Flo: A Sitcom Spinoff Disaster

The popular CBS sitcom Alice, which ran from 1976 to 1985, was loosely based on the successful 1974 film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. The plot had recently widowed Alice Hyatt (played by Linda Lavin) taking a waitress job in Mel’s Diner, a Phoenix eatery, to make ends meet. One of her waitress colleagues was feisty Florence (Flo) Castleberry played by Polly Holliday. The character became so popular that CBS launched a sitcom focusing on Flo. The premise of the spinoff was that Flo had moved back home to Cowtown, Texas to assume the management of a rundown roadhouse which she re-christened Flo’s Yellow Rose. As a mid-season replacement, Flo aired on Monday nights in March and April 1980 and got as high as number seven in the Neilsen ratings. However, when Flo returned in the fall of 1980 its time slot was moved several times. Ratings tanked and it was gone after a total of 29 episodes. The Flo character never returned to Alice (with the exception of old clips in the series finale). Here is the opening montage of Flo.

Author: Alex

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