3Women of the House
Spun Off From: Designing Women
After Suzanne Sugarbaker's (Delta Burke) fifth husband dies, the former Atlanta beauty queen assumes his congressional office and, along with her mentally-handicapped brother, her spry, vivacious daughter, and her sassy administrative assistant, enters the bureaucratic power-labyrinth of Washington D.C.
We can buy Delta Burke's marriage to a parliamentarian (although in the deep South we think they're called Grand Wizards). But even before the first poorly-scripted one-liner about Congress being full of more nuts than momma's pecan pie can signal to the audio tech that it's time to light up the "APPLAUSE" sign, the show asks us to accept that not a single person would object to a dead senator's elected position being taken over by his sassy wife.
The show lasted just nine episodes, when CBS abruptly pulled it off the air when they saw that episode 10 featured a "montage of women being brutally abused." CBS demanded the scene be cut (whatever for?) and then just decided to kill the show completely.
To be clear, the scene was not of actual women being abused on, like, a hidden camera or something. It was a montage of movies and TV shows, and was supposed to be making some kind of point about the way women are treated in popular culture. Way to stand up for feminism, Show About Wacky Lady Who Marries Her Way Into Congress.
2The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
Spun Off From: The Apprentice
In the same vein as Donald Trump's The Apprentice, Martha Stewart vets an assortment of type-A go-getters in an attempt to find an apprentice to run one of her businesses. The contestants compete in business challenges and are dismissed from the competition if they fail to accurately mimic Stewart's emotionless zeal for homemaking and improvised craft design.
It's a small wonder that NBC executives were capable of casting multiple seasons of the original Apprentice --a series that rewarded its winners with jobs under a man that has declared bankruptcy as many times as he's been divorced.
One should never underestimate the enthusiasm of newly-minted MBAs for putting their death-grip on someone else's coattails. But Martha Stewart's claim to "business tycoon" status during the show's taping was pretty suspect since she was under house arrest after having been convicted of perjury, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice for her part in the ImClone stock trading scandal.
It's tough to imagine that the contestants being told "Goodbye" each week--Stewart's take on Trump's "You're Fired"--weren't silently thanking their lucky stars for not being tapped as Stewart's shower-room wingman. Job training doesn't usually include learning to file a shank out of an old mop handle.