Showing posts with label TV Shows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV Shows. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ten Facts You May Not Know About The Baby-Sitters Club!

By Maribeth Curley of, where you can find great kids costumes.

If you were a young girl during the 80s or 90s, you most likely read The Baby-Sitters Club. (I know I did.) You had a favorite sitter, a favorite client, and you probably even had a favorite Super Special. This book series was a big part of many little girls’ literary lives, so let’s take a look at some things you may not know about the BSC.

1. The popular series was created to capitalize on the popularity of another book about babysitting. The book was Ginny’s Babysitting Job, which was published in the early 80s. An editor at Scholastic saw the success of another novel about the hobby and decided that the publishing company needed their own version.

2. Author Ann M. Martin was originally a freelance author when she was hired to write a book about baby-sitting. Martin was responsible for creating the plot-lines, details, and characters of The Baby-Sitters Club, as well as writing the first books. The series was about a club, rather than a single baby-sitter, to help promote team work and unity among young girls.

3. The series was originally slated for just four novels. However, thanks to the success of those four, Scholastic ordered two more, and after that, another twelve.

4. Author Ann M. Martin only wrote about 60 out of 213 total Baby-Sitters Club books. Most of the novels were ghostwritten by other authors, including 43 by Peter Lerangis, who also wrote for a spin-off of another popular teen series of the 80s, Sweet Valley Twins.

5. During the 14-year run of the series, there were 176 million copies of The Baby-Sitters Club books printed.

6. While there were popular spin-off's of the series (Baby-Sitters Little Sister namely), there were also less popular spin-offs. The California Diaries was a series of books based on Dawn Schafer's return to California in her teenage years. It took a slightly darker tone in its writing and touched on subjects such as anorexia, sexual identity, and racism. However, only 15 novels were published before the series’ end.

7. In 2006, a division of Scholastic named Graphix published a graphic novelization of the first Baby-Sitters Club novel. The animated versions were updated adaptations of four of the early BSC books: Kristy’s Great Idea, The Truth About Stacey, Mary Anne Saves the Day, and Claudia and Mean Janine.

8. In 2009, the New York Times wrote an article about the upcoming re-release of the first two novels of the series. Scholastic hoped to spark a comeback of the books with the current generation of readers. Also, that same year, Ann M. Martin wrote a prequel to the series called The Summer Before.

9. Throughout the run of the series, there were five types of novels in addition to the core series of novels: Super Specials, which were longer stories and were narrated by a different girl each chapter; Readers Request, books that focused on non-main members of the BSC; Mysteries and Super Mysteries; Portrait collections, novels that were biographies of the girls’ pasts; and Baby-Sitters Club: Friends Forever, a 13-book mini-series, which ended with the girl’s graduation from middle school.

10. There was an (amazing) 13-episode long TV series named The Baby-Sitters Club, which aired in 1990. The shows were broadcast on The Disney Channel, as well as HBO and Nickelodeon. The other live-action version of the BSC was the feature film, released in 1995. The role of Mary Anne was actress Rachael Leigh Cook’s movie debut, and the film also starred Larisa Oleynik (The Secret World of Alex Mack, 10 Things I Hate About You) as Dawn.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Where Are They Now? Home Improvement, Saved by the Bell, & Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

By Allison Heard for


Home Improvement

Home Improvement was a sitcom staple of 90s television, airing from 1991-1999, that skyrocketed Tim Allen’s career out of relative obscurity. Tim, who played handyman dad Tim Taylor went on to be a common name in the industry playing Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story movies, Santa Claus in The Santa Clause, and most recently, starred alongside John Travolta in Wild Hogs. If you feel like you need a Tim Allen fix, he is currently playing Mike Baxter on Last Man Standing and has a comedy, Geezers!, slated for release in 2012.

Compared to Allen’s post-sitcom success, the kids of Home Improvement have a much smaller rap sheet. Hunky middle brother Randy Taylor, played by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, is most noted for his role as Simba in 1994’s Lion King, but after Home Improvement wrapped, he could only be seen in small roles. He voiced character Tyler Tucker in The Wild Thornberrys and had a three-show arch in 8 Simple Rules. He recently did an interview and photo shoot for Entertainment Weekly and said he is currently traveling and going to school. It seems like his days of gracing the cover of Teen Bop week after week are over for JTT, for now at least.

Zachery Ty Bryan, older brother to Randy with the laidback attitude and killer blonde mullet, has produced little since the show. His most noted roles were as Brian Nolan in Code Breakers, a made for TV movie, and as Clay in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Zachery got married in 2007, and since then has only made a splash in 2008 when he was tased by hotel security after trying to reenter his hotel room in San Diego. Apparently, hotel security thought he was a vagrant trying to enter one of their hotel rooms.

