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20 Things: Facts About Your Favorite Shows

Below are some facts about some of your favorite TV shows (unforgettable classics and today’s most popular) that you probably never knew. Enjoy!


1. Homeland (2011- )

claire-danes-plays-carrie-mathison-in-homeland (1)

Claire Danes met with CIA officers and studied bi-polar disorder to prepare for the role as Carrie Mathison, the Showtime series’ protagonist.


2. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005- )

T'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA The Gang Squashes Their Beefs - Episode 10 - (Airs Wednesday, November 6, 10:00 pm e/p) -- Pictured: (L-R) Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds, Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds, Rob McElhenney as Mac, Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds, Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly -- CR: Patrick McElhenney/FX

For the first two seasons, It’s Always Sunny was the lowest budgeted show on television. FX Network only gave the show’s creators $400,000, a third of the normal cost, to make the first season. Now in its 11th season, It’s Always Sunny is one of FX’s highest rated series.


3. Orange is the New Black (2013- )

intro1If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to figure out which eyes and mouths belong to which cast members in the opening credits of this Netflix original series, there’s a reason you haven’t been able to pinpoint them. They mouths and eyes in the title credits actually belong to women who were former inmates, not the actresses themselves.


4. Game of Thrones (2011- )


Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, adopted the dog that played her dire wolf in the HBO series. The dog is named Zunni.


5. Once Upon a Time (2011- )


Many of the names of characters on ABC‘s Once Upon a Time have hidden meanings. Most of the time, these meanings lead back to their fairy tale counterpart. For example, Mary Margaret Blanchard who is ‘Snow White’ has the French term ‘blanc’ or ‘blanche’ within her name which translates to ‘white.’ Also, Mary Margaret comes from the full name Maria Sophia Margaretha Catharina Freifraulein Von Erthal, who is believed to be the real woman behind the original character of Snow White.


6. American Horror Story (2011- )

It takes almost three hours for actress Naomi Grossman to get into her makeup for her role as “Pepper”, a woman with Microcephaly, in the FX series. Grossman also had to shave her head for the role.


7. South Park (1997- )


McDaniel College in Maryland began offering a course examining episodes of Comedy Central’s South Park which breaks down the ‘real life’ issues each episode deals with with. The class, titled ‘South Park and Contemporary Social Issues,’ offers students a chance to tackle issues like gay marriage, religion and race from a different angle.


8. Better Call Saul (2015- )


While in the writers’ room for AMC’s Breaking Bad (2008-2013), the show’s creators (who also created Better Call Saul) would often come up with lines for Saul Goodman that they wouldn’t be able to put into Breaking Bad, and jokingly banter about including them in another show entirely about Saul. After a few years as the butt of the writers’ jokes, the idea of a show centered around Saul became so concrete that Vince Gilligan  decided to move forward with a spin-off.


9. Supernatural (2005- )


The network saw so much potential in the series that it was picked up for a full season only four episodes into the show. Generally speaking, this is not always an ideal decision as many shows start out strongly and quickly lose a good portion of viewers. Thankfully The CW Network had great intuition on this one.


10. Empire (2015- )20-adult-celebrities-that-beat-the-child-star-curse-4

Olivia is Olivia. For those viewers too young to remember ’80s TV: Olivia was the name of the youngest family member on The Cosby ShowHere’s the thing…both characters were played by Raven Symone.


11. The Big Bang Theory (2007- )


There is a bee from Brazil named in honor of Sheldon Cooper’s (Jim Parsons) catchphrase on CBS‘s The Big Bang Theory. The species Euglossa Bazinga was named in 2013.


12. Family Guy (1999- )


The pilot episode of Fox‘s Family Guy was and still remains the show’s most-viewed episode. The pilot episode titled “Death Has a Shadow” aired on December 31, 1999 after the Superbowl–an absolute primetime slot. While the episode was clearly a great way to begin the series, the show was cancelled thanks to an unfortunate airing schedule. The show began airing with new episodes again but now, almost 17 years and 14 seasons later, Family Guy‘s ratings seem to be steadily dropping. Only one season ago, second episode of the season, titled “The Book of Joe“, received the lowest amount of viewers in the show’s history.


13. Saturday Night Live (1975- )


Comedy is one of “the hardest things to dress for.” while the outfits on NBC‘s Saturday Night Live can really get us laughing, the show’s costume designer Tom Broecker is constantly on a serious mission to get them together. Broecker explains that he has about two days to round up the costumes for the cast and hosts– which involves going to stores that range from vintage shops to the women’s clothing store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in New York City.


14. Modern Family  (2009- )


Even ultra-popular (and hilarious) TV shows like Modern Family make mistakes sometimes. Remember how Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) adopted their bundle of joy, Lily. Well, it turns out that Vietnam has not yet legalized single parents or same sex couples to adopt children from their country. Whoops! It’s okay Modern Family, it happens to the best of us.


15. The Simpsons (1989- )

The original characters from the shorts vs. today's characters

The original characters from the shorts vs. today’s characters

Fox’s The Simpsons is the longest-running animated series in the history of television. The show however, was not initially intended to air as its own series. The Simpsons was actually first broadcast as a cartoon short on The Tracey Ullman Show (1987-1990), but since then the show has become one of–if not the most iconic animated comedy series ever.


16. Sesame Street (1969- )


Ok, so chances are you don’t watch PBS’s Sesame Street nearly as often as you used to…but you can never learn too many new things about the famous children’s show, right? Well, although Big Bird is a curious 6-year old (who knew?) and Oscar is a Grouch, the two are identical on the inside. At age 75, Carroll Spinney has worn the costumes of both characters since 1969. Now that’s someone who truly loves their job.


17. True Detective (2014- )


True Detective quickly became one of HBO’s most popular show since its premiere in 2014. In fact, HBO once crashed during the season finale because there were too many viewers trying to watch the episode. No wonder outsiders like Showtime and FX–the home of American Horror Story, which inspired the anthology format for True Detective–were also in Line. FX chief John Landgraf says his network and Showtime were “bidding very aggressively” for True Detective at this time. What it comes down to is, in the end, HBO must have pitched the show perfectly.


18. The X-Files (1993- )



According to Kim Manners, the producer of Fox’s The X-Files (which still remains “one of the most iconic and boundary-pushing TV shows to ever grace our screens”), the “Cigarette-Smoking Man” (William B. Davis) was only supposed to be an extra leaning against a shelf. However, the character eventually became the show’s main antagonist. Davis, who, prior to landing the role had not smoked cigarettes for 20 years, was forced to pick up the habit again.


19. Full House (1987-1995)


Comet, the family’s lovable Golden Retriever on Full House also played “Buddy”, the dog in the first Air Bud film in 1998 (which led to numerous Air Bud sequels). He also starred in the the 1995 film FlukeThis memorable dog named “Buddy” was even nominated for “Favorite Animal Star” in the 1998 Kids’ Choice Awards.


20. Boy Meets World (1993-2000)


The first scene of the ABC series opens with a conversation between the show’s main character Cory (Ben Savage) and Mr. Feeny (William Daniels). Feeny, Everyone’s favorite fictional teacher also closes the series in its 2000 finale, saying goodbye to Cory and the gang with the classic and unforgettable line, “class dismissed” The final scene shows Feeny looking at the empty desks the former students once sat in.










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