Failed spinoffs in series available on DVD

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Greg_S_H, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    You know them and either love them or hate them: pilot attempts within the framework of an existing series. I got to thinking about them after watching the Quincy episode "Has Anyone Here Seen Quincy?", which didn't feature Quincy but did have a main character called Dr. Hiro. I could find no reference to this being a pilot attempt, but it seems obvious to me. You have a doctor with a cute name ("It's not Dr. Hero. It's Dr. Hiro!"), you have Bob Crane as a compassionate physician, and you have both crime solving and medical heroics. It was an interesting one-off, but perhaps not compelling enough to be picked up.

    Other shows with pilot attempts include Emergency!. The upcoming box set won't feature it, but the fourth season box will have 905-WILD, which featured Mark Harmon and another actor as animal rescue officers. Also, season five of the Bready Bunch will feature Kelly's Kids, which saw Ken Berry as the adoptive father of three mixed-race children. This pilot failed, but Sherwood Schwartz ultimately got another shot at the concept with his short-lived Together We Stand.

    Any other examples of this unusual subset of television shows? I guess you don't have to limit it to shows here or on their way, but to shows you'd like to see as well. Also, do you like these one-offs, hate them, or does it simply depend on the quality of each individual pilot attempt?
     
  2. John_Shilpetski

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    Highlander had, IIRC, 4 pilot attempts in it's sixth and final season, for a series about a female immortal. They ended up going with an already recurring character.

    Also, MacGyver had a spin-off episode in its final season, "The Coltons."
     
  3. Jay*W

    Jay*W Second Unit
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    Assignment: Earth from the original Star Trek was a failed spinoff attempt.

    Jay
     
  4. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

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    Starsky & Hutch S2 has the failed pilot for "Huggy Bear & the Turkey" [​IMG]
     
  5. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    IIRC, there was a "Married with Children" episode which took place entirely at Bud and Kelly's high school radio station, and it "starred" Keri Russell. The central characters barely appeared in the episode, making it OBVIOUS (to me, anyway) that this was a "pilot."

    But I don't know if that episode's on DVD yet (don't collect MWC). Sorry, I didn't realize I was in the TV-DVD thread at the time...
     
  6. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    The Twilight Zone (1959 series) has the failed spinoff pilot "Cavender is Coming" in the season 3 set as one of its episodes. Carol Burnett was featured in the episode, but would not have been a recurring character in the series.
     
  7. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I'm not sure I recall that on MWC. But I do remember a MWC episode that was a "pilot" for another spinoff. I don't remember what it was eventually called, but it starred Matt LeBlanc and another guy who played his father. He was going out with Kelly in one episode (the one where Al was obsessed with the "Go with Him" song) and the father appeared in that episode too. Later, there was an episode that was almost completely devoted to them. I think Al and Bud made a cameo appearence in some part of the episode. The eventually spinoff did not last too long BTW.
     
  8. JasonPW

    JasonPW Stunt Coordinator

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    In the last season of "Green Acres" (assuming Sony/MGM stays with it) there's a spin-off attempt with a super-ditzy secretary and her slow-burning boss (played by "Dick Van Dyke" cast member Richard Deacon.

    It must have been clear to the "Acres" producers that CBS was swinging the ax on the rural shows; this spin-off concept goes out of its way with the big city references. You can smell the desperation in this one.
     
  9. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    There was a Golden Girls episode entitled "Empty Nests", with Rita Moreno, Paul Dooley, Geoffrey Lewis, and David Leisure. It was the first pilot attempt at the show which ultimately became "Empty Nest" (with Richard Mulligan). Only David Leisure remained from THIS pilot to the actual show.
     
  10. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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  11. Antonio_G

    Antonio_G Stunt Coordinator

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    What's Happening Now was a spinoff of What's Happening but it didn't do so good.


    A Different World was a spinoff of The Cosby's Show and some of the cast of The Cosby's Show was on some espiodes of A Different World.
     
  12. LindseyS

    LindseyS Stunt Coordinator

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    Mona, Charmed Lives, and Living Dolls were all spin-offs of Who's the Boss? The only one that actually lasted beyond the pilot was Living Dolls, I believe 13 episodes were made. All 3 pilot shows are shown in syndication, leading me to think that if they ever released the rest of WTB? on DVD, they would be included.
     
  13. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer

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    The season finale of the third season of The Doris Day Show was a one-off pilot with Meredith Baxter for a series. She played Doris' niece who was unmarried and thought she was pregnant. It was about her relationship with her boyfriend and their college age friends.
     
  14. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    "What's Happening Now" ran for three years, exactly the same length as the original series. It came years after the original, so it's more of a sequel.

    They used to do backdoor pilots all the time. "The Brady Bunch" did one with Ken Berry about a couple adopting three kids, and there were a couple of them towards the end of "Green Acres" too.
     
  15. Joseph DeMartino

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    Both of which are discussed in more detail earlier in this thread. [​IMG]

    And they still do "backdoor pilots" all the time, most often in the form of TV movies, but also in the form of "special" episodes of existing series. Then there are the "sneak previews" that aren't technically pilots (since the deal for the new series has already been made) but more like really long in-house promos. (Think the two CSI spin-offs.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  16. Jamie Middleton

    Jamie Middleton Stunt Coordinator

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    The best spin-off of all time, in my opinion atleast, was ABC's "Just The Ten of Us" which was a spin-off of "Growing Pains". The show lasted a couple of seasons and I think it would make a great release on DVD.
     
  17. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    And if I remember correctly, wasn't an episode of The Twilight Zone called Mr. Bevis from the first season also designed as a pilot but it never sold. Given how the episode turned out, I'm not sure that's a bad thing[​IMG]
     
  18. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Yeah well, if they wont even release "Growing Pains" on DVD, I can't see much hope for Just the Ten of Us.

    Another one I was curious about. I remember a weird episode of "Diff'Rent Strokes" that revolved around some immigrant hospital worker who was either accused or knew something about a theft of drugs at the hospital. The Drummonds made basically a cameo appearance in the episode. Anyone remember this, know if it was a backdoor pilot or what the purpose of the episode was? Or, am I remembering wrong?
     
  19. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I actually found that episode to be hilarious, but it might have worn thin pretty quickly. Other failed pilots I thought of were both in the second season of Dukes of Hazzard, when they tried to spinoff a character called Jude Emery in one episode and Mason Dixon in another.
     
  20. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    The Partridge Family had a pilot for the Bobby Sherman Show, Getting Together With Bobby Sherman. Or was it just called Getting Together? I don't remember off the top of my head, but the pilot of the show was a Partridge Family episode. I don't know if the show lasted very long or not or if it was even picked up as a series.

    Then there was the episode Assignment Earth from Star Trek.
     

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