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Shows that changed over the seasons.

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Mysto, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Mysto

    Mysto Second Unit

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    Was reading the discussion about the Andy Griffith Show and Rodney commented on the change from Season 1 where Andy was a real "hick" and he and Barney were cousins. Later in the series Andy became a little wiser and no longer was related to Barney. That's what most people remember.

    I commented about M.A.S.H. In the first season Radar both smoked and drank. In later seasons he was the Nehi guy. That's what most people remember.

    How about the rest of you. What series have you gone back to watch and noticed major changes from the beginning of the show?
     
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  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    It's funny you bring this up now as I just discovered a show that did exactly this.

    I had vague memories of watching a sitcom on PBS in the 90s, imported from the BBC, that was about a temperamental chef running a kitchen in a fancy establishment. Lately my wife and I had been watching a lot of cooking competition shows and that triggered the memory...after much research (about 30 seconds), I discovered the show was called... "Chef!" There was a complete series DVD set available so I went ahead and got it. We just finished watching it on Friday.

    The first two seasons were shot on 16mm film, and have a very minimalist design. It's really all about the writing and performances, and everything else takes a backseat to that, which was totally fine with me. One running story line involved the chef and his wife trying to buy the restaurant to run it themselves. Those were the episodes I vaguely recalled, from the first two seasons.

    When we got to the third season, I realized I hadn't seen any of those episodes. They switched to shooting on video rather than film. One role is needlessly recast. There's a major increase in cheesy music cues. There were different writers, and characters behaved differently. The chef no longer owns the restaurant, and his wife is leaving him (developments which mostly happen offscreen and are explained away in a line or two of dialogue). A supporting character that the chef met for the first time in the first season is now said to be his oldest childhood friend. The third season is just not any good, whereas the first two seasons are brilliant.
     
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  3. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    I'd have to vote for "ER". Watching old repeats, had no idea how much the cast changed. The last few seasons had none of the original actors.

    When the Paul McCrane character appears, I'm done. Completely ruined the show. Chopped off his arm, should have chopped off his head. :cool:
     
  4. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Not really to do with changing of character per se, but in the very first M*A*S*H episode, it is clearly revealed that Radar O'Reilly (And Gary Burghoff!) had a deformed hand. This is never again seen or mentioned. Work on the Iowa O'Reilly farm must have presented a challenge for the grape nihi favoring Walter.

    CHEERS! :)
     
  5. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    Good grief Tony. Were you even alive at that time? Just kidding, there are plenty of places to find old episodes.

    I remember watching the final show, 1983 I believe, I was 23 :eek: Had a big party with about 20 people, actually kind of depressing if I recall correctly.

    When the show started in the early '70s, not even on my list. We were so sheltered by parents and teachers, never even heard about Viet Nam or other awful stuff happening in the world.
     
  6. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    The Mrs is the big M*A*S*H fan in our house, and has all 11 seasons in those bulky DVD cases, which we bought one season at a time, over the span of about 4 years. While I had some M*A*S*H exposure from about the mid to late seventies, I only became aware of Walter "Radar" O'Reilly's deformity on that Season 1 DVD set, which we picked up soon after it's late 2002 release. By the way, didn't that Pilot episode air only the one time during the series' original run?

    For the record, I was 8 years old when M*A*S*H first aired.

    CHEERS! :)
     
  7. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Screenwriter

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    Star Trek Classic is full of them starting with Spock from Where no Man Has Gone Before being more emotional [​IMG] and with different make-up and uniforms (Sulu was a botanist ...) ... The change was even greater for Spock in "The Cage"[​IMG] ...
    Which became the two part episode "The Managerie"
    When Gene Rodenberry showed his black & white print of the "The Cage" the audience laughed when Spock yelled "The Women!" when only the females (appeared) to beam down to Talos IV ... the line is still in "The Menagerie"

    Eventually Spock became such a braniac ... that three women decided to to take his brain ...
    [​IMG] ;)
     
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  8. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Dick York turned into Dick Sargeant! Oh, sorry, is that another thread?

    Without counting cast changes that upset the dynamic (Glen Corbett for George Maharis in Route 66 - I don't THINK so!), there are still so many examples.

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E. started out as a reasonable B&W thoughtful spy drama, but when the network figured out the audience was almost entirely 10 year-old boys (like me), they turned it into a color comic book heavy on goofy and gadgets.

