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Young Americans
YoungAmericansTV.png
Young Americans title
Genre Drama
Created by Steven Antin
Starring Rodney Scott
Mark Famiglietti
Katherine Moennig
Ian Somerhalder
Kate Bosworth
Ed Quinn
Narrated by Rodney Scott as Will Krudski
Opening theme The Getaway People - "Six Pacs" (modified)
Country of origin USA
Language(s) English
No. of episodes 8
Production
Executive producer(s) Scott Sanders, Joe Voci
Running time approx. 43 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel The WB
Original run 12 July 2000 – 30 August 2000
Chronology
Related shows Dawson's Creek
External links
Official website

Young Americans is an American television drama on The WB network created by Steven Antin. The show debuted in 2000 as a summer replacement for, and spin-off from, another Columbia TriStar Television production, Dawson's Creek, in three episodes at the end of that series' third season.

The show explores themes of forbidden love, morality and social classes.

Contents

Plot summary

The show is set in the town of New Rawley at a prestigious boarding school, Rawley Academy. The plot focuses mainly on Will's moral dilemmas and the forbidden love of Scout and Bella. In a change from most television shows, the supporting characters, Jake and Hamilton, are explored in a secondary storyline that until the final two episodes barely involves the other characters on the show.

Cast

  • Rodney Scott as Will Krudski, a poor but brilliant young man who cheated on the entrance exam to ensure his admission and with a complicated relationship to his father. The character was first introduced in the episodes "Stolen Kisses", "The Longest Day" and "Show Me Love" of Dawson's Creek where he briefly dates Andie McPhee. When Will was leaving Capeside, Will's friend Pacey Witter offers the advice "Avoid public nudity, stay off drugs, don't murder anyone and don't sleep with any of your teachers," adding "it never works out as well as you think."
  • Mark Famiglietti as Scout Calhoun, Will's roommate at Rawley Academy. Scout meets, and dates, Will's old friend Bella until her father explains his disapproval.
  • Katherine Moennig as Jake Pratt, a teenage girl who disguises herself as a boy to get the attention of her absent mother.
  • Ian Somerhalder as Hamilton Fleming, a student at the school and the son of the dean. Hamilton finds himself confused by his attraction to Jake.
  • Kate Bosworth as Bella Banks, Will's childhood friend – a pretty townie torn between Scout and fellow New Rawleyian, Sean.
  • Ed Quinn as Finn, coach of the rowing team and also a teacher.
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Notable guest appearances

  • Matt Czuchry as Sean McGrail, Will's long-time best friend and baseball team mate as well as a childhood friend of Bella's.
  • Deborah Hazlett as Susan Krudski, Will's mother. Works at a New Rawley beauty salon named "Glamorama".
  • Charlie Hunnam as Gregor Ryder, bad-boy and student at Rawley Academy.
  • Michelle Monaghan as Caroline Busse, Will's love interest.
  • Cyndi Johnson as Paige Bennett, old friend of Scout's family.
  • Kathleen Bridget Kelly as Kate Fleming, Hamilton's mother and the dean's wife.
  • Gabrielle Christian as Grace, Bella's irresponsible sister
  • Beau Gravitte as Senator Calhoun, Scout's dad.
  • Glynnis O'Connor as Donna Banks, Bella & Grace's mom.
  • Naomi Kline as Lena, a student visiting Rawley Academy for girls displaying a romantic interest in Jake.

Episode list

Series
#
Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate
0 "Pilot" n/a
The pilot was not aired on television. There are some differences between the pilot and the first aired episode The Beginning including Jeremy Sisto in the role of Finn. 
1 "The Beginning" James Whitmore, Jr. Steven Antin July 12, 2000 (2000-07-12)
Will settles in at Rawley Academy, where the teacher Finn learns a secret Will shared with Scout. When Scout's dating Bella turns serious, Mr. Banks explains why he won't allow it. The rowing team's cox Jacqueline "Jake" Pratt, who also has a secret, makes a profound impression on Hamilton. Hamilton is surprised by this and starts to question his own sexual orientation. 
2 "Our Town" James Whitmore, Jr. Steven Antin July 19, 2000 (2000-07-19)
Will agonises over telling best friend Sean about his attending the summer session at Rawley Academy. Scout is introduced to Will's old friends at Sean's party. Bella gets upset when Scout tells her that he wants to tell his father about her. Sean misreads the situation and a brawl ensues. Hamilton lets Jake know that he's not into guys. Jake's bike is confiscated by thegroundskeeper and Hamilton offers to help get it back. 
3 "Kiss and Tell" Perry Lang Kerry Ehrin July 26, 2000 (2000-07-26)

Will and returned student Ryder accidentally see Finn kissing the dean's wife. Will finds himself in a position where he has to choose between protecting Finn or himself. Scout has a hard time stopping thinking about Bella, but then Paige, a long time friend of Scout's family, turns up. Scout asks Paige out on a date to the newly restored drive-in theater. Lena, an LA resident visiting Rawley Academy, hears about the drive-in and invites Jake to join her and Hamilton.