The youngest brother and resident show weirdo was played by Taran Noah Smith, and honestly, not much has changed since. His work in the film industry has been limited, but he did get married to a much older woman, sued his parents for $1.5 million dollars, and got a divorce. His million dollar mansion is now in foreclosure and judging from the amount of internet commentary about how weird Taran has turned out, it looks like he has no hope of returning to Hollywood.

If Home Improvement makes you miss your childhood or gives you feelings of sweet nostalgia, check out their recent reunion photo from Entertainment Weekly. (Sadly, beloved neighbor and fountain of wisdom Wilson passed away in 2003 and is not in the reunion photo.)

Home Improvement Highlight Reel: Taran’s weird and broke, Zachery has a wife and looks like a bum (without a mullet at least), JTT is still hunky, and Tim is Buzz Lightyear, Santa Clause, and still relatively awesome (on an older man scale of awesomeness). Oh, and Al (Richard Karn) hosted Family Feud and Jill (Patricia Richardson) guest starred on The West Wing for two seasons.

Saved by the Bell

While Saved by the Bell originally aired in August 1989, the bulk of the shows ran in the early 90s and it became a starting block for more modern sitcoms revolved around teen drama. Surprisingly, many of the stars of this show have gone on to make a name for themselves, even if it is not always a good one (and you know I’m talking about Screech a.k.a. Dustin Diamond).

Zack Morris, played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, the shows heartthrob-worthy blonde, moved on from Saved by the Bell in 2001 when he played Detective John Clark in NYPD Blue. His days as a cop came to an end in 2005, but he continued to act in shows like Commander in Chief, Raising the Bar, and Franklin & Bash, a TNT drama where Mark-Paul currently stars as an unconventional lawyer in a sea of straight laced attorneys. Mark-Paul has two children, Michael and Ava, and is engaged to advertising executive Catriona McGinn after his 2010 divorce.

Mario Lopez, who played jock A.C. Slater, flew under the radar after SBTB until his breakout role as Dr. Mike Hamoui in the FX drama Nip/Tuck. Since then he has maintained a constant presence in the entertainment industry. He danced on the third season of Dancing With The Stars, hosted MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, and is a current correspondent for Extra!. His bangin’ 6 pack probably doesn’t hurt his star appeal either.

Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa, the trio of girls from Saved by the Bell, have all continued to be a part of the Hollywood industry alongside their male counterparts. Jessie, played by Elizabeth Berkley, shed her girl-next-door image with Showgirls in 1995, which, of course, was met with bad reviews and controversy. Her career took a hit after the film’s release and she began to take smaller roles. Now, she is developing a series with MTV that is based off her website “Ask Elizabeth,” a self-help program for teenage girls.

Tiffani Thiessen, who played head cheerleader Kelly, has been in multiple shows, such as 90210, since her younger days and is currently playing a wedding planner in White Collar. In 2010, she traded her pompoms for a burp rag when daughter Harper was born.

Lark Voorhies, (Lisa), has continued her acting career while also stepping into the music scene. She has released a few singles and starred in music videos for artists like Boyz II Men and Kenny Lattimore. She has now been forever memorialized in Asher Roth’s 2009 single “Lark on My Go-Kart”.

Saved By The Bell Highlight Reel: Mark-Paul and Mario still have their heartthrob good looks, Elizabeth is helping out teen girls with the help of MTV, Tiffani and Lark are both mothers, and if you want more information about Screech’s life after Saved By The Bell check out this link.


The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

“Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air.”

Those opening lines of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air opened the world, or at least the American viewing audience, to the Banks, a ritzy family who gets an interesting new member when nephew and cousin William Smith (played by Will Smith) moves in. Since his time as the fresh prince, Will Smith has undeniably moved on to bigger things. His music career has prospered, with his chart-toppers like “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” and “Switch,” and his films like Bad Boys, I Am Legend, and Men in Black, have cemented Smith’s reputation as a Hollywood All-Star. Will’s wife Jada Pinkett, son Jaden, and daughter Willow have also created names for themselves alongside his sometimes overshadowing Hollywood persona. Men in Black III is set to release in 2012.

Alfonso Ribeiro played Will’s cooky cousin Carlton, most remembered by his wonderful dance moves. Alfonso has done little since the show wrapped in 1996, but landed the position of host on GSN’s Catch 21. Even with his lack of a proper Hollywood resume, Alfonso’s dance skills will always be legendary.

Prissy older cousin Hilary called her acting career quits after her 6-year run on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Karyn Parsons did attend film school in New York, but while there she met her future husband. They had two children together and are still living in New York.

The youngest member of the Banks clan grew up in front of the shows audience and Tatyana Ali acted her way through Ashley’s most awkward years. Tatyana graduated from Harvard in 2002 with a degree in Afro-American History and Government. While going to school she had roles in multiple movies and TV shows. National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze and Nora’s Hair Salon are among her most recognizable roles. She also played Roxanne in The Young and the Restless from the 2007-2011. Ali ventured in to music as well, but it seems that Willow Smith (Will Smith’s pre-teen daughter) has made a bigger splash in the music industry just by whipping her hair back and forth. Either way, Tatyana seems to have done well for herself and has come a long way since her pre-pubescent days on Fresh Prince.

