Hello people of the internet!!! With Disney Channel’s announcement of their newest show ‘Girl Meets World’ (a spin-off show of the popular 90s hit ‘Boy Meets World’), I began to think about the “spin-off” trend in television. First in 2003 Nickelodeon premiered its spin-off of the beloved children’s show ‘Rugrats’, which was entitled ‘All Grown Up’ and remained on air until 2008. Then, in 2008 The CW premiered a new version of the 90s teen phenomenon ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’, with a new cast of characters (however some of the actors from the original show guest stared on 90210). So, it’s apparent that “spin-off fever” has become very prevalent in Hollywood over the past few years. I think that this is because we become very emotionally invested in the characters from our favorite TV shows, that we begin to subconsciously think of them as real people, and thus we want to know all about their past and future (oh you know you start thinking of them as real people, don’t pretend like I’m the only one…I thought so). Although many great shows have had spin-offs (and occasionally prequels), I have made a list of 10 shows that I think deserve a chance to live again. If I’ve missed any shows, please let me know in the comments below!
10) Sister Sister
The thing that I always liked about this comedy, was how the characters dealt with real life issues, along with the primary storyline of two twin sisters who meet unexpectedly after being separated at birth. This show catapulted Tia & Tamera Mowry into superstardom, which led them to star in numerous other projects both separately and together. I think that it would be very interesting to see how the characters developed as they grew up, and how they ended up relating to one another as adults.
From 2001-2004, the world was reintroduced to country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, as the kind hearted and wise doctor ‘Clint Cassidy’ on ‘Doc’. On the show, Cyrus’ character dealt with personal, moral, and ethical issues; as well as the common politics found in the professional world. The show was full of complex relationships, interesting twists, and very relatable characters, so I think that it would be really interesting to see where their lives led them.
This show was a HUGE hit for Disney Channel in the early 2000s, and become a very successful franchise which included: clothing, fashion accessories, toys, a movie, and numerous other products, which became very profitable for the Disney Corporation. This show also launched the career of Hilary Duff, and quickly made the young girl a household name. The show ended at the end of the summer, right before the main characters where going to enter high school. The success of this show paved the way for numerous other young actresses to have successful careers in music, fashion, etc.
This long running family drama revolved around the lives of the Camden family. The Camden family was a typical middle class family, who dealt with real life issues and triumphs in the town of Glen Oak, California. The father character on the show Eric Camden, (who was portrayed by Stephen Collins) was a protestant minister, whose large heart often placed him and his family in interesting situations. This show explored various social, economical, and ethical themes, which evolved over the years to keep in tune with our ever changing society. I think that the plot lines and character development were so impressive, that a spin-off of this show would have success for a numerous amount of years, and would grow with a generation the way 7th Heaven did.
This show (which starred comedian/actor George Lopez), showed the reality of a middle-class Hispanic family living in California. As the majority of the shows on this list do, this show explored real-life issues however; it also explored the plight of what working class individuals go through, when they move up the cooperate ladder. Although this show was not extremely popular when it originally aired, its ratings have done extremely well in syndication. I believe that due to how popular the show has become since its original run ended, along with the growing popularity of George Lopez, (due to his involvement with the Disney ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ franchise), that this would be the perfect time for a spin-off to happen. George Lopez now has voice recognition credibility, so even if some people don’t know how he is, they will recognize his voice, and be attracted to the sitcom.
5) Home Improvement
‘Home Improvement’ was a family sitcom, (which starred actor Tim Allen), which revolved around the lives of a man named Tim (who was the host of a home improvement show, where he also sold tools for a fictional tool company called ‘Binford Tools’),his family, his best friend, and his neighbor. Tim was a very cocky man, whose pride often got his family into crazy situations. This sitcom made a large amount of the cast into household names, and led to numerous other projects during, and after the show originally aired. I think that a spin-off of this show would do very well, due to the original team’s excellent casting choices and witty scripts.
This long running situational comedy starred (and was co-created by) comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who portrayed a comedian named Jerry on the show (talk about life imitating art). Jerry had three close friends on the show: George ( his best friend, whose extreme penny pitching ways and jealously of others, often got him into extremely uncomfortable situations), Elaine (his ex-girlfriend who is often too honest for her own good), and Kramer (Jerry’s eccentric neighbor, who often slid through Jerry’s door as his way of entrance, and was very abrasive of Jerry’s personal space). I believe that this show was so popular, because it resonated with the general public due to its dry and subtle humor. This show presented a model of comedy that had not previously been explored, and thus opened a new market in television, that has continued to be used ever since.
This highly acclaimed show, consisted of an ensemble cast, who portrayed 6 friends living in New York City, who dealt with the ups and downs of adult life. The characters had numerous entanglements among each other, which often were the cause of several interesting situations. Ever since the show ended its original run, fans of the show have asked for its return, so I think that it’s easy to see why a spin-off of the show would be a huge success. This show also launched the careers of all of the cast members, although some have had more fruitful careers than others, all 6 members of the cast have had career opportunities because of the show’s popularity. Although this show did have a short lived spin-off, I believe that the show’s continued popularity, would make a second spin-off a profitable investment.
There is no question that this family comedy has had amazing success in syndication, and thus certainly warrants a spin-off. This show revolved around the life of single father Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), who asks for the aid of his best friend (Joey) and brother-in-law (Jesse) , in raising his three daughters, once his wife passes away. Joey and Jesse soon become pseudo fathers to the girls, and continue to become essential members of the family for the shows entire run. This show starred John Stamos and Bob Saget, who were already successful entertainers in their own right, and launched the careers of the various other cast members, most notably, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (who portrayed the youngest daughter Michelle).
1)The Cosby Show
Now we’ve reached #1 on our list!!! Although many of the other shows mentioned on this list could have easily been #1, I chose this show because of its ability to transcend through the decades, and remain relevant. This sitcom starred famous comedian and all around entertainer Bill Cosby, as a good natured New York doctor named Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable, who had a tendency to exaggerate, and tell tall tells. The cast was rounded out with Cliff’s wife Claire (a successful attorney), and his 5 children. The show dealt with more intense and difficult topics as the children on the show grew up however, the show was essentially a family sitcom, so the topics never got too out of control. The Cosby Show has continued to be a syndication success even though it has been two decades since the show went of air. Although this show has already had a spin-off (called ‘A Different World’, which aired form 1987-1993), I believe that the original show has been off air long enough to warrant a second spin-off. Additionally, this new spin-off would be much more successful than A Different World, because it would not be in direct competition with The Cosby Show, like A Different World was.
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