Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks Information

Freaks and Geeks is an American teen comedy-drama television series, created by Paul Feig and with Feig and Judd Apatow as executive producers, that aired on NBC during the 1999"2000 television season. Eighteen episodes were completed, but the series was canceled after only twelve had aired.

A fan-led campaign persuaded NBC to broadcast three more episodes in July 2000; the three remaining unaired episodes were not seen until September of that year, when the cable network Fox Family Channel aired them in syndication. The complete series was later released on DVD.

Freaks and Geeks has a devoted cult following. The series appeared on Time magazine's 2007 "100 Greatest Shows of All Time" list, as well as placing 3rd on their list of the greatest television shows of the 2000s (decade). In 2007, Freaks and Geeks ranked #21 on TV Guides Top Cult Shows Ever. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked it the 13th-best series of the past 25 years. The same year, AOL TV named it the Best School Show of All Time. In 2013 TV Guide included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time.


The show centers on a teenage girl, Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini), and her younger brother, Sam (John Francis Daley), who both attend William McKinley High School during the 1980"1981 school year in the town of Chippewa, Michigan, a fictional suburb of Detroit named after Chippewa Valley High School, which series creator Paul Feig attended.

Lindsay's friends constitute the "freaks" "? Daniel Desario (James Franco), Ken Miller (Seth Rogen), Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel), Kim Kelly (Busy Philipps) "? and Sam's friends constitute the "geeks" "? Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) "? of the title. The Weirs' parents, Harold (Joe Flaherty) and Jean (Becky Ann Baker), are featured in every episode. Millie Kentner (Sarah Hagan), Lindsay's nerdy, highly religious former best friend, is a recurring character, as is Cindy Sanders (Natasha Melnick), the attractive, popular cheerleader on whom Sam has a crush.

The show's starting point is Lindsay's transition from her life as an academically proficient student, star "mathlete", and proper young girl to an Army-jacket-wearing teenager who hangs out with troubled slackers. Her relationships with her new friends, and the friction they cause with her parents and with her own self-image, form one central strand of the show; the other follows Sam and his group of geeky friends as they navigate a different part of the social universe and try to fit in.

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Freaks and Geeks characters

Weir family



Other students

  • Sarah Hagan as Millie Kentner
  • Jerry Messing as Gordon Crisp
  • Stephen Lea Sheppard as Harris Trinsky
  • Natasha Melnick as Cindy Sanders


  • Dave "Gruber" Allen as Mr. Rosso
  • Steve Bannos as Mr. Kowchevski
  • Trace Beaulieu as Mr. Lacovara
  • Steve Higgins as Mr. Fleck
  • Tom Wilson as Coach Fredricks

Recurring roles included Tom Wilson (as Coach Fredericks), Chauncey Leopardi (as bully Alan White), Shaun Weiss (as student Sean and the bass player in Nick's band), Joel Hodgson (as a salesman who loves disco), Trace Beaulieu (as Mr. Lacovara, the school's biology teacher), Joanna García (as head cheerleader Vicki Appleby), Kayla Ewell (as Maureen Sampson, a transfer student), Lizzy Caplan (as student Sara), Claudia Christian (as Bill's mother), Samaire Armstrong (as "Deadhead" Laurie), Ben Foster (as the mentally handicapped student Eli), and Kevin Tighe (as Nick's father).

Guest stars and cameo appearances

One-episode guest stars included David Koechner (as a waiter), Kevin Corrigan (as Millie's delinquent cousin), Jason Schwartzman (as a student dealing in fake IDs), David Krumholtz (as Neal's brother Barry), Allen Covert (as a liquor store clerk), Rashida Jones (as Kim Kelly's friend Karen Scarfolli), Alex Breckenridge (as mathlete Shelly Weaver), Matt Czuchry (as a student from rival Lincoln High), Shia LaBeouf (as Herbert, the school mascot), Alexander Gould (as Ronnie, the boy Lindsay babysits while high), Jack Conley (as Kim Kelly's stepfather) and Ben Stiller (as a Secret Service agent). Leslie Mann, Judd Apatow's wife, guest-starred on one episode as a teacher.

The show's producers were resistant to stunt casting. For example, they resisted the network's suggestion that they have Britney Spears appear as a waitress in one episode. They thought such appearances would detract from the show's realism.

Several of the screenwriters appeared on the show. Mike White played Kim Kelly's oft-discussed injured brother, first appearing in the fourth episode, "Kim Kelly is My Friend". Paul Feig and Gabe Sachs appear uncredited as members of the fictional band Dimension in "I'm With the Band". Michael Andrews, the original score composer for the series, played the role of Dimension's lead singer.

