Mayim Bialik is struggling to get Blossom reboot greenlit 'after literally years of trying'
Mayim Bialik and Blossom creator Don Reo have been trying to bring back the popular '90s series but have been met with resistance.
"I guess I'm allowed to talk about this now, Don Reo and I do have a limited reboot that we would like to do. We've had a lot of trouble getting our network onboard," Bialik tells EW exclusively while promoting the series' Monday debut on Hulu.
As to what the duo envision Blossom is up to today, Bialik says she'd probably be "a civil rights attorney or someone working with children who were removed from their homes. She'd be doing something humanitarian."
Reo had Bialik on his mind when he created the role of Blossom Russo, a fashionable, girl-next-door living with her father and two brothers, after seeing the budding young actress portray a young Bette Midler in the 1988 hit Beaches. The series ran for five seasons from 1991-1995 on NBC and costarred Joey Lawrence, Michael Stoyanov, Tedd Wass, and Jenna von Oy.
"It's been really fascinating. At a certain point, I may just start a grassroots fan campaign to see if we can do it because we absolutely would love people to see where these characters are," she adds. "[Reo] and I talked about it and we kind of decided after literally years of trying to work on this that I would probably just say it out loud. We do have a well-formed idea and we would love someone to let us do it."
While the series revolved around teens, Blossom never fell into the over-sexualization that began to take over televisions with shows like Married with Children, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Melrose Place. She credits this to the sitcom being released "before this became a prominent issue" and why "our show got to be what it was."
Bialik says she was never asked to make the character sexier, explaining, "we were very consciously selective about the way we presented this character because it was important to all of us that Blossom still looked like a teenager." It was thanks to that, she adds, that allowed the young actors "to have a really lovely, kind of normal, teenage experience as actors in Hollywood."
Although the sitcom stayed true to its wholesome storylines, this did not halt producers from tackling important topics like addiction, sexual assault, and teen pregnancy thanks to the show's writers.
"At the time, we were constantly needing to ask for permission," she says. "For example, we wanted to talk about safe sex which is a very important thing to be talking about. This was the era that Rock Hudson died. The fact that we wanted to talk about condoms and safe sex was considered very scandalous."
Bialik believes the show was ahead of its time with a familial structure that didn't include a mother figure. Blossom's mother Maddy (Melissa Manchester) abandoned the family in pursuit of a career and a new life in Paris. She says, "Now we hear these stories all the time but back then it was a huge deal."
Throughout the show's run, a lot of top talent and blossoming young stars made guest appearances including Estelle Getty, Phylicia Rashad, James Marsden, B.B. King, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Jane Leeves, Will Smith, Tobey Maguire, and David Schwimmer. One of the most notable guest stars was a young actor named Johnny Galecki, who was later her costar on The Big Bang Theory.
"We had the same agent when we were teenagers. I believe I was his second on-screen kiss, his first was Sarah Gilbert [on Roseanne]," the actress and neuroscientist shares with a laugh.
Blossom's Hulu debut serves as the kick-off for its special "90s Week" celebration leading to the debut of Soleil Moon Frye's documentary Kid 90 on March 12. The documentary shows what it was like to be a young Hollywood star at the time, which included socializing with fellow actors. So who was part of Bialik's squad?
"I wouldn't call it my squad because I was never very skilled socially but Neil Patrick Harris and I would hang out. He came to my Sweet 16's and Johnny Galecki got into a motorcycle accident on his way there. We used to joke that I'm never allowed to invite him to anything ever again," she says with a laugh. "I also hung out with Stephen Dorff, who was also on Blossom. Soleil and I crossed paths, I remember we hung out a couple of times, and Danika McKellar, too. We would all go to these teen weekend things. Jaleel White and I went to several NBA All-Star games and hung out. I knew Mario Lopez, who was also with my agent. That was it though, I wasn't terribly social."
Everything old may be new again, but Blossom fans should not expect to see Bialik rocking a floppy flower hat anytime soon. She jokes, "Of anyone, I should not be seen in those hats. I did it once and I'm done. Other people can wear them but I will never wear one again."
After nearly three decades since the finale of Blossom aired, Bialik isn't sure she will watch it again as she "has no plans to relive that part of her life." She adds, "I didn't even really watch it back then but we have a lot of fun episodes that I hope everyone enjoys."
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