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Subject: breakout characters

Written By: snozberries on 10/04/07 at 6:50 pm

You know who they are these are the characters that were only supposed to last an episode or remain supporting cast

The ones that come to mind

Fonzie- Happy Days
Urkel- Family Matters
Anthony- Designing Women
Bernice- Designing Women (she went from one guest starring appearance and became a regular guest star)
Maude- All in the Family (she turned her guest role on All in the Family into a spin-off series)
Florida- Maude (she turned her role on Maude into another spin-off series)
The Sweathogs- Welcome Back Kotter (they essentially turned Gabe Kaplan a supporting player in his own series)
Laverne & Shirley/ Mork- guested on Happy Days and ended up with their own shows

any others?  I think Lumpy (leave it to beaver) may have been one because he played a bully in one episode then a few eps later he showed up as Wally's friend  In this case he wasn't the star by any means but turned what was possibly one appearance into a regular role



Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: woops on 10/04/07 at 8:17 pm

As for "Welcome Back Kotter", there was a show featuring Haylie Mills, which she plays a teacher, that was revamped to "Saved by the Bell". The kids had top billing and Millss left after one season.

Heard on "E! True Hollywood Story".

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: whistledog on 10/04/07 at 11:33 pm

Frasier Crane.  Originally, he was written into the 3rd season of Cheers to be a recurring character for only a few episodes.  20 years and 2 shows later (9 seasons on Cheers, and 11 seasons on Frasier), Kelsey Grammer tied James Arness (Marshall Matt Dillon on 'Gunsmoke) for the record of most consecutive years playing the same character on Prime Time Television. 

For this same role, Kelsey also became the only actor to be nominated for an Emmy Award on three different TV shows

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: gumbypiz on 10/05/07 at 2:41 am

A lot of supporting cast members broke out to their own shows.

Funny characters:
Trapper John from M.A.S.H. - Trapper John M.D.
Lou Grant from the Mary Tyler Moore Show - Lou Grant

Whats odd to note is that these characters were not a main focus on the shows they spun off of, but came from half hour comedies that spun off to relatively serious and sober dramas/hour long shows that had no comedy basis and dealt with serious issues of the day.

Annoying/insulting characters:
Gomer Pyle from Andy Griffith Show - Gomer Pyle USMC.
Phylis & Rhoda from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (was there a Betty White show too that I remember?)
The Ropers from Three's Company - The Ropers.
Shirley from Whats Happening - Shirley
Enos from the Dukes of Hazzard - Enos

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: robby76 on 10/05/07 at 5:39 am

Good Times - JJ

Not sure if these count...

A-Team - Mr T

Family Ties - Michael J Fox

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: snozberries on 10/06/07 at 12:37 pm


A lot of supporting cast members broke out to their own shows.

Funny characters:
Trapper John from M.A.S.H. - Trapper John M.D.
Lou Grant from the Mary Tyler Moore Show - Lou Grant

Whats odd to note is that these characters were not a main focus on the shows they spun off of, but came from half hour comedies that spun off to relatively serious and sober dramas/hour long shows that had no comedy basis and dealt with serious issues of the day.

Annoying/insulting characters:
Gomer Pyle from Andy Griffith Show - Gomer Pyle USMC.
Phylis & Rhoda from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (was there a Betty White show too that I remember?)
The Ropers from Three's Company - The Ropers.
Shirley from Whats Happening - Shirley
Enos from the Dukes of Hazzard - Enos



While Gomer Pyle, Rhoda and Lou grant had good runs all three lasted 5 seasons and Trapper John lasted 7 seasons

the others didn't do that well...
The Ropers two seasons 28 eps
Phyllis lasted two seasons 48 eps

Shirley only lasted 13 episodes
Enos only lasted 18 episodes

I specifically didn't include spin offs from major characters of series.
That's I didn't mention Mrs Garrett going on to Facts of Life or Joey from Friends. Knots Landing from Dallas and others.

Maude is an interesting spin off because Bea Arthur was to guest on All in the Family and I am pretty sure they conceived it as a one shot deal but it went so well they created a series around her. The episode she guest on aired Dec 11, 1971 and Maude premiered Sept 12, 1972. A good indication that the guest star came before the series.

