• Wed, Jun 18 - 1:29 pm ET

12 TV Spin-Offs So Unnecessary They Got Cancelled After One Season

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The only thing worse than a bad movie sequel is an unnecessary TV spin-off. There, I said it. At least in a movie sequel, it’s pretty much a one-time deal, unless its creators are gluttons for failure and insist on making a trequel. Spin-off shows, however, expect you to watch new episodes every week. And, if you’re bad at setting your DVR preferences or hate yourself in a most special way, you probably will watch those new episodes. But it’s weird because you’d think that, with the goal of getting as many viewers as possible, TV creators would steer clear of bad, coattail-riding shows that have no shot in the real world. But history and my obsessive knowledge of Hollywood stuff tell me that that’s not the case.

So, let’s take a walk down memory lane super quickly. We can get ice cream, and bond over our pointing and laughing at these 12 pointless TV spin-offs that were snatched off of the air before you could say, “Seriously, an executive green-lit this?” It’ll be a grand old time.

1. Ravenswood

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Pretty Little Liars

Why not center an entire new show around a character from another show that no one really cared about the first time around? What could possibly go wrong? (Spoiler alert: everything goes wrong.)

2. Once Upon A Time In Wonderland

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Once Upon A Time

My Spidey senses could be wrong, but the tingling is telling me that these two are the exact same show.

3. Buddies

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Home Improvement

Believe it or not, Dave Chappelle starred in a Home Improvement offspring show that approximately no one wanted to watch.

4. The Pauly D Project

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Jersey Shore

In case you’ve ever wondered how interesting Pauly D’s life was when he wasn’t notifying the Shore house that “the cabs are here,” the answer is that it isn’t. At all.

5. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Criminal Minds

Did you ever think you’d need a show starring Forest Whitaker and that one guy from House of Cards before House of Cards was a thing? No? Oh okay, good, because this one got canned super quickly.

6. Models, Inc.

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Melrose Place

I’m amazed at the balance between cheesy and boring this show managed to attain. Like, way to go, but also sorry about that immediate cancellation.

7. That 80′s Show

Tried To Mooch Off Of: That 70′s Show

ENOUGH. I’m offended by how stupid this idea was.

8. Law & Order: Trial By Jury

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Law & Order

If you want people to hate your show right off the bat without even needing to watch it, make the one thing that everyone hates mutually its focus. Seriously, why would I watch a show about Jury Duty when I’m so busy praying that I never get selected for it ever again?

9. The Finder

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Bones

Everyone loves a main character who suffers from a brain damage and possibly PTSD since his deployment in Iraq. That sounds like a whole heap of fun, pass that over here, please!

10. The Golden Palace

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Golden Girls

Thankfully this show didn’t last long because what if it’d prevented Betty White from becoming the national treasure that she is? I’m pretty sure it got the boot because we just couldn’t take any chances.

11. Young Americans

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Dawson’s Creek

And the award for Worst Acting In A TV Series Ever In History goes to… not this show because it didn’t stick around long enough for awards. Booom, roasted.

12. Saved By The Bell: The College Years

Tried To Mooch Off Of: Saved By The Bell

I’m pretty sure that by naming this show Saved By The Bell, the prospect of continuing it onto college (where there is a distinct lack of school bells) was out of the question from the start. So, there never really was a point in following the Bayside crew to the one college that they all happened to attend together.

(GIF: Tumblr)

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  • Alana Vincenza

    I am extremely proud to say I have not seen any of these.

    • Olivia Wilson

      4 for you Glen Coco. You keep fighting the good fight and maybe Hollywood will stop making stupid spin-offs.

  • niki

    Joey? Anybody? It was so bad it almost made me hate F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Well, not really, but it was bad.

    • capoupascap

      Joey was the worst. They needed way better writers/characters/everything really. But it actually ran for 2 seasons, so probably disqualified from this list

    • niki

      Wait, there was a second season of that? I must have blocked it from my memory in order to cope.

    • capoupascap

      Yeah, there totally was. I don’t know how it happened either

    • Olivia Wilson

      Joey WAS bad. But @capoupascap:disqus is right, it just nearly made it onto the list but that second season happened, unfortch.

  • capoupascap

    Eh I actually liked The Finder (or do I just really like Geoff Schultz? Still find it tragic enlisted was cancelled). But they should have never tried to sell it as a “spin-off” of Bones or even do a backdoor pilot that way. They have nothing in common except characters who served in Iraq together, and that decision really puzzled me.

    • Olivia Wilson

      Right? I don’t see what the big deal is in making a show attached to another when it doesn’t even make sense. It might’ve had a better shot if it were just put out on its own.

    • capoupascap

      Yep, selling it as a spin-off just sets certain expectations

  • Lily Savage

    So much second-hand embarrassment.

    • Olivia Wilson

      Join the club. (And can you be in charge of bringing paper plates to our weekly meetings?)

  • Alexis Rhiannon

    Oops, I accidentally watched a few episodes of The Pauly D Project. Was feeling pretty proud of myself until I scrolled down and saw that.

    • Olivia Wilson

      You can just pretend it isn’t here and go catch up on some Pauly D Project reruns.

  • C

    I loved Young Americans. Oops.

  • Keeks

    How ’bout Joey?

    • Erin

      That lasted for more than one season.

  • Ash

    Sometimes they make good calls, like the Gilmore Girls spinoff that was supposed to be about Jess and his dad.

    • MCR

      Was the good call choosing not to do it?

  • LadyClodia

    I will admit to having watched That 80′s Show, but only like 1 episode, and I remember it being terrible.

    • Olivia Wilson

      I wonder if they’d have continued onto the ’90s if that had done well. I have a bad feeling they would have.

    • LadyClodia

      There seems to be a lot of 90′s nostalgia in the air recently, so…shhh…don’t give them any ideas.

  • That_Darn_Kat

    I actually loved The Finder, and was upset when it was cancelled.

  • MCR

    I don’t know any of these shows, but I’ll take your word for it. I just wanted to touch base with someone who shares my hatred and suspicion of movie sequels. Everything that makes money now has to be turned into a sequel/spinoff, even if the s/so makes no sense and spoils the original good idea that made it a success in the first place.

  • Jem

    I had never heard of Young American’s but now after looking it up I want to watch it! Gender bending? A couple that find out they could possibly be siblings? Holy Hell!

    My favorite “spin off” that was canceled way too soon was called The LA Complex. It was originally supposed to be a spin off of Cassie Steele’s character Manny on Degrassi. Then they renamed her and kind of cut the Degrassi connection. But I knew. and it was SO GOOD. But then it got canceled too soon.

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  • Erin

    Pretty sure Once Upon A Time in Wonderland was only meant to last for one season.