TV Shows That Became A Different Show From How They Began

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Solitaire1, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan Thread Starter

    There have been comments about how M*A*S*H became a different show from how it started. It started as a comedy with some drama, and morphed into a drama with some comedy.

    This led me to wonder what other shows have had a significant direction change over the course of their run. One that comes to mind is the stop-motion-animation series Moral Orel. It started out as a pretty repetitive series, with each episode involving Orel learning a biblical lesson and taking it in a completely wrong direction, often causing havoc around town. However, towards the end of the Second Season the series took a radical change in direction, with the Third Season focusing on the other people in town and becoming very dark and disturbing. One episode, "Alone", was so disturbing that it led to the series' cancellation.
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  2. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    “Dark Shadows” a small town soap opera of a young woman/orphan in a large house of rich family that became a supernatural with vampires, werewolves, time travel and parallel dimensions

    “Lost in Space” pioneering space family with a murderous saboteur stowaway that became a cowardly bumbling comedy

    “The Avengers” idealistic doctor whose wife was murdered paired with a cynical but honest government agent that became jovial government agent with various female agents in a bit of a satire of spy films. Doctor left after first season.

    “77 Sunset Strip” Detective agency with some comedy episodes, some serious in last season was one man film noir series.

    “Adventures of Superman” somewhat adult series that involved a man with superhuman abilities evolved into children’s show
  3. Lost in Space was always a kids show to a degree but it was much more serious in tone. When it went to color it took the camp route. Each has its unique charms but I prefer the black & white years where Smith was an actual villain.
  4. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    Land Of The Giants seemed to turn into a variety of different shows during it's run.

    I've seen the original Lost In Space pilot without comedic Dr. Smith and it was a very straight sf approach, along the lines of Ib Melchior's Robinson Crusoe On Mars movie. He was the creator of the original Space Family Robinson concept and there were comic books more serious the than comedy tv show published under that name.
  5. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    North West England
    Emerdale Farm

    No farm animals for decades.

    Plenty of murders etc.
  6. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    But Emmerdale Farm killed Doctor Who's Leela (Louise Jameson) early on.

    Louise Jameson

    It did get more fantastical as it went along though with ever more lurid ratings grab stories.
  7. Veronica Mars

    Veronica Mars Forum Resident

    Happy Days Fifties coming of age to shark jumping moralistic white bread sliced hokum.
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  8. altaeria

    altaeria Forum Resident

    The Sopranos started as a unique idea about a dysfunctional family who just happened to have mafia ties. It quickly became a mobster show.
  9. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Good Morning Miss Bliss turned into Saved By The Bell.
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  10. Algo_Rhythm

    Algo_Rhythm Forum Resident


    Happy Days was the first show I thought of although I wasn't going to be as harsh as you. ;) Happy Days also changed in the sense that initially Fonzie was just a very minor character but he quicky become a major character(especially after Ritchie Cunningham[Ron Howard] left).

    There are probably more recent tv examples also but probably not so much with sit coms.
  11. Veronica Mars

    Veronica Mars Forum Resident

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  12. Kyle B

    Kyle B Forum Resident

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  13. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Troy, MI, USA
    Person Of Interest started out as a very interesting show about persistent surveillance and state power. There was a hefty dose of mystery involved, too, as the characters origins were slowly revealed. You had ongoing storylines about police corruption and mobsters trying to redeem themselves. Starting in the middle of season 3, the show pivots into sci-fi territory, as two opposing AIs start fighting each other.

    It wouldn't have been so jarring if, earlier in the series, it was made explicitly clear that the "good" AI was built without the ability to take any sort of initiative, it just processed surveillance data and looked for threats. They kinda sorta explain how it all of a sudden starts hatching complicated plans outside of what it was programmed to do, but it was a pretty bad move plot-wise, in my opinion.
  14. shark shaped fin

    shark shaped fin Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    This is a bit more granular but:

    Game of Thrones started off as a very complex show based more around political intrigue, with very complicated plot threads taken directly from the source material of hefty and dense novels, with shocks and surprises coming out of nowhere affecting our lead characters, and arriving as a result of subtle machinations barely visible in the primary plot. The characters were mostly extremely smart, and when their downfalls did come, it was the result of even sharper cunning from crueler characters.

