Girl Meets World - Should've been on ABC Family/Freeform?

TheMisterManGuy

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Girl Meets World, the sequel to the ABC sitcom classic, Boy Meets World was met with surprising critical acclaim when it debuted on Disney Channel in 2014. Despite this, The show only lasted a mere 3 seasons, and being on the Disney Channel, couldn't tackle any of the more sophisticated subject matter its predecessor could. Honestly, I think Girl Meets World was a victim of wrong place at the wrong time.

For starters, the Disney Channel of 2014, was not the Disney Channel of 2000, when BMW reruns were common on the network. The network's target demographic had gotten much younger and its programing more restricted, safer, and commercialized by that point. Disney Channel of the early 2000s wouldn't have hesitated to bring up topics such as drugs, mild sexual content, and other more serious subject matter, modern DC is content to skirt around those issues in favor of wacky hijinks for young children.

A large part of this is because Disney already had another channel for middle/high schoolers by this point. ABC Family, now Freeform, which could tackle much more serious subject matter than what Disney could muster. In all honesty, GMW really should've been an ABC Family series from day one. Disney Channel had abandoned its edgier content by that point, and ABC Family would've given the creators much more freedom.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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Okay but I would like to point out some of Disney Channel's sitcoms didn't have that childish tone.
Had GMW came out in the Zoog era, it probably would've been less restricted and fit in more with shows like Lizzie McGuire and the original Boy Meets World. But by 2014, it just felt out of place on Disney Channel, who's core demographic had become much younger as Disney redirected all of its 12+ viewers to ABC Family.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Had GMW came out in the Zoog era, it probably would've been less restricted and fit in more with shows like Lizzie McGuire and the original Boy Meets World. But by 2014, it just felt out of place on Disney Channel, who's core demographic had become much younger as Disney redirected all of its 12+ viewers to ABC Family.
Yes but Disney could've just made the show like their predecessor without the need of moving to their sister channel.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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Yes but Disney could've just made the show like their predecessor without the need of moving to their sister channel.
Problem is that the network's focus and standards had changed radically by the time Girl Meets World premiered. Disney Channel was no longer the edgy, yet wholesome network for young teens. It was now a wacky, glossy dream factory for 6-11 year olds. ABC Family had taken over Disney Channel's role as the "Pre-teen/Teen" network once it came into the picture.

If Girl Meets World was made in the style of Boy Meets World, it just would've been jarring and off-brand for DC. The reason Andi Mack was refreshingly more mature was because the newly rebranded Freeform began shifting its primary focus to 18-34 year olds, particularly women.
 

JMTV

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Yeah, I have to agree with you on this. As much as I think Girl Meets World is a decent sequel to Boy Meets World, but I can agree with most people say it's not as good as the original and put it on Disney Channel is very out of place when you think about it.

It should've been a ABC Freeform Original from the start and the series would've been less dumbed down than it was on DC.
 

Light Lucario

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It might have had more creative freedom and be able to tackle some more serious issues if it was on Freeform, but I also wonder if that would have affected the overall quality. It might have made the series a bit too edgy, especially when I don't think that a lot of Freeform's original series are well received. It still might have been interesting to see a Girl Meets World that didn't have the typical kind of Disney Channel humor. It could be funny, but it was a clear reminder that this was a Disney Channel show.

I'm not sure if this would have changed things like Shawn and Angela not getting together. That was the biggest reason I dropped the show, especially when the romance between Shawn and Maya's mother felt forced as can be. There was also an episode where they dealt with autism and given what I saw and heard about it, it was probably a good choice that I dropped the series by that point. Some of the characters were acting as if being diagnosed with autism was scary or it would change their friend Frakle forever, so that just rubs me the wrong way automatically.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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I'm not sure if this would have changed things like Shawn and Angela not getting together. That was the biggest reason I dropped the show, especially when the romance between Shawn and Maya's mother felt forced as can be. There was also an episode where they dealt with autism and given what I saw and heard about it, it was probably a good choice that I dropped the series by that point. Some of the characters were acting as if being diagnosed with autism was scary or it would change their friend Frakle forever, so that just rubs me the wrong way automatically.
When Autism is the most serious thing you could've covered on a Disney Channel at the time, that was pretty embarrassing. Not that autism isn't a serious issue, but the Disney Channel of the late 90s/early 2000s had bolder shows like So Weird, In a Heartbeat, and Ready or Not. Dealing with topics such as death, drugs, even mild sexual content.

It makes me wonder what the Disney Channel's direction would've been like had ABC Family not came into the picture (IE being still owned by Fox).
 

Francisque

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When Autism is the most serious thing you could've covered on a Disney Channel at the time, that was pretty embarrassing. Not that autism isn't a serious issue, but the Disney Channel of the late 90s/early 2000s had bolder shows like So Weird, In a Heartbeat, and Ready or Not. Dealing with topics such as death, drugs, even mild sexual content.

It makes me wonder what the Disney Channel's direction would've been like had ABC Family not came into the picture (IE being still owned by Fox).
Probably still goimg in the tween direction, especially starting in 2005/06, as competition from Nickelodeon and CN grew stronger.

As a lover of the original BMW and many original DC series from early 2000s late 90s, I'd have loved a more "serious" Girl Meets World, but it is what it is.
 

