Fans of mid-’90s teen-targeted television have been in a Topanga-ful tizzy all week, ever since TVLine broke the news that the Disney Channel is working on a spin-off to the classic sitcom Boy Meets World, which ran from 1993 to 2000. The show will focus on the preteen daughter of Cory and Topanga Matthews—the soulmates played by Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, who starred alongside Rider Strong as BFF Shawn and William Daniels as the ever-present teacher-slash-neighbor Mr. Feeny…as if you don’t remember what Boy Meets World was about. The show will be called Girl Meets World (very original—and they can even re-use the theme song by only changing one word!) and Gawker reports that said girl’s name will be Riley.
Not that anyone cares what her name is—as long as she chops her hair off to show her boyfriend that inner beauty is what matters, gets a haircut that turns her into a vain mall-goer and then has an epiphany that brings her back to where she started. Hello, buh-bye, we are so watching that show.
But why stop with Boy Meets World? Nobody watched just Boy Meets World; it was part of TGIF, the epic ABC Friday night line-up, and it was near impossible to not sit through the whole two hours once you started. With so many shows cycling through that block of time during TGIF’s ’90s heyday, the Disney Channel could easily scrape together the full two hours. Here are some ideas—with similarly inventive title suggestions—to get them started.
Full House (1987-1995) becomes Really Full House
Concept: After losing her husband to an untimely death, Michelle Tanner invites her older siblings—kooky Aunt Stephanie and wise Aunt D.J., plus D.J.’s husband Uncle Steve—to move into her home in San Francisco, where they can help her raise her teenage sons. Things get really wacky when Aunt D.J.’s old friend Kimmy moves in next door with her mischievous daughter, who annoys the oldest of Michelle’s sons nonstop until he realizes she’s the girl of his dreams.
Step by Step (1991-1998) becomes Step by Step by Step
Concept: A preteen girl thinks her life is ruined when her widower father falls for—and quickly marries—a woman named Lilly Lambert, a woman she barely knows, a woman who still lives with her six adult half-siblings, their parents and all of their children. The girl and her father move in with Lilly and the Foster-Lambert clan and struggle to figure out how to make their blended family work.
Family Matters (1989-1998) becomes Extended Family Matters
Concept: Laura and Steve Urkel’s dorky teenage daughter—whose loving parents are always busy now that Steve is the richest man in the world—is a nuisance to the large, loving family that lives next door. But over the years they come to realize that she (and her rarely seen parents) are like a part of the family. And, even though the girl causes lots of trouble by her clumsiness, her super smarts can also get everything sorted out in the end.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2003) becomes Sabrina’s Daughter, Another Teenage Witch
Concept: When she turns 16, the daughter of magical Sabrina and her husband Harvey—a daughter whose name is perhaps Gilda or Glenda or Ramona or something-else-a—finds out that she is also a witch. Harmona needs to hide those powers from her boyfriend, but it’s tricky when her cat (who she learns can talk and is really, really old) gets in the way of whatever normalcy she had left. Plus, her mom had so much trouble prepping for the witch’s license test that she enrolls Flablora in an ultra-intense study course that interrupts her social life.
Dinosaurs (1991-1994) becomes Dinosaurs
Concept: Just Dinosaurs. No updating required.
Suggestions for Teen Angel, Two of a Kind and Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper are welcome in the comments.