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Clueless is an American teen sitcom based on the 1995 film of the same name (which was inspired by Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma). It originally premiered on ABC on September 20, 1996, as a part of the TGIF lineup during its first season. The series then spent its last two seasons on UPN ending on May 25, 1999. Alicia Silverstone had a development deal with Columbia-TriStar at this time, and did not reprise her role from the film.

Premise

Clueless is a teen comedy that follows the adventures of Cher Horowitz, a California girl who attends Bronson Alcott High School. Cher and her friends navigate the ups and downs of high school life as they face struggles with relationships, school, and social status.

Seasons

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18 episodes | September 20, 1996 - February 14, 1997
Cher Horowitz and her best friend Dionne continue to be Bronson Alcott's It-Girls with friends, foes and more along the way.

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22 episodes | September 23, 1997 - May 19, 1998
Cher, Dionne and friends are back for another school year at Bronson Alcott High School. Follow them on new adventures with forks in the road, along the way.

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22 episodes | October 6, 1998 - May 25, 1999
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Episodes

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1.01 | September 20, 1996
Cher takes over as "Miss Buzzline", the school's newspaper advice column, but her bad advice causes trouble with her friends.

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1.02 | September 27, 1996
Cher enrolls into drama class and meets a handsome guy named Donal. They then set a date at a late-night Jazz club, despite Mel giving Cher a strict curfew.

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1.03 | October 4, 1996
Cher and Dionne volunteer to clean a local city park.

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1.04 | October 11, 1996
Cher gets a bad haircut from a celebrity hairdresser.

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1.05 | October 18, 1996
During a class presentation, Mrs. Geist-Hall falls over a backpack and gets hurt. Principal The principal forbids the students from now on to carry backpacks. Cher and Dionne do not accept this ban and organize a protest.

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1.06 | October 25, 1996
Dionne and Murray break up, with Cher playing mediator between their arguing.

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1.07 | November 1, 1996
After Mel puts her on a strict budget, Cher tries to search for the "perfect" outfit to impress her substitute teacher while Mr. Hall's sick.

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1.08 | November 8, 1996
Cher's new crush is the actor Kip Killmore, who hires Mel as his lawyer. Cher later finds out that Kip isn't as dreamy as she once thought.

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1.09 | November 15, 1996
Cher falls deeply in love with a college student. They are a match made in heaven until Sonny finds out how old Cher is.

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1.10 | November 22, 1996
Cher becomes determined to get her driver's license.

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1.11 | December 13, 1996
Cher falls for the son of Cher's legal rival.

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1.12 | December 20, 1996
Cher starts a fashion muff business. However, after she sells them at a show, the reality of running a business sets in.

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1.13 | January 3, 1997
Cher sets her father up with Sheila Kendall, a successful lawyer and author. But putting the two together makes Cher feel neglected.

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1.14 | January 10, 1997
Bronson Alcott High School receives a new principal, who forbids cell phones and institutes other strict rules. When Mr. Hall is fired, Cher decides to act.

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1.15 | January 24, 1997
Cher finds herself partnered with the school genius/total geek, Felice Lesser. Despite coming from different social circles, Cher is shocked to discover that she genuinely likes Felice, and must decide whether to keep being friends with her once the project is over, despite what it could mean for her social standing at Bronson Alcott High.

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1.16 | January 31, 1997
Murray and Sean are having a new passion – golf - with Dionne feeling neglected. She then seeks advice from Cher, who suddenly teams up with Dionne against Murray and Sean in a "Battle of the Sexes" golf game.

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1.17 | February 7, 1997
Cher becomes attracted to the new student, who seems like the perfect guy. But she soon figures out that he is not as perfect as she assumed.

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1.18 | February 14, 1997
It's Valentine's Day and Cher unintentionally tells Murray that Sean and Dionne once dated which sends Murray on a jealous rage.

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2.01 | September 23, 1997
It's the first day of junior year in school and what to wear is the prime consideration. Meanwhile, Cher feels confronted when she is asked to map out her life for the next 10 years.

