Like their big screen brethren—i.e. the common sequel—TV spinoffs bear a similar burden of low expectation. Indeed, the worst examples come off as little more than formulaic cash grabs that try to capitalize on the iconography and success of their predecessors. As one will soon discover, however, there are definite exceptions to the rule. After all, who can argue with the enduring charms and unique rewards of shows such as “Frasier” or “The Jeffersons,” both of which were spinoffs?
Meanwhile, the very concept of a spinoff can get slightly complicated in today’s expansive cultural climate. Take something like “The Archie Show,” for example. Based on a comic book series, it debuted in 1968 and inspired a number of direct spinoffs. But do modern-day vehicles such as “Riverdale” and “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”—both of which feature Archie characters—technically count as spinoffs of the original animated series? Then there’s a show like “Good Times,” a spinoff of “Maude,” which is a spinoff of “All in the Family.” Does that mean “Good Times” is also a spinoff of “All in the Family?”
Stacker dug into TV history and identified 10 shows that have inspired multiple spinoffs. For the sake of comprehension, any series that could be tied to an original predecessor was counted as a spinoff. Movies, one-off TV specials, and webisodes were not included. In some cases, the spinoff became a smash hit of its own. In others, it quickly faded into obscurity. No matter what its fate, each one expanded upon the universe of an iconic predecessor and thereby broadened the TV landscape at large.
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