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The History of "My So-Called Life" 


Winnie Holzman joins the writers of the tv show "thirtysomething".

    February 1990
"Fathers and Lovers", Winnie Holzman's first script for "30s" airs.

    May 1991
"Thirtysomething" goes off the air

    Early 1992
Winnie Holzman writes fictional dairy entries for a teenage girl. (perhaps based on ideas from her 30s-epsidode "Melissa And Men") Her main workplace are coffee shops in San Fernando Valley. She gets a job helping a teacher in a local high school.

    December, 1992
The casting begins. One of the first auditions are: A.J.Langer for the role of Angela (she gets later the role of Rayanne, Angela's new best friend). A.J. didn't get the role at first, Devon Gummersall tells her a few days later to try it once again.

    December 15, 1992
Winnie Holzman finishes the final draft of the script for the first episode of "Someone Like Me", which was the first title for the series.

    March 01, 1993
The shooting for the pilot episode begins in Los Angeles.
The show is scheduled to air in September 1993.

    Summer of 1993
ABC decides to not pick up the show in the fall '93 season. The crew calls the only shot episode: "The Greatest Pilot Never Sold" ;-)

    January 1994
ABC presents the new show on the annual winter press tour.
ABC Entertainment president Ted Harbert orders eight more episodes. The show is scheduled as a midseason replacement - perhaps airing March '94
Claire Danes and her family move temporialy to L.A. for the time of the shooting. One episode needs eight days to shoot.
Location: a soundstage on Tennesee Avenue in West Los Angeles

    Spring 1994
There's no slot for "My So-Called Life" in the spring lineup. ABC orders six more episodes, bringing the total to 15 episodes.
Claire Danes is so exhausted by the shooting that the production has to stop for four days at the end of spring '94.

    End of June 1994
The episodes 1-8,10 have finished shooting. The production stops for several months.
Note: Episode 10 ("Others Peoples Daughters") was shot before Episode 9 ("Halloween") !

    August 25, 1994
The first episode of "My So-Called Life" airs on ABC !

    September, 1994
Claire Danes attends a high school in Los Angeles in addition to on-set-teaching.

    November 19, 1994
Episode No.16 has finished shooting.

    November 30, 1994
"Operation Life Support" (OLS) is founded by Steve Joyner.

    December 1994
The last episode has been shot. No one knows whether the show will be picked up for a second season.

    January 26, 1995 - 9pm CT
The last episode on ABC is over.

    January 26, 1995
Operation Life Support places two "open letter" ads in "Daily Variety" and "The Hollywood Reporter."

    March 1995
The Museum of Television & Radio in Los Angeles features MSCL: Creators, actors and fans come together for a celebration of MSCL.

    April 1995
MTV buys the rights to air the 19 episodes of "My So-Called Life". They air it more than 3 years.

    May 15, 1995
10:00 AM PT: ABC officially cancels "My So-Called Life".

   May 15, 1995
12:09 PM PT: OLS publishes email "Danes Brings Death to 'Life'" 

    May 15, 1995
OLS runs full page ad in "USA Today."

    May 25, 1995
First scheduled Shipping/Publication date for "Fighting For Life" - The OLS Book. The release gets postponed.

    August 25, 1998 - 0am GMT
WWW.MSCL.COM is official online ! :-)

    October 1998
The first six episodes of "My So-Called Life" are available on video, published by Bugjuice Inc.

    March 16, 1999
6 more episodes are released on video.

    April 1999
Christine Clark publishes her follow-up book "My So Called Life Goes On". It's not an official continuation, but Winnie Holzman seems to know about it.

    October 1999
BMG Video won't release the remaining 7 episodes on video: MSCL is canceled again.

    Christmas 1999
BMG Special Products / announce the release of the first three episodes of MSCL on DVD.

    January 2000
Fox Family announces to re-air all episodes of MSCL. This would be the first airing of MSCL in three years in the US.

    May 30, 2000
The first three episodes of MSCL are available on DVD. They sell very badly.

    October 2000
Jason Rosenfeld from BMG Special Products contacts and informs us about the slight possibility of a boxed set release of all MSCL episodes on DVD.

    January 2001 launches an online petition for all episodes of "My So-Called Life" on DVD. More than 4,700 fans subscribe in the following months.

    May 12, 2001 goes public with the information about a pending DVD box set release by BMG Special Products.

    August 25, 2001 starts the so-called "pre-pre-order" list to show BMG the demand for the boxed set. Again, more than 4,500 fans leave their e-mail address.

    Early 2002
BMG SP is no longer interested in producing and selling the sets themselves. Another company decides to take the chance and orders 4,000 sets from BMG SP.

    February 10, 2002
The pre-ordering phase of the MSCL DVD box begins at The release of the so-called "exclusive" set is set for June 2002. AU receives more than 3600 orders in the following months.

    Late November 2002
After a long wait and many ugly problems with AU, the first sets are finally shipped by AU and surprisingly much cheaper from other stores like Large quantities are also available at Best Buy stores.
AU customers are still waiting for the so-called bonus disc and lunchbox.
BMG Special Products is rumored to have produced alltogether more than 25,000 sets for various retailers, including AU.

New editions of DVD sets are available in the UK, Germany and  the US.

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“Do we have to keep talking about religion? It's Christmas.”

Danielle Chase, Episode 15: "So-Called Angels"