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Old 01-28-2010, 09:39 AM   #1
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Thumbs down 15 Worst TV Spin-offs Ever (According to EW)

Joey
(NBC, 2004-2006)

During Friends, Joey's sandwich obsession, crazy Italian sisters, and ''how you doin''' provided a welcome bit of dumb humor amongst the lives of the other, smarter pals. But when NBC tried to build a whole show around a dim-witted actor trying to make it in L.A., even Matt LeBlanc's many charms couldn't convince us to sit through this clichéd comedy. —Wendy Mitchell


Joanie Loves Chachi
(ABC, 1982-1982)

In an effort to find a follow-up to the aging Happy Days — while also capitalizing on the teen-steam appeal of stars Scott Baio (Chachi) and Erin Moran (Joanie) — ABC moved the lovebirds to Chicago and got them to (gulp!) sing. In spite of Baio's big-time heartthrobbery, the show was canceled after two brief seasons. —Adam B. Vary


Models Inc.
(Fox, 1994-1995)

Fox attempted to recapture the glitz and glamour of Melrose Place by focusing on an L.A.-based modeling agency, run by Amanda Woodward's mother (Dallas' Linda Gray). Unfortunately, the series, which also featured a pre-Matrix Carrie-Anne Moss, was all flash and no substance, hampered by atrocious acting and plotting. —Tim Stack
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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The Brady Brides
(NBC, 1981)

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! (And Jan.) This spin-off of The Brady Bunch began as a TV special chronicling Marcia (Maureen McCormick) and Jan's (Eve Plumb) double wedding – and spun-off into an Odd Couple-esque comedy when the two sisters, and their clashing hubbies, bought a house together. Alas, Brides lasted only 10 episodes — about the length of your average Hollywood marriage. —Kate Stroup


Time of Your Life
(Fox, 1999-2000)

For her solo series, Jennifer Love Hewitt's Party of Five character, Sarah, left the Salinger clan to find her biological mother in New York City. She ended up in a heavily hyped but poorly conceived show, also featuring a young Jennifer Garner. —T.S.


Living Dolls
(ABC, 1989)

Yet another bad spin-off (from Who's the Boss?) based around modeling, Dolls introduced Charlie (Leah Remini), a pal of Samantha Micelli's (Alyssa Milano). Best moment of the show (which lasted just two months)? Halle Berry popped up as one of the show's fledgling models. —T.S.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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The Lone Gunmen
(Fox, 2001)

The truth may be out there, but the ratings weren't for this X-Files spin-off. —Dalton Ross


Baywatch Nights
(Syndicated, 1995-1997)

After the sun went down, lifeguard extraordinaire Mitch (David Hasselhoff) moonlighted in this weak drama as a detective who solved cases with his cop buddy from Baywatch, Garber (Gregory Alan Williams), and hottie sleuth Ryan (introducing Angie Harmon). Things went from blah to worse in season 2: The series went for an X-Files vibe, and had Mitch & Co. working freaky cases involving demons, vampires, and various otherworldly creatures. Viewers were, not surprisingly, scared off. —Dan Snierson


The Tortellis
(NBC, 1987)

Remember this Cheers spin-off about the not-so-happy home life of Carla's ex (Dan Hedaya)? We don't either. —K.S.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:43 AM   #4
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Three's a Crowd
(ABC, 1984-1985)

Three's Company's ladies' man Jack Tripper (John Ritter) was finally ready to settle down in 1985, when he popped the question to his stewardess girlfriend, Vicky Bradford. That set the stage for this short-lived sitcom (sometimes airing in syndication as Three's Company, Too), as their relationship is strained by the constant meddling of their landlord, Vicky's disapproving father. Sadly, he was not Mr. Roper. —K.S.


The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.
(NBC, 1966-1967)

Stefanie Powers starred as the ever-fashionable April Dancer (alongside her British partner, Mark Slate) in this offshoot of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. April's weapons of choice? Her feminine guile. Oh, and an exploding charm bracelet. No wonder the spy series was a dud. —K.S.


Law & Order: Trial by Jury
(NBC, 2005-2006)

Dick Wolf's Law & Order franchise comes in many flavors. There's the original, which has chugged quietly along for almost 20 years, SVU with it's sweet lineup of big-name guest stars, and Criminal Intent, which could be subtitled ''Vincent D'Onofrio Goes Bananas.'' All three shows put their own unique twists on the crime drama. So the weirdest thing about Trial by Jury was how un-twisted the show felt. Mixing together L&O veterans (Fred Thompson and Jerry Orbach) with bored-looking franchise newbies like Bebe Neuwirth and Kirk Acevedo, TBJ felt like it fell out of a world where lawyer shows never advanced beyond Perry Mason. Its failure was sad, but we think Mr. Wolf will get over it. —Darren Franich
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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Phyllis
(CBS, 1975-1977)

As her stint on Dancing With the Stars proved, everyone loves Cloris Leachman. But apparently not enough to watch her in a starring role. Her stint in Phyllis — a spin-off featuring her beloved character from the Mary Tyler Moore Show — was well-received initially, and even won Leachman a Golden Globe. But, unfortunately for CBS, Phyllis was no Rhoda, and the ratings tanked in the second season. —K.S.