    Ditto for Lost in Space, which followed almost the same playbook - semi-serious sci-fi into "What now Will Robinson!?" (he was the same age as the core audience, but infinitely more rambunctious.)

    Burke's Law started as a typical police procedural (with a millionaire Beverly Hills police captain), but soon turned into Amos Burke, Secret Agent to capitalize on the James Bond phenomenon of the 60s.

    The Avengers started as a semi-rational crime busting duo in the UK, but soon turned into Carnaby Street colorful crazy sci-fi comedy, probably trying to cash in on the late 60's societal drug use (or maybe it was just the writers turning on).

    Not to mention all the shows that started out focused on an entire family and then bent around entirely around their break-out character stars ("Dyn-O-Mite!") (and Michael J. Fox on Family Ties)

    I'm trying to think of examples from this century, since I'm a geezer, but it's probably a whole entire other discussion to bring up the idea that the fragmentation of television programming into niche markets (620 series per season!) led to shows already being narrowly targeted upon launch without the need to evolve as much.

    Whereas when we only had the three networks and up to 30 million people were watching one of them, there was too much riding on one show to deliver and stay alive, so the impetus to morph that show to the demographics of the dominant watching audience played so much a bigger part of the evolution of the show.

    Have I thoroughly confused the topic thread yet?
     
  9. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    The X-Files already (kinda) beat them to the punch -- it was probably considered redundant AF:

     
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  10. Message #10 of 72 Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Supernatural started as a pair of brothers investigating myths, legends, and monsters across the U.S. Then they introduced angels around season six and they've dominated the storyline ever since.

    The first episode of The Golden Girls included Coco, a male cook/housekeeper, in the cast. From episode two forward, he was never seen or referenced again.
     
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  11. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    One word:

    Sliders.
     
  12. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

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    Newhart season 1 - videotaped with different secondary characters. Retooled (and filmed) from season 2 onwards.

    Remington Steele - two office mates with love triangle to single office worker.
     
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  13. John Lee_275604

    John Lee_275604 Stunt Coordinator

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    Then there was him always sending people in search of . . . a shrubbery!!
     
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  14. John Lee_275604

    John Lee_275604 Stunt Coordinator

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    Did he go upstairs to play basketball with Chuck Cunningham?
     
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  15. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    Same with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea--started out as serious b&w international espionage thriller, with minimal sci-fi elements, then burst into full-color sci-fi serial-style fantasy with Martians, Venusians, monsters, interplanetary spacecraft, etc. I, of course, liked it better that way.
     
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  16. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    IMO, it's better you have it that way, than in that all-in-one which is also big and bulky.
     
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  17. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    The series that came to my mind was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The first couple of season at the high school were more light and sometime cheesy, then as the characters grew, the show got more and more serious. I am not sure if this was just because the cast and crew were getting "better" at their jobs, or it was simply the characters were becoming adults over the7 years..
     
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  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I think The Wire is a good example. The storyline in the first season focused on street level crime so it was basically a (great) cop show and while future seasons continued the police story, they would also add an element each year- the working class, city hall, the schools and the local media. By the end of the series, the 'cop show' had taken much a larger look at various aspects of the city than other crime show had.
     
  19. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    Family Matters comes to mind. It started off as kind of an African-American take on Roseanne... and then came Steve Urkel. By the end of the show, there were clones, time machines, and every other kind of insane fantasy premise imaginable. I would argue that, as the show became more bizarre, it actually became more interesting. Note, I didn't say good.
     
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  20. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Benson. When it first started the title character (played by the late great Robert Guillaume) was the governor's butler. Somewhere along the way he became a member of the administration (state treasurer, IIRC), and the show ended with him running for governor as the party's new candidate, because his former boss was term-limited, but then his former boss realised he could run as an independent and did so, with the show ending on election night and teh two of them waiting together for the election result.

    Space: 1999. Season one was far more mysterious and mystical, season two became more 'all-action' with a focus on aliens or adventures (or both) of the week.

    Not sure if Blackadder counts, since between each "season" the entire time period changed and the characters, while retaining the same names, were supposed to be descendants of the earlier character of the same name. In S1 Blackadder himself was a buffoon, with Baldrick his minion the smart, sly one, but in later seasons that was basically flipped around.
     
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