titles for seasons four through seven were kept intact.
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It is one of many television shows to take place primarily in the Philadelphia area and makes multiple local references. These include Cory's love for the Phillies and Morgan often wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jacket. Eric mentions that he and his father always talk about the Eagles, 76ers, Flyers, and Phillies, the four major sports teams in Philadelphia, and his attempts to be accepted into Swarthmore College—finally ending with Cory and most of the cast attending Pennbrook, an institution that appears to be a pastiche of Penn and Saint Joseph's University. In the episode "Starry Night," Cory and Topanga visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a Vincent van Gogh exhibition. In the episode "Singled Out" in season 4, Eric meets with one of the producers of Singled Out and the producer makes reference to Eric living in and around Philadelphia.
The name of John Adams High School is an homage to William Daniels' long-running role in the Tony-award-winning Broadway play (and later film) 1776, in which Daniels played Founding Father John Adams.
Disney–ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution (sister company to Touchstone Television, now ABC Studios) currently handles the syndication rights to the series.
Boy Meets World reruns began airing on various FOX, WB, UPN, and independent affiliates from 1997 to 2000. During the latter month, Disney Channel assumed syndication rights, with the series running on the cable channel until 2007. To the consternation of some longtime fans of the show, Disney Channel edited many episodes that contained scenes with suggestive content deemed inappropriate for the channel's target audience of 7- to 14-year-olds. All 158 episodes aired during the series' initial run on the Disney Channel, however, due to the adult subject matter and complaints from parents, Disney Channel omitted three episodes from later airings: season five's "If You Can't Be with the One You Love..." (due to its depictions of underage drinking) and "Prom-ises, Prom-ises" (whose main storyline involves Cory and Topanga contemplating losing their virginity on the night of their prom), and season six's "The Truth About Honesty" (due to its sexual references). On May 5, 2014, the show temporarily returned to the network after a seven-year absence to promote Girl Meets World.
ABC Family has aired Boy Meets World from June 21, 2004 to August 31, 2007 and again from April 12, 2010 to December 2, 2015. Though the network in a way inherited the syndication rights to the show from Disney Channel, the episode prints broadcast by ABC Family differed from those seen on Disney Channel and in broadcast syndication as it incorporated scenes cut from the Disney Channel broadcasts (though small portions of certain scenes from episodes during the earlier seasons were cut due to time constraints) and featured the three episodes that Disney chose not to air, incorporated each season's corresponding opening title sequence, and restored the placement of the teaser scenes during the season one episodes to running before the opening titles in the manner that they were shown in the original ABC telecasts (instead of having the cast and creators' names shown during the teasers). However, the program was dropped once ABC Family was rebranded as Freeform. The series also began airing on MTV2 since November 14, 2011, again with the original opening title sequences intact.
On April 18, 2016, Nickelodeon's sister channel TeenNick began airing the series. The series, TeenNick's only acquired program as of 2017, airs as a lead-in to the channel's classic programming block, NickSplat.
Internationally, reruns of the series have been broadcast on Canada's YTV, Family Channel, and ABC Spark; the Canadian version of ABC Family. In Brazil, the show was aired by SBT (terrestrial television) and Disney Channel Brazil (cable television) until 2005.
On September 29, 2017, Boy Meets World became available for streaming on Hulu along with fellow Disney–ABC television properties Dinosaurs and Home Improvement, in addition to fellow TGIF programs Family Matters, Full House, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Perfect Strangers, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Step by Step. On April 11, 2019, It was confirmed that Disney+, a new streaming service owned by Disney, will be carrying the series upon its November 2019 launch.
Angela's interracial relationship with Shawn was a relative rarity for a major network television show targeting youths at the time. Trina McGee-Davis once remarked that the typical reaction she received from young fans regarding the relationship was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, often inquiring as to when the characters would reconcile after a breakup. She expressed her personal wish that her character's relationship would serve as an example of color blindness for the world, in lieu of a less positive reaction a similar relationship had received on Ally McBeal at the time.
Eric and Shawn both wore a popular 1990s hairstyle called curtained hair.
The show also addresses the cultural issues of child abuse ("Dangerous Secret"'), sexual harassment ("Chick Like Me"), and underage drinking/alcohol abuse ("If You Can't Be With the One You Love…").
