Rejected Spin-offs from “All In The Family”

All in the Family was an American television institution for 146 years and resulted in the most spin-off shows in television history.  If you’re keeping score, they were: Maude, Gloria, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Archie Bunker’s Place, 704 Hauser and Checking In.

But in a land of ideas as fertile as Hollywood, these are just the shows that made it to air.  Many others were proposed and unlike Adrienne Barbeau, never fully developed.

Here are some:

One Track Mind – Lionel Jefferson, son of George and Weezie, gets a job as a NYC transit subway driver and hilarity ensues.  Hilarious supporting character is the subway public address announcer who’s almost as incomprehensible in person as he is on the mike!

First Stephanie – Archie’s niece, Stephanie grows up fast and marries the President just as he’s sworn in. Worse luck! Now she has to somehow manage the White House staff AND her career as a pop singer.

Swinging Queens – The Bowmans are just your average, normal everyday real estate agents and wife-swapping couple.  Although, appearing briefly in Season 1 and 3, The Bowmans were poised to be the next thoroughly modern couple.  Development of the show was waylaid by a massive mis-understanding of the title.

Stretching the Truth – Jerry “Stretch” Cunningham, one of Archie’s buddies at the loading dock, was to be spun-off as as crime-solving detective.  In a manner not dissimilar to Lou Grant from the Mary Tyler Moore Show becoming a drama about a city editor at an urban newspaper, Stretching was to be more dramatic in flare, seeing Jerry cruise about town in a tripped out Chevy Vega, bedding every 47 yr-old short order waitress he can find.  Glamour?  That’s for the Barettas of the world.  All Jerry needs is the nub of a pencil, a Selecto notebook and a rum-tipped Colt cigar.

Kelsey’s – Oh, I suppose it’s easy to develop a show for a human, but bars are people too.  Or at the very least, they have character.  The preferred hangout of Archie and friends was to be given it’s own variety show co-hosted, in part, by Hal Linden (Barney Miller) with special guest appearances by burgeoning ventriloquist act, Waylon Flowers and Madam.  The un-aired pilot featured musical performances by Ben Vereen and Scott Baio. Comedy sketches included the guest stars plus house comedian, David Ogden Stiers.  Cancelled in mid-sentence.