Category: 

What is a TV Spinoff?

A TV.
TV spinoffs lure viewers with beloved characters from existing shows.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The oldest known tortoise is 182 years old, and is believed by scientists to be the oldest living land creature.  more...

November 23 ,  1936 :  The modern version of "Life" magazine published its firs  more...

A TV spinoff is a television show that takes either a character from another show, or similar plot structures and the same fictional universe, to create a new program. The true TV spinoff tends to work on the former premise, and numerous good TV spinoff examples have arisen, especially in sitcoms, from previous shows. For example, one of the most successful TV spinoff sitcoms was the show Frasier, which took the character Frasier Crane from the immensely popular show Cheers.

The new show has to be as good or better than its original show in order to be a success. Frasier was just that. Instead of simply relying on the character of Frasier, played by Kelsey Grammar, the new show boasted an incredible cast. In particular the performance of David Hyde Pierce as Frasier’s brother Niles, became one of the main reasons to watch this TV spinoff. The interplay between Frasier and Niles was excellent, accounting for numerous comic moments.

Sometimes a hugely successful show can launch a true TV spinoff that is not a success. The wildly popular sitcom Friends inspired the sitcom Joey. Unfortunately, Joey was not as tightly written or directed as Friends and quickly lost most of the original show’s audience.

Ad

Other shows that have contributed to one successful TV spinoff or more, include the following:

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Rotergirl
Post 2

Here's one you might not remember. "Diff'rent Strokes" spun off "Hello Larry" and "The Facts of Life." I think you're right, Pippinwhite: spin offs used to be more frequent than they are now, and they're usually comedies.

Even if I didn't like the original show, I'll often check out a spinoff, just to see if it's any better. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I always liked "The Jeffersons" more than "All in the Family." "All in the Family" was a little too "relevant" for me. But most network TV is hardly worth watching these days, anyway. There are a few good shows on, but most of it is just garbage.

Pippinwhite
Post 1

When I saw the title of this article, I immediately thought of "Frasier" and how much more I liked it than "Cheers." I loved "Frasier" and rarely missed an episode. Sometimes, the spinoffs are better, and this is one case when they were.

"Happy Days" spun off "Laverne and Shirley," and more indirectly, "Mork and Mindy."

It seems like spinoffs used to be more common than they are now. You see them occasionally, but it's more common for a show to run completely past any humor ("Two and a Half Men") rather than spinoff and maybe come up with something else that's good.

Also, comedies seem more apt to spin off than dramas, although that can happen. "Knots Landing" was a spinoff of "Dallas."

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email