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As Told by Ginger

As Told By Ginger is an American emmy nominated animated series that premiered on Nickelodeon in October 2000. The show focuses on Ginger Foutley and her adventures at Lucky Jr. High, as she records them in her diary. The series was noted for its storylines, character development and the fact that the characters change outfits each time a new day comes.

In the United States, about half the episodes of the third and final season remain unaired. Also, several episodes that were once available through reruns have been taken out of the rotation. This came as a disappointment to fans during its initial run.

About the show

The show focuses mainly on the life of junior high school student Ginger Foutley. She, along with her friends, Darren Patterson, Dodie Bishop and Macie Lightfoot, all try to rise from the position of school geeks as they solve many conflicts that come their way. Luckily for Ginger, the most popular girl in school, Courtney Gripling, has taken a liking to her and often includes her in her social plans. She is intrigued by her, what Courtney calls them, 'gingerisms'. However, Miranda Killgallen, Courtney's right hand woman, makes sure that she is not bumped down from her position thanks to Ginger. At home, Ginger records her lively adventures in her diary. Her little brother Carl, is often scheming with Robert-Joseph ('Hoodsey') Bishop in his own side plots, and her mother, Lois, is always there for advice Ginger is always open to listen to. The series takes place in the fictional town of Sheltered Shrubs, located in Connecticut. It is very rare for a children's program, especially an animated one, to be set in a specific area of the country. Other towns noted in the series are Protected Pines, a gated community in which Courtney lives, Brittle Branches, where Ginger's father resides, and Heathered Hills, the town of Ginger's summer camp crush, Sasha.

Characters

Main characters

(in credits' order)

Notable others

(in order of actors' last name)

Episodes

Sixty episodes plus one pilot episode were produced for the show.
The pilot was produced in 1999 and officially completed on September 10 of that year.
Season one was produced from November 1999-June 2000.
Season two was produced from August 2000 - November 2001.
Season three was produced from August 2002-November 2003.

TV movies

There were four television movies during the series' run.

  • Summer of Camp Caprice had Ginger, Dodie, Macie and Courtney heading to summer camp, with Darren and Miranda going to military camp (where, as it happens, Miranda's father works) and Carl and Hoodsey on the trail of dog nappers.
  • Foutleys on Ice (seen in the US as Far From Home), following up on the Emmy-nominated episode And She Was Gone, dealt with Ginger winning a scholarship to an arts school, and Carl and Hoodsey making friends with a new character, the telekinetic Noelle Sussman (voiced by Emily Kapnek). This episode was released on DVD.
  • Butterflies are Free Ginger and her friends graduate junior high.
  • The Wedding Frame, which closed out the 3rd season and the series as a whole, and features Lois marrying one of the doctors at her hospital. Nickelodeon originally asked for the ending of that telefilm to be changed to something less conclusive in case they wished to make future TV episodes, however, perhaps due to that situation being very unlikely, the original ending was eventually retained. It was released directly to DVD in the United States in November 2004, and has not been broadcast in the US; also, the six episodes leading up to the movie were never televised or released in the US, resulting in some continuity problems.

Production

The pilot for the show was completed in September 1999. The show premiered the following October on Nickelodeon. The show was greatly popular at first, even making its way into the teenager-aimed block TeenNick. After the second season, the show's popularity began to decline, partially due to constant scheduling changes. Nickelodeon then took the show off the air after airing less than half the episodes of the third and final season. Nickelodeon's sister channel, Nicktoons Network has aired two episodes that have been unseen on Nickelodeon, and it acts as the only network to air the show in the United States.

Show Airings

Nickelodeon 6am Tuesdays ?- March 2008

Network Time In effect
Nickelodeon Wednesdays at 8 pm October 2000-January 2001
Nickelodeon Sundays 7:30 pm January 2001-June 2003
Nick on CBS Saturday mornings September 2002-September 2004
Nickelodeon Selected Weekday Mornings November 2005
Nicktoons Weekday mornings November 2006-May 2007
Nicktoons Sunday and Monday mornings May 2007-July 2007
Nickelodeon Monday mornings August 2007
Nicktoons Monday - Saturday mornings October 2007- March 2008
Nicktoons 4:00am Monday - Friday mornings March 2008 - TBA

  • The episodes I Spy a Witch, Deja Who?, An "Even Steven" Holiday Special, and Piece of My Heart were all made for the first season line-up, but aired during the second season.
  • Never Can Say Goodbye, Gym Class Confidential, Fast Reputation, and The Nurses' Strike all premiered in the same week during the teen nick block. They aired February 11-February 14, 2002 (which were the days between Monday and Thursday.)
  • The episodes Detention, Kiss Today Good-bye, A Lesson In Tightropes, Dodie's Big Break, and Battle of the Bands are all high school episodes that have yet to air in the United States. They were at one time scheduled to air during the second week of November 2006, but were immediately removed from the schedule after the first high school episode, Stuff'll Kill Ya was aired. In most other countries, especially in the United Kingdom, they are part of the common re-runs. The series finale The Wedding Frame has also never been broadcast in the USA, but it is shown sometimes in other countries.
  • The episode specials that run over 30 minutes with commercials are not seen in the United States.
  • Nicktoons Network has been showing more and more episodes including ones they wouldn't show in the past such as "The Right Stuff". They have also been showing specials such as "Even Stevens Holiday", "Far From Home" and "No Turning Back" (January 2008).

