The 1970s are famous for a lot of good reasons: music, fashion, historical events, films, and of course, TV shows. Shows like ‘MASH’, ‘Happy Days’, and ‘The Jeffersons’ were watched across the country, and became almost a staple in every household. However, there were also many 70’s shows that were absolutely cringe-worthy!
Many shows made it to TV, but only a few became truly popular. And there’s very good reason for that, since some of these shows were not only ridiculous, they were downright offensive. So instead of compiling the best of the 70s, which you probably already know too well, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and remember the worst TV shows of the decade. Get ready to be shocked!
An adventure show that aired on September 12, 1975, 'Mobile One' was a very short-lived ABC series. Lasting only until December of that same year, due to low ratings, 'Mobile One' starred Jackie Cooper, Julie Gregg, and Mark Wheeler. But even this highly talented cast wasn't enough to keep the show on the air.
ABC released the show as a competitor to NBC's 'Chico and the Man', and CBS's 'M.A.S.H", but clearly, there was never any competition. 'Mobile One' was axed after 13 episodes.
An ABC drama series from 1970, 'The Immortal' starred a handsome Christopher George as a hunky race car driver called Ben Richards. The reason why Richards was 42 but looked 20 was because he had a special type of blood that made him impervious to aging. Unfortunately, that all ends after he donates blood to save his older and wealthy employer, who decides to use Richards as a "fountain of youth" once he realizes the young man's power.
The series lasted 15 episodes, and even though it evolved into a more thrilling cat-and-mouse game played by Richards and the wealthy man's bounty hunter, the show still wasn't good enough to keep from being cancelled. It was pulled off the air in January 1971.
Struck by Lightning
CBS released 'Struck by Lightning' in September 1979, and it canceled it one month later. The series' plot was inspired by the Frankenstein story, and it followed Jeffrey Kramer, who played a science teacher and inherits an old, creepy-looking Victorian Inn. Right before selling it, Kramer discovers that Frank, the Inn's handyman, is actually Frankenstein's monster.
Out of the eleven episodes produced, only 3 were aired, since American audiences heavily disliked the show. In England, however, it was slightly more successful, with all eleven episodes being aired in 1980.
In the Beginning
Norman Lear became famous after producing hit TV shows like 'All in the Family' and 'The Jefferson's Fame'. Unfortunately, he didn't have the same success as a producer for 'In the Beginning'. It was a controversial show about a very conservative priest and a liberal nun, and out of 9 produced episodes, only five were ever aired.
The priest, played by McLean Stevenson, had a very odd relationship with Sister Agnes, portrayed by Priscilla Lopez. Despite their conversations being quite entertaining, the comedy wasn't enough to keep viewers' attention. Barely a month after it was released, CBS pulled it off the air.
Who's Watching the Kids?
Wanting to create a series based on the personal and professional lives of two Vegas showgirls, famous producer Gary Marshall just didn't make the cut with his 1978 show, 'Who's Watching the Kids?'. As you can probably guess by the title, the series was about two Vegas performers that tried their best to handle work and family responsibilities.
Linda Goodfriend and Caren Kaye lived together in a small Las Vegas apartment and worked in the same club. And their co-stars, Jim Belushi and Scott Baio, also added a comedy factor to the show. However, none of this was enough to keep the show running; viewers were not very impressed by the story, and NBC pulled it off the air after only eleven episodes.
The Ernest Angley Hour
Ernest Angley is an American Christian pastor and televangelist that had a one-hour weekly show back in the '70s, called 'The Ernest Angley Hour'. Although it had a decent started, things started to take a wrong turn when Angley was accused of leading a cult and being abusive to its members.
Angley claimed that he could heal any ailment by simply placing his hand on a person's forehead. But not many people believed it anymore once he was accused of inappropriate behavior and harassment. Finally, in 1996, Angley confessed to an assistant that he had had physical relations with a man that worked for his church in Ohio. Ironic, since Angley was openly vocal about t homosexuality being the greatest sin known to man.
Another NBC show from the '70s that barely lasted two months was 'Big Hawaii'. Released in 1977, the show came out shortly after a pilot film, 'Danger in Paradise, which aired on May of that same year. Starred by Cliff Potts, John Dehner, and Lucia Stralser, 'Big Hawaii' followed the story of the wealthy Fears family, who owns the lavish Paradise Ranch in Hawaii.
