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The Best TV Spinoffs 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated May 27, 2020 34.8k votes 2.8k voters 95.6k views 118 items

List Rules Must be a spin off of a major television show.

What are the very best TV spin-offs in history? This list definitely includes many. Some of the best TV spin-off shows were, well, spun off of wildly successful sitcoms and dramas, allowing faithful viewers of the original shows the chance to learn more about some of the original characters. Spin-off shows don't always work (Joanie Loves Chachi, anyone?) but this list proves that lightning can strike once, or more rarely, twice! With news that FOX's Glee may get a spin-off (risky, but understandable given the show's success), we thought we'd take a closer look at some of the more memorable TV spin-offs over the years. Don't see your favorite on the list? Definitely add it!

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1
Ranker Video
1993

Actors: Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

Spin-off of Cheers

Frasier (NBC, 1993) is an American sitcom television series created by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee, and a spinoff of Cheers. After his divorce, psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane ...more

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These Fan Theories From 'Frasier' Are Pretty Wild - But They Could Be True #112 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

2
Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1974

Actors: Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Musical, Comedy, Family Film

Spin-off of Love, American Style

Happy Days is an American television sitcom that aired first-run from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life ...more

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#386 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #16 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

3
Star Trek: The Next Gene... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1987

Actors: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

Spin-off of Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry twenty-one years after the original Star Trek series debuted in 1966. Roddenberry, ...more

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Famous People You Didn't Know Were On 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' #91 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

4
Ranker Video
1975

Actors: Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of All in the Family

The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through July 2, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. The show was produced by the T.A.T. ...more

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#63 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #170 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciatelisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

5
Ranker Video
1960

Actors: Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of The Danny Thomas Show

The Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom, which originally ran on CBS from October 3, 1960 to April 1, 1968. The show, a semi-spin-off from an episode of The Danny Thomas Show, starred Andy ...more

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#18 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #8 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcomslisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

6
Mork & Mindy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1978

Actors: Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Ralph James

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

Spin-off of Happy Days

Mork & Mindy is an American sitcom broadcast from 1978 to 1982 on ABC. It stars Robin Williams as Mork, an extraterrestrial who comes to Earth from the planet Ork in a small, one-man ...more

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#51 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #52 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #82 of 457 The Best Duos of All Time

7
Ranker Video
1976

Actors: Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Happy Days

Laverne & Shirley is an American television sitcom that ran on ABC from January 27, 1976 to May 10, 1983. It starred Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, ...more

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#60 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #85 of 457 The Best Duos of All Timelisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

8
Ranker Video
1999

Actors: Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Live action, Legal drama, + more

Spin-off of Law & Order

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 1999) is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City. In the style of the original Law & Order, ...more

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The Best Law & Order SVU Guest Stars #61 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

9
Ranker Video
1999

Actors: David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

Genres (Tv): Supernatural drama, Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, Horror Film, + more

Spin-off of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer

Angel (The WB, 1999) is an American supernatural television series created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt, and a spin-off from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel (David ...more

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All Of The Behind-The-Scenes Drama From 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' And 'Angel' #135 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #11 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

10
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
ShelleyTemplar added 2003

Actors: Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Thriller, + more

Spin-off of JAG

NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more

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The Greatest Guest Stars on NCIS, Ranked #100 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #43 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

11
The Facts of Life is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1979

Actors: Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Drama, Comedy

Spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes

The Facts of Life is an American sitcom that originally ran on the NBC television network from August 24, 1979, to May 7, 1988, making it one of the longest running sitcoms of the 1980s. A ...more

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Surprising Behind-The-Scenes Drama On 'The Facts Of Life' #525 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

12
Xena: Warrior Princess ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1995

Actors: Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Comedy-drama, + more

Spin-off of  Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Xena: Warrior Princess is an American/New Zealand television series filmed in New Zealand. The series aired in syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001. The series was created in ...more

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16 Enchanting Facts About Xena: Warrior Princess Most Fans Don't Know #368 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #67 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

13
Ranker Video
1989

Actors: Reginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White, Kellie Shanygne Williams

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Perfect Strangers

Family Matters is an American sitcom which originated on ABC network from September 22, 1989 to May 9, 1997 and then aired on CBS network from September 19, 1997, to July 17, 1998. A spin-off of ...more

