Over the years the plots have become more exciting, the actors more talented and the storylines juicier and spicier. Read on and discover the true story behind your favorite show.
Saved by the Bell Almost Had a Brunet Zack Morris
"Saved by the Bell" was first launched in 1989. The show ran for just a little over four years and was considered one of the best educational TV shows of all time. If there was one character every teen wanted to be back in the 1990s it had to be Zack Morris. Charming, funny, the star of the show, a girl's all-time idol, and blond. Well, that's what most of us thought.
He was a natural brunet that had to bleach his hair every two weeks to play the character. When the show was dropped Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack) was relieved as he could finally grow his hair naturally and return to his brown roots. BTW, Zack Moriss's character was inspired by no other than Ferris Buller.
Doogie Howser MD Had People in Stitches, Literally
Would a TV show about a teen MD work these days? Not sure but from 1989 all the way to 1993 it sure did. Neil Patrick Harris played the leading role in a medical sitcom exposing the challenges between practicing medicine and dealing with day-to-day issues as a teen. Doogie was so big that in the early 1990s, the show was even more popular than "Seinfeld." How could anyone be more popular than Seinfeld?
Anyway, during the shooting of the show, the entire cast who played doctors had to practice their stitching skills. They would buy a raw chicken off-set and work on their abilities. So, if you happen to come across reruns of the show, remember that every time you see them stitching up after the procedure, they are actually running on their poultry experience.
A Different World for... Meg Ryan?
"A Different World" was a spin-off of "The Cosby Show". Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) was the star and Hilman College was where the plot took place. The original story was supposed to tell the story of a white student trying to blend into a black populated school. Meg Ryan was supposed to take the lead, however, she changed her mind just days before the shooting began.
Eventually, the creators decided to link the show with Denise's departure from her home on "The Cosby Show" and rewrote the script around her. The show ran for over six years and was a huge hit at first, however, it gradually dropped down on the charts and was canceled in May 1993.
Head of the Class Featured Some Really Old High Schoolers
You had to be in your teens during the 1980s to know "Head of the Class". It tells the story of a class full of gifted-extra-intelligent children who experience life's obstacles under the hand of their beloved (or not so sometimes) history teacher.
A few facts we bet you didn't know about the show: This was the first American sitcom to film outside of the country. Where do you ask? Russia. All of the stars in the show were over 30 when filming. Joher Coleman who played Jawaharlal Choudhury had to wear dark makeup to fit in character and Sir Billy Connolly starred in the 5th season of the show.
Square Pegs Had SJP Fighting BTS
This is where it all began for Sarah Jessica Parker. She played one of two nerds who were willing to do anything to fit in with the cool mob of the class. Apparently, this show was based on Anne Beatts's (the creator) real-life experiences. She would, later on, be the name behind "Saturday Night Live" and leave her high school days in the past.
Although the two lead characters played by Parker and Amy Linker were supposedly best friends, in reality, they were on bad terms throughout the entire shooting of the show. Following illegal behavior held behind the scenes amongst the teenage cast, the show had to be canceled. It had only one season, but what a great one season it was.
Good Morning Miss Bliss Wasn't #Blessed
To make a one-season story short, "Good Morning Miss Bliss" (Disney production) was basically the former name of "Saved by the Bell" (NBC production). How did that evolve? The Bliss show didn't make it to the top and 13 episodes were more than enough for the production to deal with. Saying that the show didn't just disappear. Four of the show's cast found themselves on the successful "Saved by the Bell" which followed.
The two shows had a lot in common keeping some differences. "Good Morning Miss Bliss" focused on the teacher (Miss Bliss) while "Saved by the Bell" was all about the students and the plot moved from Indianapolis to California. NBC knew what they were doing.
Growing Pains Raised Baby Leo
"Growing Pains" was all about the Seaver family and their day-to-day issues. This is where we were first introduced to Kirk Cameron (stay tuned for more on the Cameron family), but more than that it's responsible for bringing to life someone else's career. He became one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Fast forward to season seven and say hello to Leonardo DiCaprio. He played Luke Brower a student who Mike found sleeping rough and took him in. DiCaprio shone and went off to do bigger and better things. The show left a sweet memory for those who grew up back then and who shared the same kind of pain.
The Wonder Years Were Wonderful for Fred Savage
All you have to do is tune in to Joe Cocker's version of "A little help from my friends" and you're back on set. There's nothing more iconic than that song when it comes to "The Wonder years". One of the best TV shows ever made. The story of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) manages to touch almost anyone and cleans off the dust of the memories that were locked away.
In the first episode of "The Wonder Years", Kevin and his love interest Winnie Cooper share a kiss. Few people know that this was actually the first kiss for both of the actors involved. Savage was just 11-years-old while Danica McKellar (Cooper) was 12-years-old when the scene was filmed. The show ran for six seasons and was canceled following disagreements backstage.
Who's the Boss Had Different Plans for Mona
Did you know that the original name of the show was "You're the Boss"? And did you know that Mona (Katherine Helmond) was supposed to play Angela's older sister? Someone up there came to their senses when they realized it was better off she played Angela's mother.
It produced its Hollywood stars with Alyssa Milano being the biggest one, still on our screens today. The show was so successful that British television adopted the idea and came up with its own version of the show called "The Upper Hand".
Roseanne Was Nearly Out of Her Own Show
When you create a show that is based on real-life events you can't go wrong. Roseanne knew that if she focused on actual things that happened to her and her family, success was guaranteed. Roseanne (the person not the show) said that she was basically playing herself in a much nicer and primetime-suited version.
