90s, Cartoons, Quick Lists, Top List, TV — May 16, 2012 8:30 am

6 Horrible Kids TV Spin-Offs You Missed

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Better sign up for that anger management course you’ve been putting off, because this list will take you over the top.  Witness your childhood favorite TV shows destroyed by halfhearted reboots, retellings, and knock-offs.

The saddest part is, you were probably too busy at the time to even notice these six horrible kids TV spin-offs.

6 – Are You Afraid of the Dark?  (Second Generation)


Haunted virtual pets or running out of ideas?
Who didn’t want want to join the Midnight Society on Saturday nights and scare each other with tales of the weird?  Are You Afraid of the Dark? was one of the most inventive shows ever aimed toward kids.  There was always one dark spot of the Midnight Society, though: Tucker.  When he was introduced, the series was moving close to jump the shark territory.  Three years after the original finale, the show was brought back with everyone’s favorite character as the lead star.  Nope, Gary, Kiki, Frank, and all the others stayed at home while Tucker brought with him an entirely new cast of storytellers and cheesy production values.

5 – Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension

I won’t make you watch a clip.

Eerie, Indiana left behind many questions unanswered.  Why was the town cursed with weirdness?  What was the deal with Dash X?  Until recently, I never even knew the series had a spin-off six years later.  Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I was able to watch the first five minutes of the first episode.  The whole series of Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension was available, but I didn’t need to watch it.  The first two minutes made it very clear that it was a painfully awful show to watch and that beyond the first episode, there wouldn’t be much reference to the original series.  Instead of catching up with our favorite investigators six years later, they simply drop by for a quick voice over to say hi to their alternate dimension selves.

4 – Inspector Gadget’s Field Trip

At least they got Don Adams back for this one.

Wowsers!  You know a show is filler material when the opening sequence pads a minute and a half of each episode.  The show is made up of stock footage travel show clips with budget animations of Inspector Gadget poking his head on screen.  Rumor has it that this show was created to fulfill new educational television requirements.  I know I definitely learned an important lesson: Recycling isn’t always a good thing.

3 – Double Dare 2000

Are you surprised this show was canceled a month prior to 2001?

Double Dare never really had a decent amount of spin-offs, considering there was only the original series, Super Sloppy Double Dare, Family Double Dare, and Super Special Double Dare.  So, how did this reboot fare?  Despite original host Marc Summers’ involvement as an executive producer, not well.  It just wasn’t the same without everyone’s favorite Nickelodeon host.

2 – The New Ghostwriter Mysteries

Don’t worry, it still took these kids an eon to write a single letter of the alphabet.

Since the original show was on PBS, I guess they deemed it wasn’t hip enough for a straight port to CBS.  This incarnation features a more “cool” vibe.  Unfortunately, it was “cool”ed up from the perspective of middle-aged suit wearing executives.  They somehow… managed… to make… the… show… even… slower… in pace… than… the… original… series.

1 – Wheel of Fortune 2000

Cyber Lucy: my childhood enemy.

What is it with shows being surnamed 2000?  This show only aired one year: 1997.  Wheel of Fortune 2000, along with The New Ghostwriter Mysteries, was part of the same new CBS line-up as the Weird Al Show.  Every time I watched the Weird Al Show, I had to suffer through endless commercials promoting the other awful shows in the kids block.  The “Think CBS Kids!” marketing campaign was so teeth grindingly irritating that I don’t even know if I ever gave the show a real shot.  Instead of Vanna White, there was a horrible CGI co-host named Cyber Lucy.  Since I had to suffer through this show for thirteen weeks fifteen years ago, I’m making you watch a second clip:

 

Honorable Mention: Clarissa, Now

“This week, on a very special episode of Clarissa, Now… nah, nah, nah nah.”

Clarissa, Now was a spinoff premise that I’m actually disappointed was so boring.  Clarissa Explains It All was one of the most rad shows of the early 1990s.  Throughout each episode, Clarissa would update viewers on the wacky situations she was facing through quirky on-screen graphics and video games she programmed herself.  Clarissa, Now caught back up with everyone’s favorite host as she interned at a failing newspaper organization.  Unfortunately, the other cast of characters are without any originality, personality, or charm.  The series was not picked up after the pilot episode aired.

Did we miss your favorite horrible kids TV spin-off?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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