My Two Dads 1987-1990)
Night Court (1984-1992)
It's sort of odd. My Two Dads could in a way be considered a spin off of Night Court but it really isn't. Let me explain.
Night Court was an NBC show about the wacky goings in a New York City night court (duh!). The judge presiding over all the craziness was Judge Harry Stone. But other judges were seen on occasion either substituting for Judge Harry or bopping over from another court. One of them was Judge Margaret Wilbur. Judge Wilbur was no nonsense and acerbic. She was played by the gravelly voiced Florence Stanley who also played Detective Fish's wife on Barney Miller and its spin off Fish.
In 1987 NBC premiered My Two Dads, a family sitcom with a fairly risque starting point. Michael and Joey were two bachelors who discovered that the woman both of them had been in love with some thirteen years earlier had recently died. It turned out she had had a daughter by one of them. Only thing was in her will she didn't say by which of them. She left them both custody of her daughter Nicole. She had loved them both and their competing for her love had ruined their friendship. She hoped their not knowing which of them was Nicole's father and their having joint custody would bring them together and restore their friendship. And Nicole would get the best parts of both of them. Michael was down to earth, smart and dependable. Joey was artistic and free spirited. By the time the two dads got around to actually doing a paternity test, they decided against completing it. Neither could bear the idea of finding out they were not Nicole's dad. Awww.
So what has this got to do with Night Court? One of the shows other regulars was the judge in charge of Nicole's custody. Yep, it was Judge Wilbur. She kept an eye on the dads for the run of the show. I'm not positive why. After Nicole had been with the dads for some time without anyone getting killed or anything I would think Judge Wilbur would be done with them. Oh well. Now she did end up buying a restaurant in the building the dads lived in which, one, gave her more reason to actually be around and, two, was really pretty contrived (I mean come on).
So since Judge Wilbur started as a minor recurring character on Night Court and then became a full time character on My Two Dads it could possibly be seen as a spin off... but it really wasn't. Judge Wilbur wasn't even close to being a main character on My Two Dads. She just sort of migrated between the shows like the character of Warren Coolidge did between The White Shadow and St. Elsewhere.
Another crossover between the shows happened when Night Court's friendly, big, bald bailiff Bull Shannon appeared on My Two Dads. I can't remember the plot reason behind it but Bull appeared on the show moonlighting as a sort of bodyguard for Nicole and the dads.
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