DVD and iTunes Releases

  • The TV-movies Far From Home and The Wedding Frame are available in the USA on Region 1 DVDs. Far From Home comes with the bonus episodes Ginger The Juvey and The Pilot. The Wedding Frame includes Stealing First and Dare I, Darren.
  • The first 13 episodes became available on iTunes on Tuesday, July 29, 2008. The episode "I Spy A Witch" is listed as "Blizzard Conditions" as an error. Blizzard Conditions is not available as an error. The first episode Ginger the Juvey was already available on Nick Rewind Volume 2.
  • The episode "An Even Steven Holiday Special" is available on Holly Jolly Specials '07.
  • The episodes 1 through 45 are available on Russian DVD sets with each DVD containing 5 episodes. The As Speaks Ginger-DVDs as they are known in Russia (Cyrillic: Как говорит Джинджер) are produced and distributed by Russobit-M and are only available with a Russian soundtrack.

Theme Song

Originally, Melissa Disney, who voices Ginger, sang the theme song. Before the shows first airing, the theme song was switched to a version sung by Cree Summer, the voice of Miranda. The first half of the first season used this theme song version. After that, all episodes used a new version sung by R&B artist Macy Gray. Although the Melissa Disney version has never been used in American airings, all three versions are featured regularly in other English-speaking countries.

Closing Credits

The closing credits are generally designed backgrounds with the shows signature font. These backgrounds include the ice cream cones from Ginger's bedroom walls, ladybugs from Dodie's bedroom walls, pencils, lizards, and more. The ending theme is most often an instrumental version of the theme, although there have been exceptions. The episode Never Can Say Goodbye ended with a song called "Wrong", sung by voice actor Kenny Blank as Darren Patterson and And She Was Gone ended with a musical version of Ginger's poem during the credits. The episode Come Back Little Seal Girl featured the songs Courtney's World and The Little Seal Girl blended together. In About Face, a song called Diamonds Are Expensive, presumably sung by the engaged Lois and Dr. Dave is played over the credits. Finally, Next Question ended with The Teen Seal Girl song.

Character development and continuity

As Told By Ginger has been recognized by fans and Nickelodeon alike for its character development, most of which is unusual for a cartoon.

In the first season, Ginger's age group is hinted as being in seventh grade. By the second season, they move up to eighth grade rather than remaining the same age. They graduate Jr. high in the third season and move on to becoming freshman in high school. Carl's age group works in a similar way, as they become Jr. high students by the third season. As the episode with the Jr. high graduation aired in 2004, Ginger is most likely part of the class of 2008. Also in the second season, Darren had his unwieldy orthodontia that he had been wearing for the entire first season removed, which resulted in rising popularity. Also, many episodes (mostly seasons two-three, although season one did this too) have references to previous episodes, giving the episodes a definite order.

One of the more noticeable developments is the fact that the characters change clothes each time a new day comes. Many cartoons have their characters remain in the same outfits to save time and money. The girls in Ginger's age group (Dodie, Courtney, Macie, Miranda, and Ginger herself) and some of the adults were the only ones to do this at first. But after Darren got his orthodontia removed, he changed clothes as well. Carl's age group only changes clothes so often, most of the time with little changes. Hoodsey's coat rack has identical purple hooded-sweatshirts, mocking cartoons that always remain in the same outfits. Also, unlike live-action shows whose characters only wear an outfit once, As Told By Ginger characters wear their outfits in rotation, and new outfits are added every few episodes.

The show also deals with several deeper themes than other Nicktoons. In Wicked Game, Ginger's two best friends betray her after feeling jealousy toward her new boyfriend, Darren. In And She Was Gone, the staff and students at school think Ginger is depressed after she writes a disturbing poem. In the episode No Hope For Courtney, Carl's pranks cause his teacher to retire. After she agrees to come back, Mrs. Gordon passes on. In actuality, the voice actress, Kathleen Freeman died and the episode was dedicated to her. A Lesson in Tightropes has Ginger going through an emotional break-up with Darren while, at the same time, having to get surgery for acute appendicitis. Furthermore, the episode Stuff'll Kill Ya shows Ginger dealing with what could be conceived as a caffeine addiction.

  • In the TV movie The Wedding Frame, when the Foutleys' are driving to their soon-to-be home, they pass a cemetery park. One tombstone reads "ATBG" while the other reads "RIP". ATBG is short for As Told By Ginger and RIP is short for Rest In Peace. This is a nod to the fact that this movie is the series finale.
  • Piece of My Heart aired in the month of December, but since then has been known as a Valentine's Day special.
  • In the episode No Hope For Courtney, Mrs. Gordon retires after having enough of Carl and Hoodsey. Carl begs her to return. The script was originally written to have Mrs. Gordon return to her teaching job. Kathleen Freeman died in 2001 before the episodes first airing and the script was re-written to have Mrs. Gordon die as well and the newly-scripted episode aired some years later.
  • A girl who had cancer and was also a Make-A-Wish patient watched this show during treatment. Her wish was to be a character on the show, and she was a character in one episode.
  • ATBG was a rare occasion that a Nicktoon was aired on Teenick, rather than during the day like most other Nicktoons. This was because the show was aimed at young teenagers.

Awards

  • Three Emmy nominations for Hello Stranger (in 2001), Lunatic Lake (in 2002), and And Then She Was Gone (in 2003) (all three times As Told By Ginger was beaten by FOX shows). They were all three nominated in the Outstanding Animated Program (Less than One Hour).
  • "Best Cartoon" at Nickelodeon Netherlands' Kids Choice Awards in 2005.
  • Two episodes of As Told By Ginger will be ranked in Nickelodeon's 100 Greatest Moments in Nicktoons History. The episodes are Gym Class Confidential and Stealing First and ranked in positions 97 and 95.

External links

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