Felicity (TV series)

Felicity is an American drama television series created by J. J. Abrams and Matt Reeves and produced by Touchstone Television and Imagine Television for The WB. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard were executive producers through Imagine Entertainment.

Title screen used for the first season
GenreCollege drama
Created by
Narrated by
Theme music composer
Opening theme
  • "Felicity Theme" (seasons 1–2)
  • "New Version of You" (seasons 3–4)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes84 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Production locations
  • Robert Primes
  • Michael Bonvillain
  • Marshall Adams
Camera setupSingle-camera setup
Running time42–45 minutes
Production companies
DistributorBuena Vista Television
Original networkThe WB
Picture formatNTSC
Audio formatStereophonic
Original releaseSeptember 29, 1998 (1998-09-29) –
May 22, 2002 (2002-05-22)

The series revolves around the college experiences of the title character, Felicity Porter (portrayed by Keri Russell), as she attends the "University of New York" (based on New York University), which lies across the country from her home in Palo Alto, California. The show ran for four seasons from September 29, 1998, to May 22, 2002, with each season corresponding to the traditional American university divisions of freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years.

In 2007, Felicity was one of Time magazine's "All-Time 100 Best TV Shows."[1] AOL TV named Felicity one of the "Best School Shows of All Time."[2] In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly named Felicity Porter one of the "100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years".[3]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122September 29, 1998 (1998-09-29)May 25, 1999 (1999-05-25)
223September 26, 1999 (1999-09-26)May 24, 2000 (2000-05-24)
317October 4, 2000 (2000-10-04)May 23, 2001 (2001-05-23)
422October 10, 2001 (2001-10-10)May 22, 2002 (2002-05-22)

The series opens at Felicity's high school graduation, where she asks Ben Covington, a classmate on whom she has a crush, to sign her yearbook. Moved by his comment that he wished they had gotten to know each other further, she changes her education plans completely, deciding to follow Ben to New York rather than attend Stanford University as a pre-med student. Felicity's overbearing parents, concerned about Felicity's seemingly rash decision, come to New York to try to persuade her to return home and "get back on track". Felicity has second thoughts about her decision, but soon realizes that she came not only to follow Ben, but to discover her true inner self.

While Felicity works to sort out her emotions, she continues the basic motions of student life and moves into her dorm. There, she meets the resident advisor Noel Crane. Eventually, the two develop a romantic relationship, and the love triangle among Felicity, Ben, and Noel forms the basic dramatic conflicts in the show throughout the series.

A number of other characters appear and play large roles in Felicity's life. Her roommate for the first two years is Meghan Rotundi, a goth Wiccan who occasionally casts spells on Felicity and others. Julie Emrick is one of Felicity's best friends, as is Elena Tyler, who often takes classes with Felicity. Felicity also has male friends, including Sean Blumberg, who is always trying to produce new off-kilter inventions, and Javier Clemente Quintata, who manages the Dean & DeLuca where Felicity works for most of her college career.

A recurring episode opener of the show is a stark camera shot of Felicity sitting in a dormitory room or apartment holding a tape recorder, recalling events in order to make a cassette tape to send to an old friend named Sally Reardon (voiced by Janeane Garofalo). This occasionally provides a method for Felicity to narrate an entire episode. At the end of episodes like this, Felicity is often shown to be listening to a tape that Sally has sent in reply.

Cast and charactersEdit

Characters are listed in title credit order and by appearance on the show.

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4
Keri Russell Felicity Porter Main
Scott Speedman Ben Covington Main
Amy Jo Johnson Julie Emrick Main Special Guest
Tangi Miller Elena Tyler Main
Scott Foley Noel Crane Main
Greg Grunberg Sean Blumberg Recurring Main
Amanda Foreman Meghan Rotundi Recurring Main
Ian Gomez Javier Clemente Quintata Recurring Main



Felicity was filmed in part in New York City, and is set at the fictional University of New York (UNY), based on New York University (NYU). Like NYU, UNY is located in Greenwich Village near Washington Square Park, and the school is an important part of the show. Although like other universities, NYU normally welcomes being mentioned in film or on television as free product placement, the university refused permission for the show to use its name, stating that "[t]he negatives kind of outweighed the positives."[4]

Writer's ageEdit

In 1999, a publicly hyped young writer for the show, Riley Weston, was disclosed as a fraud for claiming to be much younger than she truly was. At the age of 32, she began marketing herself to television studios as a recent high school graduate, passing off her husband as her older brother. She was soon hired by the WB Network as a writer for Felicity.[5] Hailed as a child prodigy and "wunderkind",[6] she was featured on Entertainment Weekly's October 1998 list of the "100 Most Creative People in Entertainment", which described her as an up-and-coming 19-year-old. Shortly thereafter, she was offered a six-figure screenwriting deal with Disney.[7] Her real identity and age were exposed after a Felicity producer checked her social security number. Soon afterward, her contract with WB expired and was not renewed, and her deal with Disney fell through.[citation needed]

