Popular (TV series)
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|Opening theme||"Supermodels" by Kendall Payne|
|Ending theme||"High School Highway" by Sydney Forest|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||43 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||44 minutes|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
Disney-ABC Domestic Television
The WB Television Network
Walt Disney Television
|Original network||The WB|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||September 29, 1999 –|
May 18, 2001
Popular is an American teenage comedy-drama television series that aired on The WB, created by Ryan Murphy and Gina Matthews, starring Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope as two teenage girls who reside on opposite ends of the popularity spectrum at their high school, but are forced to get along when their single parents meet on a cruise ship and get married. The show was produced by Touchstone Television and ran for two seasons on The WB from September 29, 1999 to May 18, 2001.
Brooke McQueen (Leslie Bibb) and Sam McPherson (Carly Pope), students at Jacqueline Kennedy High School, are polar opposites. Brooke is a popular cheerleader and Sam is an unpopular journalist. Their respective groups are forced to socialize when Brooke's father and Sam's mother get engaged and the two girls have to share a house.
The plot of the first season revolves around the girls' school life, rival groups of friends, mutual animosity and plan to separate their parents. At the end of the season, Sam finds Brooke's real mother and encourages her to come back to town, which breaks up the engagement and splits the new family apart.
By the second season, Brooke and Sam realize that their parents were happy together, and therefore team up to reunite them, a move which results in the girls slowly becoming close friends, and even referring to each other as "family", though tensions rise when they both get involved with the same boy. Also, a reversal of fortunes takes place, with Brooke resigning from cheerleading to focus on school issues and Sam experiencing a surge of sudden popularity at school. In the end of the second-season finale — which turned out to be the unexpected series finale when the show was cancelled — Brooke is run over by a drunk and angry Nicole Julian (Tammy Lynn Michaels).
- Brooke McQueen (Leslie Bibb)
- Brooke is the most popular girl at Kennedy High. She is beautiful, fashionable, a straight-A student and a cheerleader. An only child whose mother abandoned the family when Brooke was eight years old, she lives alone with her father until the merging of the McQueen and McPherson families. Brooke becomes a half-sister to newborn baby girl, MacKenzie, whom her stepmother gave birth to towards the end of the series. Though she strives to appear perfect, over the course of the two seasons, Brooke reveals her anxiety and low self-esteem on a number of occasions. She struggles with both bulimia and unresolved grief over her mother's abandonment. Brooke spends a good portion of the series romantically involved with football player Josh Ford, but also develops a relationship with Harrison John, a childhood friend from whom she had grown apart due to their opposite social status. She mentions "thinking about" an attraction to girls, though this was never developed further. Brooke is compassionate, kind and socially aware, though occasionally lacks confidence in her convictions, and is capable of spiteful and petty behavior when she is unhappy and can be ruthless when she is angry. Her complex and initially hostile/eventually close relationship with Sam McPherson is one of the cornerstones of the series. She was run down by Nicole in an angry drunken rage in the Season 2 finale, leaving her fate unknown. Director and writer Ryan Murphy named this character after his niece Brooke Murphy.
- Samantha "Sam" McPherson (Carly Pope)
- Smart and determined, Sam McPherson is strong-willed, articulate and very stubborn. Sam's father died when she was fourteen. An only child, she lives alone with her mother until the merging of the McPherson and McQueen families. After her mother gives birth to her and Brooke's father's baby, Sam becomes a half-sister to baby girl MacKenzie. Sam is one of the "unpopular" girls at Kennedy High, along with her best friends Harrison, Carmen, and Lily, a situation that changes when she and Brooke McQueen begin living together. Sam is the editor of the school paper (although as the series progressed, the paper ceased being mentioned) and often wrote stories that exposed hypocrisy and unfairness at Kennedy High. She dates football player George Austin, but eventually discovers feelings for longtime best friend Harrison John after he confesses his love for her. Sam is funny, passionate and has an oft-voiced social conscience, but is quick to anger and slow to let go of hostility. She is also painfully insecure and masks this with a prickly attitude. Her complex and initially hostile/eventually close relationship with Brooke McQueen is one of the cornerstones of the series.
- Lily Esposito (Tamara Mello)
- Lily Esposito is the epitome of an activist. She's considered to be a part of the unpopular crowd, along with her best friends Sam, Carmen, and Harrison. She was confused about her sexuality, but eventually settled into a relationship with Josh Ford. Lily is a vegetarian and passionately committed to both animal rights and social causes. She marries her first love, Josh Ford, towards the end of the series but realizes that married life is not what she thought it would be.
- Harrison John (Christopher Gorham)
- Harrison John is a smart but socially awkward "unpopular" guy who lives with his gay mother after the divorce of his parents. Harrison has had a crush on Brooke McQueen since they were children, one that is eventually reciprocated, but ends up torn when he reveals that he also has feelings for his best friend, Sam McPherson. In the second season, Harrison suffers from leukemia, and while in bed rest at the hospital, becomes good friends with his roommate Clarence. Clarence dies in "The Consequences of Falling", but comes back as an angel, to provide a suicidal Harrison with reasons why he should not jump off the hospital rooftop. Harrison returns to his room later expecting to die, but survives after a bone marrow transplant from Nicole Julian. Popular but unstable cheerleader Mary Cherry has a crush on Harrison, who she erroneously and consistently refers to as "Joe". Harrison is often portrayed as both happy with and alarmed by the fact that his closest friends are all female, and struggles in his interaction with other guys, though eventually develops tentative friendships with popular footballers Josh Ford and Sugar Daddy. By the end of the series, both Brooke and Sam ask Harrison to the Junior prom but eventually realize that it would not work. Harrison is forced to choose between Brooke and Sam while they both sit across from him waiting for his answer. The audience never hears Harrison's answer, although it is heavily implied from the series finale's ending he chose Sam.
