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Freaks and Geeks (TV Series 1999–2000) Poster

(1999–2000)

Trivia

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Series producer Judd Apatow told Vanity Fair in 2012 that whenever he sees an opportunity to use anyone from the show, he does. It is his way of refusing to accept that the show was cancelled, and that all of his subsequent movies are the continuous adventures of those characters.
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John Francis Daley is the only cast member to be the age of his character (14) during filming.
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The creators were determined not to end each show with a typical "happy ending". One notable exception is the pilot episode, which the creators purposely wrote as a self-contained story, in case the show was never picked up for production.
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The actors improvised lines in many of the scenes to achieve a sense of reality.
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Debut for both Seth Rogen and John Francis Daley.
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James Franco and Busy Philipps were said to have hated each other in real life so much that he pushed Busy to the floor once, in spite of the fact that they play a couple in the show.
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About halfway through the season, it was evident that the show was in danger of being cancelled. The rest of the episodes were put on hold, while the creators wrote and filmed the final episode (which was written in a way as to serve as both a series finale, if the show was cancelled, and a season finale, if the show would've gotten picked up for a second season). Several episodes later, it was cancelled.
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Jason Segel admitted it was very easy to act intimidated by his father in the show, played by Kevin Tighe, because he was intimidated by Tighe in real life.
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Seth Rogen split his chin open when he smashed Nick's (Jason Segel) guitar.
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Linda Cardellini kept the jacket she wore on the show.
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Creator Paul Feig has said that Lindsay was his favorite character to write.
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During the opening credits, you can see James Franco and Jason Segel vigorously rubbing their eyes, to give themselves a stoner look. You can also see Seth Rogen smiling before his class picture, which he takes with a grumpy look. Allowing the viewer to see this was intentional, as it was a common trend in the 80s to harmlessly sabotage one's yearbook photo.
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Cancelled after the airing of Freaks and Geeks: Chokin' and Tokin' (2000).
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Nearly everything that happens to the characters happened to producer Paul Feig, or other members of the crew. For example, the blue suit that Sam Weir wears in "Looks and Books", the showering in the locker room storyline in "I'm With the Band".
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Ben Stiller was cast in episode seventeen as a favor to Judd Apatow to save the show from being cancelled. The show was cancelled three episodes before it could even air.
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Sarah Hagan and Natasha Melnick were only fifteen years old when filming began. Linda Cardenelli was twenty-four.
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Shia LaBeouf auditioned for the role of Neil Schweiber.
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Linda Cardellini (Lindsey) and Jason Segel (Nick) dated off-screen for five years. They also dated in the show. They had previously co-starred in Dead Man on Campus (1998). Segel stated in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2008 that Cardellini was a great girlfriend, and the title character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) was not based on her, it was more an amalgamation of a lot of different relationships and break-ups he had.
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Samm Levine (Neal) and Martin Starr (Bill) had a feud on set, and were later known to get into a few arguments throughout filming.
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The pilot was filmed in an actual school, and after the show was picked up, school sets were built that matched the original school almost exactly, and the rest of the series was filmed on these sets. The hallway set was actually just one "T" section of hallway, and it was constantly redressed to make it appear as if more of the school was being shown. The extras walking down the hall would pile up at the end of the hallway after every shot, as there was literally nowhere for them to go.
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Busy Philipps orginally auditioned for the part of Lindsay Weir. The producers did not think she was right for the part, but asked her to try out for the supporting role of Kim Kelly.
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Jesse Eisenberg was the second choice for the role of Sam Weir.
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Busy Phillips wasn't originally going to be a regular cast member.
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In the intro song, before they both get their pictures taken, you can see James Franco and Jason Segel rubbing their eyes to give them a stoner look.
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James Franco and Seth Rogen were on a strict vegan diet throughout filming, due to Seth wanting to lose weight.
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Sarah Hagan (Millie) drew a picture of James Franco (Daniel), due to him being "A flirty guy". She still has the picture today.
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Seth Rogen later revealed that he once asked network executive Garth Ancier why he had canceled the show. Ancier told him that due to the show's poor ratings, he had given showrunner Judd Apatow instructions on how to improve the show's success. One of these included giving the characters a victory at the end of an episode. Since this was exactly the opposite of what Apatow had set out to do, he refused to implement this change. The ratings remained bad for the remainder of the series, and the network subsequently canceled the show after one season.
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Kaley Cuoco auditioned for the role of Cindy Sanders.
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Judd Apatow said in an interview that he would've wanted Cindy Sanders and Sam Weir being mortal enemies in season two. Running against each other for student body President, and others.
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Lizzy Caplan auditioned for both the roles of Lindsay Weir and Kim Kelly before being later cast as Sara.
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Ranked #25 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Top Cult Shows Ever!" (30 May 2004 issue).
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The running gag of Neal's last name, Schweiber, being mispronounced, stemmed from an accidental mispronunciation during rehearsal.
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In one scene, Sam Weir is discussing Stripes (1981). Joe Flaherty, who plays Weir's father, had a small part in that film.
