How Many Times Did ‘The Golden Girls’ Appear in Spin-Off ‘Empty Nest’?

by Megan Molseed
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In 1988, sitcom fans were introduced to a brand-new series on Saturday nights as the iconic Golden Girls welcomed a classic spin-off series, Empty Nest to the airwaves.

This new series featured Richard Mulligan as Harry Weston, a recent widower.

In the series, Harry Weston and his daughters live next door to the Florida home in which our favorite women Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia live out their Golden years. The Golden Girls characters are portrayed by Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McLanahan, and Estelle Getty, respectively.

But, how many times did our favorite women travel across the yard, visiting Harry and his family on Empty Nest?

One ‘Golden Girl’ Became An Empty Nest Regular

Each one of the Golden Girls does have a moment on the popular NBC spin-off series. However, one, in particular, holds the most guest appearances on the series; guest-starring in a total of fifty-two episodes during the series’s seven years on the air.

Estelle Getty, who plays the wise-cracking and brazen elderly mother of Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) Sophia Petrillo. Getty guest-starred on the series “next door” fairly regularly.

Out of the series’s total of 170 episodes, this is nearly one-third of the series.

While Estelle Getty may get the “golden” star for the number of guest appearances on Empty Nest, the other Golden Girls certainly had their moments in the series.

Then, behind Getty, Betty White has appeared in the highest number of episodes. Totaling three Empty Nest guest-starring roles between 1989 and 1992.

One of Betty White’s most memorable Empty Nest appearances as The Golden Girls’ Rose Nylund was a season two episode titled Rambo of Neiman Marcus.

In this episode, Harry Weston and Rose get into a car accident. Betty White is on-point as the spacey and flighty Rose as she is taken to Harry’s hospital to be examined.

Other than this one, the other episodes in which Golden Girls fans can see White’s Rose Nylund are 1992s Dr.Weston and Mr. Hyde and 1989s Strange Bedfellows.

Both Bea Arthur’s and Rue McLanahan’s Golden Girls characters made one guest appearance on Empty Nest.

Two Characters Had One Appearance On Spin-Off

Bea Arthur’s appearance is in the 1989 episode Dumped.

In this episode, one of Harry’s daughters falls in love with Dorothy’s nephew. However, when the relationship fails Harry and Dorothy find themselves at odds as well.

Rue McLanahan’s Empty Nest appearance occurs in the 1988 episode called Fatal Attraction.

This episode is an interesting cross-over event. The plot begins in the Golden Girls episode that aired right before Empty Nest.

At the end of the Golden Girls episode titled Yokel Hero, Harry stops by to visit the women.

However, when Harry leaves, the women then discuss the fact that Harry, may be ready to begin dating.

McLanahan’s Blanche is intrigued by this idea. So, when Empty Nest begins Blanche has set her sights on Harry and begins to pursue the widower fairly relentlessly.

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