Empty Nest and Golden Girls

Empty Nest (1988-1995)
Golden Girls (1985-1992)
Type: Spin Off
Group 8

    Golden Girls was a show about three older women (Dorothy, Blanche and Rose) sharing a house in Miami. On the very first episode, Dorothy's senile mother Sophia moved in with them after the nursing home she was living in had a fire. The show got away with a lot of raunchy humor because its stars were older women.

    The show was such a success a spin off of some sort seemed a natural. Suddenly there was an episode of The Golden Girls that had almost nothing to do with the Golden Girls. It concentrated on some of their neighbors (rule of thumb: whenever a show does an episode focusing on a bunch of people you've never seen before and never do again, it's a pilot for a new show). Rita Moreno played a woman married to a doctor. All three of the couples daughters had finally left home leaving the two of them alone. They also had a nutty female relative and a mooching neighbor played by David Leisure. With the children gone, mom felt she was suffering from "Empty Nest Syndrome". After that single episode, this family was never seen again. The powers that be tinkered with the premise though and soon a spin off was born...

    Empty Nest was the story of a different group of Golden Girl neighbors. Harry Weston was a widower doctor whose three daughters had all left home. Only at the start of the series two of his full grown daughters, Barbara and Carol, moved home. Barbara was a cop who needed to move home to dig herself out of debt. Carol moved home because she had gotten a divorce, was lonely and feared Barbara getting all their fathers attention. So thus "Empty Nest" became an ironic title. They had a wacky neighbor who was also played by David Leisure but this was a different character than from the initial pilot. So apparently, the Golden Girls had two neighbors who looked like David Leisure, they had two sets of families living nearby with a doctor father and three daughters. Only in one family the mother was dead. Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?

    Empty Nest and Golden Girls initially aired back to back and as such the characters from each show would drop by the other on a regular basis. Eventually a third show named Nurses was added that took place at the Hospital where Harry worked. All three shows would air on the same night and elaborate theme nights started airing with characters from all the shows hopping from one to the other. One was a moonlight madness night where a full moon made people act crazy. Another one was a hurricane night where everyone became stranded in different areas, leaving some at the Golden Girl's home, some over at Empty Nest and other unable to leave the hospital on Nurses. All three shows were by the same production company and so these event nights were fun stunts for NBC that made sense. ABC later tried the same thing only with utterly unrealted shows having a theme crossover night forced on them by the network. This was an utterly stupid attempt at the same sort of thing. Click here to go to that crossover mess and see why it was a horrible mistake.

    Eventually the Golden Girls went off the air and was brought back in the form of Golden Palace on CBS. With the shows on different networks and the Golden Girls actually moving out of the neighborhood, the crossovers with Empty Nest stopped. After only a year though, Golden Palace was cancelled. At that point, the character of Dorothy's mother Sophia reappeared on Empty Nest as a regular. Sophia had moved back to the Shady Pines Nursing Home which was near to the Weston home and so she started stopping by on a regular basis.

Other Empty Nest Crossover Links
Empty Nest and The Golden Palace
Empty Nest and Nurses

Other Golden Girls Crossover Links
Golden Girls and The Golden Palace
Golden Girls and Nurses

Click here to return to main Crossover List

Buy these shows on Amazon.com and support this site at the same time! Check out Golden Girls on DVD! The original not-quite-right pilot episode of Empty Nest can be found on the Season 2 DVD set. Then check out Golden Girls Seasons 4 through 7 for numerous crossover episodes (although it seems in Season 6 only Dreyfus the Empty Nest dog shows up).

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