Enter the “troubled cousin” character.  Most often, this was a younger actor than the child star who had lost their charm.  Writing a new child into the cast, could breathe new life into a tired show, as the younger child star could still engage in precocious dialogue and behavior the principle child star could no longer pull off.  Many sitcoms are set in California, so the “troubled cousin” was often from the East coast.  Hence, the “back east” the element was born.

So many shows have stolen this gimmick from each other, that I felt justified in stealing it back and applying it to my work.  In my own warped, five or six times removed fashion.