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (as Buena Vista Home Entertainment) released the first three seasons of Boy Meets World on DVD between 2004 and 2005. Because the sales figures did not meet the company's expectations, no further seasons were released. As of 2009, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print.
On August 4, 2008, it was announced that Lionsgate Home Entertainment had acquired the rights to the series. They subsequently re-released the first three seasons on DVD on September 7, 2010, with the same special features from the original releases. Season 4 was released on December 7, 2010. Season 5 was released on May 3, 2011. Season 6 was released on July 5, 2011. Season 7 was released on October 4, 2011, completing the series' run on DVD. Ultimately, Lionsgate was able to release all seven seasons in almost a year's time. All seven seasons of the series are available for download at the iTunes Store.
On November 5, 2013, Lionsgate released Boy Meets World: The Complete Collection on DVD in Region 1. The 22-disc set features all 158 episodes of the series as well as new and previously included bonus features from the original sets.
|DVD name||Ep#||Release date||Bonus features|
|The Complete First Season||22||August 24, 2004
Re-release: September 7, 2010
|Bonus Episode from Season 4: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow (Disc 3) & Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew|
|The Complete Second Season||23||November 23, 2004
Re-release: September 7, 2010
|Bonus Feature: "Fear Strikes Out" Video Commentary (Disc 2) & Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew|
|The Complete Third Season||22||August 23, 2005
Re-release: September 7, 2010
|"The World According to Boy" Pop Quiz – Answer these quiz questions correctly and you'll graduate from John Adams High with honors (Disc 3)|
|The Complete Fourth Season||22||December 7, 2010|
|The Complete Fifth Season||24||May 3, 2011|
|The Complete Sixth Season||22||July 5, 2011|
|The Complete Seventh Season||23||October 4, 2011|
|The Complete Collection||158||November 5, 2013||Boy Meets World: Back to the Beginning featurette, Boy Meets... World Fandom Featurette (Bonus disc)|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1994||Young Artist Award||Best Youth Comedian||Rider Strong||Nominated|
|Best Youth Actor Leading Role in a Television Series||Ben Savage||Nominated|
|Best New Television Series||Boy Meets World||Nominated|
|Best Actress Under Ten in a Television Series or Show||Lily Nicksay||Nominated|
|1995||Young Artist Award||Best Performance: Young Actor in a TV Comedy Series||Will Friedle||Nominated|
|1996||Young Artist Award||Best Performance by a Young Actress: TV Comedy Series||Danielle Fishel||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Young Actress: Guest Starring Role TV Series||Erin J. Dean||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Young Actor: Guest Starring Role TV Series||Justin Thomson||Won|
|1997||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Supporting Young Actress||Danielle Fishel||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Supporting Young Actor||Rider Strong||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Leading Young Actor||Ben Savage||Nominated|
|1998||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Leading Young Performer||Ben Savage||Nominated|
|YoungStar Award||Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy TV Series||Ben Savage||Nominated|
|Best Young Actress/Performance in a Comedy TV Series||Danielle Fishel||Won|
|1999||Kids' Choice Award||Favorite Television Show||Boy Meets World||Nominated|
|Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Guest Starring Young Actor||Jarrett Lennon||Won|
|2000||Kids' Choice Award||Favorite Television Show||Boy Meets World||Nominated|
|Favorite Television Friends||Ben Savage & Rider Strong||Won|
|Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Guest Starring Young Performer||J. B. Gaynor||Won|
|YoungStar Award||Best Young Actress/Performance in a Comedy TV Series||Danielle Fishel||Nominated|
In November 2012, Disney Channel announced that it had ordered a pilot for a spin-off series, Girl Meets World. The story exists in the same continuity as the original series and follows Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard), the daughter of Cory and Topanga Matthews, as she navigates the challenges of her early teenage years. Michael Jacobs returned as showrunner, while Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel reprise their roles as Cory and Topanga. Philadelphia area native Sabrina Carpenter plays Riley's best friend Maya Hart. Several cast members from Boy Meets World appear in recurring guest roles. Most prominently: Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), Will Friedle (Eric Matthews), Danny McNulty (Harley Keiner), Lee Norris (Stuart Minkus), and William Daniels (Mr. Feeny). Girl Meets World ran three seasons before being canceled in 2017.
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