The Golden Girls Extended Universe

It was nice to see that Disney+ has added the complete run of The Golden Girls, which I shall certainly be watching slowly. The show was created by Susan Harris and ran for 180 episodes over seven seasons. It also spawned a number of spin-off shows.

After Bea Arthur decided not to sign on for season eight, the show was re-tooled without her, the remaining Girls moved to a hotel, and The Golden Palace was born. It only lasted one season though, and has rarely been repeated.

But during its original run, there was another spin-off called Empty Nest. Also created by Harris, this was rather more succesful than the sequel, and ran for seven seasons of 170 episodes. There was a back-door pilot in the original show called Empty Nests, and featured the neighbours (initially the Corliss’ but retooled to be the Westons).

As the series progressed, the Girls made a few cameos, and after the cancellation of The Golden Palace, Estelle Getty joined the cast for its final two seasons.

Then, in 1991, The Empty Nest had it’s own spin off, in the shape of Nurses. Again created by Harris, this ran for 68 episodes over three seasons, and featured the staff of the hospital where Richard Mulligan’s character worked. It featured cameos from the stars of both it’s parent shows.

What was notable about this was that all three shows aired on NBC on the same night.

It’s rather bothersome that the trio was split by a fourth show, could they not have swapped them around? It’s not like Walter & Emily lasted very long – just half a season. It even shared its slot with a show called The Torkelsons (renamed and retooled for its second season as Almost Home). And also, as shown here, a sitcom called The Powers That Be.

We’ll have a closer look at The Powers That Be tomorrow.

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