Drama ensues, but unfortunately, it wasn't exciting enough to keep the show from being cancelled after just 12 episodes, out of which only 9 aired.
Inspired by the 1966 Gothic soap opera 'Dark Shadows', NBC's 'Highcliffe Manor' was released in 1979, and it definitely had promise. The show was a horror-themed sitcom that featured Shelley Fabares, Ernie Hudson, Audrey Landers, Jenny O'Hara and Stephen McHattie, and each episode lasted 30 minutes.
Fabares played Helen Blacke, a widow who recently inherited a lavish mansion in Massachusetts that's filled with paranormal characters that want to get her out of the house. Even worse, the strange characters were also planning to take over the world and create chaos by cloning world leaders. As interesting and entertaining as this all sounds, the show was canceled after only six episodes due to low ratings. Guess some things are just better on paper.
The P.T.L Club
Best known as 'The Jim and Tammy show', the 1974 TV show 'The P.T.L. Club' was a Christian program hosted by a religious couple; its name stood for "Praise the Lord". Luckily, viewers quickly discovered this show had nothing to do with God, and everything to do with scams and money.
The show was basically designed as a scam to steal people's money, and even though it lasted 14 season, mainly because it only aired in the Christian PTL satellite network, everything fell apart in the late 1980s. One of the show's hosts, Jim Bakker, was accused of abuse and convicted for fraud and conspiracy.
Based on a successful TV movie, 'Lucan' was an adventure series released in 1977 by ABC. A young and handsome Kevin Brophy played Lucan, a young man that had been raised by wolves during the first ten years of his life. After being rescued by a doctor, played by John Randolph, and taught how to live in modern society, Lucan is wrongly accused of a crime and runs away again.
The whole series, which lasted all of 11 episodes, was a cat-and-mouse game between Lucan and the cop that's chasing him, Prentiss. The fact that the boy was raised in the wild certainly gives him some edge to surviving on his own, but even with all that excitement and adventure, the show got canceled after a year.
Based on H.G. Wells' 'The Invisible Man', NBC's 1976 TV show, 'Gemini Man', had high hopes of success. The story revolved around Sam Casey (Ben Murphy), a secret agent who could become invisible at any time thanks to a special watch he wore. If Casey remained invisible for more than fifteen minutes within a 24-hour period, he would die.
But unfortunately, out of 11 produced episodes, only 5 made it to air after the show was abruptly cancelled. Viewers weren't impressed by the plot, or Casey's lead role of a semi-superhero.
On Our Own
American sitcom 'On Our Own' followed the lives of two roommates and co-workers who lived in New York and worked at a prestigious advertising agency. The show was shot at CBS studios in New York City, which was a rare occurrence back in the '70s, since most shows were shot in Hollywood.
A good cast, including Bess Armstrong, Lynnie Greene, Gretchen Wyler, and Dixie Carter, and an entertaining plot that followed the lives of single working women in New York wasn't enough to guarantee this show a second season. This comedy series was cancelled almost a year after its release.
Holmes and Yoyo
Yet another police show, 'Holmes and Yoyo' barely lasted three months. Released by ABC in September 1976, it was pulled off the air in December of the same year. The story was about Detective Alexander Holmes and his robot partner, who was disguised as detective called Gregory "Yoyo" Yonovich. The catch was that only very few people actually knew that he was a robot.
Unfortunately, TV Guide claimed it was one of the worst shows ever made, and that was it for 'Holmes and Yoyo'. Low ratings and viewership got the show cancelled in no time.
Young Dan'l Boone
'Young Dan'l Boone' was a TV show that aired on CBS in 1977, and it followed the life of famous American frontiersman, Daniel Boone, before he got married. In his adventures as a young man, Daniel Boone is played by Rick Moses, but even a handsome actor like him couldn't save the show from abrupt cancellation.
After only 8 episodes, of which only 4 were aired, CBS pulled the show off the air after low ratings and generally bad reviews.
The San Pedro Beach Bums
Just by its name you can probably guess what 'The San Pedro Beach Bums' was about. That's right, it was about five young friends that shared a houseboat in Southern California. Released by ABC in 1977, the show had a decent cast, with names like Stuart Pankin, John Mark Robinson, and Christopher Murney.
However, this story about a group of young, carefree men living it up in San Pedro, California didn't have enough substance to keep audiences engaged. It was cancelled in under three months, with just 10 episodes making it to air.
