Ally McBeal (1997-2002)
Type: Spin Off
Man, I don't know how to categorize "Ally". I'm calling it a spin off but it's really more of a byproduct.
Ally McBeal was a huge hit show for the FOX network centering on the oddball characters working in a Boston law firm. Producer David E. Kelley managed to make one of television's few successful one hour comedies by mixing the comedy with a dash of legal drama.
And, hey, if people loved an hour long Ally McBeal, wouldn't they love a half hour version in addition to the original series just as much? That's the normal length of a sitcom anyway, right? And Ally McBeal is a huge hit show so people should be dying to get another half hour of Ally a week, right? And hey, since it's Ally McBeal cut to half length they can cut the title in half to just Ally!
All well in good except that FOX went about making this new half hour Ally by taking old episodes of Ally McBeal and cutting them down to half hour length. They tried to make it more attractive by also including new, previously unshown scenes. See it's all in how you word it. "Your favorite Ally stories in a new half hour format with previously unseen footage!" sounds pretty good. But "Episodes of Ally you've already seen butchered down to a half hour with scenes that weren't good enough to make the cut the first time slapped back in as filler!" sounds like crap. Viewers, being cynical, apparently opted to believe the second description even though they were being sold the first.
FOX had started the 1999 season hurting and they hoped Ally would be a quick and economical way to get another hit series on their schedule. When things didn't work out that way, FOX cut its losses, canceling the series mid season.Other Ally McBeal Links
Ally McBeal and Boston Public
Ally McBeal and The Practice
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