hollywood walk of shame

5 queer(ish) TV spinoffs that ended up being total sh*tshows

The Bradys

A lot happened in the world of TV spinoffs this week. First, Golden Girls fans rejoiced when they discovered The Golden Palace is now available to stream in its entirety on Hulu. Then one of the writers of And Just Like That… almost had a nervous breakdown after receiving death threats from Sex and the City fans upset about the direction the franchise has taken.

Related: More bad news for ‘And Just Like That’ actor Chris Noth

Since the earliest days of TV, network suits have tried to find ways to expand existing properties into new and financially lucrative series. Sometimes it works, as in the case of The Simpsons (spin-off of The Tracey Ulman Show), Frasier (spin-off of Cheers, or The Jeffersons (spin-off of All in the Family). Other times, not so much.

Let’s take a little jaunt through forgotten queerish showbiz history. Try to stream any of these titles at your own risk…

The Ropers

After Audra Linley became one of the 1970s biggest camp icons on the “he’s gay but not really” sitcom Three’s Company, ABC tried to spin Linley and her small screen husband Norman Fell off into a show of their own with less than golden results. The series focused on the Ropers as social climbers in a more affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles and even featured a pre-Transparent Jeffrey Tambor. Still, an ever-horny Helen Roper bickering with the oh-so-cheap Stanley didn’t enchant audiences, thus condemning Mrs. Roper and her caftans to cancelation.

The Colbys

Dynasty became one of the defining shows of the 1980s thanks to its mix of style, sex, and outright bitchiness. Naturally, ABC wanted to duplicate that success. As drag queens continued to imitate Dynasty stars Joan Collins and Diahann Caroll, the network began work on The Colbys in 1985, casting noted homophobe Charlton Heston and lesbian icon Barbara Stanwyck in the leads. Initial ratings showed promise, and though the show nabbed a second season, audiences fled in droves. An expensive price tag and tabloid stories of backstage fights between Heston and co-star Maxwell Caulfield didn’t help, and ABC nixed the series in 1987. By that point, the show had become so unpopular that the series ended with one of the main characters abducted by a UFO as a symbolic middle finger to the audience.

The Glee Project

Glee became an instant sensation when it debuted back in 2009, and Fox partnered with the Oxygen network for this… unusual spinoff. 2011’s The Glee Project played more like American Idol than its parent show, as wannabe crooners competed to win a guest spot on the scripted series. Stars of the show would also show up to help “coach” their potential co-stars. The whole thing ran two seasons, and played a bit more like a commercial for Glee than a series with its own identity. Apart from spotting a few early talents–including Alex Newell–the show never did find a reason to exist beyond a cynical cash grab.

Any Given Brady Spinoff

Don’t get us wrong. We love Florence Henderson and Robert Reed. And we have no shame in confessing our crushes on the Brady boys while growing up and watching the show in syndication either. Still, why someone thought it would be a good idea to give the sitcom’s cast a 1970s variety show–or worse, reunite them for a 1990s primetime drama–is beyond our comprehension. Reed, a closeted gay man who made no secret of his resentment for the association with his Brady Bunch character, gamely signed up for both The Brady Bunch Variety Hour and The Bradys. Audiences, on the other hand, felt differently.

Models, INC.

Beverly Hills, 90210 provided trashy, soapy fun for a generation of hormonal teens in the 1990s. Melrose Place, the show’s spinoff, dialed the volume way, way up, spinning tales of West Hollywood gone berserk. Models, INC. tried to go even further, but no amount of soap opera plot twists and bitchiness could get audiences invested in this dud. Neither could Linda Gray or a pre-Matrix Carrie-Ann Moss. Though, as far as 90210 spinoffs go, we admit: the 2008 90210 and 2009 Melrose Place revivals/spinoffs are far worse.