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How far from the main idea/cast/plot has a show ever strayed?

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How far from the main idea/cast/plot has a show ever strayed?

Old 04-10-08, 01:17 AM
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How far from the main idea/cast/plot has a show ever strayed?

I recently bought Sliders: The Complete Fourth Season. I recall that the show lost a big group of fans years ago after the 3rd season. I recall watching most of the series when it was first on but was fuzzy on a few things so I looked up some info on it.

Now the show over the years really progressed into a bastardized version of its former self. The small cast that it had changed a fair amount over time and by the last season, had to look this info up because I didn't recall it, only 1 original member remained. The main idea of the show was to get back to Earth Prime and over time that was somewhat altered. Also the show went from having a different "villain" each week to having one race the Sliders would often face. As much as I want to finish my collection I sure hope the final season is released on DVD at a low price because it really is a discounted version of what it started off as.

So what other shows really evolved over time into a real variation of the original formula? I think Angel, and to a lesser degree Buffy, are the two other shows that stand out as really ending far away from where they started.
Old 04-10-08, 01:42 AM
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I'll nominate Good Times. The later years are a parody of the rather serious original premise. Family Matters is another good one in that regard. In fact, if a show becomes mostly about an idiot with a catch phrase, it's a good bet that the show needs to be listed in this thread.
Old 04-10-08, 03:01 AM
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these friends of mine to ... Ellen.

Seriously though, probably Family matters which banished one daughter and morphed into the Steve Urkel show.
Old 04-10-08, 03:53 AM
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Forgot how much Family Matters changed. Very good call on that one. It became unwatchable once Carl forgot about spending time with his own kids and only interacted with Steve.
Old 04-10-08, 06:21 AM
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they banished the daughter upstairs never to be seen again and then she turned to porn

http://au.answers.yahoo.com/answers2...3122226AAeOWCY
Old 04-10-08, 07:00 AM
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The Simpsons is obviously a completely different show now compared to 1990.
Earth Final Conflict started out as an alien/human political conspiracy show and eventually became the main characters fighting two lame klingon wannabes.
Old 04-10-08, 09:14 AM
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Happy Days - moved from life about the Cunninghams, Richie coming of age to how can Fonzie save the day.

Whatever happened to Chuck?

Doug
Old 04-10-08, 09:26 AM
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Felicity.
Old 04-10-08, 09:29 AM
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Life Goes On.
Started out as a family dealing w/ a son w/ Downs, turned into
the Becky and Jesse Hour dealing w/ his AIDS.

(Great storyline.. and it was done extremely well. Chad Lowe probably wishes he could do it all over again. )
Old 04-10-08, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Septemberbaby
Life Goes On.
Started out as a family dealing w/ a son w/ Downs, turned into
the Becky and Jesse Hour dealing w/ his AIDS.
... life goes on...


Old 04-10-08, 09:48 AM
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I'd say that Melrose Place when it ended was completely different than when it started.

Parker Lewis Can't Lose did a pretty abrupt change in the 4th season too.

-jason
Old 04-10-08, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cdoug57
Happy Days - moved from life about the Cunninghams, Richie coming of age to how can Fonzie save the day.

Whatever happened to Chuck?

Doug
I disagree with your last two choices. Chuck's only been on for half a season, but it's really stayed true to the "average geek gets hooked up with spies" premise. As for Doug, even when they did the movie, it was still about the same quirky 6th-grader we all know and love.
Old 04-10-08, 12:32 PM
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Prison Break went to a completely different format each season.
Old 04-10-08, 12:36 PM
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Family Ties went from the Steven and Elyse show to Alex P. Keaton show.
Old 04-10-08, 12:42 PM
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I think "Dark Shadows" (the original) has to be considered. When it began, it was a pretty standard soap opera - with maybe a little more of a Gothic atmosphere. Gradually, supernatural elements started to be added - a ghost here, a curse there. And when Barnabas joined the cast, the flood gates opened: vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, Frankenstein's monster, Lovecraftian monsters, time travel, alternate realities, etc.
Old 04-10-08, 12:45 PM
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Sometime during the sixth season, The West Wing spent less and less time IN the West Wing of the White House.
Old 04-10-08, 12:48 PM
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Battlestar Galactica ---> Galactica: 1980

SeaQuest Seasons 1 & 2 ---> SeaQuest Season 3

Laverne & Shirley (East Coast) ---> Laverne & Shirley (West Coast)
Old 04-10-08, 12:49 PM
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Family Ties was supposed to be about former-hippie parents adjusting to the 80s... but became about the kids.

Growing Pains was supposed to be a 'Mr Mom' type show (Jason worked from home)... but became about the kids.
Old 04-10-08, 12:49 PM
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Roseanne -- blue collar workers luck into millions. Yeah, right.
Old 04-10-08, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Laverne & Shirley (East Coast) ---> Laverne & Shirley (West Coast)
I Love Lucy (NYC) ---> I Love Lucy (farm)
Old 04-10-08, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MrE
Roseanne -- blue collar workers luck into millions. Yeah, right.
Wasn't that all a fantasy in book she was writing?
Old 04-10-08, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by aintnosin
Sometime during the sixth season, The West Wing spent less and less time IN the West Wing of the White House.
I agree that it strayed, but it makes perfect sense given the context of the show. Otherwise, it would have been like one of those shows about high school students where they take ten years to graduate.
Old 04-10-08, 01:10 PM
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I don't think they ever aired the original version until after the Zack-centered version gained popularity, but Saved by The Bell was originally a vehicle for Hayley Mills called Good Morning Miss Bliss centered a bit more around the teachers.

edit: just looked it up, it apparently did air on the disney channel, and then was retconned into Saved By the Bell "flashback" episodes.
Old 04-10-08, 01:39 PM
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Not as drastic as others mentioned but Spin City went from a full ensemble show to the Michael J. Fox and Heather Locklear show format.
Old 04-10-08, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pinata242
Wasn't that all a fantasy in book she was writing?
Perhaps -- I didn't stick around to find out. But you can now add DALLAS to the list.

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