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The Family Matters Cast: Where Are They Now? #93 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

14
Green Acres is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1965

Actors: Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor, Tom Lester

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Petticoat Junction

Green Acres is an American sitcom starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor as a couple who move from New York City to a rural country farm. Produced by Filmways as a sister show to Petticoat ...more

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#496 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #212 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Timelisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

15
Pinky and the Brain is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
MatthewCoy added 1995

Actors: Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille

Genres (Tv): Animation, Satire, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Comedy, + more

Spin-off of Animaniacs

Pinky and the Brain is an American animated television series. It was the first animated television series to be presented in Dolby Surround and the fourth collaboration of Steven Spielberg with ...more

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#12 of 372 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #29 of 731 The Best Cartoons of All Time #109 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time

16
Good Times is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1974

Actors: BernNadette Stanis, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Maude

Good Times is an American sitcom that originally aired from February 8, 1974, until August 1, 1979, on CBS. It was created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, and developed by Norman Lear, the series' ...more

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#506 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #274 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #43 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms

17
The Colbert Report is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
2005

Actors: Stephen Colbert, Jay Katsir, Jon Stewart

Genres (Tv): Satire, Talk show, News, Parody, Comedy, + more

Spin-off of The Daily Show

The Colbert Report is an American late-night talk and news satire television program hosted by Stephen Colbert that aired on Comedy Central from October 17, 2005 to December 18, 2014 for 1,447 ...more

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#572 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #136 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #675 of 683 The Scariest Threats to the United States

18
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1964

Actors: Jim Nabors, William Christopher, Allan Melvin, Ted Bessell, Larry Hovis, + more

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Military, Comedy

Spin-off of The Andy Griffith Show

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is an American situation comedy that originally aired on CBS from September 25, 1964, to May 2, 1969. The series was a spin-off of The Andy Griffith Show, and the pilot ...more

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#112 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #98 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcomslisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

19
Mama's Family is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1983

Actors: Vicki Lawrence, Beverly Archer, Ken Berry

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of The Carol Burnett Show 

Mama's Family is an American television sitcom starring Vicki Lawrence as Thelma Harper. The series is a spin-off of a recurring series of comedy sketches on The Carol Burnett Show and Carol ...more

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#494 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #105 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #99 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

20
The Bionic Woman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
1976

Actors: Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Christopher Stone, Martin E. Brooks

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

Spin-off of The Six Million Dollar Man

The Bionic Woman is an American television series starring Lindsay Wagner that aired for three seasons between 1976 and 1978 as a spin-off from The Six Million Dollar Man. Wagner stars as tennis ...more

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#95 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #29 of 291 The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season #488 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

21
Ranker Video
1972

Actors: Bea Arthur, Bill Macy, Conrad Bain

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of All in the Family

Maude is an American television sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS network from September 12, 1972 until April 23, 1978. Maude stars Bea Arthur as Maude Findlay, an outspoken, ...more

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#759 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #339 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #85 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms

22
Boston Legal is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
2004

Actors: James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy, Legal drama, + more

Spin-off of The Practice

Boston Legal is an American legal dramedy created by David E. Kelley and produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ABC. The series aired from October 3, 2004, to December 8, ...more

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The Best Seasons of Boston Legal #190 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #109 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

23
Law & Order: Crimina... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
MatthewCoy added 2001

Actors: Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jamey Sheridan

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Live action, Legal

Spin-off of Law & Order

This show is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where it was also primarily produced. Created and produced by Dick Wolf and René Balcer, the ...more

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#153 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #21 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

24
Star Trek: Deep Space Ni... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Spinoffs
ryanmcw added 1993

Actors: Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton

Genres (Tv): Military science fiction, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, + more

Spin-off of Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. The show is set in the Milky Way galaxy, in the years 2369–2375. In contrast to the setting of ...more

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#186 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #9 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Timelisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

25
Ranker Video
2006

Actors: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Crime, Drama, Adventure film, Action, + more

Spin-off of Doctor Who

Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. A spin-off from the 2005 revival of long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who, Torchwood aired ...more

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#240 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #25 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #54 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time