Top 6 Most Obscure TV Spinoffs From Popular Shows

  • July 09, 2010
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Just the Ten of Us spun-off from Growing Pains


The clever use of the basketball as the letter “o” proves this show is fun!


Just the Ten of Us starred the fat stand-up comedian Bill Kirchenbauer as a fat Coach Graham Lubbock. He was also the fat father of a standard-issue eight child Catholic family. The show aired on ABC as part of what would eventually become that network's TGIF line-up. The short-lived show was a spin-off of Growing Pains, where Kirchenbauer portrayed the same fat character.


Since they are all in their PJ’s we’re assuming they also all slept together in one giant bed.

Unlike the other shows on our list thus far, this obscure entry actually had a decent following during its run and wasn’t canceled simply due to low ratings. The show focused mostly around usual sitcom family issues: Graham’s daughters and his typical overprotective ways. In later episodes, the four teenage girls formed a singing group called "The Lubbock Babes”. Yes, there is actual video available of this.


It’s difficult to say how long the show would have lasted since it was cut short after one season due to overly complicated network politics. Basically, the show slipped through the cracks as ABC squabbled over their TGIF line-up which they’d committed to being entirely produced by Miller-Boyett Productions. It was eventually decided that there wasn’t an appropriate time slot for the Warner Bros. produced Just the Ten Of Us. Also, ABC had already committed to a new Miller-Boyett sitcom to join its existing three in the TGIF lineup: Going Places…which went no place.


Checking In spun-off from The Jeffersons


Is there any doubt that the juice she’s serving has been spit in?


Checking In was an extremely short-lived CBS spin-off of The Jeffersons, which itself was a spin-off of All in the Family. One more directly related spin-off and the Earth would have imploded.

Basically, the show featured the Jeffersons' sharp tongued maid, Florence (played by Marla Gibbs) accepting a new job as an executive housekeeper at a fancy hotel in Manhattan. In a blatant attempt to recreate the same rivalry Florence had with her previous boss George Jefferson, Larry Linville (Frank Burns) was brought onboard to play her new boss. The audience couldn’t care less.

Again - witness television promotion at its most creative as yet another unproven show was immediately described as a “new hit comedy”. We’re beginning to think anything with advertisements close to that description was just someone’s idea of a sick joke.


The show was canceled after a mere four episodes due to low ratings and Florence was quickly brought back to The Jeffersons. It was explained that the hotel had burned down. Sounds suspect to us and we wouldn’t put it past her to have lit the match herself. Anyway Florence got her job back which mostly consisted of breaking George Jefferson’s balls and all was well again in TV land.


Top of the Heap spun-off from Married… with Children


Married…with Children, minus the “married” and “children” parts.


Top of the Heap was a decent enough shot at a Married...With Children spin-off. To their credit, Fox wisely attempted to appeal to the same market and used the same low-brow humor which Married had perfected. The show was initially about Charlie Verducci (Joseph Bologna) and his son Vinnie (Matt LeBlanc) and their quest to get rich. Charlie was an Al Bundy-ish schemer who was always trying to get his dimwitted son married to a rich wife. Sounds like the Verducci family would have gotten along great with the Tortellis. For those interested in obscure TV history check the link below for a taste of the show.

After the show flopped in the ratings Fox attempted the dreaded retool. The next season a new version of the show aired called Vinnie and Bobby. Vinnie's dad was hastily written out and Vinnie's friend Bobby was written in. Maybe that’s what dad got for always being such an a**hole?


As expected, the retooling failed as well. Both incarnations of the show lasted only seven episodes each. According to WeirdWorm’s research team, Matt LeBlanc was never heard from again.

Did we miss your beloved Days of Our Lives spinoff pilot? Got something else to share? Check out the comments section to let us know.

Written by Anthony Quaglia – Copyrighted ©

Image Sources

Image sources:

  • - 704 Hauser spun-off from All in the Family:
  • - The Brady Brides spun-off from The Brady Bunch:
  • - The Tortellis spun-off from Cheers:
  • - Just the Ten of Us spun-off from Growing Pains:
  • - Checking In spun-off from The Jeffersons:
  • - Top of the Heap spun-off from Married… with Children: