Boy Meets World Writer Opens Up About 'Traumatic' And 'Divided' BTS Conflict Early On In The Show
The Boy Meets World writers room involved division and trauma for one writer.
Boy Meets World may have ended more than 20 years ago after the series finale in May of 2000, but the stars have been revisiting it from the beginning for the benefit of fans. Unfortunately, not all of the blasts to the past have uncovered happy memories, and now one writer has opened up about her experience behind the scenes that she describes as both “divided” and “traumatic.” Writer Janette Kotichas shared her perspective on the tension between the co-creators that led to major BTS changes between Seasons 1 and 2.
The beloved sitcom set largely in school was created by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly, but Kelly was only on board Boy Meets World for the first season. Janette Kotichas visited the Pod Meets World podcast hosted by former stars Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle (all of whom weighed in on being called “child actors”) to make some claims about what really happened behind the scenes that led to both her and Kelly’s early oustings, among others. According to Kotichas, the writers room was divided between “the Michael camp and the April camp,” and Kotichas was firmly on the side of Kelly.
Referring to “the Michael camp” as “mean girls,” Kotichas went on in the podcast to share her take on what happened all those years ago, saying:
Janette Kotichas didn’t fully know what she was getting into with joining the team at Boy Meets World with tension between the two creators and their supporters. The writer only had good things to say about April Kelly, sharing a memory as an example of why she supported her:
Kotichas was not a staff writer at the time, but had the opportunity to pitch ideas, and went on to pen two episodes for Season 1. The actors praised those episodes as some of the best of the first season, particularly “Boy II Mensa,” which was the sixth of the entire series. She also wrote “Boy Meets Girl,” which aired as the penultimate episode of Season 1.
That said, her experience with writing her episodes wasn’t entirely smooth, and she credits Michael Jacobs for an upsetting incident when one of her scripts was in the works. Referring to the co-creators, Kotichas said:
The incident clearly stuck with the writer, as she was able to recount it nearly three decades after her first episode aired back in 1993. Nevertheless, she expected to stay on at Boy Meets World beyond Season 1 with the potential to become a staff writer, as April Kelly suggested, although she wasn’t ready to celebrate when there was no contract. According to Kotichas, Kelly went on vacation to France after promising that she’d given Michael Jacobs a list of writers who needed to remain on board for Season 2 and that he’d agreed to it.
The writer said that while the co-creator was on vacation and Kotichas herself was cleaning up after Season 1, this happened:
Rider Strong responded that he hadn’t heard the version of events in which April Kelly was cut, believing that she’d left herself because she was “fed up with the show and left because of the politics.” The actors noted that there was a different tone in Season 2 after Season 1, and Danielle Fishel went on to say that they didn’t have Kelly’s version of events to confirm all the details of what Kotichas said.
That said, Fishel herself shared a story back in 2022 about harsh criticism that she received from Michael Jacobs on her first week at Boy Meets World at the age of 12, including the threat of being fired. While it remains to be seen if more sides to the story will be revealed as the stars continue to revisit their time on the show, it’s clear that there was a lot more happening behind the scenes than fans could have known when it was originally airing.
Actor Anthony Tyler Quinn has shared the story of how Michael Jacobs initially said that he would be back to continue playing Mr. Turner in Season 4, only to be cut two months later due to the network and studio. Actress Trina McGee, who played Angela Moore, has spoken about “disrespectful” incidents on the set of Boy Meets World, and Maitland Ward opened up about being “sexualized” as Rachel, suggesting that Michael Jacobs and the writers enjoyed playing with that.
If you want to revisit the run of Boy Meets World, you can find the series streaming with a Disney+ subscription. If you’re in the market for some newer content instead, you can find plenty of options on our 2023 TV premiere schedule.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.