By Alison Willmore | Indiewire November 29, 2012 at 10:35AM
The Disney Channel got a whole generation of television viewers high with nostalgia when it announced earlier this week that Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel would be reprising the roles of Cory and Topanga, which they played from 1993-2000 on ABC's "Boy Meets World," on a new show being developed by the network. The pair signed on to "Girl Meets World," a sequel series focused on their characters' 13-year-old daughter Riley, with original co-creator Michael Jacobs on board to executive produce and serve as showrunner on the new series.
But what, former TGIF devotees cried, of the other characters? It turns out the show won't be including any regular appearances from Shawn, Cory's warm-hearted but occasionally troublemaking trailer park-dwelling best friend. On his website, Rider Strong has released the following statement and reminiscence:
Years ago, I was on a train in Spain. It was four in the morning, and I was traveling by myself from Salamanca to Madrid.
A young man approached me and began talking rapidly. I don’t speak Spanish. He didn’t speak English.
I couldn’t figure out what he wanted. We went back and forth for awhile in a stumbling, half-sign-language conversation. Finally, right when he was about to give up, he got an idea. He pointed at me and said one word.
Call it the universal language of "Boy Meets World."
For more than two-thirds of my life, I’ve had the good fortune to experience the incredible support of Boy Meets World fans. Complete strangers hug me on the street. I’ve been mobbed by school children on the subway. I’ve had tow-truck drivers recognize me and refuse to let me pay. I’ve had people buy me drinks in Louisville, in Hyderabad, in Accra…
And that’s just the people I’ve met in person. I can’t express enough gratitude to the BMW fans, who not only watched our show when it first aired, but who continue to watch it, spread the word, and even introduce it to their children. It’s an overwhelming feeling to have that kind of support for something we did over a decade ago. When I opened a Twitter account, I thought maybe I’d get a few hundred followers. It wasn’t long before thousands of people were checking in and sending me messages.
"Boy Meets World" was a defining aspect of my life, and I cherish those seven years. It was never just a job — on a personal level, many of my best memories and friendships were formed because of it.
So I am extremely happy for Ben and Danielle to be able to continue the story. At this point, I have no official involvement in "Girl Meets World." There might be a chance to see some of the BMW cast in a guest spot, and I think it would be nice to find out where our characters have been all these years. But "Girl Meets World" will be, and I think it should be, it’s own show. It will be about Cory and Topanga, their daughter, and a new set of characters.
It’s the next generation.
And I, for one, can’t wait to see it evolve.
The 32-year-old Strong has continued acting as well as venturing into filmmaking post-BMW, starring in Eli Roth's "Cabin Fever" and co-directing several shorts with his brother Shiloh Strong. 2008's "Irish Twins" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
"Girl Meets World" will join "Dallas," which recently lost original castmember Larry Hagman, in the world of current sequel series attempting to bring together new viewers and established followings from older shows. CW's next-generation "90210" also started as something of a continuation of the original series, with Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty and others from the '90s drama appearing in the first few seasons.