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Paul Feig wrote the pilot in a series of hotel rooms while traveling cross-country, in an attempt to sell his independent feature, Life Sold Separately (1997).
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Entertainment Weekly included this show in its "25 Greatest Cult TV Shows Ever" list at position #13 in the September 29, 2009.
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According to executive producer Judd Apatow, the look of the show was heavily inspired by the works of director Hal Ashby, particularly Harold and Maude (1971) and The Last Detail (1973).
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Jason Segel (Nick), Samm Levine (Neal), Martin Starr (Bill), and Busy Philipps (Kim) all appear in How I Met Your Mother (2005).
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Busy Phillips was on the fence about playing Kim Kelly until Linda Cardelini convinced her, they both were fellow classmates at Loyola Marymount University and friends before working together on the show.
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James Franco, John Francis Daley, and Martin Starr are all linked to the Spider-Man franchise. Franco plays Harry Osborn in the Raimi trilogy (2002-2007). Daley co-wrote the screenplay for Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), and Starr plays a role in that same film.
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The cast of this show were booed at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade in 1999, due to having a "lame" float.
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Jason Segel and Linda Cardellini have small roles in Dead Man on Campus (1998), as a couple.
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Much like their characters,John Francis Daley and Samm Levine have the same sense of humor. Samm says a lot of Neal's lines in the geeks scenes in a way he knew would make John laugh,even intentionally making him laugh when he wasn't supposed to. Two examples of this are in the episodes "Chokin' and Tokin'" and "Noshing and Moshing". In "Chokin' and Tokin'" when Bill realizes his sandwich has peanuts in it, and is about to have an allergic reaction, Neal asks if he wants him to get Ms. Foote so they can discuss it. Samm said the line in a snarky way that made John laugh with his mouth full so hard he almost choked. You can see the result In the next shot when it's revealed Alan out the peanuts in,John looks a bit out of breath. In "Noshing and Moshing",when Neal says Bill's dancing looks like he's having a seizure,a line that wasn't supposed to make Sam laugh there's a quick reaction shot after of John suppressing laughter ( he lets some out).
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The smoking patio where the freaks hung out was actually filmed at several different locations.
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Fourteen cast members from this series appeared on Undeclared (2001).
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John Francis Daley was thirteen when he auditioned for Sam Weir.
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While the show took place in Michigan, it was shot in California. Outside scenes proved to be difficult to shoot, because no palm trees were allowed to be seen in the shot. If you look closely, you may see at least one.
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Linda Cardellini (Lindsay) and Busy Philipps (Kim) were both born on June 25. However, Cardellini was born in 1975, while Philipps was born in 1979.
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Stephen Lea Sheppard only auditioned because his friend, who he was living with at the time, asked him to go.
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Stephen Lea Sheppard was dragged to the open call audition against his wishes, and asked to audition for the role of Daniel Desario when producers saw him reading a book with his hair in his face.
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Jeff (Dave "Gruber" Allen) and Kowchevski (Steve Bannos) went on to star as roommates in the Netflix original series Love (2016). Both shows were produced by Judd Apatow.
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When Nick (Jason Segal) tries out for the rock band, Paul Feig plays the guitarist who asks Nick how many pieces he has in his drum kit.
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Cast members Seth Rogen (Ken Miller), Thomas F. Wilson (Coach Fredricks), and Sam McMurray (Dr. Vic Sheiber) all have the same birthday (April 15).
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The series takes place from 1980 to 1981.
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Joe Flaherty (Harold Weir) and Thomas F. Wilson (Coach Ben Fredricks) starred in Back to the Future Part II (1989), but they didn't share any scenes.
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In the episode "Noshing and Moshing", a SOBE drink sign can be seen behind James Franco on the glass display case for beverages, when they are in the convenience store. SOBE didn't come out until 1996, which is sixteen years after the show is supposed to take place, in 1980.
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Jenna Fischer (known for The Office) auditioned for a small guest role, but did not get the part.
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Seth Rogen (Ken Miller) and Martin Starr (Bill Haverchuck) also worked together on Superbad (2007) as Officer Michaels & James Masselin respectively. Both shows are produced by Judd Apatow.
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The bottom "leaf" on Mr. Rosso's tree says "Peter Warrick FSU", who was a wide receiver for Florida State in the early '90s, and then for the Cincinnati Bengals during the early 2000s.
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Lauren Ambrose was considered for the role of Lindsay Weir.
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Backdrop in the credits changes for some of the cast. Wide shot shows a dull brown background but some closeups of the actors show a blue background with clouds.
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Many plots were inspired by real-life events the writers experienced, for ex. writer Jeff Judah wrote the search for the garage door based on his own experience in his family.
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"Smooching and Mooching" (episode 16, aired July 8, 2000): While at the Weirs' house during quiet hour, Nick breaks the silence by blasting "Tom Sawyer" from Lindsay's room, claiming listening to music is his homework. After a brief conversation about screwing around, Mr. Weir says "That drummer you're listening to, he's terrible...Neil Peart couldn't drum his way out of a paper bag...you wanna hear drumming? I'll play you drumming...I grew up with Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich". (Ironically, Harold Weir is played by Joe Flaherty, SCTV's "Count Floyd" who introduced the song "The Weapon" on the concert video screen during the Signals and Grace Under Pressure tours, as well as on the single release).
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Seth Rogen,James Franco,and Jason Segal all went on to be major stars
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In the beginning, Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) was meant to get together with Daniel (James Franco), not Nick (Jason Segel). However, this was changed, when it was decided that Daniel would be together with Kim (Busy Philipps).
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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