This makes Good Times interesting only in that if not for the spin off of Maude there would probably be no Good Times.

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: snozberries on 10/06/07 at 1:27 pm


Good Times - JJ

Not sure if these count...

A-Team - Mr T

Family Ties - Michael J Fox




I'd say they count. If you look at the pilot of the A-Team BA didn't play a huge role but he became a favorite for some reason.  I think JJ (as much as I hate him) also broke out from the pack the audience screamed every time he came on screen.

MJF is a great example. Family Ties was supposed to be about unconventional hippie parents raising conservative and/or materialistic teens in the 80s. But focus of the show shifted from the parents to the kids and MJF was the breakout star.

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: robby76 on 10/06/07 at 10:02 pm


I'd say they count. If you look at the pilot of the A-Team BA didn't play a huge role but he became a favorite for some reason.  I think JJ (as much as I hate him) also broke out from the pack the audience screamed every time he came on screen.


He was also the only cast member to have - not one - but two JJ dolls!

http://i8.ebayimg.com/01/i/000/83/80/4e23_1.JPG

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: Brigitte on 10/06/07 at 10:20 pm

The best one I can think of was The Tracey Ullman Show - The Simpsons

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: karen on 10/06/07 at 10:26 pm

What about Benson from Soap?  Or would you consider him more of a major role in that he was in most if not all episodes

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: whistledog on 10/06/07 at 10:38 pm


What about Benson from Soap?  Or would you consider him more of a major role in that he was in most if not all episodes


He counts.  His wisecracks towards Jessica and her crazy family made him the breakout star.  The spin-off Benson ran for 7 seasons.  Soap only ran for 4

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: KKay on 10/06/07 at 11:42 pm

kermit!

Subject: Re: breakout characters

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 10/08/07 at 2:14 am



Fonzie- Happy Days

The Fonz never took over the central character on the show, which remained Richie, but he had the "Ehhhh!" thing with the thumbs-up, which became a pop culture icon.  It is remarkable how few times the Fonz really did that!  I wanted the Fonz to be more like James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause," but that character was too angst-ridden.  "Happy Days" was a light comedy, having the Fonz start bawling, "Mister C, your tearing me apart!" wouldn't have worked out too good. 
:D

Scott Baio was a minor character, but he sprung from the spinoff "Joanie Loves Chachi" to his own series, "Charles in Charge," plus he was king of the After School Specials!

They toyed with giving Ralph and Potzie their own spinoff, but, I mean, come on!

Maude- All in the Family (she turned her guest role on All in the Family into a spin-off series)
Don't forget The Jeffersons, which was even more successful than "Maude."  In the "Archie Bunker's Place" days Sally Struthers got her own "Gloria" spinoff.  Mercifully, this lasted only one season.  I think viewers started calling in bomb threats to the network!

http://The Sweathogs- Welcome Back Kotter (they essentially turned Gabe Kaplan a supporting player in his own series)
Who could possibly compete with John Travolta saying, "Up your nose with a rubber hose!" Don't forget Horshack, "Oooh, oooh, Mista Kotta, Mista Kotta!"

Laverne & Shirley/ Mork- guested on Happy Days and ended up with their own shows
It was inevitable.  He's mellowed a bit with age, but Robin Williams used to overwhelm everybody else no matter what he was involved in!

any others?  I think Lumpy (leave it to beaver) may have been one because he played a bully in one episode then a few eps later he showed up as Wally's friend  In this case he wasn't the star by any means but turned what was possibly one appearance into a regular role.

TV Land just showed the original pilot, "It's a Small World," which featured Harry Shearer as "Frankie," the character that later would be Ken Osmond's "Eddie Haskall."  The also had Max Showalter (aka. Casey Adams) as "Ward Cleaver," who played Ward as less goody-two-shoes than Hugh Beaumont, and more ascerbic and wisecracking.  I liked Showalter's "Ward" better, but Beaumont was a better choice in 1957 to succeed in a "family" series.  Though he didn't die until 2000, Showalter's final role appears to be "Grandpa Fred" in "Sixteen Candles."



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