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Two Guys and a Girl (originally titled Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place) is an ABC sitcom, created by Kenny Schwartz & Danny Jacobson, starring Ryan Reynolds, Traylor Howard & Richard Ruccolo as the title characters.
The show first premiered on March 10, 1998. In 2000, ABC bounced the show from midweek to Friday night which led to a steep drop in ratings.
After "Two Guys and a Girl" moved back to Wednesday for a two-week trial in an unsuccessful attempt to regain ratings, it was cancelled on May 16, 2001 after 4 seasons & 81 episodes.
The show's series finale was titled "The Internet Show" (an episode in which fans of the show voted on the outcome online).
Focusing on the lives of twenty-somethings Pete Dunville, Michael Bergen and Sharon Carter, the show was originally based on the life of its creator.
The fictional "Beacon Street Pizza" was based on a real pizza restaurant named Theo's Pizza in Teele Square, Somerville, Massachusetts, where show creator Kenny Schwartz worked while attending nearby Tufts University.
The show takes place in Boston, but was filmed at CBS Studio Center in Studio City, Los Angeles, California.
The series stars Ryan Reynolds as Michael Leslie "Berg" Bergen, Richard Ruccolo as Peter "Pete" Dunville and Traylor Howard, as campus beauty Sharon Carter (later Carter-Donnelly).
In the show's first two seasons, Berg, an aimless graduate student, works at a Boston pizza parlor, Beacon Street Pizza, with Pete. They both attend Tufts University, with Sharon, who after graduation, works as the spokesperson (or apologist) for Immaculate Chemicals.
The format of the initial season varied considerably from that of subsequent seasons. The first season features Jennifer Westfeldt as Melissa, Pete's girlfriend and David Ogden Stiers as Mr. Bauer, a delusional old man who frequents the pizza place, pretending that experiences from films are his own.
The second season abandons these two characters, focusing on the interplay between Pete and Berg and their relationship with Sharon, who lives in the apartment above them. Berg eventually decides to attend medical school and become a doctor while Pete drops out of architecture classes to become a career counselor.
The second season also introduced Johnny (Nathan Fillion), a jukebox repairman who starts dating Sharon and Ashley (Suzanne Cryer), a medical school classmate of Berg's who competes with him to be top of the class.
At the beginning of season three, the pizza place is abandoned entirely (hence the change in the show's title at this time), and Berg begins his medical residency. Pete becomes a vice president of a cosmetics company, and then a firefighter.
Johnny and Sharon marry and become the superintendents of the apartment building they live in. Berg goes on to date Irene (Jillian Bach), the eccentric neighbor across the hall and Pete begins dating a fellow firefighter named Marti (Tiffani Thiessen).
- Ryan Reynolds as Michael "Berg" Bergen (1998–2001)
- Richard Ruccolo as Peter "Pete" Dunville (1998–2001)
- Traylor Howard as Sharon Carter-Donnelly (1998–2001)
- Nathan Fillion as Johnny Donnelly (1999–2001)
- Suzanne Cryer as Ashley Walker (1999–2001)
- Jillian Bach as Irene (1999–2001)
- Julius Carry as Bill (1998)
- David Ogden Stiers as Mr. Bauer (1998
- Giuseppe Andrews as Germ (2000–2001)
- Maury Ginsberg as Kamen (1998–1999)
- Tiffani Thiessen as Marti (2000)
- Dian Bachar as Roger (2001)
The series premiered on March 10, 1998 under the title "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place". The episode entitled "The Pilot" was watched by almost 18 million viewers.
The story of season 1 centers around the pizza place. Actors such as Jennifer Westfeldt (Melissa), and Julius Carry (Bill) were credited as secondary cast members to principals Ryan Reynolds, Richard Ruccolo and Traylor Howard.
Mr. Bauer (played by David Ogden Stiers) frequently appeared around the pizza place, telling stories of life events which actually occurred in movies.
Pete and Berg share an apartment, on which Peter pays the rent every month, with Berg testing experimental drugs to supplement their income. Pete structures his life around architecture and grad school, while Sharon, their friend upstairs, works for an evil corporation who exploit the Earth's natural resources, much to her dislike.
The episodes contained storylines including: Pete preparing for a presentation which Berg ruins; Berg stealing the Celtics' '81 championship banner; Sharon joining the softball team; and the story of how they all met. Because the episodes aired out of order, the season seems very disjointed.
This is demonstrated by the status of Pete's relationship with Melissa: in episode 8 – "Party" Melissa and Pete are still together despite having previously broken up in episode 5 – "Apartment". On the DVD release these were episodes 2 and 7 respectively.
The second season had a more structured basis for each episode. Two additional primary characters arrived, Ashley Walker (Suzanne Cryer) and Johnny Donnelly (Nathan Fillion), as well as the dismissal of characters Bill, Mr. Bauer and Pete's long-time girlfriend Melissa.
The season starts with Berg's realization that someone in his class, Walker is cleverer than he is. This leads to an anticipated romance between Berg and Ashley as they both head down the path of becoming physicians. Jukebox repairman Johnny Donnelly begins a relationship with Sharon.
Other secondary characters (Irene, Kamen, Shaun) are introduced throughout the season.
Episodes of season 2 include: "Two Guys, a Girl and an Engagement", "Two Guys, a Girl and a Valentine's Day" and "Two Guys, a Girl and Ashley's Return," all of which mark turning points in the story of the show. Johnny and Sharon break up on Valentine's Day due to Sharon's jealousy of Shaun, Johnny's best friend. Berg and Ashley finally get together in "...And Ashley's Return," Pete confesses his feelings towards Sharon, and Johnny proposes in "...And an Engagement".