- Carmen Ferrara (Sara Rue)
- Carmen is a cute but plain and overweight unpopular girl along with her best friends Sam, Lily, and Harrison. She is initially rejected from the cheerleading squad due to her weight, but later becomes co-captain of the Glamazons. Throughout both series Carmen's character swings between that of a loyal friend and someone who is determined to achieve her goals despite her friends' reactions. She dates Josh Ford in Season 1 until he breaks up with her. Carmen suffers a pregnancy scare and has an abusive, alcoholic mother. Carmen was a headlined character for both seasons, but her inclusion in main storylines diminished as the final season aired.
- Josh Ford (Bryce Johnson)
- Josh Ford is the quarterback of the football team and all-around "popular" guy of the school. He dates Brooke McQueen, Carmen Fererra and Lily Esposito and is best friends with Sugar Daddy. Josh is artistically talented and appears as the lead in two school productions, though he struggles with his school work. Initially presented as good-natured but rather vacuous, Josh develops a social conscience due to his relationship with activist Lily, and helps her with various causes. Josh and Lily get married but struggle with both finances and the non-existent sexual nature of their relationship. In the final episode of the series, Josh and Lily realize that married life is not what they thought it would be. After a bad day, Josh tells Lily that he does not think they will be okay.
- Nicole Julian (Tammy Lynn Michaels)
- Nicole Julian is a beautiful, chic, power-hungry cheerleader who consistently manipulates others for her own gain, and is personally responsible for most of the major friction which occurs at Kennedy High School. She is generally seen as a very cold-hearted and conniving young woman, but has proved herself to be very insecure. She is the on-again, off-again best friend of the popular Brooke McQueen. Early in the series, she reveals that she is jealous of Brooke by sleeping with Brooke's ex-boyfriend, Josh Ford, and would love to overtake her popular status. Despite her frivolous, sociopathic tendencies, during the course of the show, Nicole displays her softer side on many occasions, revealing a surprisingly vulnerable and sad person underneath, due to her alcoholic mother's constant criticism and the discovery that she was adopted. Her most generous moment in the series was when she donated bone marrow to Harrison to help save his life, surprising everyone with her selflessness. Her devious tactics usually allow her to get her way, at the cost of alienating the other characters. She is a highly promiscuous young woman who isn't afraid, for instance, to pole dance in front of a group of strangers. When her Machiavellian schemes eventually fail her in the end, and Brooke has had enough and chooses her relationship with Sam over Nicole, an angry, drunk and jealous Nicole ends the series in a defining way by deliberately running Brooke down in her car. Director and writer Ryan Murphy named this character after his niece Brooke Murphy's best friend Nicole Moore.
- Michael "Sugar Daddy" Bernardino (Ron Lester)
- The wannabe-gangster of the popular group. He is best friends with Josh and is on the football team. He has problems with his weight and does not think he will ever be loved by a woman until he meets and eventually dates exchange student Exquisite Woo. In season one he has a very brief relationship with Mary Cherry and meets a girl online, that in fact is Carmen.
- Mary Cherry (Leslie Grossman)
- Mary Cherry (always referred to by both herself and all other characters with both names) is an idiotic, bubbly cheerleader in the popular group. Mary Cherry comes from a very rich family, and as a result tends to be spoiled and rude to those who are not popular, though she is exceedingly generous with her money. Mary Cherry has a long history of mother issues; her mother, Cherry Cherry (Delta Burke), often insults and degrades her even though she claims to love her. Mary Cherry's character is a consistent example of the series' brush with hyper-reality; she is seldom believable as an actual person, and is often referred to as "borderline retarded" by other characters, but appears as a great comic effect throughout the series. She also appears to be somewhat mentally unstable, and is often referred to as a psychopath by other characters due to her rather murderous tendencies (once during a career match-up, she got the "most likely to become a serial killer" position). She develops a crush on Harrison, whom she calls "Joe" even though she eventually reveals that she does in fact know his real name. In the final episode of the series, it is revealed that she has a long-lost twin sister, Baby Honeychild, 'but up on Gun Hill Road' better known as "B. Ho", who was raised in the Bronx. After Mama Cherry chooses B. Ho over Mary Cherry, Mary Cherry becomes an orphan.
- Jane McPherson (Lisa Darr)
- Sam's mother who becomes engaged to Brooke's father.
- Mike McQueen (Scott Bryce)
- Brooke's father who becomes engaged to Sam's mother.
- Roberta "Bobbi" Glass (Diane Delano)
- Bobbi Glass is the students' science teacher. She is portrayed as being mean and cruel and constantly threatens to give people F's in order to get her way. She is a woman, but has a lot of physical qualities that resemble a man. This causes the students to call her Sir. She doesn't seem bothered about it but it is later revealed in an episode entitled "Fag" that it hurts her. She also reveals that she questions her sexuality. Although in the first season her human side is not focused on, it is focused on in the second season.
