11 thoughts on “When CHiPs Tried to Spin Off an…LAPD Ninja Task Force?!

  1. I did not know this existed, and I was so stunned by the entire thing that I had to post a link to my girlfriend to make sure that I was not having a stroke, or had accident ingested something to make me hallucinate.

    Jesus Christ. I think I’m torn on this being hilariously awful or incredibly cool.

  2. It’s really quite horrifying, some of the TV series that came out in the 70’s and early 80’s. But then Diff’rent Strokes came along and made it all worthwhile.

  3. For semi related trivia, the last season of CHiPs in 1982 featured two guest appearances by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. At the time it was the first alternate franchise that Cassandra Peterson’s character crossed over into, after she was only a year into her horror movie hosting gig. Elvira wouldn’t pop up in another TV show until 1986’s WRESTLEMANIA II as a guest commentator (or, if you prefer fully scripted shows, 1989’s SUPER MARIO BROTHERS SUPER SHOW). By then, years of her hosting show plus a film had elevated Elvira’s fame, but CHiPs guested her back when the character was still relatively new.

  4. Wow. I would call this more of a pilot with a CHiPs cameo!
    To be true it makes me think they made this pilot, it bombed the early screenings, then they just changed the credits and added Jon and Ponch to recover some money by slipping it in to CHiPs.
    I mean, what this stuff had to do with the main series? It’s like The Greatest American Hero spinning off A-Team, what the…

  5. I like that the LAPD sprung for specially-designed gis with their own “F7” logos for the Force Seven ninja task force. That seems like a good use of resources.

    Let me guess: There were seven members of the Force Seven ninja task force, like Fox Force Five in Pulp Fiction?

  6. They really missed out on that, as they sadly only had five members. Too cheap to get seven members, I suppose! They spent all the money on the gis!

  7. It seems like if this had come out three years later, in 85/86, it might have been a big hit. Ninja’s were EVERYWHERE then.

  8. As bizarre as this seems, strange spinoffs for TV shows have actually happen, and been successful.

    Picture this: a beloved family sitcom which is a period piece centering around a troupe of middle class teenagers, their parents, and a local gathering spot set in the 1950’s-1960’s. Five seasons in a SPACE ALIEN shows up and tries to get the series’ lead to go back to space with him. And it proves so hilarious that the space alien gets his own sitcom! Which runs for 4 seasons!

    That was MORK & MINDY, folks.

    So, as weird as this was for CHiPS, TV does have a sort of “risk/reward” dynamic sometimes. And like Dave E suggested, it’s possible it could have been ahead of its time by a few years. But if it’d happened, we may not have gotten HUNTER, which would have been a shame. Not worse than the racist puppet, though. Yeesh!

  9. I don’t know whether Mork and Mindy was actually intended as a spinoff, though. I think it was just a one-off episode that did so well they decided to THEN spin it off. But yes, don’t get me wrong, “Richie meets a space man” is a weird concept for a Happy Days episode even as a one-off!

  10. N.C.I.S. spinning off from J.A.G. was also sort of uncanny, the two shows had such a different pace that it’s now hard to say they were somehow related. That backdoor pilot stuck out like a sore thumb. Still, it worked pretty fine, to the point N.C.I.S. is now a franchise per se and J.A.G. is vintage TV.

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