A TV show spin-off project is a risky venture. There’s a 50-50 chance for the show to either make it or break it. These shows definitely prove that point.
Better Than The Original: Mayans MC (Sons Of Anarchy)
When Sons of Anarchy hit the small screens, it became an instant hit and a national phenomenon. What was originally thought to be The Sopranos on bikes became so much more. Fast forward to a few years and FX seems to have done it again and done it better with Mayans MC, focusing on Sons’ rival gang turned allies.
Worse Than The Original: Joanie Loves Chachi (Happy Days)
This Happy Days spin-off show was doomed to fail from the very beginning. Erin Moran and Scott Baio reprised their roles as the titular characters of the spin-off show. It failed to gain the success of Laverne Shirley, another happy Days spin-off. The series was cancelled in 1983 only after 13 episodes.
Better Than The Original: Better Call Saul (Breaking Bad)
We might be raising a lot of eyebrows here. But we will still go out on a limb and say it – Better Call Saul is a way better show than Breaking Bad. Perhaps it is break-neck pacing and Bob Odenkirk‘s wonderful one man act that steals the show. But damn this show is such an upgrade.
Worse Than The Original: The Zeta Project (Batman Beyond)
When Batman Beyond was enjoying the time of its life in the small screen world, Warner Brothers decided to use its popularity to promote another show in development. “Zeta” is a humanoid robotic assassin who vows to never kill again. The show did not reach the same level of success as Batman beyond even after two critically acclaimed seasons.
Better Than The Original: Xena: Warrior Princess (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Xena first started out as an evil pirate captain in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. The spin-off series had a more ambitious scope and better world-building. Xena is now regarded as a cult-classic while nobody even remembers the original show Xena: Warrior Princess spun off from.
Worse Than The Original: Joey (Friends)
Friends is like warm soup for the soul for many. When you are unhappy, upset, nervous, or just plain bored, Friends keeps you company. The 2 season Joey spin-off tried to replicate that magic. But most of its viewers just watched it out of goodwill. It never managed to garner enough ratings to stay on air.
Better Than The Original: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Most Star Trek shows focus on exploration of outer space, finding new worlds and new civilizations. The Next Generation, itself considered a spin-off, follows the same logic. Deep Space Nine is unique. Instead of focusing on galactic voyages, it is more about the political conflicts and strategic diplomacy around the control of the Deep Space Nine space station.
Worse Than The Original: 24: Legacy (24)
Sometimes the network ends up being dumb’ deaf, and blind to logic. 24: Legacy replaced Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer with Corey Hawkins’ Eric Carter. It started out strong but fizzled in the end. 24: Legacy has the lowest rating in the entire 24 franchise.
Better Than the Original: Family Matters (Perfect Strangers)
Jo Marie Payton played the elevator operator for the Chicago Chronicle in Perfect Strangers. fans loved her so much she bagged her own show – the super cult-classic Family Matters. Running for nine seasons, the show became a much greater success story than the original series.
Worse Than the Original: The Lone Gunmen (The X-Files)
Mulder’s trio of conspiracy nuts got their own series. But the show only ran for a mere 13 episodes. It proved that without a strong lead, even a series based on the legendary X-Files would fail.
Better Than the Original: Frasier (Cheers)
Kelsey Grammar starred as Frasier, the titular radio show shrink. The show ran for 11 seasons, won multiple awards, and garnered near universal acclaim to the point it is considered a much better show than the original.