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TV Shows That Became A Different Show From How They Began

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Solitaire1, Feb 22, 2021 at 2:28 PM.

  1. SoundAdvice

    SoundAdvice Forum Resident

    Pee wee Herman/Playhouse started as adult stand up, including and HBO special, and morphed into a saturday morning childrens shows.

    South Park started with parents mad at what Matt/Trey showed their kids. Now Matt/Trey are annoyed at how parents raise their kids.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  2. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    The failed pilot was edited and shown on “Love, American Style”. For the tv series they moved the period from the early 1950s (the plot involved the Cunningham s having the first tv in the neighborhood) to the late 1950s and changed the fathers from Harold Gould to Tom Bosley.

    “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” was more of a drama show with espionage episodes and some sci fi episodes. Some of the early ones had a sinister worldwide terrorist organization similar to SPECTRE or THRUSH that seemed to stand in for Communist China. Soon it was monster of the week and space aliens.
    Jack Lord and beccabear67 like this.
  3. fr in sc

    fr in sc Forum Resident

    Hanahan, SC
    ABC handed the reins of producing the show over to Jack Webb and William Conrad for the final season and they decimated the cast and butchered the show, pretty much the same way ABC would put the kibosh on Burke's Law the next year. Always makes me think they were secretly working for CBS or NBC.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 10:14 AM
  4. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY (NBC). The series second season aboard The Searcher was a very different series from how it began.
    Scowl, '05Train and MikeInFla like this.
  5. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE shifted its focus during its run. It started as a largely foreign intrigue series that morphed into battling the "syndicate" crime organization in the US.
    MikeInFla likes this.
  6. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    Actually it was Warner Brothers who were down to one show, “77 Sunset Strip”, sliding in ratings because of a writers strike that forced them to re use scripts from other shows. Webb completely changed the show and the other properties he developed, only a military sitcom “No Time for Sergeants “ made it to the air and for one season. Warner Brothers told Webb to stay away for the next two years at $150,000. So when NBC and Universal called Webb to revive “Dragnet” and fight those purse-snatching dogs and blue-painted LSD users (watching the episodes relatively few involve drug use), Webb had no other options with alimony and child support payments to make but to dig out badge 714.
  7. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Toronto, Canada
    Both great examples (particularly Moral Orel -- I don't think of the later MASH as being all that different from the earlier MASH).

    Some other examples:

    Agents of Shield: Started out as an X-Files type monster-of-the-week police procedural sort of show, turned into (starting about halfway thru season 2) a highly serialized sci-fi drama with occasional quips, became progressively more dense and humorous from season 4 on, to the point where I literally needed to make a chart to follow seasons 6 & 7

    Agent Carter: Season 2 is strikingly more sitcommy and escapist than season 1 (a relatively gritty and sombre spy story involving brainwashing)

    The Wire: Season 4 quite drastically changes the emphasis away from the long-form police investigation stuff of seasons 1-3, and is mostly a drama about the public school system. McNulty, the star of seasons 1-3, is barely in this season. Virtually all of the long-form threads of the show are resolved at the end of season 3.

    Angel: Like Agents of Shield, this started out as a kind of police procedural/monster-of-the-week show, but it became drastically more serialized in seasons 3 & 4 and the police angle was dropped completely. In season 5 they returned to the monster-of-the-week formula but this time the outer framework was as a legal drama.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Neither the tone nor the format changed much over the show's 7 seasons, but the later seasons are much more violent and sexually explicit than the earlier ones.
  8. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    Smith was a legitimately scary villain for about two or three episodes. The minute he started to say "the pain the pain" it was all over.
    sharedon, Ginger Ale and beccabear67 like this.
  9. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    They also moved from an AI that could make guesses as to when and where something might happen, to an AI that could basically reliably predict the future.
  10. Obtuse1

    Obtuse1 Forum Resident

    The Simpsons (notably Homer), who morphed from gruff dad to bumbling idiot.

    Of course any show on for that long is bound to change...
    asdf35 likes this.
  11. Kyle B

    Kyle B Forum Resident

    The Happy Days pilot, “New Family in Town,” was filmed in 1972. ABC passed and it was burned off as an episode of “Love, American Style,” entitled “Love and the Television Set.” When American Graffiti became a hit in 1973, ABC reconsidered and a new pilot was filmed. This one sold. The original pilot was retitled “Love and the Happy Days” for reruns on LAS.
    beccabear67 likes this.
  12. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Austin TX
    Seinfeld kind of did this. It started out very down to earth, as grounded in reality as possible for being a sitcom. By the end, it was chock full of absurdity. Did I mention it is and always will be the best comedy series ever?

