“Girl Meets World,” Disney’s planned spinoff to the popular ABC series “Boy Meets World” has cast its young star. In a Jan. 28 exclusive, Entertainment Weekly reported 11-year-old Rowan Blanchard will play Riley Matthews.
In a pattern that evokes “Boy Meets World,” “Girl Meets World” focuses on Riley, the 13-year-old daughter of the original show’s couple Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel). Both Savage and Fishel will reprise their roles.
Although Blanchard has not previously worked with Disney, the young actress brings to the life of Riley previous experience working in movies. Her acting resume includes “Spy Kids: All the Time in World in 4D” and “The Back-up Plan.”
Blanchard was cast after a nationwide search that involved “Boy” creator and producer Michael Jacobs, who will produce the “Girl” pilot, as well as Savage and Fishel.
“As soon as Rowan walked into the room, I was reminded of why Ben Savage was loved as Cory Matthews,” Jacobs told EW. “Rowan is real and accessible and I am hopeful this girl is about to meet a world that will love growing up with her as well.”
Savage welcomed Blanchard to the TV family via Twitter, posting
I have a beautiful, new daughter. Welcome to the family @rowblanchard! #GirlMeetsWorld
Fishel also sent her announcement via Twitter:
Want to meet my and @BenSavage’s daughter for Girl Meets World? Here she is: @rowblanchard!! Congratulations beautiful girl! Can’t wait!
In her initial response to the casting, Blanchard tweeted
IT’S OFFICIAL! I WILL BE PLAYING RILEY MATTHEWS IN GIRL MEETS WORLD!! AHHH SOO EXCITED! #BLESSED
Since the announcement Blanchard has continued to be active on Twitter, thanking her followers and fans of “Boy Meets World” who have sent congratulations and expressed excitement about the spinoff.
The pilot for “Girl Meets World” is slated to begin production in February. The new series is expected to be picked up easily and to become part of the Disney Channel line-up for the 2013-2014 season.
There has been no official word whether other “Boy Meets World” stars will join the new show or in what capacity.
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