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Freaks and Geeks
Dawson Casting: Averted by John Francis Daley (14) and, surprisingly, Seth Rogen (17). Downplayed with Jason Segel (19), Busy Philipps (19), Martin Starr (16), and Samm Levine (16). Played straight by James Franco (21) and Linda Cardellini (26).
Hey, It's That Guy!: Dr. Forrester taught high school biology, and Joel Robinson ran a clothing store.
Retroactive Recognition: Perhaps as a testament to the show's potential, nearly every actor who was involved with it went on to lead a fairly successful career.
Seth Rogen and James Franco went on to star in many films. Rogen starred in , Knocked Up , and Green Hornet , and was brought back by Apatow for his other (failed) TV venture, Step Brothers , becoming part of Apatow's Undeclared Production Posse. Franco, meanwhile, got recognition in the Sam Raimi SpiderMan trilogy, , Oz: The Great and Powerful , and was nominated for an Oscar in 127Hours. The two were reunited in Rise of the Planet of the Apes .
Pineapple Express Jason Segel also has done some Frat Pack comedies, most notably and Forgetting Sarah Marshall with I Love You Man Paul Rudd. He also stands out as a member of the core cast of . Apatow also cast him in his next show, How I Met Your Mother .
Undeclared Linda Cardellini is ironically one of the lesser known actresses from the show, playing Velma in the live-action movies and having recurring roles on Scooby-Doo and, more recently, ER .
Mad Men Of the geeks, John Francis Daley has done a number of movies and TV shows, most notably . Samm Levine and Martin Starr both made cameo appearances in Apatow's next show, Bones , with Starr also appearing in Undeclared and getting various minor roles in movies like Party Down and Adventureland , and Levine using Knocked Up Freaks and Geeks to convince Quentin Tarantino (a fan of the show) to cast him in .
Inglourious Basterds Screwed by the Network: The usual sad story. Aired out of order, shuffled around the schedule, barely advertised, and so on.
What Could Have Been:
Sam Weir was originally meant to be tall for his age (as Feig had been).
Had there been a second season, Paul Feig wanted to have Sam breaking with Bill and Neal to find a new group of friends, Lindsay struggling with drug addiction, Kim Kelly getting pregnant, Bill's mom marrying Coach Fredricks and Neal's parents divorcing. And Sam would have gotten tall; John Francis Daley grew almost a foot in the year after cancellation.
Feig also wanted Lindsay and Daniel to eventually end up together.
On the topic of how Sam was supposed to be tall, Daniel was supposed to be Hispanic, and Ken was supposed to have long blonde hair. Neal was supposed to be named Art Thompson, Lindsey was supposed to be 15, etc.