Interesting Facts about Dawson’s Creek

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Teenagers found a new obsession in the form of a fantastic teen show, when Dawson’s Creek made its debut on January 20, 1998. Kevin Williamson created this series, which was centered on a group of best buddies, living in the picturesque, fictional town of Capseside, Massachusetts. The series ran for six seasons and consisted of 128 episodes.

If you are a fan of Dawson’s Creek, you will love to know about its facts and inside things that we have mentioned in this article below:

1. Joshua Jackson Gave Auditions for Both Pacey and Dawson

Joshua Jackson auditioned for both lead roles of Pacey and Dawson. Initially, he read for Pacey, but the producers were interested in hearing Joshua read for Dawson as well. However, they gave him the role of Pacey. One of his competitors for the role of Pacey was the future American Pie star, Jason Biggs.

2. Selma Blair Was Almost Cast As Joey

Before Katie Holmes auditioned and was cast for the role that would make her America’s girl next door, Blair was much close to landing the role. The writers wrote Joe to be a tomboy, and according to Williamson, they were very close to casting Salma Blair, who acted excellently as Joey. But when Williamson saw Katie Holmes on tape with those beautiful two big eyes, he knew he had his Joey.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

3. The Executive Producer Had To Fight For James Van Der Beek to Be Cast

The last role to be cast was Dawson. The auditions were conducted in Los Angeles, and the interesting thing is that James Van Der Beek sat next to the future Entourage star Adrian Genier on the plane, only to find out later that he was also auditioning for the role of Dawson Leery. After viewing the auditions, the head of Sony said that Van Der Beek didn’t have that star quality, which was required for the role of Dawson. But the executive producer, Williamson, argued and was convinced that Van Der Beek could do it.

Just because of Williamson, they kept having Van Der Beek read the scene again and again. Finally, when Williamson had enough arguments on this topic, he yelled, “I wrote Dawson! I am Dawson! This is Dawson!” two days before filming was scheduled to start, James Van Der Beek was official Cast as Dawson Leery. This also means that Dawson was the favorite character of the producer, Williamson.

Source: The Daily Beast

4. A Major Company Pulled a Sponsorship during the First Season of the Series

The show was indeed the best thing ever happened to teenagers, but still, it caused controversy from the very beginning, at least for some sponsors. Although Dawson’s Creek seems to be pretty tame as compared to the shows shown on TV today, it was unsuccessful from stopping a major company from pulling a sponsorship during the first season of the series.

That major company was Procter & Gamble – they decided not to be a part of Dawson’s Creek because they thought that the majority of the content surpasses what they think is appropriate. One storyline that got them off the series was that of Pacey sleeping with his teacher, which was inappropriate but not so much compared to what’s happening on TV today.

5. Busy Philipps Was Excluded From the Series Finale

Kevin Williamson was the executive producer of the show until the end of the second season. When he returned to pen the series finale, one actress (Busy Philipps) wasn’t excited and happy because she was left entirely out of the episode that Williamson ended up writing to wrap up the series.

Busy Philipps played Audrey throughout the college years and was also a roommate of Joey. She did a total of 44 episodes during the final seasons of the series, so she felt that she deserved a spot in the series finale as well. Williamson excluded her from the series finale because he only wanted to write about the original characters that he created in the first place. Philipps felt disrespected and said that her feelings were hurt due to Williamson’s decision

6. A Popular College Was Used As Worthington University

In the fifth season, we saw that Joey Potter ventures off to Boston, Massachusetts, to attend her fictional university (Worthington University). Actually, producers never saw the show going past the characters’ high school careers. They were having a problem finding a university for exterior shots, so they finally decided to choose Duke University, which is located in Durham, North Carolina – it was two hours away from where the series finale was filmed in Washington.

7. From Writing Great Horror to Debuting the Best Teen Drama

Kevin Williamson became popular in the film industry because of his script for the popular horror flick, Scream. The film was a big success that later went on to become a franchise. However, soon Williamson realized that he had no other horror story to tell, so he decided to write something from his own childhood experience, and ended up creating Dawson’s Creek. All this came to him when Paul Stupin read the Scream script and asked Williamson that if he had any other ideas for a TV show – this is where Dawson’s Creek came to life.

8. Jack’s Poem

Every viewer of the show must remember Jack’s poem that he read to his class, revealing he was gay. But no one might know that it was a real-life experience of the producer Greg Berlanti.

