3. Sam – DIFF’RENT STROKES
By season 8 of DIFF’RENT STROKES Willis had grown up, Kimberly had moved to Paris and Arnold was a teenager. So the brain trust behind the scenes decided that what the show needed was to show what life in the Drummond penthouse would be like if Mr. D was a happily married stepfather. Enter Maggie McKinney and her ginger mop-topped son, Sam. The addition of Sam thrust Arnold into the role of big brother (despite Sam almost immediately going through a growth spurt that saw him become taller than Arnold) and most of the episodes of the show focused on the new siblings’ relationship. Of course even adding an annoying little redheaded hillbilly was not enough to save this show, which probably should have been put out of it’s misery 3 seasons earlier, and by season 8 (and after a move to a new network) DIFF’RENT STROKES went kaput.