In 1975, stand-up comedian Gabriel Kaplan co-created and starred in Welcome Back, Kotter, an ABC sitcom in which Gabriel Kotter (Kaplan) returns to his inner-city Brooklyn high school and ends up teaching the remedial academics class, known as the "Sweathogs". It ended up being one of the biggest new shows of the season, leading ABC to order a spin-off series for the fall of 1976.

Entitled Mr. T and Tina, the spin-off followed Japanese inventor Taro Takahashi (Pat Morita), as, after being introduced by the Sweathogs, he moves from Tokyo to Chicago with his children (June Angela and Gene Profanato). He then decides to hire scatterbrained American Tina Kelly (Susan Blanchard) as the live-in governess for his children. Due to being aired against CBS' Bob Newhart Show and NBC's Emergency!, only five episodes were ever shown, although nine were taped overall. Of the five aired, only a low-quality recording of the premiere is available, via Dailymotion.

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