Rosetti and Ryan
The 1977 legal drama, 'Rosetti and Ryan', starred Tony Roberts and Squire Fridell as two very different attorneys practicing law. Unfortunately, the series was canceled after a short month, with only 6 episodes ever airing.
Even though NBC thought a legal drama with two likable characters had all the ingredients to become a hit show, this wasn't the case, and they canceled the show soon after its premiere.
This show had it rough from the very start, as no network wanted to release it. 'Dusty's Trail' was a cheap attempt to copy 'Gilligan's Island', but set it in the old west. CBS finally picked it up, and the show was released in 1973, to very bad audience reviews.
The cast wasn't properly matched, the production and the script were weak, and it was just an overall failure. Which is why it's a real mystery that it lasted for 26 episodes and a whole year on the air. A cast that included talented actors like Jeannine Riley, Lori Saunders, and Bob Denver, wasn't enough to keep this show alive.
This CBS sitcom was such a disappointment that, out of the six episodes produced, only one ever aired. With a cast that included Alexa Kenin, Cathryn O’Neill, Heather Thomas, Tracy Phillips and Jillian Kesner, 'Co-Ed Fever' followed the story of a group of young girls that lived in a dorm at Baxter College.
What's worse is that 'Co-Ed Fever' was meant to be one part of a three-part "frat house" comedy series, but the plot and production was so disastrous that all three of them were a flop.
Premiering on ABC in January 1975, 'Karen' was a comedy series that followed the life of Karen Angelo, played by Karen Valentine. Angelo was a single, hard-working woman with a job at a Washington D.C.-based organization called 'Open America'. The organization sought to expose corrupt politicians and lobby for civil rights, and Angelo was at the forefront.
Unfortunately, and interesting premise and good acting wasn't enough to keep the audiences' interest, so just six months after its release, ABC pulled the show off the air. A star-studded cast included Denver Pyle, Dene Dietrich, Oliver Clark, Aldine King, and more.
Released in 1976, the action-drama series 'Gibbsville' was about a cub reporter that worked for the Gibbsville Courier, in Pennsylvania. The show was set in the 1940s, and NBC had high hopes of it being a hit. Unfortunately, only six out of the 13 produces episodes were ever aired.
A cast that included Gig Young and John Savage as the lead roles wasn't enough to save this boring show. It was based on a film that was written and directed by Frank D. Gilroy, called the 'The Turning Point of Jim Malloy'.
CBS released 'Bearcats!' in 1971, as an attempt to get into the western TV show craze. The problem was that, by 1970, the interest in westerns had substantially gone down, and so the show was only on the air for thirteen episodes.
Its lead actors, Dennis Cole and Rod Taylor, played two adventurers riding around in a Stutz Bearcat in the American Southwest, in 1914. CBS spent a lot of money into marketing the show, but it was all for nothing, since clearly, viewers weren't interested in a story set in 1914 anymore.
The Brady Bunch Hour
This one-of-a-kind, 1976 TV show was not only short-lived, it also made TV Guide's list as one of the five worst TV shows ever created...many times. 'The Brady Bunch Hour' was basically a show about the Brady family starring in their own TV variety show, which ended up being a complete flop.
Apart from a weak storyline, the show featured a lot of song-and-dance routines that made it feel like a cheap musical more so than a show. With only 9 episodes being filmed, 'The Brady Bunch Hour' barely lasted a few months, and received awful reviews, before ABC pulled it off the air altogether.
Get Christie Love!
The beautiful Teresa Graves played detective Christie Love in ABC's 1974 show, 'Get Christie Love!'. The show might have not been a hit, but it went down in history for being the first ever prime time TV show that had a black female in a lead role. Detective Love was a tough police officer who worked for the LAPD's Special Investigations Division.
Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after just one season, but Graves did a fine job in each of them. Other cast members included Jack Kelly, Michael Pataki, Charles Cioffi, and more. Still, it wasn't enough to keep this crime-drama show from being canceled just a short months after its release.
Kate Mulgrew played Kate Columbo in the 1979 TV series, 'Mrs. Clumbo'. Created as a spin-off of the earlier, far more popular show 'Columbo', 'Mrs. Columbo' had a big budget and quite a decent production, but the characters just weren't good enough.
NBC cancelled the show after just 13 episodes, realizing the story wasn't interesting enough and receiving very low ratings coupled with intense criticism.
