Pepper Dennis: The disappearing TV series

Sometimes television shows disappear, and that can be pretty frightening. In honor of October and the spooky season, we’re going to look at a television show that has essentially disappeared. We’re in the timeline where you can find anything on streaming or for sale on Amazon, yet some media has vanished into the ether. Pepper Dennis, the dramedy from 2006, is one of those shows that disappeared. Here’s the primer on the now-specter of a show you didn’t know you were missing. 

A casualty of the WB and UPN merger

Pepper Dennis was literally the last show to premiere on the WB Network before the merger that gave birth to The CW would happen. The Rebecca Romijn-led dramedy premiered midseason in April of 2006, and the CW came into existence in September 2006. The merger occurred because both networks were struggling financially. At the time, a fancy press conference with Leslie Moonves of CBS (who owned UPN) and Barry Meyer of the WB explained the business decision to merge. Trade articles assured stakeholders that the shows they had planned – aka Pepper Dennis, would go on. 

Engaging characters

The strength and humor of Pepper Dennis comes from its cast. Rebecca Romijn is the lead, a television reporter who was supposed to get an anchor job but didn’t. Josh Hopkins is her foe and romantic counterpart, Charlie Babcock – who, surprise, got the job she wanted. Rider Strong Chick Dirka, a network cameraman who is also in love with Pepper. Brooke Burns is Pepper’s sister, Kathy, who’s a bit sheltered and has a lot of comedic moments because of that. Lindsay price is Kimmy Kim, a makeup artist, and Pepper’s confidant. 

The chemistry between the two leads is excellent – it perfectly hits the enemies-to-lovers trope. And Strong’s unrequited love as Dennis’ cameraman is a totally different performance than his Shawn from Boy Meets World. And it so works and shows the actor’s range. All of the cast from Pepper Dennis sell their roles with skill – it’s light, and by watching, you can slip into another world and escape from real life for a bit. 

The show’s tone and other notes

Pepper Dennis was fun and didn’t take itself too seriously. There wasn’t any fourth wall breaking, but the show gave off serious Ally McBeal plus Murphy Brown vibes. It hit the sweet spot and stood out in the traditional network weekly viewing lineup in and amongst cop, medical, and lawyer shows. 

Is it really unavailable?

As of the writing of this article, the entire first and only 13-episode season of Pepper Dennis is nowhere to be found. There are a few promotional DVD copies on eBay, but those only have two episodes. The WB distributed them to drum up hype and interest in the April 2006 premiere of the show. The show is also unavailable on YouTube, except for a few clips spotlighting the theme song. I hope the entity with the rights to Pepper Dennis will put it online for folks to watch someday. 

Your thoughts on Pepper Dennis

Have you watched Pepper Dennis, or did Ayla hallucinate the existence of the show? Leave a comment or find us on X @MoviesWeTexted to talk about the show.

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