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2.02 | September 30, 1997
The gang go to a salsa club and Cher falls for the lead singer.

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2.03 | October 7, 1997
It's the science fair at Bronson Alcott! But when and the class nerd, Felice dumbs herself down to have guys interested in her, Cher and Dee decide to help Felice return to her rightful place with a makeover, which has an unexpected result.

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2.04 | October 14, 1997
When Dee is unable to go to a Luscious Jackson concert with Cher, she and Amber compete for Cher's attention, which causes a rift between Dee and Cher.

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2.05 | October 21, 1997
A new girl has just transferred to Bronson Alcott High and after a bad encounter, Cher tries to befriend her. However, no matter what she tries to do, Cher only seems to make matters worse.

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2.06 | October 28, 1997
It's Halloween and the Horowitz household goes all out. This year, Mel is disappointed when Cher goes to a Spielberg party with her friends to meet Trent Cole. However, the party is not quite what they expected.

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2.07 | November 4, 1997
When Cher is nominated for homecoming queen, she finds out that her secret admirer suggested her as a candidate. It then becomes a battle between Cher and the cheerleaders.

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2.08 | November 11, 1997
Cher and Dee take wood-shop, initially to meet boys. They feel unsuited to woodwork but a sexist attitude from the teacher makes Cher determined to succeed.

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2.09 | November 18, 1997
It's parent-teacher night at Bronson Alcott High and the students are demonstrating their achievements. But when Mel unexpectedly shows up at Cher's conference, and becomes interested in her art teacher, Cher is horrified at the consequences.

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2.10 | November 25, 1997
Mel and Cher's art teacher are still going strong. But when they go away for the weekend, Cher decides to have a party in their absence. Unfortunately, Rebecca's 9 year-old demon son threatens to put a spanner in everybody's plans.

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2.11 | December 9, 1997
Cher gets an after-school job at a record store in The Valley to pay for a birthday gift for Mel and begins falling for her boss, Brian. Meanwhile, Amber, Murray and Sean kidnap Tarzana High's mascot.

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2.12 | December 16, 1997
It's Christmas and Sean is in charge of the acts in the school pageant. Desperate to give Mel an innovative Hanukkah present, Cher auditions to sing in the school pageant.

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2.13 | January 13, 1998
It's Career Day and Cher and her friends observe professionals off campus, but an Earthquake causes some changes to their ideas.

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2.14 | February 3, 1998
Cher is going to an 80s dance and is determined to leave with a potential boyfriend. However, she is unable to meet him without being interrupted.

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2.15 | February 24, 1998
Cher has a new boyfriend, although she is unsure how serious their relationship is. Meanwhile, Amber does some spying and spots Cher's boyfriend with his ex.

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2.16 | March 3, 1998
Dionne and Cher's old friend, Emily, surprises them both when she returns from New York. Unfortunately, their friend brings some marijuana, which causes problems when they are arrested by the police. Meanwhile, Sean and Murray go camping with Mel and Emily's father.

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2.17 | March 17, 1998
The gang take a day off from studies and head to the beach. On the trip down they have a close brush with death. It starts them thinking about what they'd do if they only had one day left.

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2.18 | April 14, 1998
With the SATs coming up, Dee and Cher are starting to realise that they need help. They ask Katie to tutor them but when the naive Katie is continuously nauseated, they learn that she is pregnant.

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2.19 | April 28, 1998
While Cher is organising her birthday party, Dee and Murray ruin things when they have an acrimonious break up and try to force Cher into choose between them.

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2.20 | May 5, 1998
Newly separated Murray and Dionne pretend to have dates to spark jealousy. Meanwhile, Cher, Amber and Sean visit a retirement home to gain extra credit at school.

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2.21 | May 12, 1998
Sean is trying to publicise his new hip hop CD and decides to produce a music video of the song. Amber volunteers to direct the video, which ends badly.