One of the funniest incidents that happened while shooting the show was that Roseanne was almost kicked off her own show Could you imagine watching Roseanne without .....Roseanne. She had a big fall out with one of the production guys and he refused to carry on working with her. If it wasn't for John Goodman, the show would have to change its name to Jackie or Darlene.
Mr. Belvedere Had a Surprising First
An English butler taking care of an American family is a guarantor for hours of entertainment. Well, at least that's what we thought. The show was canceled after six seasons due to its low rating. The show put a spotlight on the struggles the posh Mr. Belveder went through while he tried to adapt to the new culture he was surrounded with. He carries the title of a mentor in many ways being the one the teens on the show turn to for advice.
The story was based on a known novel written way back in the late 1940s. The version of the show as we know it was the fourth attempt to create a series based on the book. It was also the first TV show in the history of TV shows to feature a character with HIV.
Perfect Strangers Wouldn't Have Happened if People Listened to Tom Cruise
In 1984 the Los Angeles Olympics did more than just introduce us to Carl Lewis. It was also the kickstart of the TV sitcom "Perfect Strangers". The creator of the show, Dale McRaven, was inspired by the European athletes being overwhelmed by the Los Angeles culture and believed it would a great inspiration for the show.
The show covers the coexistence between the midwest American (Mark Linn-Baker) and his cousin (Bronson Pinchot) from Eastern Europe. Pinchot already tasted the flavor of fame after having a supporting role in "Risky Business" which also starred Tom Cruise. Cruise warned Pinchot at the time not to turn acting into a career as it had too many downfalls. Pinchot nodded and told Cruise not to be so ridiculous.
Boy Meets World Was the Definition of People Pleaser
The show followed the life and the everyday events of Cory Matthews, played by Ben Savage. Besides being a great show "Boy Meets World" also introduced us to Jennifer Love Hewitt, and for that, we are grateful. Another big name on the show was Willie Garson who had three different roles throughout the series playing various characters.
The production of the show at one stage held a poll asking if the two lead characters should or should not get married. The audience made their decision and the series ended with a sticky ending of a wedding.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch Used TV Magic for a Character
"Sabrina the Teenage Witch" had its lead actress guest star in her own series! Melissa Joan Hart who played the lead role of Sabrina had her real-life sister Emily Hartapear on the show.
Sabrina was a teenager who discovers that she had magical powers which she shared with her two aunts (who were witches too) and a talking cat named Salem. Although the show's title indicated otherwise, Melissa Joan Hart who played Sabrina was in her 20s when the shoe was first aired and almost 30 when it ended.
Family Matters, but Urkle Matters More
If there is one iconic character in "Family Matters" it has to be Steve Urkel (Jaleel White). Believe it or not, he was supposed to be in one episode only however the audience loved him so much that he became a permanent member of the cast. Could you imagine the show without him? Now, in real-life Steve Urkel really does exist. He is a friend of Michael Warren, one of the creators of the show.
Urkel's popularity didn't impress the other members of staff as the entire show revolved around him. He was already a known name in the industry and "Family Matters" wasn't his first attempt to shine. Jaleel was almost cast as Rudy on "The Cosby Show" (yes, Rudy was supposed to be a boy) so either way, this guy was intended to make it big.
Melrose Place Had Backstage Drama Affect the Show
Back in the early 1990s, it didn't matter if you were a teen or a teen's parent you watched the same show. These were the days before everyone had satellite and Netflix — whatever was on, was on. "Melrose Place" was the soap opera of the day which ran for seven seasons and was about young (good-looking) adults living in an apartment complex on the outskirts of Beverly Hills. It's considered a spinoff of "Beverly Hills 90010", but wasn't as successful.
In real life, most stars of the show dated one another which turned their personal life into a daytime drama. The show eventually ended as the characters had to move on. How long do you think people can stay single and happy in a Californian apartment complex?
Step by Step or Song by Song?
What could be better than the story of "Step by Step"? Two single-parent families get together and form one big happy family with six kids. Three from his side and three from hers. Patrick Duffy (who we adore from the good old "Dallas" days) starred alongside Suzanne Somers who was no stranger to the sitcom world.
The show's theme song "Second Time Around" was written by Jesse Frederick who is also responsible for the songs of "Full House", "Perfect Strangers" and "Family Matters". All these shows seem to share the same DNA. They all have the same song composer and all are engraved in our minds. "Step by Step" is the only sitcom never to be released on DVD so if you want to catch up on nostalgia, you'll have to seek elsewhere.
The Sister Sister Twins Knew What They Were Doing
ABC surely took advantage (in a good way) of these identical twin rising stars and created a show that followed the two who discovered the existence of the other at the age of 14. Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry play the reunited twins and starred together through the entire six seasons.
In reality, the two Mowry sisters convinced their parents to move and live in Califonia when they were barely 12 years old. They believed that moving there would be their entrance ticket to the showbiz industry. Eventually, the twins were seen on the set of "Full House" which led to the creation of "Sister Sister".
Clueless Didn't Give a Hoot About Timelines
"Clueless" the TV show is based on a 1995 movie sharing the same title. Both are inspired by the 19th-century novel named "Emma". The show covers all teen-related issues such as relationships, school, parents, and social ranking. The TV show is not identical to the iconic movie and there are some noticeable differences between the two.
The first few episodes of the show weren't broadcasted in order and the pilot episode that was supposed to be launched first was screened three months later. This didn't interrupt the show's success and we don't think anyone ever noticed.
My So-Called Life Was So-Called Meh
This was one of the least successful shows at the time as it was broadcasted for less than a year and with only one season. Despite all that, the show won a few award nominations. We're not sure why amongst the viewers it didn't do so well but amongst the professionals, it was a ball.
