Not all spin-offs are created equal — and while many spin-offs hit after the original series ends, some emerge during a successful show's run, like Young Sheldon bazinga-ing its way out of The Big Bang Theory. The former is already on its way to becoming a big hit, so shouldn't be facing cancellation any time soon — but other spin-offs that ran concurrently with their parent show weren't so lucky.
The spin-offs below plucked their characters from the original and placed into a brand new environment — only to then put them back in the first series like nothing just happened.
Remember when Pretty Little Liars lost its mind for a hot sec and gave Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) his own show that was basically Supernatural meets The X-Files? While a show with that combo sounds amazing, it was anything but for this short-lived series. Caleb returned to PLL; but demons and spooky evil things didn't come with him.
The Blacklist's Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) teamed up with private intelligence contractor Susan 'Scottie' Hargrave (Famke Janssen) in this super short-lived series. The spin-off only produced eight episodes before it got the ax, and Eggold waltzed back to The Blacklist for more shady covert operations.
Happy Days lovebirds Chachi Arcola (Scott Baio) and Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran) starred on their own show about pursuing music careers in Chicago. When it got the boot, the duo returned to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and joined up with the Happy Days gang, none the wiser.
The X-Files men John Fitzgerald Byers (Bruce Harwood), Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood), and Richard 'Ringo' Langly (Dean Haglund) got their own short-lived show investigating crimes and conspiracies. They eventually returned to the hit sci-fi show for both its final season and for the 2016 reboot.
BAU's technical analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) helped out another profiling team on the first Criminal Minds spin-off. But when the show was canceled after airing 13 episodes, she went back to dedicating her entire time to her OG team like it was all just a dream. Pretty suspect behavior, if you ask us.
6. The Ropers
Three's Company landlords Stanley Roper (Norman Fell) and Helen Roper (Audra Lindley) sold their apartment complex and relocated to another, dealing with new tenants while maintaining their eccentric personalities. A year after the show's cancelation, the duo returned to Three's Company for one final episode.
7. Checking In
Marla Gibbs got her own spin-off of The Jeffersons, following the adventures of Florence Johnson after she accepts a job as a hotel maid. Unfortunately, the show wasn't "movin' on up," only lasting a whopping four episodes. Florence soon returned to her old job as George and Louise Jefferson's maid. Granted, The Jeffersons did try to explain her quick return by saying the hotel burned down, but that just made it even weirder and more off-putting.
This Man from U.N.C.L.E. spin-off was canceled after one season. Leo G. Carroll reprised his role as Alexander Waverly, playing several agents' superior. When the show got the heave-ho, he returned to the OG spy series.
10. The Tortellis
Cheers characters Nick Tortelli (Dan Hedaya), Loretta Tortelli (Jean Kasem), Anthony Tortelli (Timothy Williams), and Annie Tortelli (Mandy Ingber) ventured off to do their own thing for 13 episodes. When the spin-off didn't pan out, they returned to hang out with the squad at the bar where everyone knows your name.
11. Baywatch Nights
Baywatch's lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff) and police officer Garner Ellerbee (Gregory Alan Williams) joined forces to solve crimes and investigate sketchy situations. What that has to do with being a hot lifeguard is beyond me, but we were supposed to just act like it never happened.
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