12 Amazingly Terrible Television Spin-Off Shows That Time Forgot


by Anna Marquardt
Sure, some spin-offs become hit TV shows in their own right - Laverne & Shirley, Family Matters, The Jeffersons, and of course the inimitable Frasier were all successful spin-offs of other, even more successful shows. But these shows prove that lightning doesn't always strike twice.
1. The Law and Harry McGraw
This Murder, She Wrote spin-off starred Jerry Orbach as a private detective, so it's probably actually a flat-out AMAZING show, but unfortunately, it's not available on DVD in the United States. Even though I can't watch this show, I can at least be thankful it prepared him for his role as Lennie Brisco. Here's the opening sequence, which involves a lot of phone shenanigans.

2. Time of Your Life
Which character on Party of Five were you clamoring for more info about? It was Jennifer Love Hewitt's character, wasn't it. Don't be ashamed. This spin-off, featuring a blonde Pauley Perrette and post-That Thing You Do Jonathan Schaech, could only be more 90s if they actually used the Green Day song of the same name in the opening credits.

3. The Tortellis
A cautionary tale to Frasier's legendary status, this Cheers-adjacent show involves Dan Hedaya as Carla's ex-husband, living in Vegas with an unwieldy extended family. It aired for five months in 1987, and that was probably too many.
4. W*A*LT*E*R
Get it? It's like M*A*S*H, only different. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly is home from Korea, and this is his life. This show was barely seen - only one episode aired as a "special presentation."
5. Mrs. Columbo
You can probably figure out what show this Kate Muglrew vehicle came out of. I'm not trying to trick you. It's Columbo. Watch the opening sequence, which starts OMINOUSLY, only to reveal that HAHA it's a lady!

6. The Lone Gunmen
These minor characters from The X-Files got their own short-lived spin-off where they run a conspiracy theory magazine. The show might be best remembered for its spooky episode that "predicted" 9/11.
7.The Golden Palace
This spin-off of The Golden Girls has Rose, Blanche, and Sophia, but NO Dorothy, so even though it's only 3/4 of the original Girls, it's only about 1/4 as entertaining. The remaining Girls invest in a hotel with no employees, meaning they have to do every little task around the hotel, which led to a bunch of shenanigans in every episode. It aired for one season, which is better than most sitcoms that share a name with a Chinese restaurant in Queens.
8. Models, Inc.
This is actually a spin-off of a spin-off, since Melrose Place was itself a spin-off of Beverly Hills, 90210. But just like a copy of a copy is nowhere near as good as the original, so it goes with spin-offs. But check out the lady in the black pants and chunky 90s loafers. It's Carrie-Anne Moss, who you might know from The Matrix.
9. The Brady Brides
Marcia and Jan Brady both get married and live in a house together. One husband is uptight! The other one is messy! HOW WILL THEY GET ALONG? Answer: they didn't, and it was cancelled after ten episodes.
10. Women of the House
Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke), who you knew and loved on Designing Women, takes over her late husband's seat in Congress, because of course she does. Washington is NOT ready for her!! Teri Garr and Patricia Heaton were also on this show.

11. Three's a Crowd




The whole point of Three's Company was that THREE WAS COMPANY, TOO. This show takes the WHOLE premise and defies it, with Jack Tripper moving in with his girlfriend, whose landlord is her father. Then: shenanigans.

12. Top of the Heap




Did you know that Married...With Children had a spin-off? Did you know that it starred MATT LEBLANC? Matt, when they offered you Joey, YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. This ad for the show is TERRIBLE and WONDERFUL, though.

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