Friends‘ Rachel Green wouldn’t have been able to stumble into Central Perk wedding-dress-clad if it wasn’t for another city’s group of Singles. Yes, the monolithic sitcom is just one of many shows that veered far off from the original concepts. And no, we’re not talking about how different a show is from a pilot; we all know pilots lay down hard inconsistencies and feature decidedly different hair cuts from the rest of the season. I’m talking about shows that, in its earliest form, was something entirely different. Maybe that means taking a detour from someone’s life story, taking a tonal rewrite from big-to-small-screen transitions, or having a janky short evolve into entire multi-faceted world. Whatever the case, you may be shocked to hear of the humble beginnings of your favorite series.
Below, check out 12 shows that ended up a different monster than their first draft.
Parks and Recreation
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Orange Is the New Black