Opening sequence

The series' opening sequence depicts each of the main characters, with the exception of Kim Kelly (Busy Philipps) and Harold and Jean Weir (Joe Flaherty and Becky Ann Baker), having their high school yearbook photo taken as the song "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts plays.


Main article: List of Freaks and Geeks episodes
The show ran for eighteen episodes, three of which were unaired by NBC and not seen until Fox Family began running the show in 2000, and the final three episodes were premiered at the Museum of Television and Radio prior to being broadcast on television.


The show averaged 6.77 million viewers and was #93 in the rankings during its only season.

Media releases


On April 6, 2004, a six-DVD Freaks and Geeks box set was released through Shout! Factory. A limited "yearbook edition" set including two additional discs was also available through the official website for the show. Fans who had signed an online petition to get the show on DVD got priority in purchasing the special set.

On November 25, 2008, the deluxe "Yearbook Edition" boxed set was re-released. The set features all of the episodes, commentaries, and special features of the "Complete Series" six-DVD set, plus two extra discs and deluxe packaging. It is packaged as an 80-page color yearbook with essays, pictures, and episode synopses.

Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series
Set details Special features
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • 18 episodes
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: None
  • 29 audio commentaries by the actors, writers, directors, network executives, parents of cast members, teachers in character and dedicated fans of the show
  • Over 60 deleted scenes and outtakes with commentary
  • 28-page booklet with an essay by series creator Paul Feig, and a Q&A with producer/writer Judd Apatow.
  • Cast auditions
Release date
North America April 6, 2004


In October 2004, two Freaks and Geeks books were released, titled Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Scripts, Volume 1 and Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Scripts, Volume 2. Both published by Newmarket Press, each book covers nine scripts from the series as compiled by Paul Feig and Judd Apatow themselves. Extra content includes behind-the-scenes memos and notes, photos, additional plotlines and excerpts from the Freaks and Geeks series bibles.


Main article: Freaks and Geeks (soundtrack)
One of the distinguishing characteristics that separated Freaks and Geeks from similar television series at the time was its soundtrack. The creators made it a priority to feature genuine, period-specific music that would help to create the tone of the show. Clearing such names as The Who, Van Halen, Rush, Styx, the Grateful Dead, The Moody Blues, and Billy Joel would prove to require much of the show's budget. Eventually, this would become an obstacle in releasing the show on DVD due to the difficulty and expense of clearing all of the music rights for the series. Many television shows (such as Dawson's Creek and WKRP in Cincinnati) had music cues changed or removed in order to facilitate relatively inexpensive DVD releases, as was done for Freaks and Geeks when it was seen in reruns on Fox Family. However, the creators chose to wait to release the DVD until they could find a company willing to pay for the original music. Shout! Factory, a music and video company specializing in comprehensive reissues and compilations, eventually brought Freaks and Geeks to DVD with all of its music intact.

Awards and nominations

The series received three Emmy Award nominations: creator Paul Feig was nominated twice for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, for "Pilot" and "Discos and Dragons". It won for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series (Allison Jones, Coreen Mayrs and Jill Greenberg). It was nominated for two Television Critics Association Awards, for New Program of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Drama. For acting, the series won for Best Family TV Series " Comedy and was nominated for Best Performance in a TV Series " Young Ensemble at the Young Artist Awards. For the YoungStar Awards, John Francis Daley and Sarah Hagan were nominated for Best Young Actor/Performance in a Comedy TV Series and the ensemble was nominated for Best Young Ensemble Cast " Television. The series also received several other nominations in other categories.

Undeclared and beyond

In 2001, several of the actors featured in Freaks and Geeks appeared in a new Judd Apatow college half-hour comedy called Undeclared, which aired on Fox Network. Apatow fought with the network to include Freaks and Geeks actors, but only picked up Seth Rogen (who was already committed to the show as a writer) as a regular cast member. However, Jason Segel became a recurring character, Samm Levine, Busy Philipps and Natasha Melnick guest-starred in multi-episode arcs, as did prominent Freaks and Geeks guest stars Steve Bannos (who played McKinley High math teacher Mr. Frank Kowchevski) and David Krumholtz (who played Neil's older brother, Barry Schweiber). Martin Starr was prominent in another episode, and a scene with Sarah Hagan was shot, although it was cut for television broadcast. The show was also canceled during its first season.

In June 2010, it was announced that IFC had acquired the rights to air both Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared. Freaks and Geekss 18-episode run on IFC finished with all episodes having aired as of October 29, 2010. Undeclareds IFC run began on November 5, 2010. Both shows have also joined TeenNick's line-up as of June 13, 2011.

A reunion of several cast members and producers of both shows took place at the Paley Center for Media's PaleyFest on March 12, 2011.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Freaks_and_Geeks" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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