TV Shows That Became A Different Show From How They Began

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

  1. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Location:
    WI

    I have never understood how/why people say the color episodes of 'Gunsmoke' are a soap opera, since they don't contain any sort of continuing story-line like a soap opera has. If anything, the show became a story/character of the week with the core cast intertwined with them in one way or another, but no way did it have continuing story arc like a real soap opera would/does... (And yeah, I know there were a few two part episodes of 'Gunsmoke', but those are not soap opera either.)
     
  2. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    No, I wouldn't call the latter GUNSMOKE a soap opera, but more of an anthology with some recurring background characters. The townspeople, Matt, Doc, Kitty, Festus, etc., were there to ground the series in Dodge City as the center of the universe. But it was the guest star(s), and their predicaments, about which most of those latter episodes focused. The writers would tie in that weeks story with maybe one of the townsfolk, giving Festus or Doc or Kitty or even Matt a bigger supporting role.
     
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  3. brew ziggins

    brew ziggins Forum Prisoner

    Location:
    The Village
    I seem to remember the first episodes of Fantasy Island being pretty dark, every fantasy came at a cost.
     
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  4. mbd40

    mbd40 Steely Dan Fan

    Location:
    Hope, Ar
    The Flintstones started as a regular animated sitcom based on the Honeymooners and sponsored by Winston cigarettes. It became more kiddie in the third season when the sponsor changed to Welch's and they added Pebbles and Bam Bam.
     
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  5. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I think the addition of the children was creative desperation more than sponsor-dictated.

    When TV shows start to run out of ideas, they add characters, and children were a logical choice for "Flintstones".

    Of course, this didn't mean they needed to add a mysteriously super-strong baby, but what're ya gonna do? :laugh:

    Gazoo, Hoppy, Gruesomes, celebrity cameos, etc. - that show really got desperate as it went!
     
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  6. Jord

    Jord Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Same goes fo the Dukes of Hazzard, which was a tad more serious at first.
     
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  7. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan Thread Starter

    That's not unusual. Most characters ended up being toned down...especially if they become a symbol for the company. An example of this is Mickey Mouse, who started out as a bit of a scamp but became respectable when he became the representative for Disney. That is one of the factors for the popularity of Donald Duck: They could do things with him that you couldn't do with Mickey.

    Another character that radically changed is Bugs Bunny. He started out as a wild and crazy character like Daffy Duck (and even had a "Woody Woodpecker" type laugh). It took several years for Bugs to morph into the character as we know him now.

    The early episodes (it may have just been in the TV movies) Fantasy Island was only for the very rich (IIRC the cost of a fantasy was $1,000,000).

    The following are a sign that the show as jumped the shark (taken from the book Jump The Shark by Jon Hein):
    • They got married (Jeannie married Major Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie)
    • They had a kid (the birth of Mabel on Made About You)
    • Introduction of a young relative of unexplained origins (Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch)
    • A departure of a significant cast member (Tattoo on Fantasy Island, Colonel Henry Blake on M*A*S*H)
    One I've thought of is the introduction of stunt casting. On The Flintstones in one season they featured animated versions of real celebrities voiced by the real celebrities (in some cases their names were altered to fit the world of the Flintstones). Among them:
    • Stoney Curtis
    • Stoney Carmichael
    • Ann Margrock
    • Samantha and Darren from Bewitched. The entire episode was basically an episode of Bewitched set in the world of The Flintstones.
     
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  8. MrCJF

    MrCJF Best served with coffee and cake.

    Location:
    United Kingdom

    But Blake going missing from BBC sci fi series Blakes 7 didn't seem to impact the plot or viewing figures.
     
  9. Jord

    Jord Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    The Connors changed radically after the departure of Roseanne.
     
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  10. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Yeah, I mentioned celebrity cameos in my post! :shh:
     
  11. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia

    but roseanne and the conners are 2 different shows
     
  12. pghmusiclover

    pghmusiclover Forum Resident

    Those kids were sooo annoying though -- good riddance to them, I said!

    The same thing happened on "Mama's Family" where Vint's kids all of a sudden disappeared -- they were also completely annoying so I never missed them LOL
     
  13. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Dig A Little Dog About An Hour Ago!

    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I disagree with M*A*S*H jumping the shark after Henry Blake. I liked it better with Harry Morgan as Col. Potter!
     
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  14. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    The first year of “The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo” was set in a fictional rural county in Georgia. When Fred Silverman noticed it was popular with rural viewers but not urban, he had the department transferred to Atlanta by the governor because of their success in fighting crime (Lobo actually forgot to send in crime reports). Ratings got worse and it was canceled after the second year.
     
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  15. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    Location:
    California
    As a kid I didn't really notice the differences between seasons - but having watched The Flintstones on and off for a few decades now, those last couple of seasons are miserable. Just bad.

    Seasons 1 -2 are pretty great though.
     
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  16. MrCJF

    MrCJF Best served with coffee and cake.

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I dont think M*A*S*H ever "jumped the shark" it just changed in increments to a less funny, more dramatic toned show.
     
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  17. Michael

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

    The Andy Griffith Show....
     
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  18. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    Location:
    California
    From Affable Andy to Angry Andy!
     
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  19. Michael

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

    and no Barney!
     
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  20. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Westerville, Ohio
    Horse hockey!
     
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  21. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Every season had good shows. For instance, the final season had "Gravelberry Pie King", "Seeing Doubles" and others that were still solid.

    The ratio of good:bad just shifted toward the negative as time passed.
     
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  22. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Haven't seen "MASH" in decades, but I recall it felt like it more became "Alan Alda's Soapbox" as it went.
     
  23. MrCJF

    MrCJF Best served with coffee and cake.

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Probably. I only realised recently that it was inspired by a series of books. At some point they must have ran out of source material.
     
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  24. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    "MASH" originated as a book that then became a movie and then a TV show.

    I think the movie adapted the book but the TV series went off on its own.

    I don't think the book - or its sequels - were used as fodder for the TV series...
     
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  25. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Location:
    WI
    I like M*A*S*H (especially seasons 1 thru 5), but you're correct, the farther away it got from its beginnings to becoming Alan Alda's pulpit, it lost its humor and anti-authority stance.
     
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