The season ends with Sharon not giving Johnny an answer as well as her realizing she may have feelings for Pete. This left the show with a cliffhanger after ABC had renewed it for another season.
The pizza place is completely abandoned in the third season so that the characters can pursue different dreams. The premiere resolves the season two cliffhanger, with Sharon answering Johnny's proposal with 'Yes, in theory', although she is still holding out on her feelings for Pete.
Evidently, Pete flew to Paris after the night's events and returns completely over Sharon, with a new girlfriend who speaks only French and is revealed to be extremely racist.
Berg and Ashley continue to build on their relationship and finally become doctors involved in Psych rotations. The season portrays their relationship as unsteady and completely built on hate of one another. This leads to Berg breaking up with Ashley during the middle of the season.
Ashley lives with Pete and Berg before moving into her own apartment, which was originally Sharon and Johnny's, who move to the basement to become the new supers. She starts dating Boston Red Sox baseball star Nomar Garciaparra, who appears as himself. Pete finds his true calling by becoming a firefighter. He enjoys the experiences of being an honorary firefighter until the feisty Marti, played by Tiffani Thiessen, comes along to thwart him at every turn.
The two continue to take shots at each other until she starts dating Berg, to Pete's dislike. Pete and Berg get into a huge fight concerning Marti and consider not being roommates anymore.
When Pete gets his acceptance letter to Fireman Boot Camp, he goes to Marti with open arms and they become an item. Pete continues to hate Berg throughout the final episodes of the season. Sharon and Johnny bicker at one another until Johnny calls off the wedding.
When they get back together, they decide that a quickie wedding is the best idea. Irene, Pete's alleged stalker, agrees to throw Sharon and Johnny a wedding on the roof of the building. This results in her inviting Robert Goulet, who conducts the ceremony and brings Pete and Berg back together as friends during the wedding.
At the end of the two part season finale, Pete and Marti leave to go to Fireman Boot Camp, Sharon and Johnny go on their honeymoon, and Ashley leaves to sort out a joke that Pete told Nomar, causing him and Ashley to break up. Berg and Irene are left alone at the wedding and start to dance.
The series ended with another cliffhanger as the audience is led to believe something will happen between Berg and Irene. The series was renewed for another season due to its 10.2 million average viewers during season 3.
In 2001, ABC moved the sitcom from mid-week to Friday and the show's average viewers dropped from 10.2 to 6.7 million.
Season 4 continues the story arc from the end of Season 3. Johnny and Sharon are married, Pete and Marti are now firefighters and Berg and Irene are sleeping together. After Berg gets over being on academic probation, he continues to be Irene's "sex buddy". The two start sleeping together secretly, hoping that Pete won't find out.
Johnny continues to be the superintendent until Sharon makes him an honorary fireman for the day on his birthday. Johnny decides that he wants to be a fireman, much to Sharon's dislike. Meanwhile, Berg and Irene become a couple and Pete and Marti break up. Marti leaves Pete for Ashley's ex, Nomar. Sharon feels unfulfilled after leaving her evil corporate job and decides that she wants to be a lawyer.
When Berg tells Irene that he loves her and she has no reply, Berg goes out and meets someone else. Katie, the girl he meets, admits that she's been following him for 8 years. However, the two of them kiss and Berg tells Irene. Berg apologizes and Irene breaks up with him for the mailman Roger.
In the final episode, Berg assumes that Irene may be pregnant and decides that he must win her back.
The series finale is titled "The Internet Show", and was an episode in which fans of the show voted on the outcome online. The episode aired on May 16, 2001. It was written by Donald Beck and Vince Calandra and directed by Michael Lembeck.
In the episode, Sharon thinks she may be pregnant and Ashley realizes she could be too. Ashley goes into denial, despite showing symptoms, but agrees to take a pregnancy test with Sharon.
When Berg finds out from a news report that a glow-in-the-dark condom he used was defective he thinks Irene could be pregnant. Not wanting to worry her, he tries to get a urine sample from her without telling her. Pete is still annoyed at Ashley for giving up on their relationship to go to Stanford.
Four different endings were filmed for viewers to decide which of the central female characters (Sharon, Ashley, or Irene) should become pregnant, while the fourth possible ending had no pregnancies at all.
The plan was to have the pregnant one (which ultimately ended up being Ashley) give birth at the end of the proposed fifth season. However, a fifth season of the show never materialized; by the time the fourth season finale aired in May 2001, the show had been cancelled due to low ratings.
"Two Guys and a Girl" had strong ratings success during its run, peaking in season 2 with an average of 12.0 million viewers.
The series premiere, titled "The Pilot", was watched by 17.94 million viewers, airing after The Drew Carey Show. The episode got a 15.61 Nielsen rating and won its 18-49 adult demographic. This was ABC's biggest opening since Spin City.
The eleventh episode of season 1, "Two Guys, a Girl and How They Met", got a 6.7 Nielsen rating, a big drop from the series premiere. The estimated number of viewers was 7.69 million.
The show continued to have success during the first few seasons, but it never reached the high rating of "The Pilot".
Its key adult 18–49 audience was predominantly female (55%). It was ranked #1 in its time period with Total Viewers, outperforming "Beverly Hills, 90210", "The Nanny" and "Dawson's Creek". It was also #1 in its time slot with key adults 18–49 and with all male demographics. It was the number three sitcom on ABC with key Adults 18-34.