Skip To Content

    25 Random Facts About '90s TV Shows That Are Both Interesting And Will Leave You Feeling You A Little Smarter

    Can you imagine Alanis Morissette's "Hand in My Pocket" as the theme song to Dawson's Creek?!

    1. Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, named all of the main characters after his own family members except for Bart, whose name is an anagram of Brat.

    2. There was almost a live-action Krusty the Clown spinoff TV series.

    3. The original series Kelsey Grammer was going to do after Cheers was not Frasier but, rather, a highbrow sitcom about a magazine mogul who is paralyzed from the waist down in an accident and is forced to run his company from his New York City penthouse with the help of his live-in nurse.

    4. Quincy Jones decided to executive-produce The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on the spot after he saw Will Smith do an impromptu 10-minute audition at a party that he was throwing ⁠— and Will just happened to attend.

    5. Ellen DeGeneres's sitcom, Ellen, was originally titled These Friends of Mine. The name was changed after the first season to avoid confusion with Friends.

    6. In 1993, Matthew Perry pitched to NBC a sitcom he had cowritten about a group of twentysomethings called Maxwell's House. The network turned him down because they already had a similar TV show, Friends, in the works.

    7. Jennifer Aniston was almost written off during the first season of Friends 'cause she was starring on another TV show at the time.

    8. Cory was actually supposed to have two BFFs (one of them being Shawn, of course) on Boy Meets World. It was pared down to one BFF 'cause producers couldn't find an actor they liked to play the other friend.

    9. Ryan Reynolds turned down the offer to play Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    10. Chris Carter was inspired to create The X-Files after he read a Harvard professor's report that said 3.7 million people had claimed to have been abducted by aliens.

    11. According to Tori Spelling, the cast never (or rarely) wore sunglasses on Beverly Hills, 90210 because Aaron Spelling — her father and the executive producer of the show — didn't like actors to wear them; he believed it hindered them from expressing themselves with their eyes.

    12. The character of Dylan McKay was only meant to appear in one or two episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210. And network executives didn't even want him in those episodes...so much so that they only agreed to it after Aaron Spelling said he would pay Luke Perry's salary out of his own pocket for those episodes.

    13. Warner Bros. Television brought together Queen Latifah and Kim Coles (who both had deals with the studio) and asked them to help develop a series based on a scene in Jungle Fever, in which women are sitting around talking about men and life. The show ended up being Living Single.

    14. Dinosaurs was a time-consuming show to make: Each 23-minute episode took 65 hours to film.

    15. Scott Gale, who wrote the iconic theme song for Saved by the Bell, also created the music for The Golden Girls (among many other shows).

    16. Jessie was originally supposed to be addicted to speed — not caffeine pills — in that classic episode of Saved by the Bell.

    17. My So-Called Life's Ricky (Wilson Cruz) was the first openly gay teenage character on primetime network TV.

    18. Tim Allen turned down $50 million, while Patricia Richardson turned down $25 million, to do one more season of Home Improvement.

    19. One of the most memorable and bonkers moments on Melrose Place was when Kimberly blew up the apartment building with a bomb in the Season 3 finale, but originally she was supposed to fly a plane into the building.

    20. The real reason Melrose Place ended was because it didn't make sense that all these successful people would still be living in an apartment building.

    21. There was almost a Daria spinoff called Mystik Spiral, which would have focused on Trent and his band.

    22. ER was actually written by Michael Crichton to be a movie. He took the script to Steven Spielberg to see if he might be interested, but instead they got to talking about the new book Michael was writing. By the end of the meeting, Michael agreed to sell the film rights to his upcoming book to Steven and they never talked about ER. Oh, and that book was Jurassic Park.

    23. Family Matters' Steve Urkel was named after a real person.

    24. While Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait" is one of the things we associate most with Dawson's Creek, it was actually not the song the producers initially wanted for the theme song. Originally it was meant to be Alanis Morrisette's "Hand in My Pocket," but they couldn't get the rights to it.

    25. And finally, all of Power Rangers' Zordon’s footage was shot in one day and just used over and over.