Claire Danes played the leading role, however, Alicia Silverstone read for the part too. Danes was just 14 years old at the time and experienced her first kiss in life.....on set. One thing is for sure, she will never forget this show no matter har far away from home she is.
Just the Ten of Us Was Taken Down to Four of Them
"Just the Ten of Us" was a spinoff for "Growing Pains" and the show shared the plot and some characters. The show's initial intention was to focus on the day-to-day struggles of a hardworking family, however, after four episodes, the production decided to take a different path and focused on the lives of four of the characters.
Three of the show's stars began their careers in the legendary horror movie "A Nightmare on Elm Street". Maybe this explains the poor performance of the show?
Full House Was Meant to Have an Uncle Adam
There is so much to say about this show, where should we start? Here are a few facts we bet you never knew: The original name of the show was "House of Comics", John Posey was originally cast to play Danny Tanner, Uncle Jesse was named at first Uncle Adam, and Dave Coulier who played Joey dated Alanis Morissette.
The show ran for eight seasons and still remains an old-time favorite. It continues to gain popularity even today with reruns giving the new generation a taste of what it was like back in the day.
Beverly Hills 90210 Nearly Flopped
Beverly Hills 90201 had it all. It had the best-looking stars, it had relevant stories, and it managed to merge between the modest midwest lives and the filthy rich kids of Beverly Hills. Believe it not the first season was a disaster rating-wise, however, one season down and nine more to go the show became a cult amongst teens all over the world.
In for a bit of trivia? Luke Perry was supposed to be Steve, Tori Spelling almost got Shannen Doherty kicked off the show (Tori had good relations with the production team) and Gabrielle Carteris was almost 30 years old when she played the role of Andrea Zuckerman.
Party of Five Couldn't Live Without Neve Campbell
"Party of Five" brought the biggest names that were around at the time. Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell, Matthew Fox, and others told the story of the Salinger family. The Salingers were five siblings who lost their parents in a car accident and found themselves all alone in the big world. The show ran for six seasons and in 1996 it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama TV series.
Jennifer Love Hewitt started off as an extra but quickly became a regular on the show and played the role of Sarah Reeves, Bailey's (Wolf) on and off girlfriend. After six seasons, Campbell decided not to renew her contract and wanted to leave the show. Her role was too significant to just lay off so it was decided to cancel the show completely.
The Young Riders Had Old Guns
In 1992, "The Young Riders" aired and overnight everyone had their favorite rider. This was a one-of-a-kind western-themed teen show that ran for three seasons. Many believe that the show is related to the 1988 movie "Young Guns" and we are here to clarify this claim. There is no relation between the two whatsoever.
The early days of the show weren't easy and it was almost canceled after one season. Soon enough the audience acknowledged the magnificence of the show and it continued with another 50 episodes. It was awarded for the costumes and for the soundtrack and even taught the teen viewers a thing or two about American history.
Webster Was Taking a Chance on a Little Boy
The TV show "Webster" is proof that one little boy can hold the weight of an entire production on his little shoulders. Emmanuel Lewis was a rising star when the show was first aired. He played a young black boy who lost his parents and was adopted by his white godparents. This was not the first time NBC came up with a similar storyline as the show resembled in many ways the earlier broadcasting of "Diff'rent Strokes".
The plot circulated around Emmanuel Lewis who won the Young Artist Award for his performance. After ruling the 1980s by being the presenter of BK and releasing a couple of songs, Lewis doesn't seem to have aged much since the "Webster" days. He still performs in low-budget productions.
Not Even George Clooney Could Save Baby Talk
The show was based on the "Look Whos Talking" movie which was released in 1989. The characters were new and exciting, however, the storyline and a big part of the text were abused and reused in the show. Overall, the show performed well and lingered on to the success of the movie.
Now, we are unsure about what happens behind the scenes of this show but the first actress who played the lead character left after shooting three episodes, her replacement left after the end of the first season, and the one who starred in the second season was grateful when it was all over. The only good thing we could find about this show is George Clooney who played the role of Joe.
Dawson's Creek Nearly Matched Tom Cruise With Selma Blair
When "Dawson's Creek" was first aired, the entire cast was anonymous with no major TV appearances and was turned down by FOX (who probably regret doing so). Katie Holmes (who was in high school at the time) wasn't initially supposed to be on the show and Tom Cruise could have ended up with Selma Blair instead. James Van Der Beek (Dawson) was known as an "easy cryer" and many of his crying scenes (especially the iconic one at the end of season three) were unscripted.
The show's theme song wasn't the production's first choice and they were counting on Alanis Morisette's "Hand In My Pocket" for the opening. As the rights for using the song couldn't be secured they had to do with the second runner-up which was "I Don't Want to Wait".
Teen Wolf? More Like Teen Gorilla
In 1985, Michale J.Fox was more than just a time traveler. He played the leading role in the hit movie "Teen Wolf" which soon enough turned into an animated TV series. In 2011, by embracing modern life technology, the new and improved version of the show was released.
One of the biggest challenges in the show is the makeup. It took over four hours to complete Tyler Posey's makeup, meaning all the scenes that involved him being in the wolf appearance had to be shot there and then. There was no time for retaking and reshooting. By the way, the wolf's roaring in the show is actually a real recording of a gorilla.
That's So Raven Couldn't Predict Its End
"That's So Raven" was launched in 2003. Raven was a teenager with abilities to see the future. Occasionally, her magical touch benefited her but sometimes her interference caused more chaos than planned. The show ran for four successful seasons but as the early 2000s were overloaded with high school TV shows, the names on the TV guide changed frequently.
Although the purpose of the show was purely to entertain, it managed to cover plenty of educational topics. The battle against prejudice, the harms of smoking, and the complex relations all teens have with their parents were all mentioned in a direct or indirect manner throughout the show.
