Remember that hilarious show loosely based on Chris Rock’s childhood?
Once you succeed in television your career is set. Actors like Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing on Friends) and Jaleel White (Steve Urkel on Family Matters) have made entire careers out of their reputations from successful television roles. But, quite often, networks become greedy and try to double dip with spin-offs. For instance, AMC’s most successful show, Breaking Bad, is spinning off into Better Call Saul featuring Bob Odenkirk’s Saul. Unfortunately for fans, many of these shows are misguided mistakes that end in failure. These are the absolute worst of the worst.
Spun off from Friends
A tragedy of American television, Joey was an entire series based on the most badly-written and least-developed character of mega-hit Friends. Lifting the comedic relief Friends from New York and dropping him in Los Angeles ruined the chemistry that Matt LeBlanc obviously thrived on with the cast of Friends. Perhaps LeBlanc’s schtick, pretty boy Kramer, wasn’t enough to carry a show. Joey got a chance to succeed, but, after two seasons, it was finally nixed.
Spun off from Home Improvement
Home Improvement was a mega success that launched Tim Allen’s career from stage comedian to movie star, but it was guest stars Dave Chappell and Jim Breuer that got their own spin off. Fortunately for us, Buddies was cancelled after only 5 episodes of the worst sitcom on television. Dave Chappell was earning accolades as a stage comedian, and Jim Breuer was enjoying his Saturday Night Live boost in popularity when the show was created, but this was a misfire from the beginning. Jim Breuer, by the way, never actually appeared as he was fired 8 days before the premier and replaced with Chris Gartin (who?).
Joanie Loves Chachi (1982)
Spun off from Happy Days
Teenage heartthrobs Scott Baio and Erin Moran were destined for stardom after finding major success as supporting actors on Happy Days. ABC made the decision of a lifetime, to spin off these characters into their own show, Joanie Loves Chachi. Does every “decision of a lifetime” need to be a good decision? Because this decision was not. Perhaps the first mistake was having Baio and Moran sing, often, or maybe it was giving two uninteresting characters their own show. Joanie Loves Chachi was put out of its misery after two seasons.
The Brady Brides (1981)
Spun off from The Brady Bunch
Oddly reminiscent of the Duggars, the Bradys expanded their television empire with with movies and magazines and books and even toys, but it was this show that proved even America’s most conservative, milquetoast television family was fallible. Following Marcia and Jan as they get married and move in together with each other (and their husbands), The Brady Brides not only feels awkward but also sad. I am honestly terrified that the Duggars will realize that show exists. The last thing television needs is the misadventures of Duggar sisters Jill and Jessa living with their new husbands. The Brady Brides had a short, sad life of 10 episodes (for the sake of us all).
Baywatch Nights (1995-1997)
Spun off from Baywatch
David Hasselhoff starred in this truly terrible, unnecessary spin off of Baywatch (another unnecessary show in itself) with his Baywatch costar Gregory Alan Williams as lifeguard-cops that investigated X-Files-esque cases involving ghost and goblins and vampires after saving lives in the ocean. Yeah, you read that right, the hof is not only a ripped lifeguard but also moonlighting Kolchak. Sorry, but I don’t know if I can exist without seeing this on TV again, but too bad it wasn’t even in the too-bad-its-good category of series. Baywatch Nights was cancelled after The Hof couldn’t carry the show more than 2 seasons.
The Golden Palace (1992-1993)
Spun off from The Golden Girls
Blanche, Rose, and Sophia buy a hotel. No, this isn’t fan fiction for early-90s housewives, it is The Golden Girls spin-off The Golden Palace. Terribly racist, The Golden Palace follows the misadventures of the otherwise brilliantly funny characters (when on The Golden Girls) as they deal with token black and Mexican employees, seriously. Unfortunately, even in the hands of Cheech Marin and Don Cheedle, these characters barely rise above awful stereotypes, and the ladies can’t even hold the show with such awful writing. Let’s not let this tarnish our opinions of Betty White, since she is still pretty badass.
Spun off from The Dukes of Hazard
I simply do not understand television executives. The Dukes of Hazard was a series popularized by cars, stunts, rebellion, and short shorts, but execs saw Deputy Enos Strate, the bumbling bumpkin police officer that catches the Dukes, as an opportunity for a spin-off. The show follows Enos as he joins the Los Angeles Police Department and flubs his way through cases in a “Special Branch.” While actor Sonny Shroyer is talented enough to carry his own show, Enos was plagued by bad writing and a misguided concept that offered a near-unwatchable series. Why not give us a Daisy Duke spin-off?