The Worst Spin-offs Ever

AfterMASH tops Time Magazine’s list of the worst TV spin-offs ever. I don’t think they looked very hard. Yeah, BAYWATCH NIGHTS would certainly be at the top of any list. But how could they have over-looked FLO (from ALICE), CHECKING IN (from THE JEFFERSONS), SANFORD ARMS (from SANFORD AN SON), ENOS (from DUKES OF HAZARD) DIRTY SALLY (from GUNSMOKE), or GLORIA (from ALL IN THE FAMILY) or SONS OF THUNDER (from WALKER TEXAS RANGER)?

10 thoughts on “The Worst Spin-offs Ever”

  1. I can’t believe the Jeffersons made the worst spin-off list! And although I had a crush on the guy who played Enos, it was a pretty bad spin off.
    I’m hoping for the spinoff of Monk to be “DISHER!” – All car chases, all the time…and with a “Shaft”-like theme song.

  2. I disagree with Time that AfterMASH was the worst – but in contrast to the war drama with comedy which M*A*S*H had become, it was a colossal mistake.
    But they overlooked my personal biggest disappointment, BEVERLY HILLS BUNTZ, spun off from HILL STREET BLUES. The concept of Detective Buntz and his prime snitch re-establishing themselves as THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES MEET DIRTY HARRY just never clicked. Loved the characters, hated the series.
    If the survey extended beyond U.S. television, I’d have to put ARE YOU STILL BEING SERVED? (from ARE YOU BEING SERVED?) at the top, er, bottom of the heap.

  3. My votes for worst spinoffs, in no particular order:
    “Joanie Loves Chachi” (spun off from “Happy Days”), whose sappy theme ranks near the top of my list of worst theme songs ever. Calling this show bad would be an insult to bad shows.
    “The Ropers,” based on the Britcom “George and Mildred,” which was the spinoff of another Britcom, “Man About the House,” which served as the source series for “Three’s Company,” which spun off “The Ropers,” which was based on…oh, forget it.
    “Mrs. Columbo/Kate Loves a Mystery,” based on a never-seen-but-frequently-mentioned character on the parent series (“Columbo”); incredibly, this series had TWO different titles during its short 10-month run. Star Kate Mulgrew took her “bun of steel” to a brighter galaxy on “Star Trek: Voyager.”
    “The Tortellis” (spun off from “Cheers”), which tried (but never did) to make stars of character actor Dan Hedaya and Jean Kasem (Casey Kasem’s wife). Keep reaching for the stars, Jean.
    “The Bradys” (spun off from “The Brady Bunch”), an unbearable-to-watch 1990s soap opera that mercifully lasted exactly 30 days; Maureen McCormick was smart to avoid getting basted in this turkey.
    “Buddies” (spun off from “Home Improvement”), an instantly forgettable 1996 sitcom that was rightfully gone after only 22 days, despite the semi-regular presence of John Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree.
    I’m sure there are more stinkers; these are just the ones that I could readily recall. Thinking back, I think that maybe “AfterMASH” is almost Shakespeare compared to the tripe rostered above.
    Mark D. Little

  4. Oops okay, I guess the Jeffersons weren’t included as a ‘worse’ spinoff. My bad.
    I agree that Are You Being Served, AGAIN? is a terrible, terrible show,and should never have been dumped on the public, but does it count as a spinoff? It was mostly the same cast – although very, very, pathetically old.

  5. I would argue that KATE COLUMBO, THE BRADY BRIDES, TABITHA, and shows like that weren’t strict spin-offs from the original series but continuations that happened long after the original show was over.
    But if you want to talk about those, the worst would have to be THE BRADY BRIDES, OZZIE’S GIRLS, KATE COLUMBO, THE NEW LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, Fox’ new GET SMART (with Andy Dick!?) and the new syndicated WKRP.

  6. I think I’d take “A Man Called Hawk” off the list, if only because of my own personal weakness for Avery Brooks (who’d gladly go on my “Character Actors I Love” list on my blog, and who defined cool for a kid living in eastern Kentucky in the mid-80s), for Parker’s novels (yes, even the last decade where he’s phoning it all in and I still keep reading them) and the original “Spenser” series itself. Shows like “Enos” and “The Brady Brides” were spinoffs of shows that weren’t good to begin with.

  7. I’m curious why TV executives thought we’d want to pick up on characters years after the original stories ended. Lee hits it on the head with stuff like “The Brady Brides” or “Still The Beaver” (“This week, the Beav deals with erectile dysfunction AND his son’s fear of spiders during Science Fair Week!”). Now that said, and remember I was young at the time, but I remember enjoying “Bret Maverick” around 1981, in no small part I’m sure because James Garner looked effortless in the role.

  8. Don’t forget the spin-off that never aired….RADAR – feaurting the original actor who played Radar O’reilly on MASH as a postman home from the war.

  9. Re: Are You Being Served, Again?… Agreed – it wasn’t a spinoff, just a change of venue. Kind of like Jim Qwilleran taking off to Moose County.
    RADAR as a postman? But he was a farmer! Oy!


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