List of media spin-offs

In media, a spin-off[1] (or spinoff[2]) is a radio program, television program, video game, film, or any narrative work, derived from already existing works that focus on more details and different aspects from the original work (e.g. particular topics, characters or events).

In televisionEdit

Name changes or retoolingsEdit

Supporting character getting own show (during run)Edit

  • Angel was a spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, based on the character of Angel. The series ran for five seasons.
  • Private Practice was a spin-off of Grey's Anatomy, recounting the life of Dr. Addison Montgomery. The spin-off itself, introducing the show's cast, was set up during a season three episode of Grey's Anatomy. The series ran for six seasons.
  • All in the Family is responsible for several spin-offs. Maude and The Jeffersons both featured characters that began on All in the Family. Good Times was later spun off from Maude, making it the first spin-off of a spin-off.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show spun off Rhoda, Phyllis and Lou Grant based on supporting characters, as well as several unsuccessful series pilots and one TV movie.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys begat two spin-offs: Young Hercules, which relates the adventures of Hercules during his teenage years, and Xena: Warrior Princess which eventually outlasted its parent program.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard spun off TV series Enos starring Deputy Enos Strate. He was invited to Los Angeles to join a special police team after he had caught two infamous criminals in Hazzard. The series was canceled after one season and the character returned to The Dukes of Hazzard.
  • The British animated series Count Duckula was a spin-off of Danger Mouse and featured an anthropomorphic vampire duck named Count Duckula (a loose parody of Count Dracula).
  • The series A Different World, a spin-off from The Cosby Show, was originally created as a vehicle for Lisa Bonet's character, Denise Huxtable. In an unusual turn of events, even though Bonet was written out of A Different World after the first season and returned to The Cosby Show, A Different World continued – and thrived – for another five seasons without her.
  • The series Diff'rent Strokes spun off in 1979 one of NBC's longest running sitcoms, The Facts of Life, where Philip Drummond's housekeeper, Edna Garrett (played by Charlotte Rae), became housemother and dietitian in all-female boarding school called Eastland. Rae's character was very popular at the time and, at the end of the first season, she got her own show that lasted nine years, while the original series ended in 1986. At first, Rae didn't want to leave a hit series, so she got a deal that she could come back if the spinoff didn't last; but the show was renewed for a second season, so Mrs. Garrett was replaced by Adelaide Brubaker (Nedra Volz) first and by Pearl Gallagher (Mary Jo Catlett) then. She only made one guest appearance after four years from her departure.
  • The Ropers was spun off from Three's Company. At the end of the third season, landlords Stanley and Helen Roper sold their apartment building and moved in another house in Cheviot Hills. Norman Fell and Audra Lindley got a deal that, if the spinoff didn't last, they could go back to the original series. The show was canceled at the end of its second season, only a few days after the deal expired, and the Ropers made only one guest appearance after two years from their departure on Three's Company, where they were replaced by Don Knotts, as new landlord Ralph Furley.
  • The only daytime soap opera to spin off a primetime soap is As the World Turns. In 1965, the producers capitalized on the popularity of the character Lisa Miller Hughes and created a limited-run show for her character, called Our Private World. A year after the nighttime show ended, Eileen Fulton, Lisa's portrayer, returned to ATWT, where she remained until the soap's cancellation in 2010.
  • Trapper John, M.D. was another spin-off from the movie MASH. When sued by the makers of the series M*A*S*H, the makers of Trapper John demonstrated in court that it was derived from the movie rather than the series.
  • The long-running BBC series Doctor Who is the show with the most spun off media, most of which concern supporting characters, although a few are simply set in the same fictional universe. The first, in 1981, was an unsuccessful pilot featuring Sarah Jane Smith, called K-9 and Company. The company Reeltime produced a series of short films, beginning with Wartime in 1987 and going on to include Downtime, Mindgame and several others. The independent production company BBV, on their part, produced and released a series of movies based on the series including the P.R.O.B.E. series, Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans, the Auton trilogy, Cyberon and others (they also produced a range of audio spin-offs). In 2006 the BBC launched another spin-off, Torchwood, aimed at a more adult audience and featuring Captain Jack Harkness from the revived series. The Sarah Jane Adventures was more child-oriented than Doctor Who and produced after a BBC request for a Young Doctor Who series was felt to be inappropriate by the makers of the programme, and was influenced by a deal struck with the makers of yet another spin-off, K-9, which also used the character in question and ran from 2009 to 2010. In 2016, another spin-off, Class, ran for a single series, debuting online before being broadcast on the main BBC network.
  • The reality show Trauma: Life in the E.R. spawned two additional reality shows in the early 2000s from a set of Trauma episodes shot at New Orleans: Charity Hospital, Paramedics and Code Blue New Orleans.
  • Kinnikuman spun off Tatakae!! Ramenman, which depicts Ramenman in his native country of China. However it is not the same Ramenman as in the series and is instead an ancestor of the main Ramenman.
  • The Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert received his own show The Colbert Report, a parody of shows like The O'Reilly Factor.
  • Family Guy supporting character Cleveland Brown was given his own show called The Cleveland Show.
  • The Andy Griffith Show is an example of several different types of spin-offs. The show itself was a semi-spin-off of The Danny Thomas Show, through a backdoor pilot episode in which Thomas' character was stopped by Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) for speeding in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina. When The Andy Griffith Show proved successful, the supporting character of Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) was spun off into Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Finally, when Griffith left the show in 1968, it was re-tooled for three more seasons as Mayberry R.F.D.
  • When Lauren Conrad left the reality series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, she began a new reality series The Hills, which in turn spawned The City when Whitney Port moved to New York.
  • Family Matters is a spinoff of Perfect Strangers. Carl Winslow, the main character of Family Matters, was featured in an episode of Perfect Strangers. His wife Harriet Winslow was a regular cast member as the elevator operator in Perfect Strangers.
  • Ravenswood is a spin-off to the popular series Pretty Little Liars. The show focused on the character Caleb Rivers is moving to Ravenswood. Only lasted one season, the character returned to the former show's fifth season.
  • The Originals is a spin-off to the fantasy series The Vampire Diaries focusing on the former supporting characters Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson.
  • The supporting character Buster from the children's TV show Arthur got a spin-off series with 2003's Postcards from Buster.
  • Dil Boley Oberoi, an Indian soap opera is a spin-off of the television series Ishqbaaaz which focused on the characters Omkara and Rudra from the original series. Within few months, the spin-off merged with the parent series Ishqbaaaz.
  • Kundali Bhagya, an Indian spin-off soap opera of Kumkum Bhagya, focuses on the story of Preeta and Shrishti.
  • Yeh Rishte Hain Pyaar Ke is a spin-off series, which focuses on the supporting character Mishti from one of the longest running Indian soap opera Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai.
  • The Casagrandes is a spin-off of the hit Nickelodeon series The Loud House. It is focused on the new lives of Bobby and Ronnie Anne Santiago as they move in with their extended family.
  • Pearson is an upcoming spin-off of Suits centered around character Jessica Pearson as she embarks on a new journey in the political world of Chicago after being disbarred in New York City.

Supporting character getting own show (after original series ended)Edit

Shows from segments/episodes of anthology seriesEdit

TV franchisesEdit

Spin-offs of Internet propertiesEdit

In filmEdit

In video gamesEdit

Spin-offs frequently occur in video games.

In comicsEdit

Supporting characters in comic books, who then got their own titles, include:

In novelsEdit

20th centuryEdit

21st centuryEdit

See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ For examples:
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