Time-slot and hairstyle changesEdit

In the summer of 1999, after filming the first season,[8] Felicity star Russell—known for what The New York Times described as "[t]hat glorious head of voluminous golden backlit hair"[9]—sent the show's producers a photo wearing a short-haired wig. They panicked before learning that it was a joke but then suggested to the actress that a new hairstyle would be appropriate.[8] After being shifted from Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm Eastern to Sunday nights at 8:00 pm Eastern (WB's weakest night) for the 1999–2000 season, the ratings for Felicity declined immediately. This decline occurred before the hair-style change, but the later hair-style change became conflated by some of the public and by some of the popular press[9] and network executives with this earlier event and thus incorrectly blamed the earlier ratings drop partly on the later new hairstyle. After the negative reaction Russell rejected wearing extensions or a wig while her hair grew back. Although storytelling and time-slot changes had already created a ratings decline, a network executive said WB actors' future hair changes would "be given more thought at the network than it previously would have".[8] In 2010, TV Guide Network listed the hairstyle change at No. 19 on their list of "25 Biggest TV Blunders," with several commentators arguing that it was the reason that the ratings of the show dropped.[10] The haircut incident went on to become a popular culture reference within other television shows, both comedic and dramatic. Despite the controversy, Felicity survived for two more seasons.

Home mediaEdit

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the DVDs over a period of four years.[when?][citation needed] Because of high music licensing costs, many of the songs from the original broadcast episodes were replaced in the DVD releases, some of them with songs by artists from the independent label Rescue Records.[citation needed] Blaire Reinhard ("Over and Over" and "Can't Let Go"), Mike Schmidt ("Just Wave Goodbye"), and Beth Thornley ("Mr. Lovely") are some of the artists whose music was used for the DVDs but not the original broadcasts.[citation needed]

In a commentary track on the final episode of Disney/Buena Vista's original Freshman Year Collection DVD release ("Felicity Was Here"), co-creator Matt Reeves said the pilot and season finale contained the same music as when the show originally aired, but some other episodes contained changes. "One of the sad things about going into syndication is that certain rights that we were able to get in the first year we weren't able to get," Reeves said. "In the pilot and in this episode we have all the original music as it appeared on the series."[citation needed]

Some episodes did not have proper telecine encoding and when viewed on an HDTV some interlacing artifacts are visible.[citation needed] All four seasons were re-released on DVD by ABC Studios on April 7, 2009 in "slimmer" packaging.[11][12][13][14] These region 1 releases have been discontinued and are now out of print.[citation needed]

On February 9, 2012, it was announced that Lionsgate Home Entertainment had acquired the rights to the series and planned on re-releasing it. Seasons 1 and 2 were re-released on May 1, 2012 and do not contain any extras, subtitles, or other languages besides English.[15][16][17] Seasons 3 and 4 were re-released on May 7, 2013.[18]

Title Release Details Special features
Felicity: Freshman Year Collection
  • November 5, 2002
    (United States)
  • November 4, 2003 (Australia & New Zealand)
  • 22 episodes
  • 6-disc set
  • 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English, French (Australia), Dutch (Australia)
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround) (Australia)
  • Audio commentary on "Pilot"
    • J. J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (Co-creators and executive producers)
  • Audio commentary on "Felicity Was Here"
    • J. J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (Co-creators and executive producers)
Felicity: Sophomore Year Collection
  • July 22, 2003
    (United States)
  • 23 episodes
  • 6-disc set
  • 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Spanish
  • 5 audio commentaries
  • Never-before-seen Network Pilot episode
  • Keri Russell's audition
  • Felicity "Emmy Parody" spoof (Produced for the Emmy broadcast)[19]
Felicity: Junior Year Collection
  • September 21, 2004 (United States)
  • 17 episodes
  • 5-disc set
  • 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Spanish
  • Audio commentaries
  • "Docuventary: A Look Back at Season 3 with Greg Grunberg"
  • Mad TV Parody[20]
Felicity: Senior Year Collection
  • March 8, 2005
    (United States)
  • 22 episodes
  • 6-disc set
  • 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)
    • Spanish
  • Audio commentaries
  • "The Lost Elena Scenes" – J. J. Abrams and Matt Reeves present deleted scenes from the finale, showing that Felicity saves Elena's life by convincing her to attend medical school at Duke instead of Columbia.
  • "Fade Out" – Behind-the-scenes reflections with Keri Russell and the show's creators
  • Creating characters – Q&A with J. J. Abrams, Keri Russell, Matt Reeves, and Jennifer Garner[21]



The series debut garnered 7.1 million viewers.[22]

Season Episodes Original airing Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Season premiere Season finale TV season
1st 22 September 29, 1998 May 25, 1999 1998–1999 #124[23] 4.4[24]
2nd 23 September 26, 1999 May 24, 2000 1999–2000 #135[citation needed] 2.2[citation needed]
3rd 17 October 4, 2000 May 23, 2001 2000–2001 #123[citation needed] 2.8[citation needed]
4th 22 October 10, 2001 May 22, 2002 2001–2002 #129[citation needed] 3.2[25]


