“They were so mad about that because we wanted to play it out. I remember that being a big fight for season two because they were like, ‘Isn’t Amy’s depression going to be depressing?’ We were like, ‘We think it’s going to be pretty real,’” Mimoun said, noting that the network wanted it to be wrapped up in six episodes. “Then, it became the whole season because the show never cut corners that way and you were really with the characters. There was no way Amy was getting over Colin in six episodes. I remember episode 16 of the second season [titled “Unspoken Truths”]; that was a memorable episode for me when she almost OD'ed and [her father, Harold] had to come get her. That was her breaking point. She had hit her rock bottom before she came out the other side.”
Berlanti credited the response to the show’s first Thanksgiving episode in 2002 as tangible proof that Everwood was stepping out of the shadows and carving its own niche. “That was when the show finally connected with the audience, in the sense of people started writing that the show wasn’t trying to be [7th Heaven] -- and no offense to 7th Heaven,” Berlanti said. “We were on right after and people didn’t know how to score the circle, I think. For us, we looked at ourselves and thought, ‘The show’s working,’ and that was a relief.”
The catalyst for Everwood hinged on the death of a mother and a wife, and Berlanti, without using so many words, has profound empathy for how the loss of a loved one shapes a person’s constitution that he didn’t foresee back then. “I lost my mother in May. Knowing that this character, Ephram, went through that in the beginning [of the series], I couldn’t have perceived that,” he said. “That definitely changes how you perceive things. I’m not sure if that makes me less inclined or more inclined to watch more episodes.”
If anything, Berlanti and Mimoun -- who hope to reunite professionally in the near future -- hope Everwood continues to leave a lasting footprint in the TV world, even if it ends up being a small sliver. “If you follow your heart and do stuff that you really care about and believe in -- that you can have just as much good fortune -- [you] might as well follow your heart,” Berlanti said. “That’s what we did at the beginning, and everyone who signed on to the show after that was doing it for the right reasons. It ended up being the best of both worlds.”
All four seasons of Everwood are available to stream on CW Seed.