The Andros Targets
The CBS show 'The Andros Targets' premiered on January 1977, and it only lasted until July. Released as a midseason replacement for another show, the series told the story of Mike Andros (James Sutorius), a NY Times reporter that is seeking to expose corruption in New York. His assistant, Sandi Farrell ( Pamela Reed), is his right hand and friend, but even the on-screen sidekick relationship wasn't enough to keep the show on the air.
With a cast that included Jordan Charney, Alan Mixon, Roy Poole, and Ted Beniades, many viewers liked the storyline, but the production just wasn't good enough. After a few episodes, production wasn't the only issue, since many people started to criticize the show for its unrealistic portrayal of investigative reporting.
The American crime drama series 'Lanigan's Rabbi' was more of a film series than a TV show, and it aired as part of NBC's Sunday Mystery Movies. It had a hilarious and talented cast that included Art Carney, Bruce Solomon, Janet Margolin and Janis Paige, and it centered around a rabbi that helped the police solve several crimes.
Unfortunately, only four episodes were ever aired, since the plot and the production just weren't good enough to keep up with viewers. The original story was inspired by Harry Kemelman's mystery novels, which were a huge hit, contrarily to the show.
Producers thought that a TV show about a middle-class family trying to make ends meet would hit it big with audiences, but they were wrong. In 1978, CBS released 'Another Day', a series that told the story of Don Gardner, a young, hard-working businessman, his lovely wife Ginny (Joan Hackett), and their two kids.
Unfortunately, the show got cancelled after four episodes, and even though it had a cast of known names, such as Hope Summers, Al Eisenmann, and Lisa Lindgren. The story just wasn't enticing enough, and the network had no option but to pull the plug.
'Firehouse' was the very unsuccessful spin-off of ABC's very popular show, 'Emergency!'. Released in 1974, 'Firehouse' was an adventure drama TV show about a father-like firefighter veteran that takes younger, newly-recruited firefighters under his wing. The cast included James Drury, Brad David, Michael Delano, Richard Jaeckel, and more.
Even though the spin-off was also inspired by the best-selling book, 'Report from Engine Co. 28', written by an actual veteran firefighter, it was extremely unsuccessful as a TV show. ABC cancelled the show after 13 disastrous episodes.
Hee Haw Honeys
The 1978 TV show 'Hee Haw Honeys' was released as a spin-off to the original, and far more successful, 'Hee Haw'. The original show had featured star-studded guests like Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, but the show's permanent cast, which also included stars like Misty Rowe and Kathie Lee Gifford, weren't enough to take the spin-off to hit status.
'Hee Haw Honeys' was listed by TV Guide as one of the worst shows ever made, and received plenty of bad reviews. However, a lot of viewers seemed to love it, although clearly not enough for CBS not to pull it off the air after just one season.
'The Fitzpatricks' was an American drama series that aired on CBS in 1977. The coming-of-age story followed a traditional, Irish-catholic family of six that lived in Michigan. But, despite its moral lessons and cheery actors, viewers weren't impressed.
After just thirteen episodes, the show was pulled off the air in January 1978, proving a failure against its same time-slot competitors from other networks, 'Happy Days' and 'Laverne & Shirley'.
'Supertrain' was released by NBC in 1979, and it included a talented cast that included Nita Talbot, Robert Alda, Aarika Wells, Michael Delano, Edward Andrews and more. The story followed a modern, nuclear-powered bullet train that was so advanced it could travel from NYC to California in just 36 hours, which was incredible back in the '70s.
'Supertrain' was one of the most costly American TV shows ever produced, but even that wasn't enough to keep the network from cancelling it after just nine episodes.
The New Land
Released on ABC in 1974, 'The New Land' was a unique adventure series that was based on the 1971 Swedish film, 'The Emigrants'. The American adaptation cast Bonnie Bedelia and Scott Thomas as the leading roles, and even though the story was a hit as a film three years prior, the series didn't see the same success.
The acting was fine, including a good performance by the talented Donald Moffat as reverend Lundstrom, the wilderness landscapes were beautiful, and everything was in place to be a success. But after airing only six of the produced 13 episodes, the show got pulled off the air a month after its release.
Another 'Charlie's Angels' copycat was the 1978 show, 'Flying High'. The story centered around the private lives of three gorgeous women that worked as stewardesses for Sunwest Airlines. With a beautiful cast that included Pat Clouse, Kathryn Witt, and Connie Sellecca, the show had all the ingredients to make it an entertaining story.
However, viewers just weren't wowed by these ladies' adventures, and after much criticism of the show having stereotypical writing and production, it was canceled after a few months.
