Camp Wilder

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Camp Wilder
Genre Sitcom
Created by Matthew Carlson
Written by Matthew Carlson
Gary Gilbert
Cheryl Holliday
Matt Miller
Barrie Nedler
David Z. Sacks
Donald Todd
Directed by Zane Buzby
Gail Mancuso
Arlene Sanford
David Trainer
James Widdoes
Starring Mary Page Keller
Jerry O'Connell
Meghann Haldeman
Tina Majorino
Jay Mohr
Hilary Swank
Jared Leto
Margaret Langrick
Composer(s) Jonathan M. Wolff
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 20 (1 unaired)
Executive producer(s) Matthew Carlson
Producer(s) Linda Nieber
David Z. Sacks
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Vanity Logo Productions
ABC Productions
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Original network ABC
Original release September 18, 1992 (1992-09-18) – February 26, 1993 (1993-02-26)

Camp Wilder is an American television sitcom which aired on ABC from September 18, 1992 until February 26, 1993. The premise centered on a young woman who opens up her home to the friends of her younger siblings, who sought it as judgment-free "hangout", and who regularly went to her for advice. The series was created by Matthew Carlson, and produced by a.k.a. Productions in association with Capital Cities Entertainment.

The show aired as a part of ABC's TGIF lineup, but was cancelled after 19 episodes due to low ratings. A twentieth episode was produced, but was never aired in the United States. Camp Wilder was also shown in the UK and Germany, where it became a hit.[citation needed]


Ricky Wilder (Mary Page Keller) is a 28-year-old nurse and single mother, raising her family in her childhood home after her parents' deaths. Ricky's only actual child was her 6-year-old daughter Sophie (Tina Majorino), but she was also the principal guardian to her teenage siblings, 16-year-old Brody (Jerry O'Connell) and 13-year-old Melissa (Meghann Haldeman). From the time their parents died, Ricky understood that she couldn't change out of her persona as the "cool, approachable" older sister, and mixed parenting tactics in with the setting of a casual, laissez-faire household. In fact, the atmosphere in the Wilder house was so laid-back that many of Brody and Melissa's friends sought it as a refuge from the stricter, more confining homes run by their traditional parents. Ricky thus welcomed them all in with open arms, and they regularly sat around the family's kitchen table and dished about life's various happenings and dilemmas, while Ricky helped them sort out their issues and dispensed sound advice in a non-judgmental, friend-like way. As a result, the neighborhood youth nicknamed their home "Camp Wilder."

Among the regular inhabitants of Camp Wilder were Brody's off-kilter best friend Dorfman (Jay Mohr) and Melissa's friends Beth (Margaret Langrick) and Danielle (Hilary Swank). Many other friends and classmates of theirs passed through Camp Wilder in guest appearances, most notably Dexter (Jared Leto), a hip, motorcycle-riding bad boy who Danielle had the hots for. However, it was goofball Dorfman who quickly became the show's breakout character, with his gross-out humor causing friction with the girls, and Ricky's numerous attempts to help him become an upstanding young man (i.e., teaching him work ethic by giving him a job as an orderly at her hospital, saving him from being held back in school by becoming his tutor, etc.). Other stories focused on the escapades of the Wilders, and especially on Sophie, who was beginning to look up to Brody as a surrogate father figure rather than just as an uncle. Throughout the show's 20 episodes, she began exhibiting tomboyish traits, and at Christmas, she told the family that all she wanted was to be a boy.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Bad Influence" Arlene Sanford Matthew Carlson September 18, 1992 (1992-09-18)
2 "See Spot Go" Arlene Sanford Donald Todd September 25, 1992 (1992-09-25)
3 "The First Kiss" Arlene Sanford Matthew Carlson October 2, 1992 (1992-10-02)
4 "To Protect and Serve" Zane Buzby Gary Gilbert October 9, 1992 (1992-10-09)
5 "Melissa's Friend" Zane Buzby Matthew Carlson October 16, 1992 (1992-10-16)
6 "Sophie's Birthday" Zane Buzby Matthew Carlson October 23, 1992 (1992-10-23)
7 "Spirit of Friendship" David Trainer Gary Gilbert October 30, 1992 (1992-10-30)
8 "It's a Wonderful Video" David Trainer Gary Gilbert November 6, 1992 (1992-11-06)
9 "Something Wilder" David Trainer Matthew Miller & Barrie Nedler November 13, 1992 (1992-11-13)
10 "Boy Loses Girl" Gail Mancuso Donald Todd November 20, 1992 (1992-11-20)
11 "Jung at Heart" Gail Mancuso Cheryl Holliday December 4, 1992 (1992-12-04)
12 "A Close Shave" Gail Mancuso David Sacks December 18, 1992 (1992-12-18)
13 "Career Day" TBA TBA January 8, 1993 (1993-01-08)
14 "I Love You, Margaret B. Sanger" James Widdoes Cheryl Holliday January 15, 1993 (1993-01-15)
15 "Bringing up Brody" David Trainer TBA January 22, 1993 (1993-01-22)
16 "Forget-Me-Not" David Trainer TBA February 5, 1993 (1993-02-05)
17 "Love Stinks" David Trainer David Sacks February 12, 1993 (1993-02-12)
18 "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dorfman" David Trainer Matthew Carlson February 19, 1993 (1993-02-19)
19 "That Was Thin, This is Now" David Trainer David Sacks February 26, 1993 (1993-02-26)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1993 Young Artist Awards Nominated Outstanding Actress Under Ten in a Television Series Tina Majorino
Best Young Actress in a New Television Series Hilary Swank
Best Young Actress in a New Television Series Meghann Haldeman

External links[edit]