TV Shows That Became A Different Show From How They Began

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

  1. ALAN SICHERMAN

    ALAN SICHERMAN Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY

    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    "Family Matters" changed completely when Steve Urkel took over!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. GMfan87'

    GMfan87' Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT.
    Vince Gillian sold the show as turning Mr. Chips into Scarface so that was always going to be it's trajectory.
     
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  3. GMfan87'

    GMfan87' Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT.
     
  4. rockclassics

    rockclassics Senior Member

    Location:
    Mid-South US
    In the Heat of the Night

    It began as a story about a small southern town police dept with a chief that had old time prejudices and beliefs. As the series progressed, the chief and dept had to deal with a variety of crimes which became more numerous and violent. They also had to deal with escalating drug related crimes.

    The chief gradually changed his ways and became more liberal and less prejudicial in his thinking and beliefs.
     
  5. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    I'm glad you mentioned Family Ties. The show started with the premise of two flower children of the 1960s getting married, having a family of their own and trying to instill their values into their children and navigate in the very different period of the 1980s. With the explosive popularity of Michael J Fox both on the show and in films, the show essentially became the Michael J Fox show. Although some in the cast resented the shift in the show's direction, it probably saved it from the chopping block for years.
     
  6. altaeria

    altaeria Forum Resident

    So if you are correct, then it was always just a mobster show without any unique premise.
     
  7. cathandler

    cathandler Senior Member

    Location:
    maine
    "It's About Time" (1966-67) started as a sitcom about astronauts traveling through time to the Stone Age, then after 18 episodes the premise changed to the Stone Agers time-traveling to contemporary Los Angeles. Didn't prevent it from becoming a one-season non-wonder.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
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  8. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    Location:
    California
    The biggest claim to fame for Its About Time was the snarky song us kids of a certain age used to taunt each other with:

    It’s about time
    It’s about space
    It’s about time
    I slapped your face (slap!!!)
     
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  9. cathandler

    cathandler Senior Member

    Location:
    maine
    I did this in school years after it aired! Obviously it was passed down from older brothers to their siblings.
     
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  10. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    More like its only claim to fame! 100 times out of 100, someone mentions this show and the theme song is mentioned. The 1970s version was "Football you bet!" from San Pedro Beach Bums, a show cancelled even quicker than this one!

    The format change actually improved the show. The prehistoric episodes were all "The chief caveman gets scared by lightning and wants to kill the astronauts." The show wasn't satirical; the cavepeople were mostly played straight. Sure, I'd like to go back to see dinosaurs. Then what? The fish out of water element of the cave people in modern day actually had some laughs.
     
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  11. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Senior Member

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    South Park -- Started out focusing on the four boys for the most part. Adult characters were present, but weren't the focus. Now it's basically Randy the Weed Dealer show. Towlie was a hysterical character when introduced, but the laughs with Randy selling weed have mostly just not been there.

    Ru Paul's Drag Race -- started out as a combination of Project Runway, America's Top Model, and other competition reality shows, but really focused on the "design and make your own clothes from what we give you this week." Now people come onto the show having spent tens of thousands of dollars on clothing, and very rarely are their design/sewing skills tested. The show has changed in other ways -- much bigger budget, big name celebrities appear as guest judges, the episodes are longer, etc -- but I think the change from being able to impress without money to being able to rely on money really hurt the show.

    I may be misremembering, but didn't Married With Children basically start out with Peg Bundy as a sex-starved wife, still pursuing Al even though she found certain things about him disgusting, and him constantly avoiding her? I know that later on they mostly seemed repulsed with the notion of having sex with each other, but I could swear that earlier episodes showed Peg still pursuing Al a lot.
     
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  12. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    Anyone mention “Space 1999” becoming a more conventional show the second season once Fred Freiberger was brought in to administer the coup de grace with Barry Morse leaving and others having their roles reduced…plus Maya (Catherine Schell) added as a shapeshifter?

