Sometimes You Gotta Say No To The Spin-Off

Most everyone has their favorite TV shows they love to watch every week.  As soon as it is over your jonesing for the next episode and dying till the week is over so you can see it.  Some of our favorite shows last 4 seasons some 9 seasons some 12 or longer.  However long they last when they finally end we are left broken hearted and empty inside.  A hole in our hearts and we go looking elsewhere to fill it.  Similar to broken relationships.  We say we didn’t want it to end, if they would just bring it back, things will be better, you just know it.  Then it happens, they announce the spin-off.  You get excited because its not your show you liked but it has some of the same characters or its similiar to it in some way, like having a really hot step-sister, your not blood but unfortunately your still related.  So you watch it and after 3 episodes or maybe even one whole season, it’s cancelled.  Turns out, it sucked.  It’s just not the same as the original.  Take How I Met Your Mother for example.  This is a long running TV show and you guessed it, they CBS ordered a spin-off called none other than How I Met Your Dad.  The show has done so well they are looking to capitalize on the “other half”  Sorry to tell you CBS it’s just not going to be the same.  Below are some other spin-offs that didn’t do so well when they came out.  Let’s take a look, shall we.

“AfterMASH” – This show came on the heals of the highly successful M*A*S*H* which followed Colonel Potter, Klinger, and Father Mulcahy after they got home from the Korean War but after their first season The A-Team took away any chances of returning.

“The Tortellis” – This was a Cheers inspired spin-off.  Yes Frasier was as well and successful but this one followed Carla’s slimeball ex-husband Nick Tortelli and his bimbo wife Loretta’s move to Vegas and after 13 episodes it was pulled.

“Baywatch Nights” – The thought behind this was to take what everyone liked about Baywatch (the sun, sand, and swimsuits) and throw them out the window.  Now you have Mitch Buchannon as a detective alongside Angie Harmon, then when the ratings started sinking in Season 2 they started ripping off The X-Files with spooky sci-fi storylines.  If failed and Mitch returned to the beach.

“Joey” – Joey Tribbiani was great on friends but as a lead in his own show he just couldn’t cut it.  Here he pursued his acting dreams in L.A.  There were 2 season then lost out to American Idol.

That 80s Show

“That 80s Show” – This was the networks attempt to build on “That 70s Show” popularity.  They figured why not try a different decade?  It ended after 13 episodes.  Though the 80s were way better than the 70s.

“Joanie Loves Chachi” – This was a Happy Days spin-off and probably one the most infamous in TV history.  Even Scott Baio’s teen girl following couldn’t keep this show going past 17 episodes.

“Saved by the Bell:  The College Years” – This was doomed from the start because they shifted their juvenile antics to a college and had them running on primetime instead of their normal Saturday mornings.  There was only one season and it ended with a “Weddingin Las Vegas” TV movie.

“The Lone Gunmen” – This X-Files spin-off took Mulder’s conspiracy-nut pals and put them in their own show.  It lasted 13 episodes.

“The Golden Palace” – Nobody wanted the Golden Girls to end but this spin-off wasn’t the answer.  This had the girls minus Dorothy buy a run-down Miami hotel, with Don Cheadle as the manager and Cheech Marin as the chef stuck sharing a kitchen with Sophia.  Bea Arthur was smart to sit this one out.  It lasted one season.

“The Bradys” – This Brady Bunch spin-off; one of 3 in 1990 had a weird theme to it for the Bradys.  Bobby gets in a car crash and is paralyzed and Marcia is an alcoholic!  Watching the Bradys used to make you laugh, now it just makes your depression worse.  It lasted 6 episodes.

“Beverly Hills Buntz” – This Hill Street Blues spin-off could have had a chance but shifting the setting to Beverly Hills and making it a half-hour sitcom drained “Buntz” of any lingering prestige left over from “Hill Street”;  there were only nine episodes

Of course there are many more out there and many that were very successful and today we are even redoing several severies into movies or bringing back to TV as new rendentions.  There are just times when the spin-off, even if some were very successful, is just not a good idea.


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