California Dreams
GenreTeen sitcom
Created by
  • Brett Dewey
  • Ronald B. Solomon
Theme music composer
Opening theme"California Dreams"
Ending theme"California Dreams" (instrumental)
ComposerSteve Tyrell
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes78 (list of episodes)
Executive producerPeter Engel
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companies
Original networkNBC
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseSeptember 12, 1992 (1992-09-12) –
December 14, 1996 (1996-12-14)

California Dreams is an American teen sitcom that aired on NBC. It was part of the network's Saturday morning block, TNBC, premiering on September 12, 1992. Created by writers Brett Dewey and Ronald B. Solomon, and executive produced by Peter Engel, all known for their work on Saved by the Bell,[1] the series centers on the friendships of a group of teenagers (shifting toward a multi-ethnic makeup beginning with the show's second season) who form the fictional titular band. The series ran five seasons, airing its final episode on December 14, 1996. The series featured 40 original songs performed by the band throughout the show's run, primarily written by Steve Tyrell.


Main article: List of California Dreams episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113September 12, 1992 (1992-09-12)December 5, 1992 (1992-12-05)
218September 11, 1993 (1993-09-11)February 5, 1994 (1994-02-05)
317September 10, 1994 (1994-09-10)January 7, 1995 (1995-01-07)
415September 9, 1995 (1995-09-09)April 6, 1996 (1996-04-06)
515September 7, 1996 (1996-09-07)December 14, 1996 (1996-12-14)



The Garrison family

The band



Reruns of California Dreams briefly aired on TBS in the late 1990s.

The show aired on The Children's Channel and later Trouble in the UK in the 1990s.

Home media

Shout! Factory released the first four seasons of California Dreams on DVD in Region 1 between 2009–2011. Seasons 3 and 4 were released as Shout! Factory Exclusives titles, available exclusively through their online store. As of 2016, Seasons 1-4 and The Best of... DVDs can be purchased on Amazon. It is unknown if season 5 will be released.

On July 19, 2011, Mill Creek Entertainment released a ten-episode best-of set, The Best of California Dreams, a single-disc set that features episodes from the first three seasons.[3]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Seasons 1 & 2 31 March 31, 2009[4]
Season 3♦ 17 May 18, 2010[5]
Season 4♦ 15 January 18, 2011[6]

♦ - Shout! Factory Exclusives title, sold exclusively through Shout's online store


Critical response

California Dreams was not well received critically. Rebecca Ascher-Walsh of Entertainment Weekly gave the series a grade of "F", and stated that "California Dreams can be accused of a lot of things, but originality isn’t one of them", and added that "California Dreams producer Franco E. Bario (who is also behind Saved by the Bell) may have good intentions, but it’s hard to imagine what they were."[7] Los Angeles Times reviewer Lynne Heffley considered the show nothing more than "a Saved by the Bell clone set in an upscale beach town".[8]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1993 Young Artist Awards Nominated Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Youth Series or Variety Show Michael Cade, Brent Gore, William James Jones, Heidi Lenhart and Kelly Packard
Best Young Actress in a New Television Series Heidi Lenhart
Best Young Actor in an Off-Primetime Series Ryan O'Neill
1994 Young Artist Awards Nominated Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Cable or Off Primetime Series Michael Cade, Jay Anthony Franke, Brent Gore, William James Jones, Kelly Packard, and Ryan O'Neill
1996 NCLR Bravo Awards Nominated Outstanding Program for Children or Youth California Dreams

Cast reunion

The main cast members from the first two seasons of California Dreams reunited on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on March 4, 2010, and played the show's theme song. The version they sang was a unique mash-up that featured both Heidi Noelle Lenhart and Jennie Kwan, who replaced Lenhart in Season 2. While present, Jay Anthony Franke was not a featured vocalist in the performance, given that he did not perform the singing voice of Jake Sommers. Aaron Jackson and Diana Uribe were not present.[9]


  1. ^ Greg Braxton (November 27, 1992). "'Bell' Hearing the Sounds of Success : Television: With a TV movie, foreign broadcasts, syndicated reruns and a plethora of merchandise, 'Saved by the Bell' intends to be noticed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Brenda You (June 28, 1994). "Beat It, Bad Guys". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  3. ^ "Best of California Dreams". July 19, 2011.
  4. ^ "California Dreams: Season Three". Shout! Factory. March 31, 2009. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "California Dreams: Season Three". Shout! Factory. May 18, 2010. Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  6. ^ "California Dreams: Season Three". Shout! Factory. January 18, 2011. Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  7. ^ Rebecca Ascher-Walsh (October 2, 1992). "California Dreams". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  8. ^ Lynne Heffley (September 12, 1992). "TV Reviews Cartoon-Free Lineup No Improvement". Los Angeles Times. p. F9.
  9. ^ Tanner Stransky (March 5, 2010). "'California Dreams' on 'Jimmy Fallon': Who needs 'Saved by the Bell' anyway..." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 18, 2016.