When a show is as successful as Married… with Children, it’s easy to overlook its failures. One of those mistakes is the one Fox Network made in trying to spin off a beloved series and get one of its main characters, Bud, to go his own way on TV. Fans unknowingly witnessed the pilot of this new series as it first aired as an episode of Season 9 of the flagship show. It was episode 26 “Radio Free Trumain”, where this new idea began, though it ended almost as quickly as it began.
This would-be backdoor pilot revealed not only Faustino, but also Keri Russell as his possible love interest. Grey’s Anatomy star Eric Dane even played the radio DJ in the episode. The original storyline followed Steve Rhodes (David Garrison) as the Dean of Trumain University who is also the antagonist of the school radio station’s DJs. The concurrent storyline centers on Bud; Bundy’s son is dating April Adams (Russell), who must choose between him and a Russian student who plays for the basketball team. When all was said and done, this episode proved to be one of the lowest rated chapters of the entire season on IMDb.
It seemed that this was enough for the spin-off to be stopped in its tracks. It was quite clear that cashing in on possible connected shows was not intended. Although Married with Children ran for two more seasons after that, actors Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, and Christina Applegate had successful careers, and Radio Free Trumaine guest stars Dane and Russell ended up doing pretty well too. happened.
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