21 Jump Street Had a Surprising Guest Appearance
"21 Jump Street" was categorized as a police crime drama series. The show was a breath of fresh air as it was completely off-scale from the high school story sitcoms that were broadcasted at the time. It was about undercovered young police officers who were on a mission to investigate crimes in high schools.
Johnny Depp was the biggest name on the show and earned a whopping $45,000 per episode. Depp was not alone as Holly Robinson was the voice behind the theme song. Bradd Pitt one of the "pretty boys" of the 1980s was on the show too, appearing in one episode only.
Fame Turned Down Madonna
Although aired around the same time, we're here to focus on "Fame" the 1982 TV series — not the 1980 movie (which was inspired by the 1970 stage show). Madonna (yes yes, queen madonna) auditioned for a role in the show. Luckily enough she didn't make it. Could you imagine the 1980s without "Papa Don't Preach"?
The queen of pop was not the only big-name potentially on the show as you most probably recall Janet Jackson who played the role of Cleo Hewitt. She quit "Fame" after three seasons and went off to make music. To this day "Fame" is known as one of the best musical TV shows made. Presumably, it will go on and live forever.
The Secret of My Two Dads Was Literally Taken to the Grave
The premise of "My Two Dads" has two friends who share a history with the same woman who tragically passes away and both win custody over her daughter. The show ran for three seasons with a total of 60 episodes. It was a great success when it was launched and even managed to win a few awards.
Although several decades have gone by since the last airing of the show, it is still unknown who Nicole's (Staci Keanan) real father was. The only person who knows the truth behind the real father's identity is Judge Margaret (Florence Stanley) but sadly she is no longer here to share.
Degrassi Junior High Had No Hair and Makeup Artists
"Degrassi Junior High" was a Canadian teen TV show and although considered a direct spinoff of "The Kids of Degrassi Street", it wasn't. The Degrassi (named after De Grassi Street) franchise created a total of five series all linked in one way or the other but not sharing the same characters or plot.
For those who remember the show, you might think that it went on for years, however, no matter how remarkable it was, "Degrassi Junior High"only had three seasons. One fact that distinguishes Degrassi from other shows is that the entire cast was doing their own hair and makeup and choosing their own clothes. The authenticity of the show is probably what made it so successful.
Family Ties Created a Real Family
If you ever wondered where Michal J. Fox met his wife, "Family Ties" is the answer. In 1985, Tracy Jo Pollan was cast to play Michale J.Fox's (Alex P. Keaton) better half, not knowing that this romance would last forever. Regardless of Pollan's remarkable performance, Fox grasped numerous awards for showcasing his outstanding abilities on the show and bringing the show to the heights it reached.
For the final two seasons of the show, Courteney Cox (our beloved friend Monica) was cast as Fox's girlfriend. According to hearsay, Michal dumped Pollan for an adventure with Cox but the two have never confirmed.
Moesha Needs Some Questions Answered
Between 1996 and 2001, "Moesha" was one of the best shows around. Fast forward to 2022 and Netflix have brought the show back to life. Brandy Norwood, a loved and appreciated R&B singer, starred in the daily sitcom and played the role of Moesha. The story is about Moesha coping with her widowed dad marrying her school's principal. It blended in stories of her being exposed to illegal medication and dealing with matters all teens go through in life.
After six seasons it was decided to drop the show. Norwood was very disappointed with the final episode (which left too many question marks) and said that it left her fans with a bad impression of her that took her a long time to clean up.
Blossom Had a Funny Way of naming Characters
Would the show "Blossom" be as funny today as it was back in 1990? We don't know but what we do know is that it was a phenomenal success. Yes, we agree, it was another teenage sitcom telling the story of another middle-class typical American family, however, there was something about Mayim Bialik that was unique. She was ahead of her time.
She was an environmental activist, said her mind, and definitely stood out. Jenna von Oÿ played the role of Blossom's best friend Six (she was named six after the six cans of beet her parents had before conceiving her. Don't ask.)
Maybe Kirk Should Have Gone to Europe Too
In 1995, Kirk Cameron said goodbye to Mike Seaver from "Growing Pains" and welcomed himself on "Kirk". In "Growing Pains" the character is shown as a spoiled, immature kid, whilst in "Kirk" he transforms into a responsible big brother who is left to look after his younger siblings after his parents move to Europe.
Back in the 1990s, we were glued to these kinds of shows and everything seemed to work for us, however, when we look back, we understand why ABC decided to drop it after only two seasons.
Freaks and Geeks Couldn't Handle the Competition
This teen TV show was about two groups of kids, the Freaks and the Geeks. Only 12 episodes were aired and it was later discovered that five additional episodes were filmed but never made it to our screens.
It wasn't poor rating that made the show drop — there were scheduling issues. As the show shared an airing slot with bigger and better shows, there was no way to compete with them. It was decided to drop it even though they were more episodes already in line. The show has been mentioned in the greatest shows of all time lists but never seemed to gain the fame.
Not All California Dreamers Could Sing
Running for five seasons and with over 70 episodes, "California Dreams" was created by the same "Saved by the Bell" creators and brought to us the story of a fictional band. While the show was aired over 40 songs were released almost all written by Steve Tyrell. All actors but one used their own singing voices. Jake, played by Jay Anthony Franke, had to have voice dubbers to cover his singing.
By the time the show reached season three the production was already known for creating shows that consisted of a multicultured cast. Positioning the plot in California, the creators emphasized the uniqueness of the state in comparison to other places in the country which seemed to be less open and less accepting.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Nearly Wrapped Things Three Times
Running from September 1990 to May 1996, "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" is one of television's most legendary shows. Loved by people of all ages and generations, the show continues to grow its fan base today through syndication. The show had six seasons, however, the final episode of the third, fourth and fifth seasons were written as the finales of the show. No one knew for how long the show would run.