- Robin John, Harrison's mother (Alley Mills)
- Poppita "Poppy" Fresh (Anel Lopez Gorham)
- April Tuna (Adria Dawn)
- Emory Dick (Hank Harris)
- Principal Cecilia Hall (Diana Bellamy)
- Vice Principal Calvin Krupps (Robert Gant)
- Wayne Vincent – drama teacher (Darryl Theirse)
- Luke Grant – journalist faculty advisor (Chad Lowe)
- "Canada" – humanities teacher (Sandra Oh)
- Francis Peritti – football coach (John Caponera)
- Nurse Glass (Diane Delano)
- Leo Ferrara, Carmen's older brother (Christopher Wiehl)
- Exquisite Woo, a foreign exchange student and eventual steady girlfriend to Sugar Daddy (Michelle Krusiec)
- Adam Rothschild-Ryan (Wentworth Miller)
- George Austin (Anthony Montgomery)
- Cherry Cherry (Delta Burke)
- Jamie Roth (Nick Stabile)
- Freddy Gong (Kelvin Yu)
- Vera Krups (Marnie Crossen)
- May Tuna (Mandy Freund)
- Clarence (Mike Damus)
- Godfrey (Bob Clendenin)
- Ms. Ross (Arnetia Walker)
- Joy Ferrara (Susan Ruttan)
- Stone Cold #1 (Sam Page)
- Stone Cold #2 (Richard Voll)
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||22||September 29, 1999||May 18, 2000|
|2||21||September 22, 2000||May 18, 2001|
The complete series of Popular has been released on DVD in region 1 by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. The DVD versions of select episodes had to change several songs that were used in the original aired episodes to stock music due to licensing fees. Shows like Daria, Mission Hill, Grosse Pointe and other television series also went through similar situations where their DVD and streaming (ex. Netflix, Hulu) counterparts used stock music as a replacement in order to cut costs of using other artists' music.
|1||22||September 21, 2004|
|2||21||March 8, 2005|
The show's main opening theme was excerpted from the song "Supermodels", a track from indie singer-songwriter Kendall Payne's 1999 album Jordan's Sister. Ending theme song is "High School Highway" by Sydney Forest.
|Episode #||Title||TV songs
|1||"The Phantom Menace"||The Dandy Warhols – "Good Morning"||Mark Liggett, Martin Evans – "Something In The Way"
||Beginning of cold opening|
|Sydney Forest – "High School Highway"||No change||Opening credits
|Showoff – "Falling Star"||Chris Goulstone – "Let Me Be the One" (Full Mix Vocal)||In Nicole's car and beginning scene of school setting|
|Aretha Franklin – "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"||Music removed||Mr. Vincent (drama teacher) commenting on student's singing "Amazing Grace" by saying "Arethra"|
|Trio – "Tutti Fruiti"||Steffen Franz – "Beating Azul (A)"||Scene during biology class with frogs|
|Gary Glitter – "Rock and Roll, Part Two"||Unknown music or generic cover||Cheerleaders entering the gym|
|E.K.O. – "Keep On Shining" (Dave's Tko Remix)||Thomas Kane, Colin Baldry – "Score"
||Cheerleaders' demo routine and tryouts|
|Karry Walker – "I Said So"||Unknown music||Mall background music during Carmen and Lily's conversation while browsing clothes|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Mall background music in fitting room area during Brooke and Nicole's conversation|
|The Dandy Warhols – "Cool As Kim Deal"||Unknown music||Sam interviewing random people at mall|
|Sydney Forest – "High School Highway"||No change||Ending credits|
|2||Mo' Menace, Mo' Problems||Kendall Payne – "Supermodels"||No change||Opening theme song|
|Unknown music||Bryan New – "Teenage Misfit"||Montage of students hanging out at school|
|Tom Racer – "Valentine"||"Frequently For Me B"
||Sam entering Mr. Grant's office|
|Fatboy Slim – "Gangsta Trippin'"||Different unknown music||Nicole checking the guest list outside and beginning scene of party|
|Tyrese – "Lately"||Aaron Wheeler & Jayme Tovey – "Better Place"||Sugar Daddy slow dancing with Mary Cherry|
|Hole – "Malibu"||Michael Gurley, Billy Lincoln, Kat Green – "Just My Luck"||Josh and Sugar Daddy talking on the phone|
|The Crosswalk – "Brand New"||Unknown music||Sam apologizing to friends at the diner|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Sam and friends crashing Brooke's party|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Parents arrive at the party talking to Brooke and Sam|
|Sydney Forest – "High School Highway"||No change||Ending theme song|
|3||Under Siege||Ennio Morricone – "Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)"||Roberto Pregadio – "Ballata Per Un Pistolero (Ballad of a Gunman)"||Lily and Ms. Glass' disagreement about frog dissection|
|Right Said Fred – "Too Sexy!"||No change||Mary Cherry entering school|
|Curtis Mayfield – "Superfly"||Paul Lenart – "Funky Street (B)"
||Lily's 70s' movie daydream in biology class|
|Yello – "Oh Yeah"||Curtis Schwartz – "Dig This"||Brooke and Nicole waiting in boys' locker room|
|Zebrahead – "Swing"||Unknown music||Brooke preparing dinner|
|Modest Mussorgsky (Janos Sandor & Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra) – "St. John's Night on Bald Mountain, 'A Night on the Bare Mountain'"||No change||Dinner with Brooke and Sam's parents|
