You Should Have Quit While You Were Ahead: Television Spin-offs We Could Have Done Without
We admire those who can think of concepts and present ideas in new and interesting ways, especially in music, movies and on television. But, even the most creative people have their off days. Hence the 15 unfortunate spin-offs we are about to present to you. Sure some of these series’ may have had their moments, but those were few and far between and not nearly enough to justify the time fans spent trying to like unrelatable characters or omprehend insane storylines. So as a follow-up to our 15 best spin-offs gallery, we bring you 15 of the worst.
When Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad joined forces again, we had a glimmer of hope that “Cosby” would live up to the expectations we had for it. Sadly, we were mistaken. Though it wasn’t a direct spin-off of “The Cosby Show,” since it was actually based on the British sitcom One Foot in the Grave, but we had to include it among our spin-off letdowns because the reunion of Bill and Phylicia did nothing for us. Unfortunately the affinity for seeing these two stars back together was not enough to keep ratings up. The series was pulled off the air in April 2000 after four seasons.
Yeah, never heard of it? Good for you then, because this spin-off to UPN’s “One-on-One” was a complete and utter mess. I mean it had Marques Houston in it. Was it really destined for greatness? No, no it was not. And given that it was only on television for about a year, it looks like most people agreed with us.
The Game (seasons 4+)
Once again, we’re including a more unconventional spin-off on our countdown, but in terms of letdowns, we felt it only right to toss “The Game” (seasons 4 and beyond) on here. Though it was quite the struggle to keep the show on the air after it was given the boot by The CW, the BET-era “The Game” has consistently fallen short. Though we have our fingers crossed it’ll start to improve, we’re not ready to hold our breath just yet.
Basketball Wives: LA
Was one show not enough? It was for us, as we could have definitely done without “Basketball Wives: LA.” Though the personalities on this spin-off were definitely interesting, there just comes a point when we have to say enough with the sleazy reality show-ness.
Chrissy & Mr. Jones
SMH. Who was the genius who thought that spinning these two off into their own show was a good idea? That person should reconsider their career choice, because “Chrissy & Mr. Jones” was definitely a disappointment. While “Love & Hip Hop” has it’s appeal, there are few redeeming qualities in its boring spin-off.
The Golden Palace
Aww, we wish we could leave the old ladies alone, but “The Golden Palace” was simply too horrid for us to not include on our countdown.”The Golden Palace,” the spin-off to the hit show “Golden Girls.” featured most of the original cast (sans Dorothy, who had gone off to get married), yet still failed to capture our hearts. Sorry, but we loved “Golden Girls” because of the insane antics Rose, Blanche, Sophia and Dorothy got into. We didn’t need a hotel full of randoms to join the party.
Now, “90210” just got greedy. They hit the spin-off jackpot with “Melrose Place” and then thought they could do the spin-off from a spin-off thing with “Models Inc.” Yeah, not so much. Though we did love Garcelle Beauvais, the series itself was even a little too insane for our tastes. We can take the night-time soap opera drama, but even we had to draw the line some place.
Saved By The Bell: The College Years
Now, we all knew this idea wasn’t going to pan out. Whenever a series is set in high school, the leap to college almost never works out. And, sadly, “Saved By The Bell” was no exception. Though the series managed to get a few of its original cast members into the mix (Zach, Slater, Screech and even Kelly), “Saved By The Bell: The College Years” just didn’t have the same appeal. Thankfully, however, the cancellation of the show did have one positive outcome, other than putting an end to a very unfortunate spin-off: We were blessed with the always fabulous television movie “Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas.” Zach and Kelly forever!
Saved By The Bell: The New Class
Same old Bayside. All new students. Complete and utter disaster. While we’ll give producers credit for trying to diversify the cast, “Saved By The Bell: The New Class” didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hades to actually work out. Nice try, but no thank you.
Law & Order: LA
Terrence Howard. Babe, we wanted to like you on “Law & Order: LA,” we really, truly did. But, man, it just wasn’t working out. From the forced storylines to the lack of character development, the 115th spin-off of “Law & Order” had to be one of the worst. What do you say guys, how about we just stick with “Law & Order: SVU” and call it a day?
Three’s A Crowd
Some ideas are just not meant to be repurposed and that’s exactly what happened when “Three’s Company” spin-off “Three’s A Crowd” hit the air. The original show was so good. It was so original, so funny and simply a classic. But then someone had to go off and have too much of a good thing. Plucking Jack (John Ritter) out of that apartment he shared with Chrissy and Janet took away all the magic that the series had and no amount of trying to emulate the past was going to make “Three’s A Crowd” a hit. The spin-off lasted for less than one year.
Now who doesn’t adore the wonderful Jackee Harry. She spells her name with two ee’s for crying out loud. That takes some lady cojones and we love it. But unfortunately when she ventured away from the hit show “227” and attempted to star in her own series, it didn’t go so well. The show was filmed by NBC as a pilot, but failed to attract enough support to press forward. Sorry, Jackee, better luck next time.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
Though “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” might not be the first show that you think of when it comes to horrendous spin-offs, it really should be. This off-shoot of “Toddlers and Tiaras” has been an unmitigated disaster since the minute it hit the airwaves. Every one of us should be ashamed of ourselves for flipping on the television to this hotmess of hillbilly proportions. But it’s nearly impossible to avoid just seeing where true poor parenting — and awful judgment calls in television — can lead all of us. Here’s to hoping we never make such a grave mistake as putting a family like that back television again.
“Joey” had all the makings of a hit spin-off, at least on the surface. The show, a spin-off from the wildly successful “Friends,” focused on one of the series’ most beloved characters, Joey Tribbiani. But sadly Matt LeBlanc’s loveable dope just couldn’t carry 30 minutes of entertainment on his own. The ratings were enough of a disappointment, in fact, that NBC ended up pulling the series midway through its second season (after already switching its run night to try and boost viewership) and refused to air the remaining episodes that had been shot. Damn, homie, that’s pretty sad.
Oh, “Baywatch”. The epitome of beach bod, half-unclothed camp, the series managed to convince all of us that a) Somehow David Hasselhoff was a hottie, b) Pamela Anderson was the girl next door and c) electric eels make the perfect villain in a primetime series. Yes, it was ridiculous. But if you thought the original show was of questionable taste, then “Baywatch Nights” was downright unwatchable. Not only did the acting go even further downhill, but the storylines and plots were just so unbelievable that no amount of gratuitous hotness could save it from winning a spot on our countdown.