Question: My children are having an argument about the Ben Savage comedy series Boy Meets World. One of them says the show is 20 years old; the other says it could only be about 10 years old. Please settle this. When did the show debut? Isabelle G., Destin, Fla.
Televisionary: Jeez, Isabelle, talk about dream parenting. If the worst TV argument your kids can muster is about the age of a show, I'd imagine things go rather smoothly in the ol' G. household. My brother and I battled on a far more harmful, physical plane, where a fight over whose room got the sole portable TV on a Saturday morning ended up with the rabbit ears being snapped off and my dad chasing my brother around the dining room table, Homer Simpson-style, while our dog barked her furry head off.
But I digress yet again. Boy Meets World was on ABC's Friday-night schedule for seven seasons, from September 1993 to May 2000. But don't be too hard on the child who says it was on 20 years ago; I'm betting he or she is young enough that any view of time is compressed to the point where seven years may as well be two decades.
As your tykes no doubt remember, the series related life as it was lived by young Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), who was 11 when things kicked off. It tracked him, his family, pal Shawn (Rider Strong), love interest Topanga (Danielle Fishel) and various other friends, nemeses and teachers (most notably St. Elsewhere alum William Daniels) through junior high, high school, college and beyond. And it ended in a finale that saw Corey, Topanga, Shawn and Corey's older brother, Eric (Will Friedle) headed for a new life in New York.
Seven years isn't a bad run for a series and that point was driven home when I, supplementing my own Televisionary abilities with a little research, came across an item quoting ad industry types (who wield the real power in TV land) handicapping 1993's fall season. Quite presciently, they foresaw long runs for BMW and Frasier. But they also predicted an enthusiastic audience response for The Paula Poundstone Show and the Beau Bridges cowboy comedy Harts of the West.
You do remember those, don't you? Well, there you go.