|4||Windstruck||Snowboy And The Latin Section – "Mambo for Max"||No change||Sam sitting on Josh's lap during drama practice|
|Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 – "The Look Of Love"||No change||Sam looking at Josh during classes|
|Andrea True Connection – "More More More"||Jean-Pierre Fabien – "Soul Brothers"||Sam and Josh dancing in Sam's fantasy|
|Ludwig van Beethoven – "Symphony No. 5"||No change||Carmen sending an email accidentally to everyone|
|Nappy Brown – "My Heart Goes Piddily, Patter, Patter"||Sy Gorieb & Mari Falcone – "Pretty Baby (A)"||Brooke sitting next to Harrison in biology class|
|The Nutty Squirrels – "Uh! Oh!"||Hermann Skibbe – "Swinging"||Mary Cherry running around to talk to Sugar Daddy|
|Bow Wow Wow – "I Want Candy"||Chris Goulstone – "Rocking Blues (60 Sec)"||Boys locker room transitioning to Brooke's bedroom|
|Remy Zero – "Twister"||Different unknown music||Josh asking Sam to come in journalism room|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Nicole bringing out margarita mix to Brooke near the pool|
|The Push Stars – "Drunk Is Better Than Dead"||Different unknown music||Nicole and Brooke noticing Harrison from the window next door|
|Unknown music||Unknown music||Brooke and Harrison talking near the poolside|
|Robert W Vincent – "Wear You Down (A)"
||No change||Drunk Brooke laying on Harrison's lap|
|Remy Zero – "Twister"||Robert W Vincent – "Wear You Down (A)"
||Sam looking at yearbook; Harrison looking over Brooke|
|Moby – "Inside"||Llewellyn – "Amethyst" / "Inner Vision"||Josh giving poem/album lyrics to Brooke at the library|
|Fountains of Wayne – "Troubled Times"||Timo Jewel, Fontaine Burnett – "It Feels Like"
||Sam and Harrison talking at the fast food restaurant, Mr. Clucks.|
|5||Slumber Party Massacre||Joan Jones – "Party"||Alexander Baker, Clair Marlo – "Just Be"||Carmen writing her party invitations and handing them out; ending scene at Mr. Clucks|
|Jennifer Brown – "Two In The Morning"||Unknown music||Beginning scene at the school|
|Wiseguys – "Ooh La La"||Unknown music||Cheerleaders walking to cafeteria to RSVPing to Carmen's party|
|Arling & Cameron – "How About The Boys"||Rick Cassman & Vyv Hope-Scott – "Tristans Boutique (Full Mix)"||Harrison and Brooke talking at the cafeteria|
|Eels – "Cancer For The Cure"||Chris Goulstone – "Get On Down (Full Mix Vocal)"||Cheerleaders arrive at Carmen's house|
|Los Lobos – "Oh Yeah"||Tim Juckes – "Hurtling"
||Nicole hypnotizing Mary Cherry and Carmen|
|Bugs – "The Oracle"||Francis Monkman – "Superdude"||Nicole giving money to hypnotized Carmen to buy chicken at Mr. Clucks|
|6||Truth or Consequences||Henry Mancini – "The Pink Panther Theme"||Unknown music||Nicole scheming to cheat on biology midterm with Mary Cherry and Poppy in cafeteria|
|Jack Elliot, Allyn Ferguson – "Charlie's Angels – TV Theme song"||Unknown music||Nicole, Marry Cherry's fantasy as Charlie Angels|
|Arling & Cameron – "Le Flic Et La Fille"||John Hawkins – "Hit Man"||Sneaking into Ms. Glass' office|
|Stavesacre – "You Know How It Is"||Unknown song||Fight between Josh and Harrison|
|Edwin Starr – "War"||No change||Food fight in cafeteria|
|7||Queen B.||Unknown music||Unknown music||Sam moving into Brooke's house|
|Bert Parks – "There She Is, Miss America"||Alan Braden – "Bridge of Stars"||Announcement of homecoming queen nominees in class|
|Jakko Jakszyk – "Spaghetti Cowboy (Full Mix Vocal)"||No change||Mary Cherry's mother talking to Nicole|
|Chic – "I Want Your Love"||Steve Jeffries – "The Beat Goes On (Full Mix)"||Nominees campaigning|
|Unknown music||Unknown music||Sam listening to CD player|
|John Philip Sousa – "The Washington Post"||No change||Mary Cherry on megaphone|
|Mary Schneider – "William Tell Overture"||Gioachino Rossini – "William Tell Overture"||Filling out ballots|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Introducing the nominees at the homecoming game|
|Sparklehorse – "Homecoming Queen"||No change||Ending scene|
|8||Tonight's the Night||Loli-Pop – "Be My Petting Zoo"||No change||Opening scene and throughout episode
|Bon Voyage – "Together"||Alexander Baker, Clair Marlo – "Butterfly"||Brooke taking compatibility quiz from magazine|
|Ben Lee – "I Am A Sunflower"||Alexander Baker, Clair Marlo – "Just Be"||After Sam seeing Ben at school; Harrison looking at couples at cafeteria|
|The Har You Percussion Group – "Welcome To The Party"||Liza and JP – "Perrito Caliente"||Sam and Tuna twins practicing tennis with Ben|
|Mineral – "The Last Word Is Rejoice"||Unknown music||Lily and Harrison talking in the nurse's office|
|"La Cumparsita"||Liza and JP – "Perrito Caliente"||Ben teaching Sam on tennis court|
|Sarah Vaughn – "Smooth Operator"||Hal David and John Cacavas – "All Day"||Harrison checking in hotel|
|Supertramp – "Give A Little Bit"||Alexander Baker, Clair Marlo – "Cloud Patterns" (instrumental)||Harrison preparing romantic setting in room; Sugar Daddy waiting for his date, Brooke and Josh becoming intimate|
