Not every sitcom turns into a family phenomenon — but Boy Meets World did just that. The series, created by Michael Jacobs, debuted in 1993 and aired seven seasons on ABC until its finale in May 2000.
The show followed the life and life lessons of Cory Matthews, portrayed by Ben Savage — from home with parents Alan (William Russ) and mother Amy (Betsy Randle) to school with neighbor and forever-teacher George Feeny (William Daniels). Cory’s life wouldn’t be complete without best friend Shawn (Rider Strong), brother Eric (Will Friedle) and The One, Topanga (Danielle Fishel). Later, Shawn meets his long-lost brother, Jack (Matthew Lawrence), who quickly becomes part of the group.
After the series came to a end in 2000, everyone moved on — until 2014 when Disney Channel decided to bring back the Matthews family. The spinoff followed Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard), Topanga and Cory’s daughter as she worked her way through school with her dad as her teacher.
“There’s a column that I want to play in and that column contains The Wonder Years and Happy Days. That was always the column that I wanted Boy Meets World to be included in and I want Girl Meets World to be in that column as well,” creator Jacobs told Entertainment Weekly about the spinoff.
“There’s a natural reticence to want to try and attempt something that you’ve been really lucky enough to do once,” he added, noting that he had no interest in doing a reunion show of the original cast. “A reunion show that’s one and done. But to actually take the children of Cory and Topanga and watch on two levels [as they] grow up and as Cory and Topanga keep growing up, I can’t resist that. I can’t resist that and I’m very hopeful the audience won’t resist it either.”
That said, most of the original cast made appearances on the series and many went on to write and/or direct multiple episodes. Strong repeatedly explained that while he’d guest star, he was getting away from acting and wasn’t interested in revisiting Shawn longterm. He also was shocked at the attention the original show got after it ended.
“We went under the radar for so long. Even when we were on the air, we were under the radar,” he told Chicago Tribune in 2014. “I think the process occurs when a new generation wrestles control of pop culture. I think kids who grew up in the late ’90s and early 2000s are old enough now to be the ones writing articles, talking about what is good on TV. Now those people are in charge of pop culture.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see where the cast is today.