In this Monday, June 23, 2014 photo, actors Ben Savage, left, and Rowan Blanchard, from the upcoming Disney Channel series “Girl Meets World” pose for a portrait, in New York. Savage reprises his role of Cory Matthews; and Blanchard plays his 12-year-old daughter Riley on the series. It’s a spinoff of the comedy “Boy Meets World.” (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) — Ben Savage says that when production wrapped on “Boy Meets World” in 2000 after seven seasons, he and his young co-stars were ready to expand their own worlds.
“I think at that point all the kids on the show were kind of looking forward to the next step in their lives,” the 33-year-old actor said. “‘Boy Meets World’ was really our childhood, and so when it ended, the cast was ready to say, ‘OK, let’s see what’s next.'”
He didn’t have a clue “that 12 years later I’d be sitting at home and get a phone call saying we’re starting again.”
In “Girl Meets World,” airing Fridays on the Disney Channel (8:30 p.m. EDT), Savage’s character, Cory, is still married to Danielle Fishel’s Topanga (they wed in the original show’s seventh season), and they now have two children.
Fishel is back, along with many of the original crew members and writers.
“It’s kind of like this nostalgic, deja vu thing for me,” Savage said. “Every day I get to work … I see so many of the same faces that I spent my entire childhood with. … It’s like you’re re-creating your childhood. Not many people get to do that.”
“Girl Meets World” largely follows the couple’s 12-year-old daughter, Riley (Rowan Blanchard), and her best friend, Maya, the way its predecessor focused on Cory and best friend, Shawn (Rider Strong).
Blanchard describes Riley as “Cory’s kid,” who will have “countless resemblances” to her TV dad.
Word traveled fast among pop culture enthusiasts and fans of the original series after “Girl Meets World” was announced. With the attention came scrutiny.
“‘Boy Meets World’ was one of those shows people grew up with and felt very connected to,” Savage said. “They’re very concerned about ‘Girl Meets World,’ and they’re not shy about letting us know.”
He thinks fans of the original series won’t be disappointed.
“It’s not just retelling the same story. It’s retelling a similar story but in a much more complicated world.”