|Alec Gould – "Sea Breeze"||No change||Lily arriving at hotel room|
Joe 90 – "Just A Dream"
|Anika Peress, Dean Landon – "Forever Naturally"||Lily cancelling plans with Harrison, Sugar Daddy's date not showing up, Brooke trying to wake up Josh|
|Dean Martin – "Nobody Til Somebody Loves You"||Hal David and John Cacavas – "All Day" (instrumental)||Ending scene at the Knees Together club|
|9||Wild, Wild Mess||Unknown music||Different unknown music||Nicole, Mary Cherry and Sugar Daddy kidnapping Gwyneth Paltrow's personal shopper|
|Clyde McPhatter – "If You Only Knew"||Generic somber music that is commonly played throughout series||Brooke second time taking pregnancy test and walking to the kitchen|
|David Bowie – "Fashion"||No change||Nicole and Mary Cherry's personal fashion wearing Gwyneth Paltrow's clothes|
|Dido – "Honestly OK"||Billy Lincoln, Kat Green – "We Grow"||Brooke in her room; Sam passes motherhood information under the door|
|"Dirty Ho"||No change||Brooke fantasy of being pregnant during class; Ms. Ross, Nicole and Mary Cherry break into song
|KPM Angels' Chorus – "Messiah: Hallelujah"||No change||Nicole and Mary Cherry being praised by the personal shopper|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Nicole and Mary Cherry find out the personal shopper's true identity|
|Switchfoot – "Let That Be Enough"||Larry Gates – "Circle of Love"
||Ending scene where Harrison submits the signatures for his mom to be principal for a day|
|10||Fall on Your Knees||APM Holiday Ensemble – "Kommet, Ihr Hirten"||No change||Cold opening where Nicole is counting money|
|Unknown music||Unknown music||Sam and Brooke's family decorating the Christmas tree|
|John Devereaux – "Christmas Day"||No change||Brooke and Sam realizing they have to share a Christmas party together|
|Richard Myhill – "Christmas Lullaby (2)"||No change||Carmen entering school with crutches|
|Brian Bennett – "We Wish You a Mary Christmas"||No change||Ms. Glass announcing there is no final exam|
|Lee Mendelson, Vince Guaraldi – "Christmas Time Is Here"||No change||Tuna twins, Emory, and Freddy caroling outside|
|"O Come, All Ye Faithful"||No change||Carolers outside while the everyone else is talking indoors|
|"Drummer Boy"||No change||Carolers singing after Nicole leaves small change for a donation|
|Ludwig van Beethoven – "Für Elise"||No change||Music box|
|Unknown music||Music removed||Past Nicole starting her reign of terror|
|Richard Harvey – "Winter's Flight"||Music removed||Introducing Mary Cherry as Spirit of Christmas Present|
|Unknown music||Unknown music||Nicole coming out of bed canopy|
|Richard Myhill – "Tales of Midwinter"||No change||Mary Cherry waving wand|
|Bing Crosby – "I’ll Be Home For Christmas"||John Charles Fiddy, Sammy Burdson (APM Holiday Ensemble) – "Ding Dong Merrily On High"||Sam and Brooke's parents dancing|
|The Nutcracker – "Dance of the Mirlitons"||No change||April Tuna and Freddy Gong talking to|
|Unknown music||Unknown music||Brooke talking to Carmen at the party|
|Unknown music||Unknown music||Making a toast at the table|
|Unknown music||Unknown music||Nicole arriving to the party|
|Jeffrey Reid Baker – "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"||No change||Everyone opening Nicole's presents|
|"Silent Night"||No change||Ms. Glass and Nurse Glass stargazing on balcony|
|"Hark! The Herald Angels"||No change||Ending scene – students caroling in front of Ms. Glass' home|
|11||Ex, Lies, and Videotape||Madonna – "Lucky Star (U.S. Remix)"||No change||Cold opening where cheerleaders are practicing|
|T-Cisco – "Intervention #1"||Stephen Gaboury, Machan Sasaki Taylor – "Panama Red (A)"||April Tuna talking to Carmen in front of lockers and throughout episode|
|Rob Zombie – "Dragula (Hot Rod Herman Remix)"||"Gargantua (A)"
||Poppy, Mary Cherry's driving test|
Andrea Marcum – "Elastic"
|"Before I Give My Heart"
||Josh returning to auditorium after arguing with his dad outside|
|12||The Trial of Emory Dick||Johann Sebastian Bach – "Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565"||André Luy – "Hymne en 3 versets sur le choral 'Der du bist drei in Einigkeit': Con moto"||Emory's fantasy of torturing his tormentors|
|Alan Tew – "The Big One" (People's Court theme song)||No change||Beginning court scene|
|Bill Baylis & Julie Tully – "Get Up and Do It"||No change||Cheerleaders practicing after first court session|
|Tony Orlando and Dawn – "Say, Has Anyone Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose"||No change||Ms. Glass dancing in class|
|13||Hope in a Jar||Brian Bennett – "Boogie Juice"||No change||Transition scene from classroom to Harrison walking in the cafeteria|
|Brian Bennett & Dave Koz – "Melt"||No change||Glamazon cheerleaders fantasizing about Stone Cold|
|Curtis Schwartz – "Skratch Junkie"||No change||The Glamazons and April Tuna walking in the hallways|
