A Forgotten ‘Golden Girls’ Spin-Off Was Canceled After Just One Season

The Golden Girls is just one of those shows that stands the test of time. Even though the show ended nearly three decades ago, loyal fans still relate to the show’s characters.

The shows were funny, the girls were relatable, and it was just one of those shows where you could sit back and have fun. Still today, you can watch a show and feel like you are sitting down at the kitchen table with a group of friends. 

But many fans may not realize that the show didn’t really actually end in 1992. While technically, The Golden Girls went off the air at the end of the seventh season, the story continued with a short-lived spin-off show. 

Sadly, the show ended after just one season. So what happened? Why wasn’t The Golden Palace able to build off the success of its popular predecessor?

‘The Golden Girls” sequel wasn’t successful

The concept of a spinoff show is nothing new. Many shows have found success with the concept, even years before The Golden Girls hit the air. The Bob Newhart Show successfully generated a long-running spinoff in the early 80s and The Mary Tyler Moore Show had three spinoffs that lasted more than one season. 

The Golden Palace followed the lives of Sophia, Blanche, and Rose. At the end of The Golden Girls, Dorothy remarried and moved away to Atlanta. The Golden Palace added a few new people this time around. Don Cheadle, Cheech Marin, and Billy L. Sullivan rounded out the main cast. 

But there was one major difference this time. The show revolved around the girls running their own hotel, hence the name The Golden Palace.

There was just one problem. As IMDB explains, the girls knew nothing about running a hotel. Making things even harder, only two people from the hotel’s original staff stayed after the purchase, meaning the three women were left to do a lot of the chores themselves.

Sounds like it could be funny. But was it?

‘The Golden Palace’ struggled to match the success of the original

There were high expectations for The Golden Palace. In fact, the season one premiere drew in 15 million viewers. But after that, ratings quickly declined.

According to E! The Golden Palace struggled from poor ratings and a poor concept. So what went wrong? For many, the show just wasn’t the same without Dorothy.

One Reddit user wrote:

“I’ve watched the 2 episodes when Dorothy came back for a visit at the hotel and it felt like watching lost episodes of The Golden Girls, but I haven’t watched the other episodes because it’s just not the same without Bea Arthur, not even close.”

The production team knew a show without Bea Arthur would be a challenge, but was unable to get the star to sign on. However, she did return for two episodes. 

Another ‘The Golden Girls’ spin-off was able to find some success

'The Golden Girls'
The Golden Girls | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

It wasn’t all bad news for Golden Girls fans. The show did generate one successful spin-off.

Empty Nest premiered in 1988 and brought over Estelle Getty who played Sophia. Empty Nest focused on a widowed pediatrician and his two daughters.

Though Getty appeared in one episode during the show’s first season, she didn’t become a regular until the beginning of season six. The show aired for seven seasons, with the final episode airing in 1995. 

Empty Nest also had its own spin-off, Nurses. The show premiered in 1991 and ended in 1994. While the show didn’t feature any of the main characters from The Golden Girls, two of the girls made a couple of cameos. Rose stopped by in season one and Sophia made an appearance in season three.