Do You Remember Wonderfalls

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Back in 2004, FOX debuted a new comedy-drama series called Wonderfalls that was co-created by producer-director Todd Holland and Bryan Fuller (who went on to create the TV shows Pushing Daisies and Hannibal).

The show focused on Jaye Tyler (portrayed by actress Caroline Dhavernas, who latter appeared in Hannibal and will soon be seen in the Lifetime series Mary Kills People), a recent Brown University graduate with a philosophy degree, who holds a dead-end job as a sales clerk at a Niagara Falls gift shop. Jayne is the reluctant participant in conversations with various animal figurines that include a wax lion, brass monkey, stuffed bear, and mounted fish, among others, which direct her via oblique instructions to help people in need.

The 13-episodes of the one season only series aired from March 2004 through December 2004 with the first four episodes airing out of sequence in March and April, then four episodes airing in July; one episode in October and two episodes each airing in November and December.

The rest of the cast included:

Katie Finneran (most recently seen in the Netflix’s series Bloodline) played Sharon Tyler, Jayne’s older sister, an immigration lawyer;

Lee Pace (who went on to star in Pushing Daisies, Halt & Catch Fire and the box office film Guardians of the Galaxy) played Aaron Tyler, Jayne’s brother, a PhD student;

William Sadler (veteran actor from Roswell, Hawaii Five-0 and countless box office films) played Darrin Tyler, the father of Jayne, Aaron and Sharon, a highly respected physicians;

Diana Scarwid (film and TV actress) played Karen Tyler, the mother of the Tyler siblings, a successful writer of best-selling travel book guides;

Tyron Leitso (Being Erica and the Hallmark Channel movies My Boyfriends’ Dogs and Family for Christmas) played Eric Gotts, Jayne’s love interest; and,

Tracie Thoms (who went on to star in Cold Case) played Mahandra McGinty, Jayne’s best friend since childhood and cocktail waitress.

Recurring cast members included:

Neil Grayston (who went on to appear in the long-running Syfy series Eureka) played Jayne’s co-worker Alec (aka “Mouthbreather”); Jewel Staite (Firefly and Stargate Atlantis) played Heidi Socket Gotts (Eric’s wife) and Chelan Simmons (Kyle XY, The L.A. Complex and Hannibal) played Jayne’s former classmate Gretchen Speck-Horowitz.

Guest stars of the short-lived series included Kari Matchett (Covert Affairs), Sara Drew (Everwood and Grey’s Anatomy), Carrie Preston (True Blood) and Eddie Kaye Thomas (Scorpion).

NOTE: It should be noted that in an alternate version of the first episode, Scandal’s Kerry Washington appeared as Mahandra and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) appeared as Aaron. They were replaced because they could not commit to future episodes.

Do you remember Wonderfalls?

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at

1 Comment

  1. Karen L

    January 13, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    I *SO* miss Wonderfalls! In fact, all of Brian Fuller’s early shows were winners in my book. Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and the 20 or so episodes of ST: Voyager he had a hand in as well. Amazing stuff that. Wonderfalls was my first “Full” Fuller experience (not knowing he was responsible for the Voyager eps) though, and I immediately went back to devour Dead Like Me.

    I still keep Andy Partridge’s “I Wonder Why the Wonder Falls” in my playlist – and the video is delightful. I’m thinking I should go back and do a binge before the comic book shows hit again! Great topic!