Not many know this, but the series is based on the real-life friendship between Will and Jazzy Jeff which started years before the show when they collaborated as a hip-hop duo. The writers of Fresh Prince were encouraged to write scripts that dealt with the more serious subject matter. This came from Will, who was inspired by the emotional moments in the show, "Roseanne".
Veronica Mars Spent Zero Time on Casting
Here are a few facts we bet you didn't know about "Veronica Mars". Kristen Bell was the first person to audition for the role of Veronica. As soon as her audition was over the casting crew knew they had found what they were looking for. Throughout the entire shooting of the series, no one in the cast knew the answer to the greatest mystery of the story which was who killed Lily. Only as they got closer to filming the last episode of the first season, the true killer was revealed to the cast.
The show almost packed up after the first season and there was a big question mark regarding a new one. The show ended with four successful seasons and a list of awards that any TV show would be honored to have.
Kenan and Kel Were TV Newbies
You can't really go wrong with a show that takes you on an adventure with two best friends, one who is impish and mischievous (Kenan) and the other who is simple and somewhat thickheaded (Kel). In 1998, it won the Favorite TV Show Award, and in 2000 it was adapted into the movie "Two Heads are Better than None".
Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell made their first real TV appearance on the show. The chemistry between them was so strong that the production was willing to go all-in with the two. If you're feeling nostalgic, you can find the original episodes on various streaming platforms.
That '70s Show Had Main Cast Nearly Opting Out of the Last Season
“That 70s Show” graced our television sets with the muted colors, crazy fashions, and strange music of that decade. This groovy sitcom was about a group of suburban teenagers approaching adulthood in the 70s. Topher Grace starred in the show alongside Ashton Kutcher and his now-wife, Mila Kunis. The show proved popular with viewers who liked watching the exploits of the Wisconsin teenagers as they tried to maneuver through life in the '70s.
By the end of the seventh season, both Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher wanted to move on so the production teen knew it was time to end the show. It continued for one last season (which featured less of both Grace and Kutcher) and the rest is history. Way back 1970s history.
The OC Invented a Holiday
Ryan Atwood is the center of the story in "The OC". He is rolled out of a broken home and into the loving arms of his adoptive parents. The transformation from a lower-class world to an upper-class galaxy is no piece of cake for the young dude and the storylines are turned into an educational theme for the show. One of the most iconic themes of the show is Chrismukkah.
Seth Cohen (played by Adam Brody) is the biological son of Ryan's adoptive parents. As he is from a Jewish background, in one episode in the first season he merges Christmas with Chanuka so they can all enjoy both holidays. The term Chrismukkah became a regular in all seasons and was celebrated every year. Now if that's not enough, the TV show "Grey's Anatomy" adopted the term and celebrated it too. Now let's talk about the Holiday armadillo.
Lizzie McGuire Left Her Disney Days Behind
"Lizzie McGuire" aired on the Disney Channel from 2001 to 2004. It centered on a 13-year-old shy, clumsy girl who dealt with typical teenage problems and happened to have an animated alter ego. Actress Hillary Duff said of the series in 2017: “I loved it and honestly it prepared me for so much. And I think just like everyone else, that it hit them when they needed it to at that time of their life, it did the same thing for me".
Things weren't so smooth and Duff and the Disney production had their differences which led eventually to the show being canceled. While Disney wanted to take the show a step further and create a spinoff, Duff saw her future differently and decided to take her talent elsewhere.
Glee Had Hidden Beefs and Hidden Talents
At its core, "Glee" was a fun, lighthearted show. It tackled serious topics with varying degrees of success. Generally, though, much of the appeal of the series was that it was a bright, shiny alternative to the other options television had to offer. The Fox hit series became a pop culture phenomenon that delivered record ratings featuring an endless line-up of A-list guest stars.
The actual glee was somehow controversial as the hidden dark behind-the-scenes secrets were revealed to the audience. We must add that we loved it when we discovered that an actor took part behind the scenes — just like Daren Criss who played Blaine and also wrote the song for the series finale.
Silver Spoons Lived in a Completely Different House
Ricky Schroder played the role of Ricky in the 1982 teen sitcom "Silver Spoons". This was after he starred in "The Champ" (1979) and became one of Hollywood's most promising child actors. The show introduced us to Edward Stratton III, a wealthy gentleman who learns of his son's existence and takes him in. It ran for five seasons.
In the opening of the show, an astonishing mansion is shown which is not the real location of where the story takes place. It was filmed in a mansion set in the English countryside. Now we're not saying the Stratton family wasn't wealthy, it for sure was, but there's a wide gap between where they lived and the estate shown on the credits.
Rags to Riches Had a Specialized Playlist
Imagine taking a 1960s music classic, altering the lyrics slightly, and integrating the song into a TV show episode. This is what was done in "Rags to Riches" which told the story of a millionaire (Joseph Bologna) who adopted five orphans. The songs that supported the storyline in each episode differed the show from all others.
"Rags to Riches" ran for just two seasons and although it had a short appearance on the screen, it manages to grasp some awards. It was s true gem on the television with a great story that could easily be reproduced today.
Life as We Know It Was No Match for The OC
The early 2000s brought to us "Life as We Know It" based on the novel "Doing It". According to some, it was the best TV show no one ever watched. It had great potential but someone aligned it with "The OC" and scheduled the shows at the same time. How can any show compete with "The OC"?