Guest cast includes Charlie Hunnam as Gregor Ryder, Matt Czuchry as Sean McGrail, and Kathleen Bridget Kelly as Kate Fleming. 
4 "Cinderbella" James Whitmore, Jr. Anne McGrail August 2, 2000 (2000-08-02)

Will asks Bella to join him for the Summer Cotillion to impress on Caroline. Hamilton and Jake agree to go alone together, an agreement which is broken when Lena asks Hamilton to go with her.

Guest cast includes Matt Czuchry as Sean McGrail. 
5 "Winning Isn't Everything" Mel Damski Andi Bushell & Jim Praytor August 9, 2000 (2000-08-09)
Scout's father, senator Calhoun, makes an unexpected visit for parents' weekend and the regatta. As does Jakes mother. Will's conflict with his father deepens and Bella contemplates meeting senator Calhoun. 
6 "Gone" James Whitmore, Jr. Laura Wolner & Greg Berlanti August 16, 2000 (2000-08-16)

Bella writes a confessing letter to senator Calhoun and hides it in her jacket, which her younger sister, Grace, subsequently borrows and loses. Ryder finds himself in possession of Will's laptop. Jake and Hamilton go on a date and are confused as to who should pick up the tab or ride the "bitch pad" of Jake's bike.

This episode is narrated by Kate Bosworth as Bella Banks.

Guest cast includes Charlie Hunnam as Gregor Ryder. 
7 "Free Will" Robert M. Williams, Jr. Ellen Byron & Lissa Kapstrom August 21, 2000 (2000-08-21)

Bella receives a birthday present from her mother but is unsure how to relate to it. Will's request to tutor has been approved. Will is surprised to learn who he will tutor and what has changed since they last met. Hamilton suggests moving in with Jake so that they can spend more time together.

Guest cast includes Charlie Hunnam as Gregor Ryder, Matt Czuchry as Sean McGrail, and Kathleen Bridget Kelly as Kate Fleming. 
8 "Will Bella Scout Her Mom?" James Whitmore, Jr. Steven Antin & Joe Voci August 30, 2000 (2000-08-30)

Will learns that the funding for his scholarship has been withdrawn. Bella's father receives a phone call informing him that the gas station is up for auction, and Bella seeks out her mother to put the deed in her father's name. Jake's masquerade comes to an abrupt halt. At the end of the episode, Will gets new funding, and is allowed to remain at school for the fall.

While this episode is clearly meant to serve as the introduction for the fall season of the show, Young Americans was canceled before any additional episodes could be produced.

Guest cast includes Matt Czuchry as Sean McGrail, and Glynnis O'Connor as Donna Banks. 

Music

Six packs and Big Macs keep us rolling down the road

Cigarettes and coffee, wherever we go
Learn to appreciate those simple little things
And open up our arms to what the road may bring
[...]
People all around us, they shower us with love
You better keep it coming 'cause we just can't get enough
Where would we be without a little love?
You can't get by without a little love
Everybody needs a little bit of love, sometimes

(You bring the pack, and we bring the six pack)
—Lyrics from the unmodified version of Six Pacs
Throw all your backpacks, we'll be rolling down the road

Big dreams and wild schemes, wherever we go
People all around us, they shower us with love
You better keep it coming 'cause we just can't get enough
Where would we be without a little love?
You can't get by without a little love

Everybody needs a little bit of love, sometimes
—Lyrics from the modified/full opening theme version of Six Pacs

Theme song

The lyrics of the theme song "Six Pacs" by The Getaway People from the album Turnpike Diaries was changed at the request of the producers to remove the original reference to cigarettes.

Joe Voci, the show's executive producer, said in an interview with VH1.com that "Unlike other teen shows that are angst-driven, ours is about a group of kids who want to do the right things, and how they handle the obstacles they're presented. The song presented a mood, tone and feel that is optimistic and implies a sense of adventure."[1]

Production

Filmed in Havre de Grace, MD where a new "town square", gas station and Friendly's restaurant were built for the production of the show.

Casting

Airing

When Dawson's Creek went on hiatus in the summer of 2000, Young Americans occupied its timeslot of Wednesdays at 8 P.M. Repeats were shown at 8 P.M. on Fridays.

Sponsoring

The Coca-Cola Company was the primary sponsor, the show being billed as "Coca-Cola Presents Young Americans". Young Americans was profiled by Steve Carell on the August 22, 2000, episode of The Daily Show in the Ad Nauseam segment due to the Coca-Cola tie ins. Carell constantly referred to the pilot as an "hour-long commercial". Many of the scenes also took place in a Friendly's Restaurant, which was built from an old pizzeria for the show.

The product is seen or mentioned in several episodes. The pilot episode even featured a scene that was reshot in order to show the characters drinking Coca-Cola.

Promotion

A scene from the pilot, which was heavily promoted prior to the show's premiere, where the characters and other students at Rawley run in slow motion to the school's lake while stripping off their clothes was parodied in another WB show, Grosse Pointe.

Cancellation

Despite being a spin off of one of the most popular WB shows, Young Americans received low ratings throughout its summer run and was cancelled in August 2000.

References

  1. ^ "Young Norwegians Hope 'Young Americans' Will Be Big Break". VH1.com, June 23, 2000. Retrieved on April 7, 2007.
  • Josef Adalian and Michael Fleming. "WB seeks 'Young' blood". Daily Variety, December 13, 1999.

External links


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