Growing Pains and Just The Ten Of Us

Growing Pains (1985-1992)
Just The Ten Of Us (1988-1990)
Type: Spin Off

   Ah, the classic spin off scenario. Take a fairly minor character and make him the star of his own show. Much safer than spinning off a major character: if the spin off tanks you haven't thrown away a valuable character.

   Growing Pains was your typical family sitcom. The Seavers were a typical American family. Oldest child Mike was the troublemaker, middle child Carol was the smart one and Ben was the spunky youngest kid... until the later birth of daughter Chrissy.

   Coach Lubbock was a semi-regular character. He was the gym teacher at the kids' school as well as handling various classes and the school plays. In one episode of the show, Mike felt something was going on with the coach and followed him home. He discovered that Coach Lubbock was trying to support a family of six kids (5 girls and a boy) and a pregnant wife! Not only that, it turned out his prospects of keeping his job at the school were not good. Yikes.

   The coach had only one viable option. He had been offered a job teaching at a Catholic boy's school on the other side of the country. So the coach packed up his family and moved into his own show: Just The Ten Of Us.

   The ten in the show's title referred to the coach, his wife, their six kids and the twins his wife was pregnant with. The show dealt largely with Coach Lubbock trying to keep his Catholic daughters in line and out of trouble which wasn't easy since most of them were boy crazy and the only girls attending an all boys school! On top of which two of them were fun loving troublemakers. The other two oldest were, respectively, a good girl on the verge of being a nun and a misunderstood brainiac. The youngest daughter and the coach's son were the little kids basically - spares if the show had a long life and the older kids split. One funny thing was that son J.R. did have a taste for horror films. Why would that be funny? Well, because two of his sisters appeared in The Nightmare On Elm Street horror films. In fact Marie (the almost nun) was played by Heather Langenkamp who starred in the original classic Nightmare film.

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