the worst children additions in television shows

who do you nominate? you can list as many as you want, and use any criteria. If the child brings down the enjoyment of the show for you, list him/her.

(use the character names if you don’t know their real names.)

  1. Geoffrey and Gregory Barone - Everybody Loves Raymond. Terrible actors. annoying haircuts, pointless characters. They are kids, so I am not trying to trash them completely. But every time they show up on screen, the show suffers.

  2. Cousin Oliver - Brady Bunch - Do I need to give a reason?

  3. Ramon Simone? - Olivia? Cosby Show not sure if that’s her name, and I can’t remember the character. Whoever the child was they added toward the end.

  4. Seven? The strange kid they added to Married with Children

  5. Andy Keaton - Facts of Life

Other than the Barone kids, I believe all of the others were added when the series was dying.

I’ll stop there. Your nominees?

That was Family Ties, not Facts of Life. I remember he was added as a result of writing in Meredith Baxter-Birney’s real-life pregnancy, not as a desperate play for more eyeballs. Agreed, he contributing nothing to the show. And then the actor, Brian Bonsall, went on to be…

  1. Alexander - Worf’s son on Star Trek:The Next Generation. Granted, the episode that introduced him was pretty kick-ass, as it resulted in lots of violence and death and actual Klingon-like behavior from Worf. But then after a season it was decided to bring the son back and have him live with Worf on the Enterprise, which served no purpose at all. I doubt any viewers thought “Damn, we lost Wesley Crusher, we need another kid, pronto!!”

I think it’d be easier to try to think of any kids added that WEREN’T bad :slight_smile:

Growing Pains added a teen, Leonardo DiCaprio as well as a baby that magically grew up in one year. Step By Step added another baby one year, little kid the next

Ricky Seagull on the Partridge Family was 100 times worse than cousin Oliver. I mean they had two kids, Tracey and Chris who never did anything anyway, or had storylines so why add another kid, to scream (not sing he didn’t know how) out lines while Laurie and Mrs Partridge smile at him as if to say “He’s too cute”

Robbie Rist was added not only as Cousin Oliver but to* the Mary Tyler Moore show* as Ted Baxter’s adopted kid, David

On Everybody Loves Raymond weren’t the same kids in the show from day one? All the kids, the twins and the girl who played Allie were related in real life. They were brothers and sister in real life. That may explain why those boys, who couldn’t act much, got the role.

As for TV series where adding a kid helped? I think Ernie on My Three Sons was a good match. Barry Livingstone, who played him was the actual brother of Chip, played by Stanley Livingstone.

I think the addition of “Little Ricky” to I Love Lucy was fairly neutral. It didn’t hurt the show any but it really didn’t add much either.

Worf’s son and Andy Keaton were played by the same kid, Brian Bonsall. Here he is more recently.


Sorry, I didn’t read carefully enough post #2 which already said this. Duh.

She wasn’t in many episodes, but Mabel in Mad About You.

She was played in a flashforward by Janeane Garafolo.

Ben on Friends was fine as a baby, fine as a little kid, annoying as hell in the last few seasons when he was played by that kid from Big Daddy. Thankfully he wasn’t in that many episodes. Little kids are much more bearable in sitcoms when they are basically just props.

Well you can’t really ruin a show that was a disaster from day one that being said Robby Rist wins the trifecta.

As well as shudder…Dr Zee on Galactica 1980. As I said above, 80 was crap from the start but the kid super genius telling the adults what to do just makes the train-wreak more memorable.

I think Robby deserves an award for the most television shows made worse by his presence.

The kids were not really supposed to be characters – more like props. They allowed the show to have an occasional storyline that mentioned them, but the show was designed so that they would only get limited time, since it wasn’t about them and they would have distracted from the point of the show.

I’d agree, but only if it were a universe where Ted McGinley had never existed. He ruined Happy Days, Married…With Children, The Love Boat, and Dynasty, among others.

That was my first thought - I can’t think of a child added to a show that made it better. “House” is going the way of tv shows that have probably run their course, and now have a young child on them. I’m hoping that Cuddy’s young daughter only shows up in about one episode per season, but we’ll see.

“Voyager” - Naomi Wildman and the Borg Babies - all gratuitous, annoying additions.

That girl Stephanie (Danielle Brisebois) who was added to “All in the Family/Archie Bunker’s Place”. The female “Seven”.

If any child ever added to a show, perhaps “Ernie” on “My Three Sons”. But then improving that show didn’t take much and if any real improvement came, it was the delightfully cantankerous William Demarest as “Uncle Charlie”. But hen I’m basing my memories of Ernie on having seen the show when it was first televised and I was closer to Ernie’s age.

Perhaps adding the character of “Sarah Collins” to Dark Shadows, first as a ghost in 1967 and later as an 11 year sister to Barnabas Collins helped the show. The 1795 time travel trip helped change Barnabas from a murdering vampire to one who was cursed the evil spurned witch Angelique and made him more sympathetic. Barnabas loved his younger sister and her death greatly affected him, along with other things Angelique did.

Dark Shadows had a later addition in children with Amy Jennings who was kind of neutral. I guess David Collins needed a partner when they were possessed by the spirit of Quentin Collins.

The Olsen Things on Full House

Yes, I know they don’t qualify because they’ve always been there (were they even the baby?) but had they never been there, the show would have been better (not “great”, but better).

(Same could probably be said for the world as a whole … )

I’ll throw out one I think was an addition to the show: Avery on Murphy Brown.

Not that I have any opinion on the actual actor. But Murphy’s pregnancy (and that whole thing with Dan Quayle), the beefing up of Eldin’s character and some other story arcs gave the show a second wind.

Baby William on the X-Files.

Scrappy Doo

I really like Danielle Brisebois, I think she did a good job and was very important to the follow up series “Archie Bunker’s Place”

I think Ernie worked well as he was introduced not as part of the family but he was Chip’s friend. In fact he was in Chip’s class and was simply his friend. He was even the same age as Chip at first. Ernie’s background was rewritten a few times to eventually make him the “little brother,” once Mike left.

I also think Tabitha was a good addition to “Bewitched”

I can’t say they made the show worse because it was always undeniably awful, but the male twins added to 7th Heaven around the end of its run were just annoying, always doing cutesy twin things (like speaking in sync), seemed a tad touched in the head and just seemed like a bad idea – those poor parents were just about to get a nice empty nest, except for that stupid dog!

She was a bit older than most of these, but the addition of Dawn worked okay in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (seaon 5, at least; I never got around to watching the last 2 seasons).