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15 TV Spin-Offs You Won't Believe Actually Happened (But They Did)

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    Full disclosure: I haven't seen Better Call Saul, which returns to AMC for a second season February 15. And don’t get me wrong — I’m looking forward to diving in for a binge when the timing feels right. But when the spin-off first premiered on the heels of Breaking Bad's epic final season, my brain was still too full of Walter White to stay in his world and follow a different story.

    It's this kind of strong attachment to beloved characters and their fictional backdrops that producers hope to capitalize on with the old spin-off maneuver. But they do not always succeed. For every Fraiser or Private Practice, there’s a Ravenswood or a Baywatch Nights. The formula for success is tricky, but often includes a stand-alone great idea for a new show — one that leans less heavily on the original than, say, The Brady Brides.

    Ill-advised spin-offs often get swept under the rug so fast that even devoted fans of the original series either blink and miss them or block them out entirely. We revisit 15 you may not believe actually happened, but oh, did they ever.



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    The Brady Brides (1981)

    Spin-off of: The Brady Bunch

    Marcia and Jan each get hitched and decide to move into the same house together to keep the whole bunch theme going. The sisters' husbands share an Odd Couple vibe, but it's one formula too many, and the show lasted 10 episodes.

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    Living Dolls (1989)

    Spin-off of: Who's the Boss?

    After a brief appearance as a friend of Samantha Micelli (Alyssa Milano) on Who's the Boss, Leah Remini was ready for her spin-off — and incidentally, her close-up. The future King of Queens matriarch played an aspiring model in New York City in this ill-fated series that also featured Halle Berry's screen debut.

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    The Golden Palace (1992-1993)

    Spin-off of: The Golden Girls

    This was sort of like when a high school drama tries to make the transition to college and picks up right where the original series left off. The girls move out of their shared house and while Dorothy (Bea Arthur) takes a chance on married life, Rose (Betty White), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), and Sophia (Estelle Getty) try their hand at the hotel business. Don Cheadle even played the joint's manager, but the series only lasted one season.

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    Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993-1994)

    Spin-off of: Saved by the Bell

    Speaking of that high school series that pursues higher education... Turns out, going off to college and keeping your teen squad intact doesn't really work on TV, either. Though Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Slater (Mario Lopez), Screech (Dustin Diamond), and Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen) all enrolled at the fictitious California University, things just weren't the same. Theissen also found herself entangled with another group of Cal U kids when she stepped in to play Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210 the same year this spin-off went off the air.

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    Models Inc. (1994-1995)

    Spin-off of: Melrose Place

    Linda Gray as the lioness proprietor of an L.A. modeling agency, with Carrie-Anne Moss as a client on the roster? There was much to love about this brief, deliciously soapy crossover, but the best would have to be discovering its connection to Melrose, otherwise known as the "Hello...mother" heard 'round the Fox lot.