16 Shows From the ’80s We Would Love to See as Spinoffs

Ah, the 1980s. Those were the wonder years (yeah, I said it) when I was a tween and then a teen couch potato, a late social bloomer who loved not much more than the several tv shows I watched weekly. (Yes, after I did my homework. Mostly.)

the-Wonder-Years2I’ve spent way more time off of the couch than on since then, but I’m still captivated by visual media, including a few favorite television shows. I still often find myself going back to the tried and true tv shows I grew to love in the ’80s, though. I sing the theme songs out of the blue, and all it takes is someone referencing The Facts of Life or Cheers and I’m off and quoting it out loud.

Thanks to the magic of cable television, DVDs, and streaming video, I can revisit most of my favorite ’80s shows whenever I want, but I’ve been thinking that several of them could use an update. Sure, there’s a lot of great television now, but there have been some great spin-offs over the years, and they just don’t happen that much anymore.

I think it would be a lot of fun to bring back some favorite characters from ’80s shows. Whatever did happen to those Facts of Life girls after the gift shop finally closed down? Did Mork ever go back to Ork? Were those wonder years really the best? So I reached into the tv show wayback machine, and made a list of old favorites that could use a new spin.

Which tv show story from the ’80s would you most like to see retold in 2013?

Image credit: Amazon

  • Facts of Life 1 of 16

    Oh, the Eastland School. I spent so many hours watching The Facts of Life I felt like I went there. By the end of the series, Mrs. Garrett making only cameo roles and the girls owning gift shops with George Clooney made it quite different from the show I'd immediately adored. I'd love to see a spin-off take Jo or Natalie back to Eastland as a teacher, with drop-ins from Blair and Tootie, sure. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have the facts of life. It probably wouldn't hurt to revisit them now. 

    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Saved By the Bell 2 of 16
    Saved By the Bell already had two spin-offs: Saved By the Bell: The College Years, and Saved By the Bell: The New Class. But these kids probably have kids themselves by now, don't they? And love for the original tv show remains. Why not another spin-off? Is Jessie back from New York? What happened to Zack and Kelly? Did Slater stick around after Cal U? One thing I'm betting on is that Screech is a teacher at Bayside. There's a fun story right there. Image credit: Wikimedia
  • Jem 3 of 16

    Jem WAS truly outrageous, and wouldn't it be great to see a new generation of animated girls rocking out just like she did? I think so. I'm all for a 21st century Jem upgrade, letting girls know it's cool for you -- and your pink hair -- to play an instrument AND run your own studio, of course. Maybe Jem, aka Jerrica Benton, has a daughter or a niece by now with musical inclinations to go up against this generation's Misfits and Stingers. 


    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Moonlighting 4 of 16

    I loved Moonlighting, and Bruce and Maddie back on my screen would be a welcome treat. I don't even care if it's a spin-off, just more Moonlighting of any kind, please. It would be fun to see them as cyber-sleuths, maybe retired somewhere in an exotic location where the scenery is as enjoyable as their spats? Sunlighting? Hm.  

    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Square Pegs 5 of 16

    With all the talk of bullying and kids feeling unsafe and out of place at school, it's high time for a show like Square Pegs to come back and pick up where it left off, letting my generation know it was okay to be you -- no matter what. Are you listening, Sarah Jessica Parker? You're verging on that territory in your role on Glee, so it seems like a natural fit. 

    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • The Cosby Show 6 of 16

    A Different World had its day. Now, The Theo Cosby Show, please. The Cosby Show was such a perfect slice of family life that it's hard to imagine a duplicate. Still, I think it's a perfect time to revisit one of the best examples of family entertainment to ever hit the small screen. Occasional appearances from Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad are a given, and if Lisa Bonet isn't interested, maybe her daughter Zoe Kravitz is? Loads of potential here.  

    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Silver Spoons 7 of 16

    Oh, Rick Schroder. Oh, Jason Bateman. How far you've gone since that train whistled through the Stratton mansion and brought you into our pre-teen lives. Or maybe just mine. So what happened next? Did Ricky take over the toy company? Did Derek come back to town? What happened with Edward and Kate? Does Alfonso still wear that vest? A spin-off is our only hope. Silver Spoons Revisited? I'm all about that. 

    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Designing Women 8 of 16

    I'd love to see a spin-off of this funny, sweet show that featured the friendships and professional accomplishments of the four Designing Women. Dixie Carter unfortunately passed away a few years ago, but I'd love to see Jean Smart's Charlene, Delta Burke's Suzanne Sugarbaker (sure to be a fashion blogger by now, don't you think?), and Annie Potts' Mary Jo Shively take this design firm right into the digital age. Pinterest wouldn't know what hit it. 


    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • The A-Team 9 of 16

    Mr. T has (sorry, Mr. T) shown his softer side from time to time since the A-Team ran around doing whatever it was they were doing in that van for years. I think it's time for The B-Team -- featuring his A-Team character, B.A. Baracus, with a not-so-mercenary peace-keeping mission on his mind. 


    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Cheers 10 of 16

    Frasier was Cheers's most famous spin-off, but that took us off to Seattle and the neurotic, uptight life of Frasier Crane, his brother Niles, and their cranky dad. Meanwhile it's been years since we've had a cozy tv spot in Boston where everybody knows our names, and who knows what NORM!'s done with himself every night since then? Now that the Sam and Diane saga has run its course, I think it's time to re-Cheers the tv schedule, with Carla in charge this time. Who better to run that place, or this show? No one. 


    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Kojak 11 of 16

    From wrestler to action star to tv detective? Not such a stretch. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the hairline to make a fine successor to Kojak (or maybe just a reincarnation in this case, who knows?). I can hear him saying "Who loves ya, baby?" Can't you? Hand this man a lollipop. I think this spin-off is meant to be.

    Image: Pacific Coast News

  • Who’s the Boss? 12 of 16

    Alyssa Milano is busy with Mistresses, yes, but she learned her comedy chops young, and what would be more fun than her running a household with the help of her Who's the Boss dad? I'm sure Tony Danza wouldn't mind taking a break from reality television to pitch in on a show I'm going to call Who's the Boss Now?  


    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Kate and Allie 13 of 16

    Kate and Allie had a co-housing situation that was groundbreaking for tv at the time -- two divorced moms and best friends who couldn't afford their own places joined together to form a blended family of sorts. But what happened to Kate's daughter Jennie, and Allie's kids Emma and Chip? Maybe that early cohabitating set them up to do the same as adults? It's a fun thought, anyway -- and would make a great spin-off for a show that presented an alternative family arrangement, with friends who loved each other like family, before its time. 

    Image credit: Amazon

  • The Wonder Years 14 of 16

    When we last left Kevin and Winnie, they were apart, and Kevin a married dad. So what became of Winnie after college? I know a lot of us would tune in for the rest of her story. Winnie's Wonder Years sounds like the perfect spin-off. 


    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • Family Ties 15 of 16

    Oh, the possibilities! I'm imagining Justine Bateman's Mallory as a single mom with an Alex P. Keaton-like kid, far and away from the days when Mallory's biggest concern was what to wear to school and arguing with Alex. Guest appearances from Michael J. Fox, Tina Yothers, Michael Gross, and Meredith Birney would be fun, too. (And maybe Justine's brother Jason, too? I approve.) 


    Image credit: Wikimedia

  • MacGyver 16 of 16

    Now that Richard Dean Anderson's back from Stargate, he could be pressed into service as the elder statesman MacGyver, passing the task of solving any problem with a Swiss Army knife and other random tools he's got lying around to the son he met in the last MacGyver episode, Sean "Sam" Angus Malloy. MacGyver and Son? I think it's time. 


    Image credit: Wikimedia

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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