    It wound up becoming a fairly simplistic and spectacle-based show where everything was telegraphed much more obviously and characters acted stupidly and against their own nature.
  15. fr in sc

    fr in sc Forum Resident

    Hanahan, SC
    "Burke's Law" started out in 1963 as a very rich single swinger (Gene Barry) who just happened to be the chief of homicide for the LAPD (natch!), chauffeured around in his gold Rolls-Royce solving crimes and romancing starlets. After 2 years ABC in their infinite stupidity decided to jump on the secret agent thing and got rid of everyone save Barry and made it "Amos Burke Secret Agent" with a bunch of cheesy gadgets that Batman probably rejected. I think it died halfway thru the final season. Very sad; the original premise was good---I believe it was Aaron Spelling's first series and had his soon-to-be patented formula of gorgeous locales and a mix of up-and-coming thespians and soon-to-be-retired film stars. Note that when they revived the show 30 years later it was the original premise they used as a template.
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  16. Avenging Robot

    Avenging Robot Senior Member

    I tried watching this show but stopped after a couple of episodes because I found it (as you've already stated) repetitious and predictable. Now you've actually piqued my interest in the later episodes.
  17. Kyle B

    Kyle B Forum Resident

    77 Sunset Strip. It was a completely different show in its final season.
  18. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    I've only ever seen one episode of 77 Sunset Strip, and I liked it quite a lot. It had an aging eccentric cats lady who was in hiding but had inherited something. She came into this one particular bar regularly but then stopped showing up. Not sure where in the evolution of the series it would fit.
  19. Luvtemps

    Luvtemps Forum Resident

    The classic detective series[77Sunset Strip]went from a show about three private detectives to a show about one who became some sort of agent...[in it's last season].
  20. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    That's really what I liked about the show, particularly from a CBS Network perspective (there are constants in every CBS drama in the way they unfold, and this was consistent with those standard principles): first you have a season of "procedural", to see if the audience latched-onto the idea. This is quite important in the CBS bubble, as the audience is pretty traditional in their thinking as is (don't see this as an insult, just the nature of the audience they've cultivated over the years). Once you get to a place such as a season break or mid-break, it's time to open-up the continuity, and show a little bit more of what the show was really about...or, what it could be about.

    I think though, all great series need this sort of evolution, be it injection of intriguing foils or characters (or, just Amy Acker...:love: ), or a big revelation which changes a set of characters from bad-to-good or vice versa. Once you've got an actual overall story arc reaching throughout a new season, you can negotiate how far you're going to take the concept, and if the audience is going to go with you on this without stretching the credibility.

    As far as Person Of Interest is concerned, I was white-knuckled throughout the entire thing, and the pace of the revelations of the plotline was perfect for me. A lot more adventurous than many CBS offerings, IMHO.
  21. James Slattery

    James Slattery Forum Resident

    Long Island
    The Guardian. Started out about a disgraced self-centered attorney working off his sentence by helping at an agency that helped people. Completely morphed in different directions after that.
  22. James Slattery

    James Slattery Forum Resident

    Long Island
    I thought the original premise with the 2 kids, the stoner ex-husband and the job at the restaurant was great. French Stewart was hysterical. Totally jumped the shark when it became about the gang of addicts.
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  23. peter

    peter Senior Member

    Totally agree. Does anyone remember that the "pilot" of Happy Days was an "episode" on Love, American Style?
  24. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    Very vaguely. But wasn't it also spun from American Graffiti?
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  25. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Seeker of Truth

    The Blacklist began as a show about a bad guy helping the FBI catch other bad guys to a show about a woman with a personality disorder.

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