Many directors have been lured by the opportunity to extend their hit TV series to a spin-off. But not everyone was successful in capitalizing on it. A spin-off definitely comes with the added advantage of riding on an established brand name. Apart from the pros, it also runs the risk of being compared to the original show. Not every spin-off, reboot, or sequel can meet the bar set by its predecessor. That’s why we must celebrate and acknowledge the shows that went against all odds and retained the popularity of the franchise. It doesn’t happen that often in Hollywood. So, here are the 10 best TV series spin-offs of your favourite shows. In fact, some of them were more triumphant than the original ones.
Every TV series fanatic knows about “Boston Legal”. But did you know that it is a spinoff show? The wild traction of the legal drama overshadowed the series it originated from. It hails from the long-running show “The Practice” and its starring characters were introduced in the eighth season.
Remember the time when vampire romances were a thing? The world had witnessed a huge shift from fairytales to passionate vampire love stories. One of the most popular shows to spark this fire was “The Vampire Diaries”. Apart from Stephan, Elena, and Damon, even the villains of TVD were in strong demand. The showrunners tapped on the mystery surrounding the invincible Originals and built a show on them. In fact, many TVD fans ended up growing fonder of “The Originals” for its action, thriller, and compelling plot. But a family of fans watched it only for Klaus. And I am one of them.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Anyone who has watched Larry David’s cynical show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” couldn’t curb their laughter. It got immense praises from the critics and audience. Do you know where does this show originate from? Even though the sarcastic sitcom isn’t a direct spinoff like other series mentioned, it comes from “Seinfeld” that followed the same theme- a close look at a comedian’s life.
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
The “Law and Order” is the mother of countless spin-offs. But the producers aren’t proud of all of them. Some were epic failures and ended before they could reach more people, while others turned to be bigger than the original. “Special Victims Unit” was a lucky strike that scored more viewership and revenue than the first show. It still airs on TV and is running on its 22nd season.
“Star Trek” is considered as one of the titans of Hollywood because of how “The Next Generation” brought out the franchise. “The Original Series”, starring William Shatner’s Captain Kirk and Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, is a gem that no one can replace. Patrick Stewart’s “The Next Generation” had big shoes to fill and succeeded in meeting the benchmark.
The mysterious aura of Walter White’s lawyer, Saul Goodman, in “Breaking Bad” called for a standalone show on him. Vince Gilligan incorporated his signature style of narration and cinematography in the prequel “Better Call Saul” to focus on Saul’s character development. This show features a con-artist, Jimmy McGill who becomes an attorney before finally giving in to his morally challenged alter-ego Saul Goodman, a criminal lawyer.
The legendary animated-comedy “The Simpsons” is older than most of us. It made its debut in 1989 and is on its 32nd season today. This timeless piece has been the choice of many generations over the years. It was first introduced in “The Tracy Ullman Show” shorts, “Good Night” in 1987. The positive reception encouraged the showrunners to give it a chance.
Sometimes a reboot becomes such a big hit that fans don’t recognize it as a reboot. Not many know that crime-drama, NCIS, originated from the lesser-known JAG. But we do know that the popularity of NCIS gave birth to more reboot such as “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.
The beloved character, Harriette, an elevator operator, was a seed that was planted in “Perfect Strangers” for the reboot, “Family Matters”. Jo Marie Payton’s impressive acting showed enough potential to star in her own show. It introduced more fascinating characters that captured the audience’ heart.
“Frasier” was an extension of the beloved sitcom “Cheers” where people with different backstories shared their experiences while drinking at the titular bar. Its positive reception encouraged the producers to make a spin-off featuring the supporting characters. The sitcom focused on the titular psychiatrist, Frasier’s life after he moved to Seattle to work as a radio psychiatrist. It ran for 11 seasons like “Cheers” and earned many awards and recognitions along the way.