15 years ago, Everybody Hates Chris premiered on UPN to critical acclaim, The series eventually migrated over to The CW when UPN and The WB merged. Based on the childhood of Chris Rock, the series’ title period the popular CBS sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond.
Now reflecting on his time on the series, actor Tyler James Williams who played Chris on the series, hopped on Twitter to share some little known facts about the series, including the fact that it wasn’t actually shot in LA.
However, when asked about specific memories about the series, Williams revealed that he doesn’t quite remember things as you might expect. However, there is a reason for that.
‘Everybody Hates Chris’ is based on Chris Rock’s childhood
Based on comedic legend Chris Rock’s childhood, Everybody Hates Chris was set in Brooklyn from 1982 to 1987 and follows Chris and his siblings Drew and Tonya as well his best friend, Greg.
Chronicling Rock’s real-life leading into the year his father died and he dropped out of high school to become a comedian, the series was critically acclaimed not just for its stellar cast and acting, but also because it tackled subjects like race and class.
To this day it is known as one of the Best School Shows of All Time, and it’s lessons are still super relevant. In their review for the show, Common Sense Media declared it as, “a prime example of how to take serious issues and approach them in a humorous yet thought-provoking way. The series is innovative, funny, and stereotype-defying – enjoyable for teens and their parents.”
The cast and crew on ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ had to be very savvy during filming
Though Chris’ parents Julius (Terry Crews) and Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) were major characters on the sitcom, a majority of the regular cast were all minors. This meant that the series had to adhere to certain laws about child labor and schooling.
On Twitter, Williams explained that a normal shooting day which could extend to 12 or 14 hours had to be truncated down to about nine hours. He shared,
All of the kids in this photo are rough 12-13 years old. We’re now all in our late 20s (27-28). Because of child labor laws (we could only work 9.5 hours vs the usual show average of 12 hours a day) this group had to be more efficient than usual. Everyone rose to the occasion.
Tyler James Williams doesn’t remember specific episodes of ‘Everybody Hates Chris’
Though Everybody Hates Chris was such a beloved series and so many people remember very specific things about the series, Williams doesn’t remember everything in detail. He explained,
In my memory bank it’s all one big episode. This was high school for us, so it’s the equivalent of asking u if u remember one of the less eventful days from your high school life. I can recall pieces, but not specifics. we only shot 4 seasons in 4 short years. 88 episodes. We were done by 2009. It seems like we filmed for longer than we did because we blew up in syndication once we finished around 2009 and that’s when many fans found the show.