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Is it time for ‘Girl Meets World’ to graduate from Disney to Freeform?

'Girl Meets World'

You may not know it, but the future of Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World” is up in the air. While episodes are still airing — and will continue to do so into 2017 — production on Season 3 has ended and a fourth season has yet to be ordered.

What’s more, in an interview with SheKnows, star Rowan Blanchard alludes to the idea that there’s really been no forward movement on renewing the series since Season 3 came to an end.

“I know as much as you do,” she says. “We are hoping for a Season 4, obviously, because we want to continue our story, and I feel like it’s an important story to tell. But as of right now, we just finished [filming] Season 3 and we’re still waiting on the word. ”

So what’s the holdup? It could be any number of things, including the possibility that Disney Channel — which has been home to the “Boy Meets World” sequel series since its inception — is just waiting for the right time to announce more episodes.

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One aspect it may be wise to consider is the content. “Girl meets World” — like its teenage cast — is growing up. When it launched, the series focused on a group of kids in middle school, learning about the power of friendship, experiencing their first romantic crushes and doing things like running for class president or finding out what happens when the class pet dies.

However, now that Riley (Blanchard) and her friends have moved onto high school, things have changed.

Beginning in Season 2, “Girl Meets World” started tackling bigger issues like feminism, mortality and even a polyamorous relationship. While all of these stories were done in a way that could relate to Disney Channel’s audience — kids 2-14, according to a press release about the show’s third season — it’s clear that the kids are growing up and the stories are getting more mature right along with them.

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At a certain point, they may no longer fit Disney Channel’s audience, so what’s a network to do? The answer is surprisingly easy.

Perhaps it’s time to jump to a new network. While Disney Channel has been a good home for “Girl Meets World,” as the show continues to grow, it may become a more age appropriate fit for Freeform, which is also part of the Disney family. It’s an idea even fans have picked up on, with a petition gathering nearly 50,000 signatures of those who support the show moving from one network to the other.

The network formerly known as ABC Family aims its programming at an audience between the ages of 14-34, picking up where Disney Channel theoretically leaves off. Moving to the older-skewing network would give “Girl Meets World” the opportunity to tackle more mature subjects — albeit in its typical comedic style.

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This is a situation “Boy Meets World” never ran into during its seven seasons. As part of the TGIF programming block on ABC, “Boy Meets World” was already on a network with an older audience and didn’t have to worry about catering to a tween audience its entire run. Instead, fans grew up with the show.

That’s the position “Girl Meets World” finds itself in now. Riley will be heading into her second year of high school, likely dealing with issues the core Disney Channel audience isn’t prepared to deal with just yet. With that in mind, perhaps it’s time to graduate from Disney Channel to Freeform, allowing the show to blossom even further.

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“Girl Meets World” is a strong show and Disney Channel has done right by it since they very beginning. At a certain point though, it may become time to leave the nest. Should that time come, cross your fingers that it ends up on Freeform, rather than simply coming to an end.

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