|Alan Parker – "Powerhouse Rock"||No change||Harrison and Josh competing on weight benches|
|The Stone Roses – "I Wanna Be Adored"||Steve Byrd – "Sunspots"
||Montage of everyone getting ready for the Sadie Hawkins dance|
|Jungle Brothers – "Freakin’ You"||Different unknown music||Glamazons and April Tuna entering the dance|
|The Autumns – "Oriel"||Different unknown music||Sam and Josh dancing; Brooke and Harrison talking|
|The Lassie Foundation – "El Rey"||Steve Byrd – "Slider"
||Glamazons see April Tuna dancing with Stone Cold|
|The Flamingos – "I Only Have Eyes For You"||Jerry Burnham, Raun Burnham – "Forever and a Day (A)"
||Final dancing scene|
|14||Caged!||Gwen Mars – "Big Wheel"||Different unknown music||Flashback of fight scene in The Novak during cold opening|
|Missy Elliott – "She’s a Bitch"||Roberto Pregadio – "Ballata per un Pistolero (Ballad of a Gunman)"||Girls in groups of 3 walking in the halls|
|Unknown music||Graham Preskett – "Echoes of Love"||Brooke's retelling of her secret|
|Gerhard Trede – "Beguine "
||No Change||Ms. Glass retelling her secret|
|Kendall Payne – "The Second Day"||Anika Paris – "In Love Again"||Sam's secret|
|George Michael – Freedom! '90||No change||Ending scene|
|15||Booty Camp||Graham De Wilde – "The British Grenadiers"||No change||The start of boot camp while holding dummies on track & field|
|William Steffe – "Battle Hymn of the Republic" or "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory"||No change||Obstacle course during boot camp|
|Kenny Loggins – "Danger Zone" (Top Gun soundtrack)||Different unknown music||Sargent Rock Glass saying "Top Gun would make one heck of a broadway show"|
|Richard Myhill – "Get 'Em Off!"||No change||The boys walking through the hall of girls during boot camp|
|Michael Brook – "Ultramarine"||Pierre Perez-Vergara – "Micro Structure"
||Everyone leaving boot camp|
|16||All About Adam||Unknown music||Lucy Diamond & Jim Wolfe – "Outside Looking In"||Cold opening of Brooke sitting on the bleachers|
|Tom Racer – "Secret’s Out"||Different unknown music||Mary Cherry making out with Adam in The Novak|
|Amber – "Sexual (Li Da Di)"||Different unknown music||Adam choreographing cheers for Glamazons|
|Foo Fighters – "Breakout"||David Newton – "She's So Dumb"
||Montage of Sam being filmed for Chick Power|
|New World Symphony – "Wonder Woman"||Brian Bennett – "Drama Montage"||Mary Cherry trying to decipher Adam's real identity from IDs|
|Dave Richmond – "Nightwatch"||No change||Sam researching in computer lab|
|Unknown music||Paul Lenart – "Backyard Groove"
||Mary Cherry plane ride to Tupelo|
|Paul Simon – "Kodachrome"||Zachary A Schaffer – "Yesterdays Are Gone (B)"
|17||Lord of the Flies||Luscious Jackson – "Fantastic Fabulous"||No change||Glamazons getting ready early in the morning|
|Groove Armada – "I See You Baby (Fatboy Slim Radio Edit)"||Glamazons arriving tai chi class|
|Mark Scholz – "Mind Game"||No change||Exercises during tai chi class|
|Unknown music||No change||Beginning of open mic setting|
|Harrison – "What is He Doing With Her?"||No change||Harrison's self made song
|18||C-C-Changes||David Bowie – "Changes"||No change||Woodshop teacher's new transformation; students making a statement at the board meeting|
|Mitch Miller – "The Yellow Rose of Texas"||Instrumental of "The Yellow Rose of Texas"||Cherry Cherry's flashback|
|Dick Walter – "Satin Sounds"||No change||Staff room with upgraded features|
|19||Hard on the Outside, Soft in the Middle||The B-52's – "Rock Lobster"||No change||Cold opening of Lily's flashback seeing the lobster at Croutons restaurant; Mary Cherry eating the lobster; ending scene|
|Vitamin C – "I'm Not That Kind of Girl"||Bill Baylis, Simon Stewart & Julie Tulley – "Go Mad for It"||Fantasy sequence of Nicole walking down school hallway and receiving gifts from boys|
|Madonna – "Ray of Light"||No change||Unpopular girls dying their hair blond in The Novak|
|Chunky Nelson – "You've Got the Power"||APM Healing Artists – "Move Your Body"||Unpopular girls walking in the cafeteria with blonde hair|
|Barbra Streisand – "I'm the Greatest Star"||No change||Mary Cherry acting like Barbra Streisand|
|A.J. Mora – "The Truth is Coming"||APM Healing Artists – "Move Your Body"||Harrison walking in hallway with blond hair|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Trash thrown at Glamazons while as brunettes walking down the hall|
|Prozzak – "Sucks to Be You"||APM Healing Artists – "Move Your Body"||Sam getting the larger porkchop at family dinner|
|Chunky Nelson – "You've Got the Power"||No change||Unpopular group entering disco bowling alley|
|Sammy Burdson & Jean-Claude Madonne – "Do the Boogaloo"||No change||Ms. Glass being taken away on a stretcher|
|Unknown music||No change||Scene after Sam and Brooke's parents decide to move the wedding earlier|
|20||We Are Family||Group Forty-Orchestra – "Aspects of Fear"||No change||Cold opening of fantasy sequence – Sam crashing into Brooke|
