From the earliest days of television, there were spin-offs. Series that featured characters who started on one series and then graduated to a series of their own. Even The Andy Griffith Show began as an episode of Make Room for Daddy (a.k.a. The Danny Thomas Show).
Over the decades there have been good, hit TV series spun off previous ones, such as Frasier coming from Cheers. Of course there have been rather disappointing ones that flopped, like Joey coming from Friends. But naturally we tend to remember the ones that we liked best. Ones that made themselves a part of our appointment viewing, just as the parent series did.
I’ve listed some original series and then the popular spin-offs. And as you’ll see in some cases, the spin-off itself produced a spin-off or two.
All in the Family Maude
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Angel
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CSI: Miami CSI: New York
Doctor Who Torchwood
The Sarah Jane Adventures
Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice
Happy Days Mork & Mindy
Law & Order Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Law & Order: Trial by Jury Law & Order: U K
JAG: Judge Advocate General NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigation Service NCIS: L.A.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Rhoda
The Six Million Dollar Man The Bionic Woman
Star Trek Star Trek: the Next Generation Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager Enterprise
Stargate: SG1 Stargate: Atlantis Stargate: Universe
There’s no doubt that the television industry will continue this tradition. The Closer will close out its run this summer, but the story will continue in a slightly altered version with Major Crimes. It’s like hit movies spawning sequels, prequels, and reboots. In fact, there are some TV reboots being planned right now, probably inspired by the successful reworking of Battlestar Galactica into a darker, more dangerous version, also titled Battlestar Galactica. There’s even a new version of The Munsters in the works.
In fact, I confess that there’s a spin-off I’d like to happen. Like Raj’s parents on The Big Bang Theory. It’d be fun to see more of them.
Are there any favorites I missed? Or any remakes or reboots you’d like to see?