    “Combat!” changed somewhat after the first year. The first year Robert Altman directed a lot of episodes and had input…having Rick Jason’s character promoted to lieutenant when he was a sergeant in the pilot (Robert Pirosh, who created it, was a sergeant in WW2 so both Jason and Vic Morrow were sergeants. Having a Cajun helped with speaking French to the locals plus Pirosh had two Cajuns during the war who he thought the world of…never said anything but did every job that needed to be done. Altman was an officer so he couldn’t see a military show with no officers. Anyways Altman tended to have members of the platoon killed off after a couple episodes …it’s war. Plus there was an attempt to have Las Vegas comedian Shecky Greene as a cast member but that only lasted a few episodes.
    Altman left after one year and the new people went to a format like a number of other shows (like Star Trek later). The main cast members will get wounded but the dead will be either the guest star of the week or someone specifically added to the show.
     
  13. Honey Bunches of Sadness

    Honey Bunches of Sadness Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I heard this rhyme as a kid growing up in the 70s, but never knew where it originated.

    So you've solved my mystery ..... which I frankly never care about enough to ponder.... ;)
     
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  14. Pangurban

    Pangurban Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    Surprised it took 20 pages to come up with Facts of Life.

    Tongue in cheek: Lost, Newhart, and St Elsewhere all changed from a show about something to a show about somebody dreaming about something (in the last episode). I think Dallas
    did something like that too, albeit end of a season instead of end of series, didn’t it?

    Father Murphy - Title character poses as a priest for the first season to save orphans from the workhouse. Marries and adopts the children at the end of the season, I think. So the second season, there is no Father Murphy in Father Murphy.

    Call the Midwife
    - Based on the memoirs of a late 50s London midwife - Jenny Lee (fictional stand-in for Jenny Worth). Each episode includes narration by older Jenny reminiscing about the events of her youth. Yet, though Jenny leaves after the 3rd season, the narrations continue. How is she narrating on events that she wasn’t even there for?
     
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  15. Pangurban

    Pangurban Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    Tom and Jerry from a show about sworn enemies to a show about two best buds.
     
  16. ibanez_ax

    ibanez_ax Forum Resident

    The Orville started out as a comedy/Star Trek parody.

    Now in its third season, they've pretty much ditched the comedy.
     
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  17. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    Man From Uncle became a comedy more or less after (I think) the second season
     
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  18. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    Location:
    California
    It morphed from movie shorts to TV but the change in character was drastic: insane lunatic, to boring young stuffed shirt.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I remember as a kid thinking, what the heck, they’ve destroyed this great character!
     
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  19. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    Airwolf had much more character development for JMV the first year--he would sit on a dock near his home and play the cello to a bald eagle who nested nearby. I said the myself 'This eagle/cello thing is doomed. Everybody just wants the chopper.' Yep, I was right
     
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  20. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    More chopper!
     
  21. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool
    That's legendary, or infamous. Patrick Duffy quit Dallas and they killed off his character Bobby Ewing at the end of the season. Then he agreed to come back, so the next season ended with Bobby's wife Pam waking up and Bobby coming out of the shower. Everything in that season was a dream of Pam's, and Bobby told her in just those words that it never happened.
     
  22. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    And that decision also impacted sister show Knots Landing on which Bobby's bro Gary Ewing was shown mourning Bobby's death. I think KL just distanced itself from Dallas after that.
     
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  23. Dyland

    Dyland Active Member

    'Til Death. Began as a grounded sitcom about an old married couple with newlywed neighbors. Ended as a sitcom about a character who realizes he's trapped in a sitcom!
     
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  24. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Doubleplus Ungood

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    I would add that the title character began as an avenging angel - killing only the wicked whom the system failed to punish - and ended up just as wicked as they were.
     
  25. Spastica

    Spastica Run aground on the floor for you....

    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    Yeah...this blew my mind. First two seasons were gold. That third season had a few good Kenny episodes...then it jumps the shark.

    Didn't a writer's strike have something to do with what happened to this show?
     
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