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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

"Girl Meets World" -- continues where "Boy Meets World" left off -- but comes from the perspective of Cory and Topanga's daughter, Riley.

"Girl Meets World" brings beloved characters back to "TGIF" television


When "Boy Meets World" became part of the "TGIF" line up on ABC, it was a family sitcom centered around a seemingly average kid.

But, as the seasons moved from middle school to high school, college and marriage, the relationships that Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) had were what the audience identified with. The show aired on ABC from 1993 to 2005, averaging more than 8 to 11 million viewers each year.

The show has been on the air in different packages since then, including station syndication, the Disney Channel, MTV2, ABC Family and international syndication. If you are an adult age 18 to 35, you grew up with Cory's love affair with (Danielle Fishel) Topanga and his friendship with Shawn (Rider Strong).

Notable characters had a heavy on-screen presence – including veteran actor William Daniels as George Feeney – while others came and went. But at the core, the show has always been about the drama directly affecting Cory, or having an effect on others. In 158 episodes, death, love, hope and redemption were always common themes.

Now, this many years later, the Disney Channel hopes to create that magic again … this time from the perspective of Cory and Topanga's daughter, Riley.

The debut of "Girl Meets World" airs tonight.

"I am grateful to everyone at Disney Channel for the opportunity to reach my favorite audience, which has always been kids," said Michael Jacobs, the show creator for both "Boy Meets World" and "Girl Meets World."

"'Girl Meets World' is a new show for a new generation that will be rooted in the same kind of honest, comedic storytelling about coming of age and the importance of family and friendship that made 'Boy Meets World' so popular."

The show is a win-win proposition for Disney. One, it hands on the nostalgic connection that young adults have with the beloved show from their past. There is a growing need by content creators and advertisers for shows that related to the 18-35 audience. This show should hit that perfectly.

Secondly, if done in the same style as the first rendition of the show, it should attract a generation of new viewers. This has a chance to be a show that families with young children and tweens could watch together. For Disney, that's a huge win.

So, let's see if Cory, as a fifth-grade teacher, and Topanga, as a lawyer, resonate well enough to capture some of that nostalgia and make the small screen a new "TGIF" stop for another generation.

INSIDE INFORMATION: Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo hosts "Joe Nacchio: Qwest for Redemption?" at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio was convicted of insider trading and went to prison. He now claims Justice Department officials conspired to railroad him, presumably because he refused a government request to access Qwest's customer data. The special will feature interviews with Nacchio and the federal prosecutor who put him in prison.

INTERNATIONAL POLITICS: Fox News will present a one-hour special, "Fox News Reporting: Iraq and the Rise of a Terrorist State" at 9 p.m. tonight. Hosted by Chris Wallace, the program will analyze the turmoil in Iraq as al-Qaida threatens to expand their reign of terror as well as the dangers and explosion of violence it has created for the Middle East and beyond. Additionally, Wallace will interview former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney, about who they believe is at fault for the trouble in Iraq.

HEALTH CASE: Fox's Mike Huckabee sits down with Justina Pelletier at 7 p.m. on Saturday to discuss her return home after a lengthy battle with the State of Massachusetts. Justina was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder and the Boston Children's Hospital overruled the diagnosis claiming it was psychological.

When Justina's parents refused to stop treatment, the hospital assumed custody of Justina and placed her in a psychological ward against her parent's wishes. Huckabee has been fighting hard for the release of Justina to her parents since March by reaching out to legislators in Massachusetts and raising awareness on his radio and television shows.

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