Light Lucario

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When Autism is the most serious thing you could've covered on a Disney Channel at the time, that was pretty embarrassing. Not that autism isn't a serious issue, but the Disney Channel of the late 90s/early 2000s had bolder shows like So Weird, In a Heartbeat, and Ready or Not. Dealing with topics such as death, drugs, even mild sexual content.

It makes me wonder what the Disney Channel's direction would've been like had ABC Family not came into the picture (IE being still owned by Fox).
To be fair, I can't really blame them for not dealing with serious topics. They had bolder shows before, but a lot about TV and Disney Channel had changed since they aired those series. They were set on appealing to the tween demographic because that had proven to be so successful with shows like Lizzie McGuire and Hanana Montana, so I don't think it would have changed regardless of what happened to ABC Family.

My issue with the autism isn't really that it was seemingly the most serious topic that they covered, but rather how they treated the prospect of an autism diagnosis as such a bad or scary thing. The bit I saw had Maya constantly deny the possibility that Frakle could be autistic. I'm autistic, so seeing the possibility of a diagnosis treated like something bad was a bit upsetting to say the least. I'm not sure if it would have been better to make the character autistic in the end instead. That could have easily backfired too, but the way they went about it seems rather questionable to me.
 

LinusFan303

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I think the show could have worked on regular ABC (air it a 8/7 before the Middle) they could still be a family show like The Middle but have more freedoms than Disney Channel. ABC family at the time , could have been alright, they were trying sitcoms, but I'm not sure it would have fit with what they were going for in comedy.
It was alright for a Disney Channel show, they were breaking out of doing music based shows and shows with random concepts it was a nice touch. The only things that really bugged me was how hard they tried keep bringing stuff from BMW where it felt forced, and the love triangle stuff.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Problem is that the network's focus and standards had changed radically by the time Girl Meets World premiered. Disney Channel was no longer the edgy, yet wholesome network for young teens. It was now a wacky, glossy dream factory for 6-11 year olds. ABC Family had taken over Disney Channel's role as the "Pre-teen/Teen" network once it came into the picture.

If Girl Meets World was made in the style of Boy Meets World, it just would've been jarring and off-brand for DC. The reason Andi Mack was refreshingly more mature was because the newly rebranded Freeform began shifting its primary focus to 18-34 year olds, particularly women.
No, ABC Family did not take over Disney Channel's role as the "preteen/teen" network by the time GMW began airing. In fact, they stopped airing content aimed at a preteen audience after Jetix departed from the network in 2006, thus becoming exclusive to Toon Disney until the two merged to become Disney XD in 2009, hence they shifted towards a teen/young adult audience, thus making their brand an artifact as they were no longer aiming towards families barring the seasonal themed programming.
 

Neo Ultra Mike

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I do agree that Girl Meets World though not a flop or anything was unable to really live up to it's full potential due to yeah where itw as placed. Something like Raven's Home is still a big hit on Disney Channel and may even extend to another season after their fourth but that is a series based off That's So Raven which yeah was obviously it's own really Disney ridiculous wacky shennigans type of show with very few major stakes or issue episodes, thus it makes sense to also have a spinoff on that same channel. Meanwhile going from a TGIF show that was allowed to have more edge and stakes being a show for families and then going to a spinoff made mostly for kids did feel insulting. It was obvious the team of Girl Meets World knew they still had fans watching this show who were fans of the original BMW thus why they did have a lot of cast from that older show pop up and make a big deal each time they did but yeah the Disney Channel was the wrong place for it.

Honestly something I just realized is that NOW would of actually been the time to have them do a spinoff series of BMW and have a Girl Meets World esque series that could tackle the same issues Boy Meets World could. And how would they do that? By having it be a Disney+ original series. I mean Fuller House for all of it's flaws was a big hit for Netflix and was allowed for the most part to fully feel like a proper follow up and yeah granted Full House/Fuller House are more edgeless then the original Boy Meets World but I still think Fuller House would of been even more "dumbed down" if it had to be made more just to be on a kids network. However having it on a streaming platform would allow it to be more a general family thing and thus tackle issues you couldn't really do on the regular current Disney channel because you could capitalize on it being more for the older fans. Sure some things you still probably couldn't have (I doubt a new BMW series could do all the South Park references the original show did but eh doubt it would now anyway since even if South Park is still around not the kind of hit series it was back in the late 90s) but a follow up probably would be more in line with how the original went. But kind of blew their chance on that though hey could always get GMW back for another season or something on Disney+ with more edge since yeah if Disney is going to have like a dozen+ marvel and star wars shows and all of these other series for their brand sure that would extend to their sitcoms as well.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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No, ABC Family did not take over Disney Channel's role as the "preteen/teen" network by the time GMW began airing. In fact, they stopped airing content aimed at a preteen audience after Jetix departed from the network in 2006, thus becoming exclusive to Toon Disney until the two merged to become Disney XD in 2009, hence they shifted towards a teen/young adult audience, thus making their brand an artifact as they were no longer aiming towards families barring the seasonal themed programming.
Point is, whatever role Disney Channel served for teens in Disney's business, was quickly absorbed by ABC Family, as Disney Channel focused more on appealing to 6-11 year olds.
 

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