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Family Ties    Looking back 25 Years Family Ties ran for 8 years and starred Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton, the conservative, business-oriented son of liberal parents Elyse and Steven (Meredith Baxter-Birney and Michael Gross). Elyse was a successful architect, while Steven ran a public television station. They lived in suburban Columbus, Ohio with their children: Alex (Michael J Fox, Mallory (Justine Bateman) and Jennifer (Tina Yothers). Another child, Andrew (Brian Bonsall), was added later. The majority of the show's humor was derived from the tension between Alex's conservative, Republican mindset, Mallory's uninformed consumerism, and their parents' attitudes as liberal Democrats, who grew up as hippie flower children in the 1960s. This show gave Michael J Fox his shot at superstardom, and aren't we all glad it did! This show began two spinoffs, Day by Day, which lasted two seasons, and The Art of Being Nick, which was produced as a pilot but never picked up as a series.
Tags: family  ties  michael  j  fox  abc  sitcom  1980s 
Added: 28th September 2007
Views: 1991
Rating:
Posted By: Guido
Checking In - Sitcom Flop 1981 The Jeffersons was a hugely successful spinoff from All in the Family, running for 10 seasons from 1975 to 1985. It also inspired a not-so-successful spinoff: Checking In. On The Jeffersons, Marla Gibbs played Florence Johnston, the sassy, wisecracking maid who regularly exchanged insults with George Jefferson. Her character was so well liked by viewers that CBS figured it would be a smart move to give Gibbs her own series. Accordingly, in episode #154 and #155 of The Jeffersons, a hotel manager was so impressed by Florence that he offered her the job as supervisor of maids at his St. Frederick Hotel. Florence accepted and Checking In was born. It premiered on Thursday, April 9, 1981. Larry Linville (Major Frank Burns from MASH fame) played Lyle Block, the hotel's weasly manager and, naturally, Florence's nemesis. After four weeks, though, Checking In was floundering in the ratings and CBS pulled the plug after the April 30 episode. Smartly, the network had Gibbs return to the Jeffersons' household as their maid. In her return episode, #161, Florence arrives at the Jeffersons' door explaining that the hotel burned down! (Her clothing and hair had traces of soot and fire damage to add credibility to the plot twist!) She had to compete with new maid Carmen to get her old job back. After missing just five shows, Gibbs' Florence character remained on The Jeffersons until the series ended in 1985. Marla Gibbs was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy in for five stright years (1981 through 1985) for her role as Florence Johnston. Gibbs' career accomplishments are even more impressive when one considers she was married at age 13 and had three children by age 20! She still managed to graduate from Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago. A performer in amateur theatricals, Gibbs was working as a customer service agent for United Airlines when she got her role on The Jeffersons. Cautiously, she waited until The Jeffersons was a bonafide hit show before quitting her job at United!
Tags: Marla  Gibbs  checking  In  Jeffersons  sitcom 
Added: 28th August 2011
Views: 1555
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Mike Evans Mike Evans was familiar to TV viewers as Lionel Jefferson on both All In the Family and its spinoff, The Jeffersons. Lionel was the first opinionated young black character on televsion. A complex character, Lionel was more amused than annoyed by neighbor Archie Bunker's bigotry, but sensitive about being seen as a representative of the black race by Mike Stivic rather than as an individual. Evans left the Jeffersons after one season to pursue a career as a TV writer. He was replaced by Damon Evans (no relation) for the next four seasons. Mike Evans then reprised the role in later seasons until The Jeffersons was cancelled. When Evans died of throat cancer in 2006, his passing was barely noticed by the media. He was 57 years old.
