TV Spinoffsby Tyler Woods on Aug. 03, 2010, under Life
After talking to my friend the other day and telling them that The Andy Griffith Show was a “spinoff” from the TV series The Danny Thomas Show, they said, “hmmmm, I did not know that.” They also stated that there should be a story about old spinoffs and this got me thinking…
Where would TV be without spinoffs? First and foremost, it is important to understand what a spinoff is. So basically it’s a television show that takes a character from one show and creates another show.
Now from what I could research, The Danny Thomas Show was one of the first shows that did a spinoff and that was the Andy Griffiths Show, which began in 1960. However, some critics debate that The Honeymooners was a spinoff of The Jackie Gleason Show.
What I do know is that there were some successful spinoffs in my time. For instance, Happy Days gave us some great spinoffs like Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy. Sadly it gave us Joanie Loves Chachi which was a network flop! Three’s Company gave us another network flop called The Ropers.
It’s important to note that not all spinoffs were dreadful. All in the Family gave us a variety of spinoffs and most of them were successful. Maude was created from All in the Family, as was The Jefferson’s, Archie Bunker’s Place and Gloria. Let’s not forget that Good Times was a spinoff from Maude which was spun from All in the Family.
The Carol Burnett Show spun off into Carol Burnett and Friends and then from there a successful spinoff called Mamma’s Family. Cheers gave us Frasier, Dragnet gave us
Adam-12, Petticoat Junction spun off Green Acres, The Six Million Dollar Man gave us The Bionic Woman and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. gave us the Woman from U.N.C.L.E.
It did not stop there. Spinoffs were big and getting bigger. I Love Lucy gave us The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. From Soap came Benson, Alice gave us Flo, Barney Miller offered us Fish and Bewitched sprung Tabitha.
Some spinoffs were so awful they are not worth mentioning, and some are just so redundant that it would be a waste of space to even go there.
What I do know is we have less spinoffs these days. I do not think CSI Miami, or N.Y. or Vegas, or Law and Order, or Law & Order Special Victims Unit or Law & Order: Criminal Intent are spinoffs, they are just redundant bored networks trying to earn money. The storyline of these shows do not change. It is the same old same old just a different location and different cast.
I miss good old fashioned spinoffs. They just don’t make them that much anymore. Then again, TV is not the same as it used to be either. It’s dry, boring, repetitive, and way too violent. Not to mention reality TV which technically should be forbidden, or at least used to torture terrorists.