Boy Meets World buffoon Eric Matthews (or Plays With Squirrels, if you’re nasty) almost had his own show.
During the latest episode of the Pod Meets World rewatch podcast, portrayer Will Friedle reveals that series co-creator Michael Jacobs pitched ABC on a spinoff that would have seen Cory’s older brother move from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, to make it on his own.
“They talked about doing an Eric and Jack show,” Friedle says. “That probably would have been pretty good.” But before that idea got tossed around — and it seems like it was ever only that, an idea — there was a real effort to spin-off Eric midway through the TGIF sitcom’s seven-season run.
“I was going to leave the show at one point — to the point where Michael and I had had meetings, we had had meetings with ABC [and] he had already written to it,” Friedle divulges for the first time. “There’s a scene where [William Daniels as Mr. Feeny] says, ‘Do you know what you’re going to do in life?’ And I say, ‘No.’ And it’s because there was a good chance I wasn’t going to come back the following season because Michael and I — well, it was all Michael, but I was in on the pitches — pitched an idea where Eric moves to Los Angeles…. We met with ABC, we met with Disney, he had the pilot all set up.”
Friedle also describes the cold open of the pilot that never was: “Eric was driving his car, and the start was going to be he jumps the ramp at the Santa Monica Pier and the car slams onto the beach. Eric stumbles out and just walks into the ocean, and that was going to be the start of the episode. It was going to be like a young Friends, and he was going to have me meet these people in Los Angeles.
“We not only had meetings and talked about it… but he wrote to it on Boy, so you can actually see a time where it’s like, ‘Oh, they’re writing me off,’ and it was because Eric was going to have a spinoff,” Friedle explains. “I’m not even sure why it never happened, to be honest with you. I just never left Boy. I never got a reason why we didn’t do it.”
Would you have been interested in an Eric-centric Boy Meets World spinoff? Or are you relieved, knowing that there was almost an offshoot, that Friedle stuck around for the entirety of the sitcom’s 1993-2000 run?