Rider Strong Recounts Boy Meets World's Journey From 'OK' Ratings to Enduring Cult Hit

Rider Strong Recounts Boy Meets World's Journey From 'OK' Ratings to Enduring Cult Hit

Everyone seems to love Boy Meets World. In fact, it’s left such an indelible mark on pop culture, it’s now returning to the fold with a much-anticipated sequel series, Girl Meets World.

But series star Rider Strong doesn’t actually remember it that way at all — at least not during the former TGIF staple’s early years.

RELATED | Girl Meets World — Rider Strong Speaks out

“At the time, it was actually a little frustrating for us as a show because we would get good ratings, but we weren’t a hit the way that, say, Sabrina the Teenage Witch — which followed us — was,” the actor shared with TVLine at the Austin-based ATX Festival earlier this month. “Sabrina had better numbers than we did; Boy Meets World was always just ‘OK.’ … There was almost this [behind-the-scenes] sense that no one was really watching our show.”

That all changed, recalled Strong, about halfway through its seven-season run, when “we just started making this show for ourselves in a way. We started doing meta jokes and things that would make us laugh, and I really think it paid off. Doing that built us a little bit of a cult following that’s [now] lasted all this time.”

Referring to BMW‘s recent mainstream resurgence, the actor mused: “I’d like to [believe] we have maintained a fanbase more so than a lot of other ’90s shows because of that” — well, that and the fact that “everyone who was 12-19 at the time [the series was on the air] is now 25-35, and that‘s who controls culture today.”

RELATED | Girl Meets World — Ben Savage Discusses Disney Channel Series

As for whether or not Strong ever relives his BMW glory days during its many daily syndicated airings, the actor offered up a playful denial.

“I actually never watched the show when it was on the air,” he revealed. “It’s probably because I had my awkward teenage phase when it was on television. I did watch the second season with my family — I was around 14 years old — and when you’re at that age, you hate the way you look and talk, so I hated watching it.”

Come to think of it, he added with a nostalgic laugh, “To this day if I watched Boy Meets World, I think I would still cringe.”

Related stories

It's Official: Girl Meets World Snags Series Order from Disney Channel, 2014 Premiere Eyed

American Dreams @ ATX Festival: Scoop on the Emotional, Time-Jumping Ending You Never Saw

Friday Night Lights @ ATX Festival: Surprise Chandler/Britton Reunion Scores a Touchdown

Get more from TVLine.com: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter