Networks are nervous these days. And it’s no wonder. Not only are more and more shows hitting the skids as the primetime schedules begin the rollout, but streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu as well as cablers such as HBO and AMC are taking aim at audiences by offering brilliant, new content.
So, in a valiant effort to keep audiences exactly where they are without having to think up of daring new content, networks are building on reliable hits.
This ain’t nothing new. Norman Lear created an entire universe out of spin-offs that took audiences from All in the Family to the Maude to The Jeffersons. It’s the idea of holding on to a built-in audience as long as you can without jumping the shark and resorting to adopting moppets, marrying off characters or bringing in distant cousins to keep the show going (aka The Happy Days Syndrome).
Recently, a whole host of primetime shows have announced a round of spinoffs. CBS’ long-standing No. 1 laffer The Big Bang Theory just announced it was getting a Sheldon-centric spin-off in an effort to continue to capture the attention of adults between the ages of 18 to 49.
Titled Sheldon, the comedy will act as a prequel to the comedy as it centers on the antics of a teenage Dr. Sheldon Cooper when he was a teenage misfit growing up in Texas with his uber religious family. Co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady will act has handlers on this show as well, as star Jim Parsons will exec produce.
CBS is also prepping a spin-off for it’s multi-kudo winning drama The Good Wife, which was retired back in May. Award-winning thesp Christine Baranski’s character of Diane Lockhart looks to keep her storyline going as the attorney gets her own 10-episode offshoot on CBS All Access.
The spinoff, The Good Fight, is set to premiere in early 2017.
Also on the docket for a spin-off is ABC’s ‘80s retro comedy The Goldbergs, which will spit out a ‘90s set sitcom based on the PE coach Rick Mellor, played by Bryan Callen. The premise, which is set a few years after the antics of The Goldbergs, follows the gruff teach as he mentors a trio of kiddos, whose momma is the school secretary.
Not to be left out, NBC also enters the spin game with an offshoot of The Blacklist. The Blacklist: Redemption, starring Famke Janssen as Scottie, the head of Halcyon Aegis, the mysterious slightly evil military-esque company from the original show that teamed with operative for shady missions.