Disney Channel has given a series order to Boy Meets World follow-up, Girl Meets World, which centers on the couple's young daughter Riley Matthews, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The family-friendly comedy series is being eyed for 2014, with production set to begin this summer in Los Angeles.
Boy Meets World's Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel reprise the roles they played from 1993-2000 on ABC, marking a reunion with creator/executive producer Michael Jacobs. Rowan Blanchard stars as Riley, with Sabrina Carpenter playing Riley's best friend. (William Daniels returns as Mr. Feeny in the first episode.)
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The New York City-set Girl Meets World will follow 7th grader Riley and her best friend Maya as they navigate through middle school. Their plans for a carefree year will be adjusted under the watch of Riley's parents Cory, who works as a history teacher at the school, and Topanga, who owns an afterschool hangout known for its pudding.
"Boy Meets World and its story of adolescent self discovery resonated with an entire generation of tweens. In the same way audiences fell in love with Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence, we look forward to introducing our viewers to their daughter Riley Matthews in Girl Meets World and building a memorable connection with a whole new generation of fans," said Adam Bonnett, executive vp original programming at Disney Channels Worldwide.
"I am grateful to everyone at Disney Channel for the opportunity to reach my favorite audience, which has always been kids," said Jacobs. "Girl Meets World is a new show for a new generation that will be rooted in the same kind of honest, comedic storytelling about coming of age and the importance of family and friendship that made Boy Meets World so popular."
The series order comes eight months after news of its development first surfaced. Since last November, reaction to the Boy Meets World spinoff has been loud, with Jacobs and castmembers vocal about revisiting the world. (The majority of the cast of ABC's "TGIF" comedy even trekked out to Austin's ATX Festival earlier this month to celebrate its run.) It remains to be seen if more regulars, like Rider Strong and Will Friedle, will reprise their roles on the series.
In January, Jacobs was adamant that the tone of Girl Meets World would be in the same vein as its predecessor.
"The stories we intend on doing are stories about a real girl who is coming of age," he told THR at the time. "The beauty of this show is the girl will have two parents whom the world has already watched come of age and their natural confusion in the next step of Cory and Topanga’s own evolution: being parents. I’m looking at what the condition of the world is right now for kids who are growing up, and if we can offer the same sort of guidance and entertainment that Boy Meets World offered, then the show is a good thing to do right now."
For Disney Channel's part, adding Girl Meets World to the slate comes days after it opted to wrap veteran sitcom Good Luck Charlie after season four and prepares to launch the Teen Beach Movie TV movie — and comes at a time when networks are revisiting established franchises with loyal viewers (i.e. Once Upon a Time, The Vampire Diaries and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD offshoots) in an attempt to duplicate past successes.
Jacobs, who also executive produces, and April Kelly (Boy Meets World) co-created Girl Meets World. It is produced by It's a Laugh Productions.