Kureen has explored the best TV spin-off shows ever during the past couple of days, now it’s time to take a gander at the bottom feeders, with a two part list of the 20 worst of all time.
*Years of broadcast and parent series in parenthesis
20. Saved By The Bell: The College Years (1993-94, Saved By The Bell)
Saved By The Bell followed the lives of half a dozen teenagers (and one principal) as they navigated their way through Bayside high school’s minefield. This follow up adapted the formula for a college setting, but the same goofy gags that had previously flourished fell flat coming from older students, with an 18 year-old Screech (Dustin Diamond) one of the most abhorrent characters in sitcom history.
19. The Cleveland Show (2009-13, Family Guy)
With all of the entertaining characters in Family Guy to choose between for a spin-off, Seth Macfarlane opted for Cleveland Brown, the least worthwhile member of the FG ensemble. What resulted was lethargic and rarely worth a chuckle, mercifully Fox put the animated series out of its misery after four laborious seasons.
18. AfterMash (1983-84, M*A*S*H)
AfterMash wasn’t M*A*S*H, despite desperately trying to emulate it without putting forth any effort and praying for some chemistry from an excruciatingly bland cast. As the title track of the original aptly stated: “suicide is painless”, as thousands of viewers eyed up their AK-47’s and contemplated.
17. Top of The Heap (1991, Married With Children)
Check this out if you want to see a young, pre-Friends Matt Le Blanc… and then find a device to wipe any trace of the woeful rhetoric from your mind’s eye, or else take enough psychedelic drugs to lay waste to the part of your brain that threatens to store the criminally corny dialogue you’ve been subjected to.
16. The Golden Palace (1992-93, The Golden Girls)
The lifeblood of The Golden Girls was the snappy repartee between the four main pensioners, all enjoying their twilight years and each other’s company. CBS thought they would strike while the iron was still somewhat warm by bringing the remaining core cast (Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty) back with a new series and a slightly fresh situation, but the idea of them running a hotel was far fetched, and it bombed in the ratings.
15. Girl Meets World (2014-Present, Boy Meets World)
From 1993 to 2000, viewers followed the relationship of Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence-Matthews on “Boy Meets World.” More than a decade later, the couple’s daughter, Riley, is trying to navigate her ‘tween years with all of the panache and wit of a moribund tea cosy.
14. Hello Larry (1979-80, Diff’rent Strokes)
“Hello Larry” was part of Fred Silverman’s attempt to ruin, er, resurrect NBC, a channel whose comedy had plummeted toward the ratings doldrums. Despite its abysmal badness, the show ran for two seasons simply because so many of the network’s other offerings bombed, so they had nothing better to run; a fact that beleaguered network execs cheerfully admitted to.
13. Hot Bench (2014-Present, Judge Judy)
In America the court TV show is a tried and trusted formula that has made stars of a myriad of judges. “Hot Bench” attempted to shake up the usual concept by employing a three-judge panel. Created by Judge Judy Sheindlin, the series’ main issue is that the judges crave the spotlight too freely, like attention seeking toddlers with overflowing nappies, and the cases are too puerile for viewers to invest any fucks.
12. The Tortellis (1987, Cheers)
“The Tortellis” was a spin off of “Cheers” featuring Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman)’s eccentric family, who were infrequent recurring characters. All were hilarious in the context of the parent show, but gave the impression of fish out of water when dumped into a vehicle that lacked any concept or purpose.
11. Three’s A Crowd (1984-85, Three’s Company)
“Three’s a Crowd” can be aptly summed up as boring, direction-less, and painfully unfunny. The producers made no attempt to create a new and exciting vehicle for John Ritter’s brilliant physical comedy, content instead to bask in the glory of the exceptional Three’s Company, all the while milking this obese cash-cow until its teats shrivelled like raisins in the Sahara.
Agree with Dom’s list? Let us know in the comment section below. The top (bottom?) ten will be published tomorrow, so keep your eyes open and share, share, share!