Yesterday Zap2It wondered if CBS’s new fall sitcom Partners is actually a reboot of the 1995 Fox comedy of the same name. However, the bigger question for us is if ABC’s new Friday night show The Neighbors is actually a spin-off of CBS’s short-lived 1997 Bronson Pinchot vehicle Meego. The tale of the tape:
The Neighbors: The series, set in New Jersey, revolves around a gated townhouse community called “Hidden Hills.” This is where the Weavers (Lenny Venito & Jami Gertz), a normal average family, have decided to move to. But upon their relocation to this community they discover that this place is populated by residents who are actually from another planet, using names of sports athletes, where men can become pregnant, receive nourishment through their eyes and mind by reading books rather than eating, and cries out green goo from their ears. Not only that, it appears that these aliens have been stuck on Earth for 10 years, still awaiting for a distress signal to return home.
Meego: Meego (Pinchot) is a 9,000-year-old shape-shifting alien from the planet Marmazon 4.0. After his spaceship crashes, he is discovered by three children; Trip, Maggie, and Alex Parker (Will Estes, Michelle Trachtenberg AND Jonathan Lipnicki) . They live with their single father, Dr. Edward Parker (Ed Begley, Jr.!) and pass Meego off as human (he tells people he is from Canada). Although he plans to go home as soon as his ship is repaired, he becomes attached to the children and decides to remain on Earth to care for them.
The latter show was specifically created for the CBS Block Party, their attempt to topple ABC’s TGIF after picking up both Family Matters and Step by Step from the Disney network. Pinchot himself was coming off of a short stint on Step by Step as beautician Jean-Luc Rieupeyroux, which followed, of course, his long run as Balki Bartokomous on original TGIF member Perfect Strangers. While The Neighbors will air on Wednesday nights, not Fridays, it could have easily fit on that popular comedy lineup, and perhaps that’s where it will eventually end up, considering the statement from ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee that ““It’s time for Friday night to be a destination again for broad family entertainment.” May not be long until The Neighbors slides into Meego‘s old Friday at 8:30pm time slot.
Is it possible that residents of Hidden Hills are from the plant Marmazon 4.0? Why not? They all seem to have things coming out of their ears.
(and, yes, we realize that Meego is basically Mr. Belevedere with an alien. Or Free Spirit with an alien. Or Who’s the Boss? with an alien. Or countless other shows with an alien).
One response to “Is ABC’s ‘The Neighbors’ Actually a ‘Meego’ Spin-Off?”
I can see the similarities you mentioned, but at least the alien-comedy angle, in and of itself, hasn’t been done to death. The only examples I can come up with off the top of my head are Third Rock from the Sun and ALF. I’ll definitely give The Neighbors a try; I may as well since I use the PrimeTime Anytime feature, it’ll be recorded on my DVR automatically anyway. Plus, as one of my coworkers at Dish recently pointed out, the Hopper now has the Auto Hop feature. It’s great to have the choice to skip the commercials on the PrimeTime Anytime recordings (which include: CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX). And since Auto Hop’s been shaving off around 15-20 minutes out of every hour of TV I watch, I can fit in a few more shows into my schedule.