Kicking off at the dawn of the 1990s, family-based sitcom Blossom became one of the best-loved shows of the era, particularly among younger viewers. Mayim Bialik (then best known as playing the younger version of Bette Midler’s character in Beaches) took the title role as Blossom Russo, a precocious young teen growing up with two older brothers and her musician father after their mother walks out on them.
Blossom ran for 114 episodes from 1991 to 1995 – but did you know the following facts about the show?
10. Blossom wasn’t actually the youngest
In the show, Mayim Bialik’s Blossom is the youngest member of the Russo family – but in reality, Bialik was not the youngest actor on set.
Joey Lawrence, who plays the middle Russo child Joey (renowned both for his studly good looks and his catchphrase, “woah!”), is actually younger than Bialik by four months.
9. Melissa Joan Hart and Jada Pinkett Smith were considered to play Six
Melissa Joan Hart (then best known for the title role in Clarissa Explains It All) auditioned for the role of Six. Of course, she was unsuccessful in landing the role, which instead went to Jenna von Oÿ. Hart’s career didn’t exactly suffer, though, as soon enough she landed the lead role in another hugely successful 90s sitcom, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Years later, she teamed up with Blossom’s Joey Lawrence on another sitcom, Melissa and Joey.
Another actress who came close to playing Six was Jada Pinkett (later Jada Pinkett Smith), but she withdrew as she didn’t want to play a 12-year-old character when she was 18 in real life.
8. Six’s name originally had a raunchy explanation
You might not remember that Jenna von Oÿ’s Six actually has another, more traditional name: Dorothy LeMeure. In Blossom’s pilot episode, it is explained she earned her nickname because of the number of beers her mother consumed on the night of her conception!
As the series became more popular, this was quietly ret-conned; later episodes claimed she was instead the sixth child of her family.
7. In the pilot episode, the parents were not divorced
The original pilot episode produced for Blossom in 1990 suggested a very different show to the one we ended up with, mainly as the Russo parents were still together. Instead of dealing with the aftermath of their split, the show would have seen Blossom struggling with the fact that her parents’ relationship was deteriorating.
Nor was this the only major difference, as in the pilot episode Blossom’s father wasn’t a musician named Nick, but an accountant named Tony.
6. Mayim Bialik specifically requested Michael Stoyanov’s casting
Michael Stoyanov co-starred in Blossom as the eldest Russo child, recovering drug addict Tony. His casting reportedly came as a direct result of Mayim Bialik.
The actress recognised how closely she and Stoyanov resembled one another, noting that he looked more like her than her own brother did!
5. It was set in the same universe as many other TV hits
As Blossom became increasingly popular, network NBC encouraged crossovers with other popular TV shows of the time. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was on immediately before Blossom, so actors Will Smith and Karyn Parsons appeared on a couple of episodes of Blossom in character. Other episodes featured Estelle Getty playing her character from The Golden Girls, and there was even a cameo appearance from ALF!
There were also references to other shows of the era including Seinfeld and Vice Versa, with the suggestion that Blossom took place in the same televisual universe.
4. Ted Wass agreed to star on the condition he could also direct
When the role of Blossom’s father Nick Russo came his way, Ted Wass was planning to move away from acting in favour of directing. He ultimately signed on to play the role on the promise that he would also be allowed to direct.
Wass would ultimately direct 18 episodes of Blossom, and after the sitcom ended he retired from acting to forge a TV directing career. He has worked prolifically as a director since, mainly in sitcoms – including one episode of The Big Bang Theory (although Mayim Bialik had not yet joined that show’s cast at the time).
3. After Blossom, Mayim Bialik stepped away from acting to study neuroscience
When Blossom ended in 1995, Mayim Bialik was 20 years old, and like a lot of child actors she was keen to leave the spotlight and live a normal life. Bialik then stepped away from acting (a number of cartoon voice acting roles notwithstanding) and went on to study neuroscience to PhD level at University of California, Los Angeles.
After several years out of the business, Bialik returned to acting in the late 2000s, eventually enjoying a major comeback as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, from 2010 to 2019.
2. Mayim Bialik reunited with all her Blossom co-stars on Call Me Cat
Since 2021, Mayim Bialik has played the title role on sitcom Call Me Cat, a US remake of British comedy series Miranda. This has been a treat for Blossom fans, as the series (on which Bialik is also executive producer) has featured appearances from all key members of the Blossom ensemble.
The episode Call Me Kerfuffled featured appearances from Joey Lawrence, Michael Stoyanov and Jenna von Oÿ, all playing fictionalised versions of themselves. In two other episodes, Ted Wass even made an appearance – his very first acting role since Blossom ended – as the father of Bialik’s Cat.
1. A Blossom revival might still happen
Recent years have seen plenty of old sitcoms revived, including Full House, Roseanne and Mad About You – and Joey Lawrence said in 2017 that Blossom could follow suit. The actor remarked, “There has been serious talk about it, believe it or not. Miyam and I have both said we’d be into it. We’ve talked to Don Reo about it, who created it, if there’s a way then I think we’re all down for it.”
As recently as November 2022, Lawrence reiterated that plans for Blossom comeback were still in motion, but that they had struggled to find a network or streaming service willing to work with them.