The story covered the ups and downs in the lives of three Seattle students, with nothing more than him-and-her issues on their minds. Those few who loved the show made sure to purchase the DVD set that came out the following Christmas, knowing that "Life as we know it" wouldn't last very long.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Had Different Plans for SMG
All we can think about when we come across "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is Sarah Michelle Gellar. We are still unsure which was greater. The show or Gellar. The show succeeded as it brought a fictional storyline, unlike all the standard I-love-him-and-he-loves-her shows. The success of Buffy led to the production of comic books, and video games and shed light on the 1992 full-length movie which held the same title.
Did you know that Sarah Michelle Gellar was initially cast to play Cordelia Chase? Apparently, the production saw Gellar as a down-to-earth kind of girl believing the role of Buffy wouldn't suit her. They were in for a surprise.
Small Wonder and the Wondergirl
In 1985, the future was predicted with the amazing robot girl named Vickey. She was fantastic, made of plastic, and was the secret adoptive girl of the family. Although it was popular mostly among the younger teens, it was aired all over the world and when you think of it, it was kind of weird although it still enjoyed some reruns during the 1990s and 2000s.
Tiffany Brissette played the role of Vickey and for that, she should be applauded. She had to memorize her lines and paint them all with a robotic accent. Talk about wonders.
One Tree Hill Had to Lay Down the Law With CMM
The original name of the show was "Ravens". Somewhere along the line, it changed to "One Tree Hill" named after the U2 hit which carries the same name. Chad Michael Murray insisted on playing the role of Lucas. The production thought otherwise and paired him with the role of Nathan. The show was initially supposed to be a movie but the storyline just kept on developing. The creation of a series was called for.
It has become one of the most memorable shows in show history. The main characters grasped an astonishing $100,000 per episode which wasn't very economical by the time the show reached its ninth season.
MacGyver's Secret Relationship With Fonzie
Looking back at the adventures of MacGyver (1985) we can all agree that it's impossible to assemble an explosive bomb with a box of matches and used chewing gum. Back in the 1980s, anything was possible, and if MacGyver put his hand on it, it was magic. He had it all, plus, he was the only thing to watch on TV.
Henry Winkler, known to us all as Fonzie of "Happy Days" was one of the creators of the show and responsible for casting Richard Dean Anderson for the lead role. Unlike other TV shows, MacGyver didn't have a passionate love affair throughout the show which left him available for the 1980s stay-home moms.
Magnum PI Is Tom Selleck's Take on James Bond
If there is one iconic symbol in the show, it has to be the red Ferrari. Tom Selleck was one hot guy when he played the role of the tropical private investigator and his series was ranked in the top 20 TV shows constantly. A remake was produced in 2018, however, it didn't bring back to life the passion and devotion the audience had toward this one-of-a-kind agent. The inspiration for the character of Magnum was James Bond with a girl in one arm and a martini in the other.
As Tom Selleck wanted to be more daring and felt the 007 boundaries were not his cup of tea, the character was rewritten and Magnum became the laidback hunk we all remember.
The A-Team Needed an A-Network
If you have a problem that no one else can fix, then there was only one group of gun-toting mercenaries on who you could rely. Just like the iconic opening says, if you can find them then you can hire the A-Team. While this legendary show only ran for five seasons, its fan base grew and grew and continues to grow to this day.
The leading reason why viewers loved to tune in to this explosive show was the characters. Together, they were TV magic. The show packed it up in 1987 and instead of an explosive bang that had been part of the show for so long, it went out with a whimper. NBC mismanaged the final season so badly that they even aired some of the final seasons out of order.
The Cosby Show Nearly Cast Whitney Huston
In 1984, NBC was the first to bring to life a middle-class black American Family on our domestic screens. With a lawyer mother and a doctor father, "The Cosby Show" was new, fresh, exciting, and held the number one show title for years. Up until then, most black families on TV shows held familiar stereotypes and the Cosby family opened the hatch for more shows with a predominantly black cast.
Whitney Huston was on the list for playing the role of the family's eldest daughter. The role eventually landed on an anonymous actress, Sabrina Le Beauf, who had a modest acting resume behind her and Huston invested her time in music and in becoming one of the most talented artists music history has ever known.
Highway to Heaven Sparked a Holy Conspiracy Theory
"Highway to Heaven" took television one step further than any other show. When Michael Landon decided to quit the prairie he moved on to higher skies and played the role of an Angel who comes down to earth, teams up with a cop, and together they save the world. It sounds a bit lame but back in the 1980s, "Highway to Heaven" which Landon wrote, produced, and acted in was one of the best shows around.
"Highway to Heaven" had a religious coating to it and the script was sprinkled with biblical insights. There was a conspiracy theory about Landon's character that Charles Ingalls, Michael's character from "Little House on the Prairie", was presumably arising from the dead as the angle on "Highway to Heaven". People sure have spare time in their hands to be able to think of this.
Alf Needed a Movie to Get a Proper Ending
ALF's (Alien Life Force) real name was Gordon Shumway. He was an alien who landed in the garage of the Tanner family. The show's finale left the audience with a bag of disappointment and a cliffhanger ending. Alf was going to join his friends Skip and Rhonda in their newly established colony, New Melmac, but at the last minute, the government's Alien Task Force captured ALF. NBC just left it like that and didn't renew it for the fifth season.
It left a lot of viewers confused and scared for the character they had come to love. Thankfully, “Project: ALF,” a 1996 TV movie, let us see ALF escaping from the Alien Task Force. Unfortunately, fans didn't really like the movie and it's been more or less forgotten. This puppet star was left in the eighties.
