‘Golden Girls’: Kristy McNichol Played a Cop That Time a Mobster Went After Rose’s Boyfriend

by Suzanne Halliburton

Did you know that the Golden Girls was such a prolific show that it had its own spinoff? Remember Empty Nest?

And since the country is both celebrating Betty White’s 100th birthday, Monday, as well as still mourning her death, Outsider is looking back at some of the star’s best moments. And a crossover between Golden Girls and Empty Nest was one of them.

First, some background to go with your cheesecake. After all, this is a story about the Golden Girls. Susan Harris created the series. And it started charming the country in 1985. NBC figured why not share that same vibe in another show. That’s how Harris came up with Empty Nest. The series featured Richard Mulligan playing Dr. Harry Weston, a widower and pediatrician. His two grown daughters moved back in with him. They were Kristy McNichol, a cop named Barbara, and Dinah Manoff, who portrayed Carol. Empty Nest secured a marquee star in McNichol, who won two Emmys for her work on Family.

Empty Nest had a ton of fun guest stars, including country music superstars Garth Brooks and Barbara Mandrell; Law & Order’s Jerry Orbach; Matthew Perry of Friends fame and Luke Perry of Beverly Hills 90210. For some more Golden Girls trivia, Orbach played a boyfriend of Dorothy’s.

(Photo by Ron Wolfson/Getty Images)

And then in 1991 and 92, the Golden Girls welcomed Empty Nest. The first episode was Witness and it was all about Rose moving on with her romantic life after Miles went into witness protection. She started dating a nice man named Karl. But Miles makes a stunning return. He’s an Amish man in the witness protection program.

Earlier in the Golden Girls season, in an episode named Miles to Go, Miles revealed to Rose he actually wasn’t a college professor, but an accountant named Nicholas Carbone. And he used to live in Chicago. He’d been a witness for the feds against a mobster named Mickey “the Cheeseman” Moran. But the Cheeseman, supposedly, died, allowing Miles to confess everything to Rose. But the Cheeseman wasn’t really dead and Miles needed another identity. However, Rose refused to go with him.

(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

In Witness, Rose was dealing with the loss of Miles until he shows back up after Karl leaves. Why was Barbara there? It wasn’t because of Miles. Sophia called the police station because she’d lost her glasses. However, it was Sophia who recognized Rose’s date, Karl, as being the Cheeseman. Sophia religiously watched America’s Most Wanted.

There were funny Golden Girls moments involving Barbara and Blanche. Barbara told her that she’d received noise complaints from the neighbors. And the noise was coming from Blanche’s bedroom. Blanche snaps “well, get earmuffs. I pay my taxes.” Then after Barbara pulled her gun on Karl, she needed a pair of handcuffs for the arrest. Blanche lent her a pair. “Please be careful with them,” Blanche says. “They’re a gift.”

With the Cheeseman now in custody, lovely Rose gets back her boyfriend. So about that cheesecake, you can eat it when you’re both happy and sad. That checks both the boxes for Betty White and her 100th birthday.