When asked by fellow panelist Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat) if a spinoff had ever been ordered, Rosenthal said, the idea first came about when Amy’s (Monica Horan, Rosenthal’s wife) family was introduced on the show.
“From that first table reading where we met them, I went from the table reading to the phone to call Les Moonves at CBS,” he said, adding, “I said, ‘I’ve got a spinoff.”
He explained, “And then after the show was over some of the writers and I thought this was an obvious idea. Very simply, the brother [Robert, played by Brad Garrett] now moves to Pennsylvania and he gets a job as the gym teacher, now living with [Amy’s] family under the condition that he has Chris Elliot [Peter, on the show] as his assistant.”
Rosenthal quipped, “Sounds good, right?” Despite the enthusiasm of Rosenthal and his team of writers, the spinoff never materialized because CBS would not offer more than the pilot episode. “I said, ‘Les, we need a guarantee because all these writers are getting these deals. They can’t just chuck this money to do a pilot.’ They said, ‘We won’t give you more than that.”
Rosenthal did mention that another show at the time was given a 13 episode order. He didn’t name the show, but did mention that all of the actors were under the age of 30, whereas his spinoff would feature older actors.
The other show didn’t pan out either, as it was canceled after three episodes. The moral according to Rosenthal? “Go with old people,” he joked.
Rosenthal and Khan were on a panel with David Windsor (The Real O’Neals), Norman Lear (All in the Family) and Hollis Rich (State of Grace).