I enjoyed the TV-spinoff family tree in the Wall Street Journal today, illustrating Brooks Barnes’ scoop on the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff. I knew Cheers of course begat Frasier and, regrettably, The Tortellis. And I even knew that Happy Days birthed Mork & Mindy. But I hadn’t realized that Good Times was hatched from Maude, which itself was hatched from All in the Family.
In fact, as the tree depicts, All in the Family was quite the launching pad. Besides Maude, Good Times and The Jeffersons, it also gave life to Gloria (don’t remember it), Checking In (don’t remember it) and Archie Bunker’s Place (remember it, and am at this very moment wondering what became of Danielle Brisebois).
And kudos to Barnes for citing Beverly Hills Buntz, the Dennis Franz-starring spinoff of Hill Street Blues, as an example of what happens when spinoffs go really, truly wrong.
By Michael Malone