The Golden Girls Were Fans of Recycling
"The Golden Girls" was, and is, a hugely popular show that debuted on NBC in the ’80s. The series followed a group of four women that shared a retirement home in Florida. These snarky yet adorable senior ladies shared much more than just a home, they had a bond that was truly unique. It was as endearing as it was hilarious, and it is still shown today via reruns on television and social media all over the world.
Whoever tuned in on an episode of the show is familiar with the kitchen set. What many people don’t know is that the set was actually used for another hit show in the ‘80s — "It Takes Two". When that came to an end, The Golden Girls inherited the kitchen. After a total ‘make-over’ it became the kitchen that we know and love.
Charles in Charge Still Has an Unsolved Mystery
During the 1980s, it was impossible to turn on the TV and not see Scott Baio grinning at the camera. After earning the fame on "Happy Days", it was his time to shine again this time on "Charles in Charge". CBS changed the rules of the game and the audience was presented with a male babysitter, something unheard of back then. The show also featured Nicole Eggert who later exposed her talent on "Baywatch".
There is one piece of information about the show that until this day hasn't been revealed and remains a mystery. Charles becomes the babysitter and housekeeper of the Powell family. But what is Charles's surname? We have a feeling it's not Incharge.
My Secret Identity Had a Special Take on Special Powers
Superpowers were not only shared with Marvel heroes. In 1988, Andrew Clements (played by Jerry O'Connell) got his share of them too. "My Secret Identity," tells the story of Clements, a young teen who discovers his superpowers after being knocked over. Clements uses his powers to save the world from evil and crime as expected. His abilities are kept secret from his family and friends and he lives a Peter-Parker-styled life.
The writers of the show were for sure creative. As Andrew's flying abilities were limited, he had to carry around aerosol spray containers to help him fly easily through the air. As the series progressed, so did Andrew's powers and by the end of the third and final season, there was almost nothing he couldn't do.
Married With Children Was Too Expensive for Its Own Good
Here's a fact we bet you didn't know: As simple as the show might have seemed, "Married With Children" was anything but simple to produce. It was actually one of the most costly TV series in history. It was around a hefty $1 million for each episode that the creators and producers had to shell out at the time. Who would have thought that a simple show like that could cost so much?
This really does get you thinking, as the show didn’t have any special effects so where did all the money go? Now we understand why the popular show had to be canceled. It was because of the expense! Much of these costs actually went to Kelly’s wardrobe. Even just one outfit alone could carry a hefty price tag. On top of operating expenses came the fees for people who were offended by the show and sued.
Gilmore Girls Had the Need for Speed
"Gilmore Girls" was a heartwarming series that instantly became the flagship show of the producing network. The show revolves around the relationship of a single mother and her teen daughter with a cross-generational appeal that made the show incredibly successful. Alexis Bledel who played the teenager Rory Gilmore had her debut appearance on this show as she had no acting experience before joining the cast.
One of the hallmarks of the show was its speed. Not of the plot but of the communication. The pace of the dialogs was almost four times faster than the speed of any other show which led to fewer closeups on-screen than usual.
My Family Ran Itself Out Even the Actors Were Appalled
You either loved it or not, but the British show "My Family" has definitely left a mark on our list. It ran for 11 seasons and focused on a middle-class London family with a dysfunctional son and an I-don't-give-a-damn hilarious mother (Zoë Wanamaker who returned to our hearts in the first "Harry Potter" movie). It was a true success story as it presented what a real British family looked like and didn't try to paint the screen pink with a mainstream cult show.
Seven years into the show the storylines became obvious, there was hardly any innovation and the BBC predicted the end of the road. The cast even refused to take part in the final episodes as they were so badly written.
Euphoria Saved a Man From Homelessness
No background story is needed for this one. We are just going to pour in "Euphoria" facts that even the biggest fans don't know. Before even casting, the role of Rue was written for Zendaya. Her refusing to take the role was not an option. Jacob Elordi who plays Nate Jacobs, the one we love to hate, was in a very different place before joining the cast. A movie he was working on wasn't released and he was practically homeless without a dime to this name. The opportunity with "Euphoria" took his life into a new dimension and changed it for good.
You know the scenes when the room seems to be spinning around and around? Well, these are no screen-only illusions. The executive producer created a special set that included a real spinning room so the actors could connect with the character and be as authentic as the room would allow them to be.
Gossip Girl Had Parents Going Mad
This teen TV show, one of the CW’s best pop soaps, takes place on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The show’s accolades of critical acclaim included reviews like, “Every parent’s nightmare” and “Mind-blowingly inappropriate.” The opinions differ, but the bottom line is "Gossip Girl" was a huge success and had a significant influence (especially fashion-wise) back in 2010.
"Gossip Girl" gave us so many wonderful love stories to choose from, but no couple was beloved as Blair and Chuck. The rich bad boy and queen B didn’t get along from the get-go but every time they met on our screens, sparks flew. The show had something for everyone, and everyone could find something of themselves in the show.
Skins Filmed Club Scenes Where?
Hold your horses, we are not aiming to waste our lines on the unsuccessful American version. We are referring to the British original that shocked the screens when first aired and showed a different side to teenagers' lives. The show is based on a short story the creator (Jamie Brittain ) wrote when he was just 15 years old. No wonder the storyline has almost no boundaries. No living adult could have thought of half of the stuff that was going on there.
The plot takes place in Bristol UK although the word Bristol is not mentioned even once. Most of the nightclub scenes were filmed not in a club but in a school. How odd. The storyline covers controversial issues such as dysfunctional families, illegal substances, and teen behavior at its extreme. Unsurprisingly, it earned a bunch of awards being the best TV Drama show from 2007 to 2011.
