American Dreams

American DreamsNetwork: NBC
Episodes: 61 (hour)
Seasons: Three

TV show dates: September 29, 2002 — March 30, 2005
Series status: Cancelled/ended

Performers include: Gail O’Grady, Tom Verica, Brittany Snow, Will Estes, Sarah Ramos, Ethan Dampf, Vanessa Lengies, Jonathan Adams, Arlen Escarpeta, Rachel Boston, Paul D. Roberts, Keith Robinson, Matthew John Armstrong, Jamie Elman, Aysia Polk, Peter Spellos, Adina Porter, and Daphne Zuniga.

TV show description:      
This drama is set against the turbulent sixties and the Vietnam War.

The series primarily focuses on the Pryor family — father Jack (Tom Verica), modern mother Helen (Gail O’Grady), and their children; U.S. Marine JJ (Will Estes), seventeen-year-old Meg (Brittany Snow), polio-recoveree Will (Ethan Dampf), and smarty-pants Patty (Sarah Ramos).

American Dreams also follows African-American Henry Walker (Jonathan Adams) and son Sam (Arlen Escarpeta), Meg’s outspoken best friend Roxanne (Vanessa Lengies), and JJ’s former fiancee Beth Mason (Rachel Boston).

The series became known for featuring modern singers performing as notable 1960s musicians on the Philadelphia-based American Bandstand.

Series Finale:     
Episode 61 — It’s My Life
Chris returns and reveals to Meg that he has been drafted and is going to Bekeley to avoid it.

J.J. is stressed by work pressures as he applies for and is awarded a job in aeronautics. His new job involves working on the space suit design for NASA moon missions.

Luke is surprised to learn that Roxanne is cutting hair at the Vinyl Crocodile, while Nathan gets a second chance from Mr. Pryer, and resumes making deliveries. Helen decides to go with a mother to pick up her son’s coffin.

Meg ultimately chooses to be with Chris over her family, even though Jack has vowed to disown her if she leaves. She and Chris motorcycle away to Berkeley, California, where they plan to campaign against the war.
First aired: March 30, 2005.


What happened next?   
An alternate ending was shot that could have served as a series finale but it was not aired. The network couldn’t find sponsors to pay for the additional footage which contained a lot of music that would have had to be licensed.


Canceled and renewed TV show

10 Comments · Read them below or add one

    • Curt Levesque says

      I agree with you. I want this show to come back with a TV movie or a mini-series as soon as possible and it would be set in the 1970’s!

  1. david jerome says

    This was one of the best shows on tv, it not only had history that our children could learn from, but it was a time when people like myself lived thru these times. How this could get cancelled shows the poor taste in tv that now exists. I wish there was a way to bring this show back. Very sad the way it ended.


  2. Julia Miller says

    Of course, a show that promoted family values and highlighted some of the most influential times in the last 50 years would be canceled. I’m sure it was replaced by senseless reality TV. I LOVED this show and it remains one of my all-time favorites. I only wish there had been a fitting series finale.

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