Sadly, there has yet to be a reunion for this show, but it has been rumored to be in the works.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Highlight Reel: Will Smith is Will Smith and needs no explanation, Karyn is a New York mom and wife, Alfonso is a game show host but will never be forgotten for his amazing dance skills, and Tatyana is still starring in movies and TV shows after graduation from Harvard.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where Are They Now? Clarissa Explains it All, All That, & Boy Meets World

by Kenny Pickett for

Clarissa Explains It All

We all know the star of Clarissa Explains It All, Melissa Joan Hart, is currently starring in her hit sitcom Melissa & Joey alongside fellow 90s television star Joey Lawrence, but what has become of the rest of the Darling family?

Jason Zimbler played Clarissa’s annoying little brother Ferguson Darling. After Clarissa ended, Jason turned to live theater and eventually co-founded The Re-Theatre Instrument, a theatre company that re-imagines classic plays. Zimbler also appeared in the music video “All My Friends” by the XYZ Affair which features quite a few former Nickelodeon stars.

Sean O’Neal was Clarissa’s ladder wielding (just) friend, Sam. Since Clarissa O’Neal has been seen in the buddy cop film Cop and a Half. Most of his acting recently has been in the musical theatre world, however. O’Neal has also been pursuing a music career as seen on his strange website.

Elizabeth Hess played Clarissa’s mother, Janet. Hess seems to be the most prolific actor to graduate from Clarissa. She has done a lot of theatre from regional productions to Broadway. She has also been teaching acting in a lot of different places. Judging from the pictures of her on the internet, she is really happy.

Joe O’Connor played Clarissa’s dad, Marshall. Joe has really stuck to television acting having appeared on Boston Public, Charmed, Reno 911!, Weeds, and Castle. Most notably, however, O’Connor has a recurring role on Mad Men as Pete Campbell’s father-in-law.

All That

All That was Nickelodeon’s sketch show that was for kids, by kids. The show has produced stars like Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes, and Nick Cannon. Not every cast member has a spot on Saturday Night Live or a wife named Mariah Carey, though.

Kel Mitchell was Kenan Thompson’s partner in crime. After All That, the two starred on their own Nickelodeon show Kenan & Kel. Kel then landed a role in the now cult favorite Mystery Men, went on to host the dance show Dance 360, perform regularly on G4’s Attack of the Show, and provides voices for various children’s programming. Kel’s main project is a movie called Chicago Pulaski Jones, a dance-comedy-action film with Cedric the Entertainer and Tommy Davidson.

Lori Beth Denberg provided vital information for your everyday life on All That. She even got the chance to continue her Nickelodeon fame on the panel show Figure It Out. She quickly graduated from Nick to the WB and landed a recurring role on The Steve Harvey Show. Then… not much. The last thing she did was crush Justin Long as the fat cheerleader in Dodgeball, which came out in 2004.

Josh Server was on All That from 1994-2000. That’s a pretty long time. After his stint on all that he was in a few more Nickelodeon projects like The Amanda Show, 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, and Drake & Josh. According to his Twitter, Josh is currently working in real estate and spending a lot of time on OKCupid.

Boy Meets World

The “boy” of Boy Meets World, Ben Savage had some big shoes to fill after his brother Fred stole America’s hearts in The Wonder Years. After 7 years of playing Cory Matthews on Boy Meets World, Savage went on to not really do much at all. He was in a few made-for-tv movies and most recently appeared on Chuck and Without a Trace. Savage also starred in a short called Closing Time which screened at the HollyShorts Film Festival.

Will Friedle played Cory’s dimwitted older brother Eric on the show. Friedle has kept pretty busy in the last 11 years that Boy Meets World has been off the air, lending his voice to popular cartoons like Batman Beyond, Teen Titans, Static Shock, and the newly rebooted Thundercats cartoon. Of course, I’ll always remember him for his role opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt in the 1997 Trojan War, a movie in which he goes on an adventure to try and buy condoms.

Rider Strong played Cory’s best friend from the wrong side of the tracks, Shawn. After Boy Meets World, Strong starred in the cult horror/comedy Cabin Fever directed by Eli Roth. Strong has also lent his voice to several of the same super hero shows as his old pal Will Friedle. He has also made television appearances on Castle and Bones.

Danielle Fishel played Topanga Lawrence, the love of Cory’s life. After Boy Meets World, she was mainly known for being the spokesperson for the NutriSystem diet. That is until she gained all of her weight back that she lost through the program. After that, Fishel hosted The Dish on the Style Network, which was a lot like The Soup except even less people watched it. Here’s something I just found out while researching his that doesn’t really apply to the topic, but should be noted: Danielle Fishel went to her high school prom with Lance Bass who came out in 2006.

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