McLean Stevenson was a big celebrity back in the 1970s, mainly after starring on the hit TV show, 'MASH'. But his charisma and acting weren't enough to make the 1979 NCB show, 'Hello, Larry', a hit story. The script and production weren't good enough, but the show still somehow managed to last for two seasons.
The main character, Larry Adler, is a radio talk show host who moves to Portland with two teenage daughters. It could've been great, but it was just boring and not funny enough for viewers.
Long before 'E.R.' and 'Grey's Anatomy', there was 'Doc Elliot'. Released in 1973, this medical drama centered around Dr. Benjamin Elliot, played by James Franciscus, and his helper Mags Brimble, portrayed by Neva Patterson. Elliot was a famous New York doctor that decided to leave the city and move to the backwoods of Southern Colorado, where he made house calls by plane or off-road vehicles.
The extravagant cars and airplanes were supposed to draw more viewers to the show, but apparently, it wasn't enough to keep people interested. So, on August of 1974, the show was cancelled altogether.
The Oregon Trail
In September of 1977, NBC released an American western TV series called 'The Oregon Trail', which they thought would be critically-acclaimed and wildly successful. However, the opposite was the case - the show was cancelled after a month, with only 7 episodes out of the produced 13 being aired.
The show starred Rod Taylor, a widower that leaves his farm in Illinois in 1842 to reach the Pacific Northwest by taking the Oregon Trail. A cast that included Tony Becker, Darleen Carr, and Andrew Stevens, wasn't enough to save 'The Oregon Trail' from getting the axe.
Even though this spin-off show was starred by famous American actor, Whitman Mayo, it couldn't live up to its original show's wild success. 'Grady' was a spin-off of the famous TV show, 'Sanford and Son', focusing solely on one of the show's characters, neighbor Grady Wilson.
fter NBC aired the show in 1975, low ratings and poor character development caused it to get canceled after just 10 episodes. Undoubtedly, casting wasn't one of the show's problems, as it not only included Whitman Mayo in the lead role, but also Joe Morton and Carol Cole. Sadly, 'Grady' didn't make it in the TV world.
'Sanford Arms' was another spin-off show released by NBC, in an attempt to capitalize on its previous series, 'Sanford and Son'. The new series, released in 1977, followed the story of a widower and his two teenage children, while they run a rooming house called the 'Sanford Arms'.
Of course, this all happened after 'Sanford and Son' characters Fred and Lamont moved to Arizona at the end of the show. Unfortunately, 'Sanford Arms' didn't fare too well with audiences, and it got cancelled after just 8 episodes, out of which only 4 got aired.
The Texas Wheelers
A very young Mark Hamill and Gary Busey were among the A-list cast in the 1974 TV show, 'The Texas Wheelers'. ABC thought it had itself a hit with this comedy sitcom, but bad production and low ratings got it cancelled after just 11 episodes.
Jack Elam, another known '70s celebrity, played Zack Wheeler, a man who had to care for his four kids alone after his wife passed away. Even though eleven episodes were filmed for the show's first season, the network only aired four.
A Year at the Top
Lasting only 5 episodes, 'A Year at the Top' was a 1977 TV show that aired on CBS. It featured a talented cast, including Greg Evigan, Paul Shaffer, Priscilla Lopez, Nedra Volz, Julie Cobb, and Mickey Rooney (who only appeared in the pilot episode).
Although it had an interesting premise of two struggling musicians that make a pact with the devil's son, played by Gabriel Dell, in order to achieve success, viewers just didn't find it good enough.
'Flatbush' aired on CBS in 1979, and it was about a group of high schoolers that lived in New York's Flatbush neighborhood. They called themselves "The Fungos", and were always finding new adventures to take part in. The storyline seemed promising, and the cast included a young group of actors that could've made it work, but it just didn't.
Apparently, there were a lot of offensive ethnic stereotypes portrayed in the series, and obviously, audiences didn't like it one bit. In fact, even Flatbush's neighborhood president criticized the show, making ratings drop even more. The network produced six episodes, but it was so badly received that it could only air three of them.
All That Glitters
Released in April 1977, 'All That Glitters' was a soap opera 'spoof' show that was on TV five times a week, during the late-night slot. In an effort to be different, the show's plot took place in a world where women were the head of the house and men worked as secretaries. Obviously, this was not a popular story back in the '70s.