9. Dawson’s Creek Spin-off

Due to the massive popularity of Dawson’s Creek, the WB decided to premier a spin-off of sorts. The series was called Young Americans, which premiered in the year 2000. One of the main characters of the spin-off series was also featured on three episodes of Dawson’s Creek, who was an old classmate of Joey, Dawson, and Pacey’s who moved away for some time and came back to pay a visit.

The character was introduced in those episodes of Dawson’s Creek to promote Young Americans. Unfortunately, the spin-off didn’t gain much popularity and was canceled after eight episodes only.

10. Celebrity Guest Stars

Following are some celebrity stars that appeared on the show:

  • Seth Rogen
  • Jane Lynch
  • Julie Bowen
  • Scott Foley
  • Jensen Ackles
  • Hilarie Burton
  • Rachel Leigh Cook
  • Ali Larter
  • Oliver Hudson

11. Jens’ Death Was Written For a Lesson

The series finale jumped five years ahead, and the group of friends had to deal with the loss of Jen. This was for a lesson. Williamson explained the decision as:

“Dealing with the death of one of their own was the final thing that thrust them into adulthood forever. Dawson’s Creek was a coming-of-age story, and that was the idea behind that ending; that’s why we killed Jen because I wanted them to deal with the death of one their own as that final lesson.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

12. Natural Disaster

Dawson’s Creek was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina – a beautiful coastal town, which was susceptible to disastrous things such as hurricanes. Unfortunately, a hurricane raged through one set of Dawson’s Creek that tore down the pier outside of the Leery’s home. The pier had become such an iconic part of the show that they had to rebuild it for filming to continue.

13. No Major Role for Parents

Parents play an essential role in any teen drama, and they also usually have their own storylines aside from the main cast. But this wasn’t the case with Dawson’s Creek – the show didn’t revolve around the parents. John Wesley Shipp, who portrayed Dawson Leery’s father, did not like that where the show was headed after Williamson left. In John’s opinion, the parents were not getting enough importance, and they were being faded into the background.

So, when the main cast was going off to college, John Wesley Shipp felt that he would not renew his contract. He didn’t end the contract but set a really high price when negotiations came up, knowing that the creators won’t accept it. After this, they just decided to write off the character of Dawson’s dad permanently. John agreed to this and came back to finish the storyline.

14. The Cast Was Unknown Before This Show Was Premiered 

The cast of Dawson’s Creek was full of unknown, fresh-faced actors with little to no experience working on a television show. Hence, at the time of the premiere, the actors were new to the audience.

15. The Youngest Member of The Show Was Michelle Williams 

You might have rarely seen actual teenagers appear in teenage-based TV shows. However, relatively young people were cast for Dawson’s Creek. In fact, the oldest of the main four characters was 20-year-old James Van Der, while Michelle Williams (Jen Lindley) was only 16 years old when the show was filmed.

16. Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes Were a Real-Life Couple 

Aged 18 at the beginning of the show, both teenagers immediately built great chemistry when they first met at the set. As a result, Joshua and Katie ended up dating each other but it could just last a year. In 1998, Holmes revealed that he fell in love with someone for the first time and it was incredible.

17. Crying Meme of Dawson Was Not a Part of Script

The famous, meme-able moment of Dawson’s ugly cry was not a part of the script. Basically, James Van Der Beek improvised the gesture and it became a hit. 

18. Joshua Jackson Helped Two Women From Drowning During the Shoot

Joshua Jackson, being a real-life hero, helped two women who were stuck in the ocean of Wilmington, North Carolina. Both of them were rescued by the Coast Guard eventually, but Jackson made sure they are safe before the arrival of the Coast Guard. 

Some More Interesting Facts:

  • Pacey wasn’t just a fictional character in the show. She was based on one of Williamson’s real-life friends, who was also named Pacey.
  • In the beginning, Katie Holmes refused to fly out to LA to meet with the creators because she was busy starring in her high school’s play, and she didn’t want to disappoint her friends. For this reason, the creators waited two weeks for her to get done with the school play.
  • In the original script, Jen’s grandfather was meant to wake up and be perfectly fine in Season 1, but the writers couldn’t find a way to include him in the story, so instead, they ended up killing him off.
  • Kevin Williamson left Dawson’s Creek after Season 2 to create the drama Wasteland, which was canceled only after one season.
  • The character of Audrey, played by Busy Philipps, was meant to be a guest spot originally. However, Tom Kapinos (the showrunner of that time) liked her work so much that he decided to extend the role.
  • The kissing scene of Jack and Ethan in the finale of season 3 was the first ever display of a romantic kiss between two males on a primetime TV. 
  • When Dawson finally lost his virginity, James Van Der Beek brought champagne for the whole crew on the set.
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