TV Spinoffs

My friend and I heard that the character Joey from Friends might be getting his own sitcom. This launched us into an enthralling conversation about TV spinoffs and how they’re never successful. We challenged ourselves to come up with some, and at the time we couldn’t. We placed the restriction that it had to be from the last 20 years or so, and that Joanie Loves Chachi doesn’t count. Eventually, we came up with Frasier and A Different World.

We’re convinced there are more out there, but what are they??

Mork & Mindy was a spin-off from Happy Days that enjoyed some success.

Benson was a very successful spinoff of Soap.

Laverne & Shirley came out of Happy Days. So did Mork & Mindy.

The Jeffersons came out of All in the Family. And Good Times came out of the Jeffersons.

That’s just off the top of my head.

Zev Steinhardt

Good Times came from Maude; Maude was a spinoff of All in the Family.

Happy Days was a spinoff of Love American Style

Lou Grant came from The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Thanks. But one of the qualifiers was that it has to be of the last 20 years. So the spinoff would have to air sometime from 1983 forward. See, we’re pretty young (23), and we don’t much care about anything that happened prior to our birth. And we weren’t really watching primetime TV until 1986ish, so anything after then would be even better.

King of the Hill and Daria were both something of a spinoff from Beavis and Butthead.

And of course all Star Trek’s are pretty much (if not officially) spinoffs of every other Star Trek.

All the Law & Order shows

I hope you just mean TV wise.

Spinoff = Something derived from an earlier work, such as a television show starring a character who had a popular minor role in another show.

In this regard, I don’t know if all those Law and Order shows would count, because there are no common characters. On the other hand, the format of all the L&O shows is certainly derived from the original. And King of the Hill, isn’t that only similar to B&B because Mike Judge did both?

So far Daria is the only answer I like. And I just don’t care about things prior to my birth related to this particular question, I am quite interested in all other aspects.

Angel the Series, off Buffy the Vampire Slayer, off Buffy the Movie.

I’d have to say that King of the Hill develops strongly off themes expressed in B&B.

Xena off Hercules, off the Hercules TV movies off the classic Hercules movies.

Animated, there’s JLA off Superman/Batman Adventures off Superman Adventures off Batman Adventures off Batman: The Animated Series.

Tiny Toons off Looney Toons,

Muppet Babies off the Muppet Show. I don’t know how successful you can call the Muppet Show spinoffs, but they were certainly welcomed. Sesame Street, too.

60 Minutes II off 60 Minutes.

The doctor show with Richard Mulligan off Golden Girls.

Duh. Simpsons off Tracy Ullman Show.

I like Frasier alot, but Kelsey has been playing the same character for 20 years… is that a record? Isn’t he sick of it?

Dann Florek plays Donald Cragen on Law and Order SVU. He played the same part on the original Law and Order. That and cross-overs by some of the other L&O cast members makes it a spinoff in my book.

Hank Hill may not technically be a spinoff of Beavis and Butthead, but he did show up in Beavis and Butthead Do America. So does a TV character spunoff of a movie spunoff from another TV show count?

I think to be a spinoff, the character on which the spinoff is based has to have been developed as part of the root show.

For instance, Mork was featured as part of the Happy days plot (a really stupid one as I recall, I think they planted him there for the sake of spinning him off.) anyway, he then took his character to colorado and his own show. Same character, different situation, same delightful comedy.

Frasier is another gleaming example, as is the Jeffersons.

Tiny toons were never on the loony toons, the muppet babies were never on the muppet show,
and although it’s a fine show in it’s own right, No character on King of the hill was featured in Beavis and Butthead. Although Hank Hill has the same voice as Anderson; maybe that’s where

And The simpsons, I don’t think count either because they were animated short features of the Tracy Ullman show, but they were not characters created by Tracy Ullman.
But maybe, because Hank Azaria does some of the voices for the simpsons, and was a player on the Tracy Ullman show, I’m not sure if it counts if like Matt Groening was a writer for Ullman HMMM… anyone know about that?

I still think that in order for it to be a spinoff, it would have to have been about a recurring sketch, like Mama’s Family was to The Carol Burnett Show.

Both Dan Castellaneta (Homer) and Judy Kavner (Marge) were regulars on Tracy Ullman and were called upon to voice the Simpson’s shorts (OTOH, Azaria did not appear as a regular on Ullman). Further, Groening was hired to create the cartoon specifically as part of the Ullman show (similar to the lesser known “Dr. N!Godatu” cartoons on the show) . It became popular and was turned into a series. It’s definitely a spinoff.

James Arness played Matt Dillon for 20 years, too.

“Time of Your Life” spun off from “Party of Five.”

greck, thanks. You’ve hit a lot of the points that I think are key but didn’t want to point out lest everyone think that my rules were too picky for anyone to have a successful answer. But clearly I can make the rules, since I made the question, right?

And Bricker, I thought of that too, but then I also thought about how that show stunk on ice and wasn’t on for very long, so dismissed it as an unsuccessful spinoff.

“Facts of Life” spun out of “Diff’rent Strokes”. Is that recent enough for you?