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11 Unsuccessful Animated Versions of Hit TV Shows

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There was a time when it seemed like a good idea to create animated spin-offs for hit live-action TV shows. That time has passed. Here are 11 reasons why.

1. Gilligan's Planet

Following the moderate success of the animated New Adventures of Gilligan in 1974, Filmation and MGM decided to give the castaways a radical new makeover in 1982. In Gilligan's Planet, the Professor somehow manages to rig up a functioning spaceship before he can build a radio, fashion a boat, or successfully rattle off an SOS. Gilligan and gang are rocketed into space, where they crash land on an unknown planet inhabited by humans. The series lasted 13 episodes.

2. The Brady Kids

Filmation teamed up with Paramount in 1972 to ride the wave of The Brady Bunch's popularity with an animated series featuring only the six Brady children, their new friends, a magical mynah bird, and a dog named Mop Top. (Sorry, Tiger.) Most of the animation was recycled from The Archies and Fat Albert, but the TV show's cast did voice their own characters in the first 17-episode season. However, five more episodes were needed to put the show in syndication, but the kids (and their agent) were reluctant. The last five were cobbled together using old animation and new voice actors, and everyone promptly pretended none of this ever happened.

3. Lassie's Rescue Rangers

What's better than a dog who saves the day? A dog and eight furry woodland friends who save the day, obviously. Through 15 episodes, Lassie and her Rescue Rangers help the Forest Force protect Thunder Mountain National Park. The series ended after one season in 1973.

4. Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley with the Fonz

Why make one live-action show into a cartoon when you can combine three seemingly disparate programs into one weird hour of animation? Hanna-Barbera, Ruby-Spears and Paramount put this together for one season in 1982, thanks largely to semi-successful Laverne & Shirley in the Army from the year before.

5. The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley

Martin Short's character Ed Grimley was originally featured in 1982 on Second City TV and later on Saturday Night Live. In 1988, Grimley got his own animated half-hour show produced by Hanna-Barbera, a first (and so far, only) for an SNL or SCTV character. The series ran for 13 very weird episodes, which were later rerun on Cartoon Network.

6. Partridge Family 2200 A.D.

Imagine the Partridges are neighbors to the Jetsons. Remove the Jetsons. Now do that for 30 minutes ... and repeat 16 times. You now have the entire half-season of what would later be retitled The Partridge Family in Outer Space, a show so excellent that Shirley Jones didn't even remember it existed when asked about it in 2008. (Her character was renamed "Connie" for the cartoon, and voiced by Joan Gerber.) There is no explanation in the intro or any episode about why the family now lives in the future and/or space.

7. Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series

In most ways, Fraggle Rock and its spin-off animated series were very similar, with only minor changes in format made for the cartoon (including a Muppet Babies-like treatment of Doc, who is only shown from the waist down, just like Nanny). But even retaining most of the things that made Jim Henson's original puppet-filled vision great failed to make this version a success. It ran for one season, but was canceled after those 13 episodes.

8. The Addams Family

Inspired by a 1972 episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, wherein Scooby and gang meet the Addamses, Hanna-Barbera gave Morticia, Gomez, Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Lurch an RV and 30 minutes on Saturday mornings in 1973. (For fun, they threw in a pair of talking animals, too.) The experiment lasted 16 episodes. A more successful effort ran for two seasons in 1992.

9. The Dukes

The Dukes premiered in February 1983, when Bo and Luke were temporarily replaced by Coy and Vance in the live-action original. Thus, season one of The Dukes features Coy and Vance, who are on a race around the world (in no particular geographical order, if the episode chronology is to be trusted) with Boss Hogg, who wants to keep the Dukes from winning because then they could afford to keep their land, which he wants to buy. (How they afford gas for this race is not addressed.) By season two, Bo and Luke had returned to the original series, so the intro was revamped and the show never mentions Coy and Vance again. The race continues, of course, but the show did not. The final episode aired in October 1983.

10. My Favorite Martians

The ever-resourceful folks at Filmation adapted the 1960s hit My Favorite Martian in the only way they knew how: the animated series featured a new Martian nephew named Andy (short for Andromeda), a faithful pet (Okey, a giant furry dog-alien), and Katy, the token human girl. All 16 episodes aired in 1973.

11. Jeannie

In an effort to appeal to a younger audience, the animated spin-off of I Dream of Jeannie places a younger Jeannie under the command of a high school student named Corey Anders, presumably before she went blonde and met and married Tony Nelson. The show had a couple things going for it: the voice actors for Corey and his pal Henry were none other than Mark Hamill and Bob Hastings, who would both later voice characters for various Batman series/games, as well. But that's where the magic ended, which is unfortunate for a show about magic. The full 16-episode season ran in 1973.

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From Snoopy to Shark Bait: The Top Slang Word in Each State
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There’s a minute, and then there’s a hot minute. Defined as “a longish amount of time,” this unit of time is familiar to Alabamians but may stir up confusion beyond the state’s borders.

It’s Louisianans, though, who feel the “most misunderstood,” according to the results of a survey regarding regional slang by PlayNJ. Of the Louisiana residents surveyed, 72 percent said their fellow Americans from other states—even neighboring ones—have a hard time grasping their lingo. Some learned the hard way that ordering a burger “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo) isn’t universally understood, nor is the phrase “to pass a good time” (instead of “to have” a good time).

After surveying 2000 people (with proportional numbers from each state), PlayNJ created a map showing the top slang word in each state. Many are words that are unlikely to be understood beyond state lines, but others—like California’s bomb (something you really like) and New York’s deadass (to be completely serious)—have spread well beyond their respective borders thanks to memes and internet culture.

Hawaiians are also known for their distinctive slang words, with 71 percent reporting that words like shaka (hello) and poho (waste of time) are frequently misunderstood. Shark bait, one of the state’s more colorful terms, refers to tourists who are so pale that they attract sharks.

Check out the full list below and test your knowledge of regional slang words with PlayNJ’s online quiz.

A chart showing the top slang words in each state
PlayNJ
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20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer
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They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]

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