|Jack Shaindlin – "Crime Lab"||No change||Sam calling on the phone in cold opening|
|Richard Cottle – "Set Me Free"||No change||Brooke rewatching her cheerleading practice on TV|
|Jack Shaindlin – "Perplexity"||No change||Brooke and Sam arguing|
|Jack Shaindlin – "Danger"||No change||Brooke removing the cloche/cover from her meal that Sam prepared|
|The Edwin Davids Jazz Band – "Chips" (TV theme song)||No change||Erik Estrada talking to Mary Cherry at school|
|Group Forty-Orchestra – "Drama (Clifford Composition)"||No change||Mary Cherry hugs Erik Estrada in family therapy session|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Lily and Carmen being chased|
|Jessica Riddle – "Your Girl"||Simon Donald Lockyer, Simon May – "Tender Emotions (B)"
||Sam walking to her locker and talking to Harrison|
|Fastbacks – "One More Hour"||Different unknown music||Lily shaving off half of Mary Cherry's hair|
|The Beatles – "She’s Leaving Home" (cover; unknown singer)||Chris Goulstone – "Across The Line (Alt Mix Version 2 Underscore)"||Brooke finding out Sam ran away|
|21||What Makes Sammy Run||Cover of Scott McKenzie – "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)"||Different unknown music||San Francisco scene in cold opening|
|Unknown music||No change||Boys talking about the strip club and talking about getting in after they were denied|
|"Horny Cool Boys"||No change||The boys walking down the school hallway while wear sunglasses
|Unknown music||No change||Boys try to get into strip club with fake IDs|
|Group Forty-Orchestra – "Aspects of Fear"||No change||Mary Cherry with a devious face|
|Morphic Field – "I Won’t Lie to You"||Billy Lincoln & Kat Green – "We Belong"||Sam sneaking into the office at the art gallery|
|Unknown music||No change||Mary Cherry showing her tattoo|
|Lynyrd Skynyrd – "That Smell"||Different unknown music||Wanda appearing in bathroom|
|William Steffe – "Battle Hymn of the Republic" or "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory"||No change||Harrison making a speech to the strip club's bouncer|
|The Rock-A-Teens – "Woo-hoo"||Finn and the Sharks – "Rockabilly Roadhouse"||Lily trying to pretend to be Sam|
|Lords of Acid – "Rough Sex"||Bob Haynes, Max Beard – "Music Medicine"
||Opening scene of strip club|
|Laurie Burgess & Lee Rous – "Baby, Get Higher"||No change||Introduction of Mary Cherry, Nicole and Wanda on stage|
|Unknown music||No change||Sam's mother talking to the girls in the kitchen about Sam|
|The Flamingos – "Ko Ko Mo"||Different unknown music||Carmen throwing up|
|22||Two Weddings and a Funeral||The Miracles – "Love Machine"||Different unknown music||Ms. Glass showing up in boys' locker room to retrieve pen|
|"Teachin' Ms. Glass Musical"||No change||Students singing about Ms. Glass
|Godsmack – "Voodoo"||Music removed||Mary Cherry's flashback at Nurse Glass' home about suspicious person|
|Unknown music||No change||Getting ready for the wedding
|Chris Payne – "Elizabethan"||No change||Mary Cherry showing up in an extravagant dress|
|Sprung Monkey – "Get Em Outta Here"||Music removed||Nurse Glass mentions Ms. Glass was an organ donor at the pews|
|Ruby and the Romantics – "Our Day Will Come"||Different unknown music||Mary Cherry's mother talking to Sam's mother|
|"Will You Marry Me My Dear?"||No change||The boys singing
|Episode #||Title||TV songs
|1||Timber!||Neve – "Step Up"||No change||Brooke thinking about her mom during cold opening|
|Unknown music||No change||Ms. Glass blasting loud music in front the tree|
|Unknown music||No change||Mary Cherry walking in during tryouts|
|Trinket – "Boom"||No change||Nicole walking and falling in the hallway|
|2||Baby, Don't Do It!||AC/DC – "Highway to Hell"||60 Second Crush – "Sister Suicide"||Emory's sisters walking into the school|
|Georges Bizet – Habanera (from the opera, Carmen)||No change||Mary Cherry and Nicole slapping/punching each other|
|David Arnold, Paul Hart – "Infamia"
||No change||Carmen's baby stroller falling on the stairs|
|Kef – "Jump on It"||Different unknown music||Emory and Harrison arriving at the house party|
|Kef – "Hottie Boombalottie"||Different unknown music||Emory's sisters dressed up as Nicole and Mary Cherry|
|Sisqo – "Thong Song"||Bizarre – "The Party (Risque Heartache Mix)"||Carmen and Lily talking at the house party|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Nicole's speech about standing up to Emory's sisters|
|Jared Douglas – "Don’t Make Me Wait"||Different unknown music||Nicole and Mary Cherry stopping music while Emory's sisters were dancing|
|3||Citizen Shame||Fred Karlin – "It’s a Sometimes World" (Yours, Mines and Ours soundtrack)||Different unknown music||Carmen watching the movie, "Yours, Mines and Ours"|
|The O’Jays – "For The Love Of Money"||Greazy Meal – "Money"||Ms. Glass tries to convince Harrison to be her pretend child|
