It's hard to find fault with one of the in the last half century, an improbable series about a group of retired women, living together and sharing the experiences of seniors-single life. In fact, the show easily stands out as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. However, not , as its most direct spin-off, , which was supposed to be a sure-fire hit -- quickly became a ratings disaster.
On paper seemed to have a gilded cast that would deliver another golden goose for NBC. After all, it featured the entire cast of , minus Bea Arthur, plus a big roster of new supporting stars including series regulars Cheech Marin and young future Marvel star, Don Cheadle. But NBC passed on the show when CBS offered to pick it up with almost twice as many episodes, so Blanche, Rose and Sophia packed up and moved down the dial.
The series picked up where the original left off -- with the remaining characters moving on after the departure of Dorothy and the sale of the home they all shared. The women bought a small Miami hotel, but the low cost business came at the price of having only two staff members -- a chef, played by Marin, and a manager, played by Cheadle – leaving the women to pick up the slack.
Producers were hoping the show would easily duplicate the prior spin-off success they’d found with, a show about a widowed Pediatrician, Dr Harry Weston, and his two adult daughters, who lived next door to the That show ran from 1988 until 1995. It even spawned its own short-lived spin-off, , about the staff at the Miami hospital Dr. Weston worked at. ran from 1991 until 1994.
However, had a forgettable one-and-done season. Despite a slew of noteworthy guest stars from the era, from Bob Barker to Ricardo Montalban, nothing could stop the steady ratings slide from the high of its first few episodes. No matter who the weekly guest was, it was never enough to capture the magic, or the laughs, of the original popularity. In fact, those who remember the series often point to Bea Arthur’s guest appearance in a two episode arc as the series only high mark.
It was clear the magic of the original show was gone and would soon be as well. The show was quickly forgotten and rarely mentioned -- or seen -- ever again on TV. Until now. Starting January 10th, 2022 on Hulu, will be making its triumphant return to TV. It will be available just in time to mark the 100th birthday of Hollywood royalty, Betty White, who played the lovable Rose Nylund from St Olaf on both and
are built upon the foundation of strong characters and great writing, all packaged together in a world you want to keep revisiting over and over again. was a show that had that perfect mix of talent, story and setting –- not to mention timing, as it came on at a time when the TV landscape was changing and audiences were ready for -- and their sex lives. But couldn’t get viewers to come and stay.
While the premise behind seems better suited to the hit film, , the short lived TV series did seem to have potential -- if only the writers and producers could’ve figured out how to make it work.