What do you do when you're a TV network looking for an easy hit? And one of your biggest shows is about to end? You do the same as the movie studios: make a cash-in sequel!
However, TV sequels are actually quite rare. We're not talking about spin-offs like Joey or Frasier, but actual sequels. Where the majority of the cast return in a different setting or time, rather than breaking off and focusing on one character.
The majority of these were such fleeting attempts at recapturing the magic of their predecessors that chances are you've never heard of them in the first place.
1 | Grace and Favour
Sequel to: Are You Being Served?
No, we're not talking about that dodgy remake/sequel from 2016, but rather an actual sequel that ran for two series back in 1992.
This version saw the original cast of the department-store sitcom (which ended seven years previously) return in a brand new setting: a country manor. Because, why not?
Here, the elderly "Young Mr Grace", head of the Grace Brothers store, had died while scuba-diving on holiday in the Caribbean with his personal secretary. His will stated that the workers in each department at the Grace Brothers' closing sale will find their pensions invested in different things. For the Men's and Ladies' Departments, they ended up inheriting the country estate.
Despite running for two series and 12 episodes, it didn't prove to be as big a hit as its predecessor and has rarely been shown on TV since, hence why you might not have heard of it.
2 | Star Trek Phase II
Sequel to: Star Trek
Okay, this one didn't actually happen in the end, but it very nearly did. It was planned as Gene Roddenberry's first proper sequel to the original 1960s Star Trek series and was even announced to be definitely happening back in 1977, with at least 13 episodes in the works.
However, Leonard Nimoy turned down the chance to return as Spock and William Shatner was deemed too expensive. And so a new Vulcan character named Xon was cast, and the role of Willard Decker was created as Kirk's replacement. The other original cast members were signed up to contracts to return.
Sadly, the whole project was scrapped, the production ended up morphing into Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and elements of the story and its characters were influential in the creation of The Next Generation.
3 | Team Knight Rider
Sequel to: Knight Rider
First you had the 1991 TV movie Knight Rider 2000, then the 1994 TV movie Knight Rider 2010 (which didn't really have anything to do with the original), and then you had this in 1997.
Running for one season of 22 episodes, the new version followed a team of high-tech crime fighters, who follow in the footsteps of David Hasselhoff's Michael Knight and his supercar KITT.
Instead of "one man making a difference" in the original, this had five team members, who each had their own computerised talking vehicle buddy. It was kind of like an adult Power Rangers.
The final shot of the series saw Michael Knight make a big return – albeit from behind – and one of the characters was heavily hinted at being Michael's daughter, but sadly we never found out as it was cancelled due to poor ratings.
4 | Baywatch Hawaii
Sequel to: Baywatch
Sticking with the Hoff theme, here. You may have heard of the frankly bizarre crime/sci-fi mess which was Baywatch Nights, but what about Hawaii?
Initially, there were plans to make a new series as Baywatch Down Under, bringing the action to Australia, and a pilot was filmed. Due to complaints from local residents about the show's potential damage to the ecosystem, this was scrapped and replaced with a move to Hawaii instead.
Technically part of the original series (as season 10 and 11), the move was also marketed as a new series titled Baywatch Hawaii. Running from 1999 to 2001, it saw The Hoff's Mitch feeling that he needed to "find himself", so he travelled to Hawaii for some serious brooding action.
However, as soon as he got there he found himself rescuing a family in trouble and quickly decided to create his own lifeguard company right there. Because it's obviously that easy. A few of the cast who were still in the original Baywatch made the leap across to Hawaii too, but it was axed after two seasons.
5 | AfterMASH
Sequel to: MASH
MASH's finale was the most-watched TV event for decades, and so it made sense that someone thought they should attempt a cash-in. They probably wish they didn't now, as it was one of the worst received shows ever. Even worse than Joey.
Focusing on some of the original sitcom's characters in the aftermath of the Korean War, by its second season it had plummeted in the ratings. TV Guide has since listed it as the 7th worst TV show ever, and Time put it down as "one of the 100 worst ideas of the 20th century".
Colonel Potter, Klinger and Father Mulcahy were all back for the sequel, along with supporting MASH cast member Kellye Nakahara as an off-camera voice of the hospital's public address system. Klinger's wife Soon-Lee was also back, after first appearing in the MASH finale.
Via Digital Spy