"What shows begat what shows"
Ever since the days of the Bible, people, places
and things have been "begetting" the heck out of
themselves. So, it's no surprise that TV series
would eventually get around to it as well.
This section compiles all series that produced
spin-offs (for example, sequels, prequels, TV
reunion specials, TV-Movies and Feature Films)
based on TV Programs Broadcast from the 1940s to
In the purest sense, most people think of a
"spin-off" as a series that featured a recurring
character who was so loved or enjoyed by others
that the producer of the original series decided
to give that character their own TV program.
good example is the TV series CHEERS that
spun-off psychiatrist Frasier Crane into his own
series Frasier. But sometimes, just an idea
presented on one occasion becomes popular and a
series is born.
Take, for instance, the sitcom
HAPPY DAYS which itself spawned four primetime
spin-offs. This show got its start as an episode
of LOVE AMERICAN STYLE.
An other form of
spin-off occurs when a character from a TV
show like SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE spins-off a
feature film like The Coneheads (1993) or The
Blues Brothers (1980).
Still another series like TWIN PEAKS (1990)
spawns a feature film like Twin Peaks: Fire
Walk With Me (1992) whose storyline begins
before the original TV series storyline began (a
And finally, a theatrically released film such
as Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (1992)
spins-off an equally popular TV series of the
So the term spin-off can be used to describe a
number of situations. And not to forget, a
"sequel" continues the storyline of a TV
For example, a well-loved series like I DREAM OF
JEANNIE (1965) returned to TV in the form of a
Reunion TV-Movie I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years
And the STAR TREK series successfully spun-off a
number of "sequel" feature films (for example
Star Trek: The Movie (1979); Star Trek:
The Wrath of Khan (1982); Star Trek III:
Search for Spock (1984); Star Trek IV:
The Voyage Home (1986), etc.
In general, this section pulls together all such
related instances, whether it be a spin-off, a
sequel, a prequel, a Reunion special, a TV-Movie
or a Feature Film.
The left hand column contains
"The Original Series" category; the column to
the right lists all of the "Spin-offs & Sequels"
derived from the "The Original Series."
( * ) indicates a program that predates the
start of the original series, such as a TV-Movie
Pilot for the series or a Feature Film that
inspired the TV show. Use www.imdb.com for more
information about the TV shows in this section
With the exception of all the TV
shows which were spun-off from existing radio
programs of the times, Comedian Jackie Gleason
claims the credit for TVs earliest spin-off.
loudmouth bus driver character, Ralph Kramden
first appeared in the fall of 1951 on a series
of "Honeymooner" sketches on the variety show
CAVALCADE OF STARS/DUM/1949-52 which became THE
JACKIE GLEASON SHOW/CBS/1952-1970. Then in 1955,
the sketch became a half-hour sitcom known as
The second show to
become a spin-off of an existing series was PETE
AND GLADYS/CBS/1960-62. Its main character Pete
Porter (Harry Morgan) was a regular on DECEMBER
BRIDE/CBS/1954-60 who constantly complained
about his unseen wife (played by Cara Williams
on the spin-off).
THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW
followed suit as the third runner up in the
spin-off hall of fame. It was a spin-off from
THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW based on an episode
wherein Danny Thomas was driving too fast in a
small rural town and got pulled over and
eventually put in jail by a friendly, law
abiding local sheriff (played by Andy Griffith).
The first TV spin-off from a "website" (MoneyWatchTV.com)
debuted on the PAX network in
2000. MONEYWATCHTV.COM aired
Monday-Friday. It aimed at making families
"smart" about finances.
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