During Friends, Joey’s sandwich obsession, crazy Italian sisters, and ”how you doin”’ provided a welcome bit of dumb humor amongst the lives of the other, smarter pals. But when NBC tried to build a whole show around a dim-witted actor trying to make it in L.A., even Matt LeBlanc’s many charms couldn’t convince us to sit through this clichéd comedy. —Wendy Mitchell
Joanie Loves Chachi
In an effort to find a follow-up to the aging Happy Days — while also capitalizing on the teen-steam appeal of stars Scott Baio (Chachi) and Erin Moran (Joanie) — ABC moved the lovebirds to Chicago and got them to (gulp!) sing. In spite of Baio’s big-time heartthrobbery, the show was canceled after two brief seasons. —Adam B. Vary
Fox attempted to recapture the glitz and glamour of Melrose Place by focusing on an L.A.-based modeling agency, run by Amanda Woodward’s mother (Dallas‘ Linda Gray). Unfortunately, the series, which also featured a pre-Matrix Carrie-Anne Moss, was all flash and no substance, hampered by atrocious acting and plotting. —Tim Stack
The Brady Brides
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! (And Jan.) This spin-off of The Brady Bunch began as a TV special chronicling Marcia (Maureen McCormick) and Jan’s (Eve Plumb) double wedding – and spun-off into an Odd Couple-esque comedy when the two sisters, and their clashing hubbies, bought a house together. Alas, Brides lasted only 10 episodes — about the length of your average Hollywood marriage. —Kate Stroup
Time of Your Life
For her solo series, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Party of Five character, Sarah, left the Salinger clan to find her biological mother in New York City. She ended up in a heavily hyped but poorly conceived show, also featuring a young Jennifer Garner. —T.S.
Yet another bad spin-off (from Who’s the Boss?) based around modeling, Dolls introduced Charlie (Leah Remini), a pal of Samantha Micelli’s (Alyssa Milano). Best moment of the show (which lasted just two months)? Halle Berry popped up as one of the show’s fledgling models. —T.S.
The Lone Gunmen
The truth may be out there, but the ratings weren’t for this X-Files spin-off. —Dalton Ross
After the sun went down, lifeguard extraordinaire Mitch (David Hasselhoff) moonlighted in this weak drama as a detective who solved cases with his cop buddy from Baywatch, Garber (Gregory Alan Williams), and hottie sleuth Ryan (introducing Angie Harmon). Things went from blah to worse in season 2: The series went for an X-Files vibe, and had Mitch & Co. working freaky cases involving demons, vampires, and various otherworldly creatures. Viewers were, not surprisingly, scared off. —Dan Snierson
Remember this Cheers spin-off about the not-so-happy home life of Carla’s ex (Dan Hedaya)? We don’t either. —K.S.
Three’s a Crowd
Three’s Company‘s ladies’ man Jack Tripper (John Ritter) was finally ready to settle down in 1985, when he popped the question to his stewardess girlfriend, Vicky Bradford. That set the stage for this short-lived sitcom (sometimes airing in syndication as Three’s Company, Too), as their relationship is strained by the constant meddling of their landlord, Vicky’s disapproving father. Sadly, he was not Mr. Roper. —K.S.
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.
Stefanie Powers starred as the ever-fashionable April Dancer (alongside her British partner, Mark Slate) in this offshoot of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. April’s weapons of choice? Her feminine guile. Oh, and an exploding charm bracelet. No wonder the spy series was a dud. —K.S.
Law & Order: Trial by Jury
Dick Wolf’s Law & Order franchise comes in many flavors. There’s the original, which has chugged quietly along for almost 20 years, SVU with it’s sweet lineup of big-name guest stars, and Criminal Intent, which could be subtitled ”Vincent D’Onofrio Goes Bananas.” All three shows put their own unique twists on the crime drama. So the weirdest thing about Trial by Jury was how un-twisted the show felt. Mixing together L&O veterans (Fred Thompson and Jerry Orbach) with bored-looking franchise newbies like Bebe Neuwirth and Kirk Acevedo, TBJ felt like it fell out of a world where lawyer shows never advanced beyond Perry Mason. Its failure was sad, but we think Mr. Wolf will get over it. —Darren Franich
As her stint on Dancing With the Stars proved, everyone loves Cloris Leachman. But apparently not enough to watch her in a starring role. Her stint in Phyllis — a spin-off featuring her beloved character from the Mary Tyler Moore Show — was well-received initially, and even won Leachman a Golden Globe. But, unfortunately for CBS, Phyllis was no Rhoda, and the ratings tanked in the second season. —K.S.
Saved by the Bell: The College Years
Listen, the original Saved by the Bell wasn’t exactly Dostoyevsky, but the high school sitcom had a peculiar magic that still holds up (if only ironically) in reruns. That magic does not extend to the completely misconceived spinoff-sequel, which follows the Bell cast into higher education. The list of problems is long. None of the Bell ladies except Tiffani Thiessen wanted to join the spin-off (good for you, Lark Voorhies!), so three new one-dimensional female characters were added. The heavier adult themes of the cast’s college existence (Kelly has an affair with her anthro professor!) clashed completely with the show’s sunny, G-rated style. And everyone looked way too old. But the No. 1 mistake was casting former pro-football player Bob Golic as dorm advisor and mullet enthusiast Mike Rogers. The horror… —D.F.
M*A*S*H was an iconic TV series that pushed the boundaries of the traditional sitcom. AfterMASH — not so much. The show proved to be even less clever than its name (a play on the word ”aftermath”) and lasted less than two seasons. —K.S.