It's good to see you, Ephram Brown! Gregory Smith and other stars of Everwood reunited after eight years at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Tex., on Saturday, June 7. The cast spent four years filming the fan-favorite series in Utah that centered on widowed Dr. Andy Brown (Treat Williams) moving his son Ephram (Smith) and daughter Delia (Vivien Cardone) to Everwood, Colorado. The coming-of-age WB series ran from 2002 to 2006, and from the reactions of the former costars this weekend, it appeared as though the group had never left their small town behind.
Actors on hand for the special event—which also reunited casts from Roswell and Nickelodeon's Hey Dude—included Smith, Cardone, Sarah Drew (Hannah Rogers), Tom Amandes (Dr. Harold Abbott), Debra Mooney (Edna Harper), John Beasley (Irv Harper), Brenda Strong (Julia Brown), creator Greg Berlanti, producer Jordan Levin, writer-producers David Hudgins and Rina Mimoun, and composer Blake Neely.
Unfortunately for Hannah and Bright (Chris Pratt) shippers, the Parks and Recreation actor was unable to attend the fest. Pratt did, however, send a text to Hudgins and later did a last-minute FaceTime with the audience. Emily VanCamp, who played Ephram's love interest Amy Abbott, also sent a special message in her absence.
"I was 16 when I started playing Amy Abbott, and I was 20 when the show ended, so I basically grew up on the show and I couldn't be more grateful that it was with this group of people," the Revenge actress, now 28, said in a pre-taped video. "You guys took me under your wing, you taught me the ropes, you were like a family to me and still are, and that doesn't always happen, so thank you. I knew that this show was special when the show was cancelled and a big group of fans got together to rent a Ferris wheel—it was just a reminder of our amazing fans that kept us going for four years." (A Ferris wheel played a significant part in the show's series finale. Pratt and VanCamp, for their part, dated briefly while playing brother and sister on the short-lived drama.)
During the Q&A, Berlanti also revealed that Everwood had a hard time getting picked up. The creator (whose work also includes TV shows Brothers & Sisters, The Tomorrow People, and Arrow) said his studio first said no to the pilot. "'That will never sell—people do not want to watch a character-based show anymore, they're really into procedurals,'" he recalled of the first meeting. "'Do you have anything procedural?' So we had a big procedural pitch we brought out that year and of course, that never went anywhere, and this passion project that I told Jordan about at dinner, Jordan said 'I wanna make that.'"
Fans also learned that Ephram and Amy might not have been. It turns out, Drew was initially brought on board to play Smith's romantic interest, but the chemistry just wasn't there. "You didn't give us a chance!" Drew shouted on stage.
Even more unfathomable, the cast wasn't as goody two-shoes behind the scenes as viewers may have thought. According to Smith, he actually related to his character on several levels, including a scene that dealt with, ahem, premature ejaculation. Cardone, the youngest on set at just 9 years old when it premiered, also was told a vibrator prop was a foot massager(!). She would sing into it microphone-style between takes.
All in all, the Everwood reunion brought laughs, tears, and more than anything, gratitude.
"The Everwood reunion was wonderful. Thank you @ATXFestival for bringing us all together," Smith, who now stars on Rookie Blue, tweeted afterward. Cardone added: "I had such an incredible time in Austin! I'm so proud to call this talented & beautiful group my family! Xoxo."
Williams, who also couldn't make it, wrote: "So sorry I'm not there So much love for these people." Berlanti replied: "You were dearly missed Treat."
His excuse for being a no-show? Dr. Andy Brown was instead living it up at a One Direction concert in London!