Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel
While most Boy Meets World fans are excited for their favorite characters to return to television, there are plenty — cast members included — that are nervous about ruining the beloved show's legacy. But star Ben Savage says the new generation spin-off Girl Meets World will honor the original series, but will also be a brand new show with its own unique voice.
"We're not doing a Boy Meets World reunion," Savage tells TVGuide.com at the ATX Television Festival. "It's a new show that will hopefully speak to a new generation, and I think people will get that. We're not going to mess with their memories; we're doing an entirely new thing that will hopefully help a new generation grow."
Boy Meets World cast reunites at ATX TV Festival
Girl Meets World, which is currently a Disney pilot awaiting pickup, will focus on Cory and Topanga's 13-year-old daughter Riley, played by Rowan Blanchard. Savage and Danielle Fishel have both signed on to reprise their characters, along with William Daniels as the beloved Mr. Feeney. As for best friend Shawn Hunter, Rider Strong says he has yet to commit to a potential return to TV with the new series.
"I'm very hesitant, that's why I'm not fully 100 percent [in] yet," Strong adds. "I don't think anyone from the show expected the response to be so positive, so I'm excited, but I'm going to wait and see. If it's a good situation, I feel like I owe it to the fans."
Savage was also apprehensive about hopping aboard, but said that he was ultimately confident in creator and executive producer Michael Jacobs' vision. "We weren't going to mess with it unless it was something we were really comfortable with," Savage says. "Believe me, people come up to me and say, 'Please don't ruin the show, don't even do it!' It's something people are very concerned about, but we worked very diligently and were very careful to make sure it's not something that ruins the legacy of Boy Meets World."
Pilot Season: Boy Meets World spin-off casts Cory and Topanga's daughter
As for stepping back into Cory's shoes, Savage says it was great to reunite with Fishel. "We're a family and we've spent so much time together and we know each other's cues so well that it was very easy working with Danielle again," he says. "We picked up exactly where we left off 13 years ago." As for how the childhood sweethearts will be as parents, Jacobs adds, "If they're great parents, I got no show. Together they have always been better than separately. That will continue, however ... their challenges of what's going on today and how children have to be raised and protected today ... those are some pretty extreme challenges."
Thirteen years after the original series' finale, why is now the time to revisit the Matthews?
"I don't see anything on television right now that is speaking to the audience that I've always spoken to and care very much about," Jacobs says. "If we can do [Girl Meets World] and honor this show and make it unique because it's a different world then that's the reason to do it."
Will you watch Girl Meets World?