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Why the Sitcom Spinoff Isn’t Coming Back

Why the Sitcom Spinoff Isn’t Coming Back

The news that NBC has opted against moving forward with The Farm, the Dwight-centric spinoff of The Office, marks the latest bit of bad news for what was once one of TV's most common genres. Ever since 1960, when CBS enlisted M*A*S*H's future Colonel Potter (Harry Morgan) to move his December Bride character of Pete Porter to a new show called Pete and Gladys, networks have been exploiting their most successful sitcoms by creating new shows engineered from the DNA of those hits. But while the practice is still fairly common with TV dramas, sitcom spinoffs have become increasingly rare: The last major-network comedy to transplant a regular character into a new show was Fox's Family Guy, which begat The Cleveland Show in 2009. TV's comedy drought of the aughts, which saw some networks struggling to put together even a single night of sitcoms, helps explain why the spinoff

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