Lasting barely three months, it's a miracle the show even lasted this long, especially after it was called "embarrassingly amateurish" by TIME magazine. Seems like a talented cast, including Gary Sandy, Eileen Brennan, Lois Nettleton and Greg Evigan, wasn't enough to make this show a hit.
'Nashville 99' was an American crime drama series that was meant to be a replacement for the time slot occupied by the famous 'The Sonny and Cher Show', in 1977. The show featured famous singer/songwriter and 'Smokey and the Bandit' star, Jerry Reed. But even he wasn't able to turn the show into gold.
Reed played a detective, and co-star Claude Akins played a lieutenant. Reed, whose badge number was '99', was the comedic element in the duo, while Akins was the more serious, professional one. Unfortunately, only four episodes were filmed, and the show was canceled after three weeks.
The 1974 NBC drama series 'Lucas Tanner', had a pretty simple plot: a successful sportswriter and baseball player who loses his family in an accident and decides to start a new life. David Hartman, who plays Lucas Tanner, moves to St. Louis and starts teaching in the local high school.
Tanner has a fresh and friendly approach to teaching, which makes him beloved by students, but not so liked among teachers that have an old-fashioned way of teaching. Unfortunately, Hartman and his fellow talented co-stars, Robbie Rist and Rosemary Murphy, weren't enough to keep 'Lucas Tanner' on the air for more than 22 episodes. NBC canceled the series in under a year.
We've Got Each Other
Aired in October 1977, on CBS, 'We've Got Each Other' was an American sitcom starring Oliver Clark and Beverly Archer. Clark plays Stuart Hibbard, a writer for a mail order catalog, who is married to Judy, played by Archer, an office manager for a clumsy photographer.
The show tried to be unique by inverting the typical roles of the domestic wife and the working husband, since Judy is the bread winner of the family. But even that wasn't enough to keep it from being pulled off the air after just 13 episodes.
Man from Atlantis
Produced by NBC, 'Man from Atlantis' was a 1977 TV show that followed the story of Mark Harris, the last survivor of the sunken city of Atlantis. Harris is played by the famous Patrick Duffy, who is recruited by a government agency for oceanic research once he is discovered.
NBC was trying to capitalize on the very successful four films of the same name that had aired earlier that year. But the attempt was futile; the show was canceled less than a year after its release, with only 13 episodes aired.
Based on the similar film from 1949, 'Adam's Rib' was a TV show that aired on ABC in 1973. The story followed a husband's affair with his lawyer's wife, whom he met in court. It featured talented performances from Ken Howard and Blythe Danner, but it still wasn't successful.
After a short three months and 13 episodes, the show was cancelled. Luckily, both Howard and Danner went on to have quite illustrious careers in film.
Dog and Cat
The name of this 1970's TV show wasn't the only bad thing about it. 'Dog and Cat' premiered in 1977 and lasted only six episodes, after receiving bad ratings and negative reviews. It was another police series about a rookie detective, played by the gorgeous Kim Basinger, that was partnered with a veteran officer called Jack Ramsey.
'Dog and Cat' was the first ever TV role Kim Basinger had, as she'd been working as a model before that. Basinger played Officer J.Z. Kane, but even her stunning looks and cool little VW Bug couldn't keep viewers interested.
Three for the Road
Aired on CBS in 1975, 'Three for the Road' had a star-studded cast and an interesting plot, but it still didn't manage to save the show from being a flop.
Including '70s teen celebrities Leif Garret and Vince Van Patten, the show was about a man who decides to sell his home and go on a road trip across the U.S. with his two teenage son after his wife passes away. Unfortunately, audiences didn't respond too great and the show was pulled off the air after only 12 episodes.
Another show created as a spin-off of a previous, highly popular show, was 'The Ropers'. ABC created the series as a spin-off to 'Three's Company', but the new show just didn't cut it; the characters weren't interesting enough and the production was lacking.
The plot was about two landlords, played by Norman Fell and Audra Lindley, who sold their building (which appeared on 'Three's Company'), and bought a new one. Unfortunately, after two short seasons, the show got pulled off the air.
This detective drama aired on CBS in 1974, and managed to survive a whole seven months and 22 episodes. 'The Manhunter' starred the famous Ken Howard as the show's protagonist - an ex marine named Dave Barrett whose best friend dies during a bank robbery.
