We're finally at the time of year when the holidays have gone, and the networks are easing up on reruns, and actually giving us some new TV episodes. But rather than leave well enough alone, they're switching things up per usual. There are shows like American Idol that have traditionally started in January for the last several years. There are shows like V, that the networks seem intent upon sabotaging by scheduling them in a weird way. And then there are the "mid-season replacements." These are the shows that they held in reserve, in case some of the fall shows get cancelled. Which always happens.
Often times, these shows seem sort of half-baked, other times they're maybe too quirky (like the late, lamented Better Off Ted). But there have been quite a few successes born out of the mid season. For example. . .
1. Laverne & Shirley - One of the most successful shows of this type was also a spinoff, and was the number one show on television for a couple of years.
2. The Simpsons - Even more successful than the previous entry, The Simpsons was also a spinoff (of The Tracey Ullman Show), and has been running since 1989. The clip above shows the current and the original opening.
3. Law & Order - Yep, this one too. And though it wasn't one, it inspired a string of spinoffs. The clip compiles the 20+ years of the franchise.
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Yep, Buffy too.
5. Cheers - This show debuted in mid-season, and barely made it to a second. But back then NBC was starved for hits and decided to nurture it. Good plan.
6. Night Court - Not quite as critically lauded, but as funny as the rest of the "Must See TV" lineup, Night Court started in mid-season with--except for Harry Anderson, John Larroquette and Richard Moll--an entirely different cast than it ended up with. Of course, part of that was due to the deaths of two prominent actresses, Selma Diamond and Florence Halop.
That's it for this week. I'm sure there are many, many more. But the YouTube search engine doesn't make it easy! Happy Monday!