Tags: Mike  Evans  television  Lionel  Jefferson 
Added: 25th November 2009
Views: 1378
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
The Ropers - Disastrous Spinoff Three's Company was a big it for ABC when it debuted in March 1977. Risque for its time due to its frequent sexual innuendos, the show was about a single male who was permitted to share an apartment with two single females as long as he pretended to be gay to placate the landlords. By the 1977-78 season, it was the #3 show on American TV. Accordingly, someone at ABC thought a sitcom centered on the show's landlords--the Ropers--was bound to be a hit. Audra Lindley, who played Helen Roper, liked the idea. Norman Fell, who played uptight Stanley Roper, wasn't so sure. He was quite content being a secondary character on a hit show and thought a spinoff was a big career risk. Nevertheless The Ropers premiered on Tuesday, March 13, 1979 to a very high initial rating, and it did moderately well in the ratings for the rest of the TV season. Then, in the fall of 1979, The Ropers was moved from its Tuesday time slot to Saturday where it competed head-to-head against NBC's popular CHIPS. The show's viewers failed to make the transition. Moreover, the Ropers never attracted the targetted young demographic. After 28 episodes The Ropers was yanked. By that time, Lindley and Fell had their roles as landlords on Three's Company decisively replaced by the popular Don Knotts. They made one cameo appearance and vanished from the show. Norman Fell's fears had come true. The Ropers regularly appears on TV fans' and critics' lists of the worst spinoffs ever.
Tags: television  The  Ropers  spinoff 
Added: 30th July 2011
Views: 3008
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Blanskys Beauties - 1977 Sitcom Flop After being part of two successful TV series in the early 1970s, Nancy Walker had two sitcoms in which she played the starring role cancelled in the same 1976-77 TV season. In September 1976, The Nancy Walker Show premiered. In it Walker played talent agent Nancy Kitteridge who was learning to live with her husband who had been away at sea for most of their 29-year marriage. The show bombed and was cancelled before New Year's Day. Undeterred, ABC cast Walker in another sitcom. This time she played Howard Cunningham's visiting cousin Nancy Blansky from Las Vegas on the February 4, 1977 episode of Happy Days. Blansky's Beauties premiered eight days later. In this show Nancy Blansky was a Las Vegas showbiz vet and current den mother to a bevy of beautiful showgirls. In addition to keeping order in the chaotic apartment complex where they all lived, Nancy staged the girls' big numbers at the Oasis Hotel. (Strangely, the Happy Days episode on which Nancy first appeared took place circa 1960, yet Blansky's Beauties was set in 1977.) Sixteen-year-old Scott Baio played the role of a "12-year-old going on 28." Eddie Mekka from Laverne and Shirley was also part of the cast. Blansky's Beauties ran for just 13 weeks before being axed. Recalled once critic, "This show had every 1970s teeny bopper element aimed to appeal to the lowest intellect and thus make it a hit--except this time cute boys and inane, jiggly, dumb blondes were not enough to cover for horrible scripts, contrived situations, bad acting, and unbelievable plots. The show tried to be a spin-off/tie-in to Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley (or at least ride on their successes) by utilizing actors - most notably Eddie Mekka and Scott Baio - from those shows and making the title role the cousin of Happy Days' Howard Cunningham. Having Nancy Walker as its star, scantily-clad bimbos wiggling around the set, and pretty boy co-stars to elicit screams from young girls in the audience, however, could never have saved it from itself. This show is a best-forgotten footnote to bad television."
Tags: Blanskys  Beauties  sitcom  flop  ABC  spinoff   
Added: 20th August 2011
Views: 2367
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
National Lampoon 1970 -1998 National Lampoon was an irreverent, ground-breaking American humor magazine. Its success led to a wide range of media productions associated with the magazine's brand name. The magazine ran from 1970 to 1998. It was originally a spinoff of the Harvard Lampoon. The magazine reached its height of popularity and critical acclaim during the 1970s, when it had a far-reaching effect on American humor. It spawned films, radio, live theatre, various kinds of recordings, and print products including books. Many members of the creative staff from the magazine went on to contribute to successful media of all types. During the magazine's most successful years, parody of every kind was a mainstay; surrealist content was also central to its appeal. Almost all the issues included long text pieces, shorter written pieces, a section of actual news items (dubbed "True Facts"), cartoons and comic strips. Most issues also included "Foto Funnies" or fumetti, which often featured nudity. The result was an unusual mix of intelligent, cutting-edge wit, and crass, bawdy frat house jesting. National Lampoon's humor often pushed far beyond the boundaries of what was generally considered appropriate and acceptable. Co-founder Henry Beard described the experience years later: "There was this big door that said, 'Thou shalt not.' We touched it, and it fell off its hinges." The magazine declined during the late 1980s and never recovered. It was kept alive minimally. (In 1992, for instance, only one issue was published.) It ceased publication altogether in 1998.