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2.22 | May 19, 1998
It's the end of the school year and Cher is shocked to find out that the Horowitzes are broke after Mel's business manager disappeared with all his money. Cher tries to help the family finances by having a yard sale.


Cast

Main

  • Rachel Blanchard as Cher Horowitz
  • Stacey Dash as Dionne "Dee" Davenport
  • Donald Adeosun Faison as Murray Duvall
  • Sean Holland as Sean Holiday (seasons 1–3; recurring, episodes 1–13)
  • Elisa Donovan as Amber Mariens
  • David Lascher as Josh Lucas (season 1)
  • Twink Caplan as Mrs. Geist-Hall (season 1)
  • Michael Lerner (season 1) and Doug Sheehan (seasons 2–3) as Mel Horowitz
  • Wallace Shawn as Mr. Alphonse Hall (season 1)
  • Sean Holland as Sean Holiday (seasons 1–3; recurring, episodes 1–13)

Recurring

  • Julie Brown as Coach Millie Diemer
  • Christin Hinojosa as Lillia
  • Heather Gottlieb as Tai Frasier
  • Jeremy Wieand as Larry

Special guest stars

  • Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Spellman
  • Brittany Murphy as Jasmine
  • Lamont Bentley as Hakeem Campbell
  • Shar Jackson as Niecy Jackson
  • Breckin Meyer as Harrison
  • Paul Rudd as Sonny

Guest



The main characters of Clueless, (from left to right), Amber, Sean, Dionne, Murray, and Cher.

Production

Conception

Though the television program is based on the film, director Amy Heckerling intended it to be a TV show for Fox. It eventually was picked up by Paramount as a film, which then led to the television series. Rachel Blanchard played the role of Cher that was originated by Alicia Silverstone in the film. Stacey Dash (Dionne), Donald Faison (Murray), Elisa Donovan (Amber), Wallace Shawn (Mr. Hall), and Twink Caplan (Ms. Geist) all reprised their film roles for the television series. Sean Holland, who appeared as Lawrence in the film, portrayed the new character Sean Holiday in the TV series. The program aired on ABC from 1996 to 1997 and with a network change to UPN from 1997 to 1999. The theme song for the TV series, "Ordinary Girl," was written by Charlotte Caffey (of The Go-Go's) and Anna Waronker, and was performed by China Forbes.

Network change

After the series was canceled by ABC, the reruns of the episodes on their Friday night TGIF line-up proved to be ratings winners for ABC. However, it was too late for ABC to get the series back, and they prevented UPN from broadcasting the series until their contract ran out in late September. Clueless finished #46 in the ratings with 13.3 million viewers. Only Sabrina the Teenage Witch (a show on which Elisa Donovan, Donald Faison and David Lascher would eventually become regulars) had higher ratings for Friday. Reportedly, the star of Sabrina, Melissa Joan Hart, was considered for the part of Cher on the Clueless TV series.

UPN cancelled the show after the third season (1998–1999), reportedly because of sharply declining viewership. By the final season, the show had retained only 30% of its original 1996 viewing audience.

Trivia

  • This is the first piece of Clueless media to be a tv show.
  • This series was meant to happen before the film.
  • Alicia Silverstone turned down the offer to appear on this show, preferring to continue with her film career.
  • Stacey Dash, Donald Faison, Elisa Donovan, Twink Caplan and Wallace Shawn are the only regular cast members who also appeared in the 1995 theatrical film version.
    • Paul Rudd, Breckin Meyer and Brittany Murphy made guest appearances as different characters.
  • Amy Heckerling was romantically involved with actor Bronson (Alcott) Pinchot. She named the high school after him.
  • The character of Coach Graham Bullock, played by Bill Kirchenbauer is actually an homage to television series Growing Pains (1985) and Just the Ten of Us (1987) as in both of those shows the same actor played Coach Graham Lubbock. Same named character but with the L and the B switched in the last name.
  • Elisa Donovan and David Lascher later starred together on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch which is another series that debut on the same night as this series.

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