Felicity was nominated for 38 awards during its run from 1998 to 2002 and won several, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series for Robert Primes and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for Keri Russell.[26]

Year Award Category Nominees(s) Result Ref.
1999 Artios Awards Best Casting for TV, Dramatic Pilot Marcia Shulman Won
Eddie Awards Best Edited Series for Television Stan Salfas, Warren Bowman Nominated
Golden Globes Best Actress – Drama Series Keri Russell Won
Best Series – Drama Felicity Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Felicity Won
Favorite TV Drama Actress Keri Russell Nominated
OFTA Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Keri Russell Nominated
Best Actress in a New Drama Series Keri Russell Won
Best Direction in a Drama Series Felicity Nominated
Best Music in a Series Felicity Nominated
Best New Drama Series Felicity Nominated
Best New Theme Song in a Series W. G. Snuffy Walden Nominated
Best New Titles Sequence in a Series Felicity Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Series Robert Primes Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Actor Scott Foley Nominated
Choice TV: Actress Keri Russell Nominated
Choice TV: Breakout Performance Scott Foley Nominated
Keri Russell Won
Scott Speedman Nominated
Choice TV: Drama Series Felicity Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding New Program Felicity Nominated
2000 ALMA Awards Special Achievement Award Ian Gomez Won
American Society of Cinematographers Awards Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series Robert Primes Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding TV Drama Series Felicity Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Music Composition for a Series Danny Pelfrey, W. G. Snuffy Walden Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Actor Scott Foley Nominated
Scott Speedman Nominated
Choice TV: Actress Keri Russell Nominated
Choice TV: Sidekick Ian Gomez Nominated
Amy Jo Johnson Nominated
Choice TV Show: Drama Felicity Nominated
2001 GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding TV Drama Series Felicity Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Actress Keri Russell Nominated
Choice TV Show: Drama Felicity Nominated
2002 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Tangi Miller Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Action/Drama Felicity Nominated
Choice TV Actor: Drama Scott Foley Nominated
Scott Speedman Nominated
Choice TV Actress: Drama Keri Russell Nominated


  1. ^ Poniewozik, James (September 6, 2007). "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-Time". Time. Time Inc. Archived from the original on 22 March 2021. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
  2. ^ "Best School Shows of All Time". AOL TV. Aol, Inc. August 26, 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Adam B. Vary (June 1, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  4. ^ Gates, Anita (September 2, 1998). "N.Y.U. Says, 'No, Thanks' To Star Role in a Sitcom". NYTimes.com. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Bernard Weinraub (1998-10-17). "TV Writer, 32, Passed for 19; Bloom Is Off Her Contract". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  6. ^ Elber, Lynn (October 15, 1998). "Teen Wunderkind TV Writer Unmasked". Associated Press. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  7. ^ Jenny Hontz (1998-10-15). "Old enough to know better". Variety. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  8. ^ a b c Owen, Rob (January 21, 2000). "On the Tube: The ratings dropped with her golden locks – WB says grow it back". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 15, 2007.
  9. ^ a b Gates, Anita (2000-01-21). "Entering the Lovelorn Zone: Felicity's Fifth Dimension". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  10. ^ "Breaking News – TV Guide Network's "25 Biggest TV Blunders" Special Delivers 3.3 Million Viewers". The Futon Critic. March 2, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  11. ^ "Felicity: The Complete First Season". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
  12. ^ "Felicity: Season Two". Amazon.com. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  13. ^ "Felicity: Season Three". Amazon.com. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  14. ^ "Felicity: Season Four". Amazon.com. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  15. ^ "'Felicity' – Lionsgate Picks Up Rights, Schedules Re-Issues for Felicity, Samantha Who? and Dirty Sexy Money". TV Shows on TV. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  16. ^ "Felicity – Season 1". LionsGateShop.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  17. ^ "Felicity – Season 2". LionsGateShop.com. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  18. ^ "Felicity DVD news: Box Art for Felicity - Season 3 and Felicity - Season 4 - TVShowsOnDVD.com". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-18.
  19. ^ "Felicity: The Complete Second Season". Video.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  20. ^ "Felicity: The Complete Third Season". Video.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  21. ^ "Felicity: The Complete Fourth Season". Video.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  22. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (September 11, 2008). "Why Did 'Fringe' Unravel? Blame It on the TV God". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 11, 2008.
  23. ^ "Final ratings for the 1998–1999 TV season". OoCities.org. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  24. ^ "Final ratings for the 1998–1999 TV season". GeoCities. Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2008.
  25. ^ "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. Nielsen Media Research. May 28, 2002. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  26. ^ "Awards for 'Felicity'". IMDb. Amazon.com. Retrieved December 1, 2011.

External linksEdit