Tags: National  Lampoon 
Added: 5th February 2013
Views: 1076
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Rhoda - Opening Montage Here is the opening montage from the first season of Rhoda, a sitcom starring Valerie Harper. Rhoda was a successful spinoff of The Mary Tyler Moore Show that ran from 1974 to 1978. The premise of the sitcom was that Rhoda moves from Minneapolis back to her New York City roots. Over the course of the show Rhoda married and divorced, and saw her parents divorce too! Rhoda's sister Brenda was played by Julie Kavner--best known today as the voice of Marge Simpson.
Tags: Rhoda  sitcom  spinoff  Valerie  Harper  MTM 
Added: 9th April 2013
Views: 1217
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Joanie Loves Chachi Joanie Loves Chachi was a sitcom spun off from Happy Days in March 1982. Happy Days was already well in decline by that point, so ABC was somewhat desperate to milk any residual life from the romance of Joanie Cunningham and Chachi Arcola. The premise of this show was that Joanie and Chachi uproot from Milwaukee to form a rock band in Chicago. They move in with Chachi's mother, Louisa, who had recently married Al Delvecchio--the proprietor of Arnold's in Milwaukee! Joanie Loves Chachi ran for four weeks in the spring of 1982 as a "tryout sitcom" and finished in the top seven shows. (Critics point out it ran against very weak rerun opposition on the other networks.) However, when Joanie Loves Chachi returned as a full sitcom in ABC's fall lineup for 1982, it quickly dropped to a dismal 68th spot in the ratings. No further new shows were aired after December 1982, although reruns occasionally appeared on ABC until Spetember 1983. Of course, Joanie, Chachi and Al all curiously returned to Milwaukee and the cast of Happy Days to finish its final season. Here is the opening sequence of Joanie Loves Chachi--which ran for nearly two minutes!
Tags: Joanie  Loves  Chachi  ABC  sitcom  spinoff  Happy  Days 
Added: 1st February 2014
Views: 1136
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Threes A Crowd - Failed Spinoff After Three's Company left the airwaves in the spring of 1984, ABC cast John Ritter in his Jack Tripper role once again that autumn in Three's A Crowd. The premise of this spinoff was that Jack was now living with his stewardess girlfriend Vicky Bradford in an apartment above his restaurant (Jack's Bistro). Complicating matters was that Vicky's meddlesome father James owned the building. Like many spinoffs, Three's a Crowd lacked the magic of its parent show. It was cancelled after just one season. Here is the opening montage.
Tags: spinoff  Threes  A  Crowd  John  Ritter 
Added: 24th March 2015
Views: 617
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Failed Spinoff - The Tortellis In the early seasons of Cheers, some of the funniest episodes centered around the antics of Nick Tortelli, the sleazy ex-husband of Cheers barmaid Carla. Played by Dan Hedaya, Nick was a TV repairman who eventually married ex-showgirl Loretta (played by Jean Kasem and described by Total Television as "statuesque but dippy"). NBC figured the duo of Nick and Loretta had the potential to be comedy gold, so in January 1987 they were given their own sitcom titled The Tortellis. The show's premise was that Nick and his trophy wife had already split up and Loretta had returned to Las Vegas. They reconcile in the pilot episode and remain in Nevada in a crowded household. The couple lived with Nick's oldest son and his teenage wife--and Nick's pragmatic sister and her young son. The show never caught on, despite occasional special appearances by Cheers cast members. The Tortellis was dropped by NBC after the 13th episode aired on May 12, 1987 less than four months after its debut. Nick and Loretta made one more appearance on Cheers in which it was explained that Nick's TV repair business had failed.
Tags: NBC  failed  sitcom  The  Tortellis  Cheers  spinoff 
Added: 1st April 2015
Views: 668
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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