    I think that is the force at play for a lot of these shows.
    James RD and OldSoul like this.
  13. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan Thread Starter

    From what I understand, the pilot for what became Happy Days predated American Graffiti but there was little interest in making it a series. It ended up in the place where many pilots that are not picked up go: Love, American Style (L,AS). Another series that started on L,AS was what became the animated series Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home*.

    It was the success of American Graffiti that led to Happy Days being coming a regular a series since they wanted a '50s type series and they already had one in the Pilot. There were some differences between the Pilot and what became Happy Days. Among them: No Fonzie, No Ralph Malph, Joanie and Harold Cunningham played by different actors.

    *Trivia Tip: The father in Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home was voiced by Tom Bosley, who replaced Harold Gould as the father on Happy Days when it became a regular series.
    peter and beccabear67 like this.
  14. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan Thread Starter

    From what I understand, the problem with Smith being the ice-cold villain he was in the beginning (he'd kill the entire family if he hadn't needed them to keep him alive) is that where was no way he would be able remain on the ship. Either John Robinson or Don West would have killed him to protect the family. Changing him to a comic relief character nullified the danger he was to the rest of the crew.
  15. Veronica Mars

    Veronica Mars Forum Resident


    Pee Wees Show was a live theatre show not a tv show. I do take your point however.
  16. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan Thread Starter

    Avenging Robot wrote the following in response to my post mentioning the series Moral Orel:

    The episode where things start to change is "Nature - Part 1" (the last episode of Season 2) and "Nature - Part 2" (the first episode of Season 3).
  17. jimac51

    jimac51 A mythical beast.

    Jerry Springer evolved from somewhat political show in the waning days of Phil Donahue to....,well, it changed a bit,didn't it? Odd,Springer as a human being, away from the show (that he could do in his sleep) there is an interesting person and,in another universe,could have headed the Democratic National Committee. Open about his foibles,listening to this guy behind closed doors could have helped many a candidate shape a campaign to defeat opposition. He's smarter than the average bear.
    Fun personal fact_ I lost employment in 1998 after almost 30 years of holding a job. While on unemployment,I started watching daytime TV,something I hadn't done since I was a kid. I sat through the end of a Springer episode,unhip to the rituals that involved the audience. At the end,I flipped to another station which was showing the very same episode. Like a drunk going cold turkey,I turned it off and flagged down a friend who was managing a store. I told him that I would do anything till I found something in my field-anything,just to keep away from daytime TV. Scrubbed toilets,emptied trucks of freight,shopping cart pick ups,etc.-scrubbing a hopper was better than vegetating in front of daytime TV.
  18. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    It was also in the family hour where CBS told Irwin Allen they couldn’t have Maureen and John Robinson...a married couple with three children...kiss each other on screen.
  19. peter

    peter Senior Member

    Most of what you say is exactly my recollection, except I had no idea and have no memory of the L,AS episode being a "pilot." Was it ever aired as a pilot? Or, did it first appear on LAS in an edited form? I recall being very impressed with the vibe of the L,AS episode. I thought it captured the time perfectly. American Graffiti was of course a masterpiece.
  20. SoundAdvice

    SoundAdvice Forum Resident

    Was Maury Povich credible(ish) before the DNA tests and "you are not the father!" act?
  21. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Senior Member

    M.A.S.H. started off funny....
  22. Witchy Woman

    Witchy Woman Forum Resident

    Third Coast, USA
    “Empty Nest” started as a spin-off episode of “The Golden Girls” featuring Rita Moreno and Paul Dooley playing an older married couple whose kids have grown up and moved out. It became a sit-com about a father (played by Richard Mulligan) and his two adult daughters living in the same house.
  23. I detest that show with a vengeance. It's always on at my parents house!
  24. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    my vote goes to Lost In Space as the most drastic change, but I loved Jonathan in both versions...
    Pete Puma and Ginger Ale like this.
  25. Scott222C

    Scott222C Loner, Rebel & Family Man

    Black Sails - the worst

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