October 24, 2008

tgif top 10

Following the previous post, I thought it would be fun to create list of the top 10 spinoff shows. After a small amount of research, I found that I was in way over my head. There are entire websites dedicated to this topic. It's quite overwhelming. Did you know that Happy Days and All in the Family each had FIVE spinoffs? Many of which were very successful. It's clear that the popularity of spinoffs has weaned in recent years, but it still seems to be a very appealing concept to viewers. So, here's a small selection of some of my favorite spinoffs.

Top 10 TV Spinoffs
  1. The Facts of Life spun off Diff'rent Strokes. Did you know Mrs. Garrett was first the Drummond family maid on Diff'rent Strokes before she became the house mother that we all know and love?

  2. Laverne & Shirley spun off Happy Days. Remember Fonzie set him and Richie up on a double date with Laverne & Shirley? They made some changes to the characters though because Shirley was originally presented as a bit of a hussy with a potty mouth.

  3. The Jeffersons spun off All in the Family. This all started when Lionel Jefferson moved nextdoor to the Bunkers, which were some of the funniest episodes when Lionel just mocked Archie's bigotry. Then came father George Jefferson, who was cleverly written as the African American version of Archie...thickheaded, etc. And The Jeffersons was born.

  4. Daria spun off Beavis & Butthead. Anyone remember Daria? I loved this MTV cartoon. Daria was a side character on Beavis & Butthead, who moved onto her own show, which I absolutely loved. I wanted to be her best friend in high school.

  5. Frasier spun off Cheers. I think the reason Frasier was so successful was because he was a more minor character on a hugely popular show. So, viewers were very accepting of an extension of Cheers, but it wasn't too much of a stretch to see Frasier in a new environment (unlike Joey).

  6. Rhoda spun off The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was a little young for this one and mostly know it from Nick at Nite, but I remember really loving Rhoda. I always wanted to live in that apartment building with them. I think Rhoda didn't do as well - they married and then divorced the character to try to win an audience - but I still like her.

  7. Empty Nest spun off Golden Girls. Anything having to do with Golden Girls can do no wrong in my book.

  8. A Different World spun off The Cosby Show. Due to a limited TV allowance during my childhood (explains a lot), my relationship with The Cosby Show was also developed during Nick at Nite. I actually had no idea A Different World was a Cosby spinoff. Here's why: the show was first developed as Denise Huxtable's experience in college. Awesome, right? I LOVE Denise! But she only lasted one season oddly enough, then the show took a different turn (less of a sitcom feel). The show went on for 6 seasons with Debbie Allen producing. I need to get my hands on the DVD.

  9. Mork & Mindy also spun off Happy Days. Mork was actually introduced in Richie Cunningham's dream sequence. This one is just a classic.

  10. Just the 10 of Us spun off Growing Pains. Coach Lubbock, Mike Seaver's gym teacher, moved across the country for a job, which became the basis of Just the 10 of Us. I just really wanted to have 5 sisters. And I loved the episode where they performed "We Are Family."
Now you see why I could go on and on (read: how I spent my entire evening last night)? Maybe I'll do a top 10 list of failed spin offs in the future. Add some of your favorites to the comments...


Anonymous said...

pardon me, how can you let a coach lubbock reference go by with out a shout out to your favorite west texas city?

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