Saved by the Bell: The College Years
(NBC, 1993-1994)

Listen, the original Saved by the Bell wasn't exactly Dostoyevsky, but the high school sitcom had a peculiar magic that still holds up (if only ironically) in reruns. That magic does not extend to the completely misconceived spinoff-sequel, which follows the Bell cast into higher education. The list of problems is long. None of the Bell ladies except Tiffani Thiessen wanted to join the spin-off (good for you, Lark Voorhies!), so three new one-dimensional female characters were added. The heavier adult themes of the cast's college existence (Kelly has an affair with her anthro professor!) clashed completely with the show's sunny, G-rated style. And everyone looked way too old. But the No. 1 mistake was casting former pro-football player Bob Golic as dorm advisor and mullet enthusiast Mike Rogers. The horror... —D.F.


AfterMASH
(CBS, 1983-1985)

M*A*S*H was an iconic TV series that pushed the boundaries of the traditional sitcom. AfterMASH — not so much. The show proved to be even less clever than its name (a play on the word ''aftermath'') and lasted less than two seasons. —K.S.

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20338795,00.html
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:50 AM   #6
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Default "THREE'S A CROWD" (1984-'85)....

....was the American equivalent of "ROBIN'S NEST", the spin-off of the original British version of "THREE'S COMPANY", "MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE". In fact, D.L. Taffner initially tried to sell it to ABC as a "first-run" series (with no connections to another show), "BYRD"S NEST", in 1981. I believe "ROBIN'S NEST" lasted a little longer than "THREE'S A CROWD".


There's one other series you've forgotten, 'Brian':

"CHECKING IN", the short-lived April 1981 spin-off of "THE JEFFERSONS", with George & "Weezie"'s maid, Florence (Marla Gibbs), becoming supervising housekeeper at a ritzy New York Hotel {the "St. Frederick"** managed by insufferable Lyle Block (Larry Linville playing a variation of "Major Frank Burns" from "M*A*S*H" [his catchphrase: "Tough noogies!"]). CBS ordered four episodes to see if the idea had "hit" written all over it. Believe me, I remember seeing at least two episodes....and it sure did- "h(orribly) i(nane) t(elevision)". It later dawned on me that it looked like something I'd already seen before...and the ratings confirmed it. CBS abandoned the idea, and that November, Florence returned to the Jefferson's apartment, telling them the "St. Frederick" had burned down, and she wanted her old job back. It took a two-part episode for her to return {"Florence Did It Different"**, but return she did. I'm probably one of the few people who actually remembers watching "CHECKING IN".....

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Old 01-29-2010, 02:01 AM   #7
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I think Brian was only quoting a published list (EW = Entertainment Weekly).

Checking In was so forgettable that I've forgotten how many of them I watched. Like you I'm sure it was at least two, but danged iffen I know which two. About the only thing I remember about it is thinking that Marla, in the literal sense, acted like she wasn't playing the same Florence Johnston she had in The Jeffersons for some reason. Maybe the reason was she knew it wasn't going to go anywhere....

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Old 01-29-2010, 02:29 AM   #8
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I'm surprised to see Three's a Crowd on the list. It wasn't no Three's Company, but it wasn't bad either.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:28 AM   #9
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Default I now realize...

...that 'Brian' was quoting ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's list, and not his own. But their staff is, for the most part, such a bunch of hip, pretentious snobs, they probably wouldn't have even remembered "CHECKING IN". And they're not fans of "THREE'S A CROWD", either, 'Skywalker'; that's why it's on their list. They're only interested in what they remember, or what they deem "worth remembering". As for "THREE'S A CROWD", that was a victim of new management at ABC (and not just because of the so-so ratings)- they just about disposed of almost everything the previous regime had "greenlighted" for the 1984-'85 season, including all of Aaron Spelling's new series {"FINDER OF LOST LOVES", "GLITTER", "MacGRUDER AND LOUD"**- he produced seven hours of programs for them at the beginning of that season, and his "formula" was beginning to wear thin (as Jerry Bruckheimer's four hours of weekly CBS series are beginning to).

I definitely remember watching the first episode of "CHECKING IN", 'TD'. A description of the four episodes is featured in the Wikipedia entry on the show...


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Old 01-29-2010, 05:29 PM   #10
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What...no "The Ropers"?

The Ropers was a spin-off of "Threes Company" and from what I heard...the spin-off was bad. It ranked #49 on the Worst TV Shows Ever according to TV Guide.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:46 AM   #11
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Default For the record...

..."THE ROPERS" was to "THREE'S COMPANY", as "GEORGE & MILDRED" was to "MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE" (the original British incarnation of the show). Only their producers knew how to better handle that spin-off than D.L. Taffner (and ABC) did theirs. Sure, "THE ROPERS" was a instant hit because the network immediately scheduled the early episodes after "THREE'S COMPANY" in the spring of '79...but trying to form a "beachhead" on Saturdays in the fall of '79 by leading off the evening with "THE ROPERS" at 8pm(et) was a mistake- and adding Louise Vallance to the cast to better attract a "family audience" was another mistake. Believe me, the show had potential, but it was "squandered". Perhaps the "hipsters" at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY felt "THE ROPERS" didn't belong on the list, 'MrCleveland'. Who knows? Who cares?

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Old 01-30-2010, 04:24 AM   #12
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That's a great list! Or should I say a BAD list!
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCleveland
What...no "The Ropers"?

The Ropers was a spin-off of "Threes Company" and from what I heard...the spin-off was bad. It ranked #49 on the Worst TV Shows Ever according to TV Guide.
i didnt care too much for the ropers but i liked it better than threes a crowd
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:02 PM   #14
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TAC shouldn't be on that list. Any show with John Ritter was better than most. I'd rather watch TAC then most of today's sitcoms.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:38 AM   #15
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I don't think Three's A Crowd should be on that list either.
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