6 TV Shows That Started Out as One Thing and Became Something Different in Later Seasons – MovieWeb

In this list, we’ve compiled the best shows that began as one thing and completely flipped the script after a while, becoming something different.
With so many TV shows coming out, it can be hard to keep track of which ones to watch, and which premises you’re interested in as a viewer. A lot of the time, a show's premise can seem dull and uninteresting, taking away from one that would otherwise be great. In many cases, because TV production is a marathon, time has a way of changing a series, for better and for worse.
Have you ever rewatched your favorite TV show from the beginning, and through binge-watching noticed more clearly just how, where, and when it shifted its focus? Whether in tone, direction, story, or even characters, it's inevitable that later seasons of a TV show will be vastly different from earlier ones. Of course, there are some TV shows that evolve completely. In this list, we’ve compiled the best shows that began as one thing and completely flipped the script after a while, becoming something entirely different in later seasons.
Cougar Town began as a show centering around Courtney Cox’s character Jules, as she sought to re-enter the dating world after a recent divorce and make up for lost time by going for younger men — hence the show’s title. By season 2, Cougar Town strayed from this premise and became an ensemble comedy about Jules, her ex-husband, and their group of friends, but it kept the name to stay on the map. Despite the major premise change, the show’s opening credits had fun with the title, and showed imaginings of what life as a cougar seems to be.
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Happy Days began as a basic sitcom about Richie Cunnigham, played by Ron Howard, figuring out how to navigate through life, hitting a few rites of passage along the way. After two seasons, the ratings were struggling to get off the ground, so the show’s creators decided to make burnout greaser Fonzie a more central character, moving him into a room above the Cunnigham garage and expanding on the show’s humor. This turned out to be an excellent move, as the ratings skyrocketed, and Happy Days ran for 11 seasons.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff featured the titular vampire, played by David Boreanaz, once he moved to Los Angeles to set up a Private Investigators office to help the helpless. For four seasons, that’s what Angel was. A large part of the show was the battle against the seemingly evil Wolfram and Heart law firm, which is why a lot of viewers were surprised at the ending of season 4, which featured Angel and his colleagues being put in charge of said law firm. During the fifth season, Angel worked to try and make the firm a force for good instead, although the ratings didn’t allow for this to continue for more than one season before the show was canceled.
For eight seasons, Scrubs was a hilarious sitcom about the staff of Sacred Heart Hospital, especially J.D and Christopher Turk. The show covered the stresses of being a new doctor with a lighthearted tone, including the relationship dramas of the doctors at the heart of the show. The showrunners intended the last episode of season 8, titled "My Finale," to be the last. However, ABC renewed the show for a ninth season. This took place over a year after the ending of season 8, and was set at a new university, with only a few original characters returning as teachers. Fans generally disliked this new setting, and the show was subsequently canceled.
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In season 1, Bojack Horseman seemed to just be a comedy about the day-to-day life of washed up actor Bojack Horseman. It seemed to be another adult animation with not a lot going on under the surface. However, from season two onwards, the show became a lot more: it became a comedy that also had poignant takes on everything, from mental illness to the dangers of child stardom, and Bojack begins acting in ways that become increasingly difficult for viewers to make excuses for. By the end of the sixth and final season, the show was being referred to as one of the best TV comedies of the decade, and went from being a funny horse show to being a heart-breaking dramedy with an intense depth to it.
Riverdale began its life on the screen as a simple teen-focused story about the murder of Jason Blossom in the small town of Riverdale. Billed as a darker, edgier take of the classic Archie comics, the show quickly spiraled into absurd territory, as outlined by Collider, including storylines about anything from cults and ritual organ harvesting to superpowers and time travel. The upcoming seventh season will bring the series to a close, a far cry from the early days of dating drama and the underbelly of an American small town.


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