The Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Spinoff That People Forgot

After the success of "SCTV," "Ghostbusters," "Little Shop of Horrors," and "Spaceballs," Rick Moranis joined The Walt Disney Company for its latest family feature, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" (1989). Moranis starred in the film as Wayne Szalinski, a well-meaning father and genius inventor whose shrink ray ... actually works. Through his invention, Wayne unintentionally puts his (and the neighbors') now quarter-inch high kids on a dangerous survival adventure in the backyard among the sprinklers, ants, and lawn mowers. 

The film was a massive hit, spawning the sequels "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid"(1992),  "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves" (1997), and the upcoming reboot "Shrunk." And shortly after the third film was released direct to video, a short-lived TV series called "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show" debuted through Buena Vista Television. 

Moranis, who was about to begin his hiatus from acting to focus on his children, did not return for the series. So Peter Scolari took over the role, with Barbara Alyn Woods taking over for Marcia Strassman in the role of Diane Szalinski. The Szalinski kids were also recast, and Hillary Tuck and Thomas Dekker stepped into those role. The Szalinski's third child, Adam, was not mentioned until the penultimate episode, when Diane announced she was pregnant. This puts the show somewhere on the timeline between the first film and the sequel.

Was it any good

The TV series saw the Szalinski family relocating to Matheson, Colorado. Amy Szalinski is your typical teen girl — filled with angst, but with a loving and supportive dedication to her family. Nick, now a little older, loves inventing things like his dad, but has also developed a fascination with the supernatural. The Szalinski kids were the main focus of the show, balanced with comedic turns from their science-obsessed father and level-headed mother. Moving to a new city also means a new set of neighbors — in this show, the McKennas. Patriarch Jake McKenna (George Buza) is the Matheson chief of police, and is frequently caught in the middle of Wayne Szalinski's misadventures and invention mistakes. Most of the episodes drew on popular science-fiction tropes, but also included a supernatural angle so the show could compete with popular series like "Charmed" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Created by Brian Yuzna, Ed Naha, Stuart Gordon, Ed Ferrara, and Kevin Murphy, the show ran for three seasons, and overwhelmingly focused on the Szalinski family. All four family members were featured in every episode, while Buza's McKenna — the only other starring performer — only appeared in 30. The first two seasons of the John Hughes-produced series performed well, but the third season saw an impetuous drop in ratings and Disney chose not to renew the series as part of its 65-episode rule

As far as quality is concerned, "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids: The TV Show" is a standard family sitcom, anchored by Peter Scolari's dedicated and respectful performance of Moranis' iconic father figure. The series unfortunately never made the jump to Disney+, but episodes can be purchased through Amazon Prime and Apple TV+.