'Punky Brewster' star Soleil Moon Frye 'feeling so many feels' after revival canceled

Soleil Moon Frye is "feeling so many feels" today, after NBC's streaming service, Peacock, pulled the plug on a revival of beloved sitcom Punky Brewster.

"We just got the news yesterday that they made the hard decision to not pick up our Punky for another season," Frye shared Friday morning on social media. "I am so grateful for your constant love and support. I am feeling so many feels about what to say to all of our friends, family, and fans that have supported us so I will share what I wrote to my Punky family last night which all of you that have loved us have been a part of."

Soleil Moon Frye first played Punky Brewster when the show premiered in 1984. (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Chrysalis Butterfly Ball)
Soleil Moon Frye first played Punky Brewster when the show premiered in 1984. (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Chrysalis Butterfly Ball)
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Frye originally played the role of Punky, an irrepressibly sunny little girl who lived with her foster dad and her dog, Brandon, during its original run of NBC from 1984 to 1988. She was just 8 when the show premiered. Now 45, the actress pulled back on her brightly colored ensembles for new adventures that first premiered in February. So her note to the Punky team was understandably emotional.

"I want to start by saying I love each and every one of you from the depths of my heart. I am so incredibly grateful for all of the beautiful stunning gifts you gave to me and the way in which you touched my heart and so many others. The best way I can put this experience is that it has felt like lightning in a bottle, a comet of joy, heart and love that I will hold closest to my heart forever and always. You helped me find my inner strength and Punky Power once again. This has always been more than a show, it has been the collective of spirits coming together to help make the world a better place and create change by sharing our stories."

She asked that people continue to follow their passions and to make their dreams happen.

Many of Frye's online followers reassured her that another streamer would pick up the '80s favorite. And she seemed open to the idea.

"I feel in my heart our paths will continue to come together again," she added.

Meanwhile, her co-star Cherie Johnson, who played Punky's best friend Cherie in both the original and the new version of the sitcom, gave her own statement.

Soleil Moon Frye and Cherie Johnson played best friends for the first time in 1984. (Photo: NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection)
Soleil Moon Frye and Cherie Johnson played best friends for the first time in 1984. (Photo: NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection)

"Life is about memories and we all made great ones. I am super proud first that everyone who grew up with us continued to grow with us once more!" she said. "I am proud of everyone involved it was a lot of hard work and dedication to bang out the season with the challenges of Covid!"

She thanked the hundreds of people involved with the show and gave special recognition to Frye.

"And my Dear sweet BFF you are a whole entire legend boo @moonfrye," Johnson wrote, "a job you booked at 5 years old you worked your booty off to come back as a EXECUTIVE PRODUCER talk about Punky Power!!"

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In a statement, Lisa Katz, the president of scripted programs at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said, "Punky Brewster was a beloved series that tackled meaningful storylines with so much heart. It was a bright light for so many viewers and we are forever grateful to Universal Studio Group, the producers, the cast and crew and especially to Soleil Moon Frye for reigniting the Punky Power within everyone."

Frye herself called the 2021 version of the show "a dream come true" during a March interview with Collider. She said at the time that she had "wanted to bring Punky back for so many years."

Part of the reason, she explained, is that she's "never known where Punky ended" and she began, because the two are alike in so many ways.