The series was set in the 1930s Depression era, and viewers saw the heroic Dave Barrett give up his quiet farm life to become a private detective that wants to arrest as many criminals as possible. He travels across the country and only goes back home to visit family. Despite a great cast, a good plot, and star guests, such as Sam Elliot, Mark Hamill, Claudia Jennings, and more, the show was canceled after just one season.
The American Girls
Released by CBS in 1978, 'The American Girls' lasted for about six days, and it was basically another series in a long list of 'Charlie's Angels' copy TV shows. Many producers tried to come up with a hit TV show like the 70's 'Charlie's Angels', but none made the cut.
Lead actresses Priscilla Barnes and Debra Clinger played two beautiful investigative reporters that worked on a news show called 'The American Report'. While it was an entertaining adventure drama, these girls never had a chance, since their show was aired on the 9-10 pm time slot, the same as ABC's 'The Love Boat'.
Sword of Justice
'Sword of Justice' followed the story of a man that led the life of a playboy by day, and turned into a ruthless mercenary by night. But, contrary to Batman or other superheroes of the ilk, Jack Cole let his enemies know he was coming for them by sending them three cards.
Audiences didn't love the show and found the fact that this mercenary warned his victims just a little over-the-top. Producers only released nine episodes and NBC decided to cancel it altogether.
David Cassidy: Man Undercover
'The Partridge Family' star, David Cassidy, became so famous back in the '70s that he even starred in his own spin-off series: 'David Cassidy: Man Undercover'. In the show, Cassidy played a police officer who was sent to investigate a high school drug ring. Other famous actors in the show included Simon Oakland and Ed Harris.
Aired in 1978, the series was cancelled after only 10 episodes, with many viewers and critics considering that the show was a cheap attempt to jumpstart Cassidy's career.
ABC's 1977 sitcom, 'Carter Country', lasted for an impressive two years and 44 episodes. However, it's still not a success story, since audiences still had their issues with the culturally sensitive show.
Starring Victor French, Kene Holliday, Vernee Watson, Richard Paul, Harvey Vernon and Barbara Cason, 'Carter Country' followed the lives of different police officers that came from different backgrounds and cultures, and how they overcame their differences. Although it sounded great on paper, the show eventually got cancelled due to low ratings.
Back in the 1970s, there was an NBC hit show called 'Emergency!', and it didn't take long for producers to try and write an equally popular spin-off. After several attempts, 'Chopper One' was born, in January of 1974. The show was about a police helicopter team in California, focusing on two chopper pilots called Don Burdick (Jim McMullan) and Gil Foley (Dirk Benefict).
Even though producers and network execs spent about $140,000 to film each episode, the show tanked and was pulled off the air after 13 episodes, in April of 1974.
Three’s a Crowd
'Three's a Crowd' was ABC's attempt to capitalize on the 'Three's Company' franchise success. The 1979 game show, 'Three's a Crowd', featured a male participant that had to discover who knew him best: his wife or his secretary. And honeslt,y we're shocked that ABC ever saw potential in a premise like this.
The show caused problems in viewers' marriages, and was a flop in general. The network was forced to cancel it after just a few episodes.
Me and the Chimp
Produced by Thomas Miller and Garry Marshall, 'Me and the Chimp' was a comedy sitcom that aired on CBS in 1972. Even though the series' plot was quite original, since it followed a dentist whose daughter brings home a chimpanzee one day, it didn't become a hit show like its producers other projects, such as 'Laverne and Shirley' and 'Happy Days'.
Just 13 episodes were ever aired, and the dentist's relationship with Buttons the chimpanzee was very short-lived.
Mr. T and Tina
Pat Morita and Susan Blanchard were the stars of the 1976 TV show, 'Mr. T and Tina'. NBC wanted to make a spin-off from one of the characters of 'Welcome Back, Kotter', but it didn't go as planned and the network had to cancel after just nine episodes.
It was one of the lowest-rated shows of the 1970s, and it followed the story of a Japanese inventor called Taro Takahashi, who lived with an American nanny called Tina Kelly. Unfortunately, the show's comedy was often criticized as too offensive and stereotypical, which is what eventually got it cancelled.
The 1977 sitcom 'Mulligan's Stew' was a comedy drama series that followed the story of a family that takes in four orphaned children. Obviously, there were several adjustments to be made, and the show portrays the personal lives of the family as they grow closer together. However, good acting and a wholesome plot weren't enough to save 'Mulligan's Stew'.
By December 1977, NBC cancelled the show after just one season, with only 6 episodes having aired.