|Marilyn Monroe – "Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend"||Different unknown music||Ms. Glass checking the diamond ring|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Brooke and teacher talking at the restaurant|
|Pink Floyd – "Money"||Different unknown music||Brooke and teacher chatting with two random guys|
|4||Sweetest Taboo||Barry White – "It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me||Zilo Groove – "Feel Free Don't Stop (instrumental)"||Nicole tries to seduce Vice Principal Krupps in his office|
|Electric Boys – "All Lips & Hips"||Southern Gentlemen – "Drive Me Wild"||Mary Cherry showing her new lips in class|
|The Gap Band – "You Dropped A Bomb On Me"||Crud – "Meat Detonation"||Ms. Glass throwing the concoction outside of class|
|5||Joe Loves Mary Cherry||Bob Foster – "Pop, Snapple and Crack"||Jet Set Six – "If I Could Be Anyone"||Dating show fantasy with Brooke in cold opening|
|Ivan Zenaty & Frantisek Xaver Thuri
& Janacek Chamber Orchestra – "Concerto For Violin And Orchestra in G Major, La Stravaganza, Op. 4, No. 3, R. 301: I. Allegro"
|Different unknown music||Nicole and Harrison in 18th century clothing fantasy|
|"Cha Cha (I'm a Lady in Love)"||No change||Fantasy scene where Harrison and Mary Cherry doing a cha cha dance in the hallway
|Unknown music||Luck Brothers – "Like I Never Did Before"||Monkey daydreaming|
|Fastball – "This Guy's in Love With You"||No change||Josh cheering up the monkey|
|Lipps, Inc – "Funky Town"||La Guardia – "You Are (My Shining Star) (Risque mix)"||Montage of people roller skating|
|Neil Sedaka – "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"||Jessie Ross – "One Step at a Time"||Couples only dance|
|6||Style and Substance Abuse||Unknown music||Bibi Farber – "That Girl Again"||Former homecoming queen, Hellacious enters the school hallway|
|Unknown music||Different unknown music||Hellacious announcing the queen nominees|
|Vicky Sue Robinson – "Turn the Beat Around"||Different unknown music||Ms. Glass' alarm clock at home|
|Sheena Easton – "Morning Train"||Different unknown music||Montage of Ms. Glass and Carmen training for the queen title|
|7||Ur-ine Trouble||Steve Miller Band – "abracadabra"||Different unknown music||Mary Cherry and Nicole looking at the crystal ball|
|Madonna – "Music"||No change||Mary Cherry, Nicole, and Hellacious parodying Madonna's "Music" music video in the limousine|
|8||Misery Loathes Company||Brent Jones & The T.P. Mobb – "Thank You"||No change||Clarence listening to music|
|Five for Fighting – "Superman (It's Not Easy)"||Theo Eastwind – "Rite of Passage"||Drawing session at the clinic|
|13||Mary Charity||Olive – "Smile"||Merrie Amsterburg – "Patchwork"||Ending scene|
|21||Promblems||Drowning Pool – "Bodies"||Crud – "Reality"||Nicole driving|
In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed Popular at #21 in their list of the "26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever", calling it "the proto-Glee" and saying it "celebrated the value of outcasts and portrayed overplayed topics—Homecoming Court, sex, and secrets—through an absurdist lens."
|Season||U.S. ratings||Time slot||Network rank|
|1||1999–2000||2.9 million ||Wednesday at 9:00 pm (Episode 1)
Thursday at 8:00 pm (Episodes 2–22)
|2||2000–2001||1.7 million||Friday at 9:00 pm||#11|
Awards and nominations
|2000||Casting Society of America||Nominated||Best Casting for TV, Comedy Pilot||Eric Dawson, Carol Kritzer, and Robert J. Ulrich|
|2000||GLAAD Media Awards||Won||Outstanding TV Individual Episode (for episode "Wild Wild Mess")|
|2001||GLAAD Media Awards||Nominated||Outstanding TV Comedy Series|
|2000||Genesis Awards||Won||Television – New Series (for episode "Under Siege")|
|2001||Genesis Awards||Won||Television – Comedy Series (for episode "Joe Loves Mary Cherry")|
|2000||SHINE Awards||Won||Comedy Episode (for episode "Booty Camp")|
|2000||TV Guide Awards||Nominated||Favorite Teen Show|
|2000||Teen Choice Awards||Nominated||TV – Choice Sidekick||Ron Lester|
|Nominated||TV – Choice Comedy|
|Nominated||TV – Choice Actress||Carly Pope|
|Nominated||TV – Choice Actress||Leslie Bibb|
|Won||TV – Choice Breakout Show|
|2001||Teen Choice Awards||Nominated||TV – Choice Sidekick||Ron Lester|
|Nominated||TV – Choice Comedy|
Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope appeared in Grosse Pointe (episode 6) as actresses from Popular in a volleyball game against Johnny and Courtney.
- "26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever". Entertainment Weekly. August 26, 2012. Archived from the original on November 18, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
- "US-Jahrescharts 1999/2000". Würzburg, Germany: Quotenmeter.de. May 30, 2002. Archived from the original on February 26, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
- "The Week in Pop: My pop-culture picks".
- "'Popular' Cast Reunites 11 Years Later, Raising $30K for AIDS Walk".
- "The Cast of 'Popular' Reunites at AIDS Walk Los Angeles".
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Popular (TV series)|