Make It or Break It
Not all shows circled around family and relationships. "Make It or Break It" was the show that brought little Simone Biles wannabees to life and sparked their dream of becoming an Olympic champion. For the intense gymnastic routines, real-life champions were used as stunt doubles, so apparently, there's still work for former athletes after all!
The series convolved beautifully stories about friendship and values of a competitive life which any young teen could relate to and dream of so no wonder it was a great success.
Smallville Was Supposed to Be About Lois
Ten magnificent seasons this show had, and to be honest, we could have done with more. In "Smallville" Clark Kent is a teenager from Kansas during his high school years and only after the fifth season the show focuses on his adulthood and his relationship with Lois Lane.
Initially, the series was supposed to focus on Lois Lane's adventures. As the writing proceeded, they found themselves with a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and Andrea Zuckerman so they dropped the idea and returned to the man of steel.
Pretty Little Liars — Emphasis on the Little
What does a group of girls do when one of their friends goes missing? A year after Alison (the leader of the clan) disappears, the girls start receiving mysterious messages threatening to reveal their darkest secrets. No spoilers here. The show became ABC's most rated family show with almost three million viewers.
When Sasha Pieterse auditioned for the role of Alison, she had already packed her bag with a bunch of "Alison" characteristics. She wasn't completely transparent when it came to her age and by the time she got the part no one cared that she was only 12 years old when auditioning. When you've got it, you've got it.
Mad About You Was First Mad About Paul Reiser
Paul Reiser and Hellen Hund will forever be our beloved "Mad about you" couple. Reiser was also one of the show's writers. The show was about nothing and at the same time, it was about everything, shedding light on the life of a newlywed couple and the obstacles it brought with it.
There were issues around the name of the show and initially it was "The Paul Reiser Project". After realizing the storyline was a lot more than just Reiser, one production member saw a notice in a parking lot saying "Mad About You" and brought them to redemption.
Felicity Got the Pretty Face They Never Wanted
Is there such a thing as being too beautiful? Well, apparently there is. When Kerry Russell auditioned for the part of Felicity she came with her hair untidy and in a bun and with the baggiest clothes she could find. Her biggest fear was being cast as Felicity's beautiful best friend Maya. Her concerns were justified.
The show's producer thought Russell was too pretty for the role, however, he soon enough changed his mind. Not only was Russell magnetically stunning, but she was also funny and witty. After reading her lines out loud she got the part.
Southpark Has People Doing Animal parts
In "Southpark", there is a celebrity in every episode in one form or another. It all came to an end after Tom Cruise threatened to sue the show's creators, however, there are many memorable moments dusted with the sparks of fame. Do you know who voiced the gay dog Sparky? It was George Clooney. And Jerry Seinfeld? Well, he was supposed to voice a turkey but he chickened out at the last minute.
It ran for 25 seasons and is still alive and kicking on reruns. Although "Southpark" is an animated show and is considered a teen and upwards cartoon, it is probably one of the best adult-aimed cartoons ever created.
Degrassi: The Next Generation Actually Raised Generations
"Degrassi: The Next Generation" is the fourth show in the Degrassi franchise. It features a completely new cast, however, the storylines are similar just in a new and modernized way. Drake (yes, the musician) was a big name on the show and in 2018 most of his friends from the set joined in and appeared in his "I'm Upset" video.
Do you remember Snake (Archie) from the early "Degrassi Junior High" series? Well, he is the one actor who appeared throughout the entire franchise more than anyone else. He started off as a student and then moved on to play one of the characters' stepdads and the school's principal.
What Does Twin Peaks Have to Do With Marylin Monroe?
Two seasons were more than enough for "Twin Peaks". It aired for just two seasons and packed up. The storyline was supposed to cover Marilyn Monroe's biography suggesting that the conspiracy involving the Kennedys was actually true. Although the idea was good, the execution was unreachable.
The final version of "Twin Peaks" as we know does consist of elements sourced from Monroe's story but still has miles between it and the real events.
Jonas Had the Cast Grow Out of Their Own Characters
Believe it or not but the Jonas Brothers have been around for almost twenty years. They made their grand appearance on the Disney Channel network and from there, things could only get better for the three brothers. The show tried to merge two stores into one of a successful teen band and three secret agents. Some may say that the success of this trio resembles the days of the Beatles' "Hard day Night" back in the early 1960s.
In 2010, the fairytale came to an end, both for the TV series and for the band. Joe, one of the brothers said that they were becoming adults and are outgrowing the show. They felt the show was simply not good. Apparently, they were not like the Beatles after all.
Drake & Josh & the Discontinued Video Game
"Drake & Josh" was not the first appearance the duo (Drake Bell and Josh Peck) had together. In 199o, the two were on "The Amanda Show" created by the same creator. On the show, and in real life, Drake made music that was featured both throughout the episodes and on an album. All the songs you carried on singing to yourself while in the shower, well they are originally his and not written especially for the show.
As if the TV show and books that followed weren't enough, two video games were created based on the show. The purpose of the game was to complete tasks and earn enough points to win "Teen American Talent". The game was taken off the shelves not long after it was launched. Winning "Teen American Talent" was not that challenging after all.
Zoey 101 Were Fans of Intertextuality
If the 1980s were all about families and their life issues, the early 2000s were about teens and their day-to-day obstacles. "Zoey 101" was another teen comedy-drama show focusing on Zoey and her life as a boarding school student in California. Jamies Lynn Spears (yes, sister of) holds the lead in the show.
"Zoey 101" hides within its script easter eggs that could fill an entire basket, thanks to the writing of Dan Schneider. One of our favorite eggs is Zoey's ringtone. Whenever Zoey's phone rings, in every single episode, the ring tone is the theme song of "iCarly", another successful creation of Schneider's.