Image credit: Chris Haston/NBC
On Sept. 25, 1999, NBC debuted a new dramatic comedy about high-schoolers in Michigan circa 1980. The series was equal parts heart and humor, showcasing the best and worst elements of the awkward years between adolescence and adulthood. It was fresh. It was funny. It was deeply personal. It also never had a chance. Freaks and Geeks was moved all over the NBC schedule. As if that was not confusing enough for audiences in the pre-DVR days, episodes also ran out of sequential order, upsetting any sort of linear narrative. The network cancelled the show after just 12 episodes (three more eps were burned off during the summer in a mini-marathon, while three more were shown the following fall on ABC Family).
Little did NBC realize that by cancelling Freaks and Geeks, it was jettisoning arguably the biggest collection of talent ever assembled on a single TV show. Actors like James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Busy Phillips, Linda Cardellini, and John Francis Daley went on to star in hits on both the big and small screen, while producers Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-old Virgin) and Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) went on to become… well, Judd Apatow and Paul Feig!
With the entire series now streaming on Netflix beginning today, I chatted with Apatow and Feig to talk about the past, present, and future of Freaks and Geeks. (Click through both pages to read the entire interview.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You both have obviously gone on to a lot of success since the show with big blockbuster films, but I always got the sense that Freaks and Geeks was a project really dear to both of your hearts.
PAUL FEIG: I think so. We made it a good dumping ground for all of our good and bad memories of our youth. So you can’t help but connect to it that way. And all the other writers had personal stories they put in, so it just made it a little more special I think. READ FULL STORY