October 31st, 2004


We don't know our own history, how can we understand yours?

Many people think Happy Days had the most spinoffs of any TV show. No. Happy Days had 5 spinoffs.

Happy Days itself was a spinoff, from an episode of Love, American Style called Love and the Happy Days which featured several of the eventual cast. Happy Days spun off Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Joannie Loves Chachi, Blansky Beauties, and Out of the Blue (due to a scheduling problem, the pilot of Out of the Blue actually aired before the episode it spun off from, featuring Random the Angel). I don't count Happy Days Again as separate from the original show. Not the most prestigious lineage.

However, in 1969 there was a show imported from Europe called Till Death Do Us Part. The pilot based on this was called Those Were The Days which became All In The Family in 1971.

All In The Family (1971-1979) begat Maude (1972-1978), The Jeffersons (1975-1983), Archie Bunker’s Place (1979-1983) and 704 Hauser (1994).

This last show is memorable because the only cast member to carry over was the set. It was about a multiracial family moving into the Bunker’s old home.

Maude begat Good Times (1974-1979) and an ill-fated show known alternately as Mr. Dooley/Mr. Dugan/Onward and Upward/Hanging In (1979).

The Jeffersons begat Checking In (1981).

Archie Bunker’s Place begat Gloria (1982-1983)

That’s 4 first generational and 4 second generational spinoffs.

Law & Order has a lot of work to catch up to this, though I for one am looking forward to Law & Order: Domestic Disturbance, the COPSesque series split between family court and the emergency room.