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The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s 

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Updated November 25, 2018 1.2k votes 191 voters 4.2k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the best spinoff series that aired in the '80s

The '80s are widely considered a golden age of TV. From great sitcoms to inventive late-night variety shows, the 1980s really changed television forever. But not to be forgotten in all of that great TV are the tremendous spin-offs that premiered in the '80s. These are the best1980s spin-offs, ranked from best to worst by TV fanatics. Some of these shows expand the universe and continue the journey of fan-favorite characters from their predecessors, while other great 1980s spin-offs on this list merely take place in the same location as the show they're based on. 

What are some of the series that you'll find on this list of1980s spin-offs list? After appearing in popular segments on The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons were given their own series in 1989. This great spin-off holds many titles including the longest-running sitcom and the longest-running animated program in America. Mork & Mindy is another good spin-off that aired in the 1980s.

A Different World followed The Cosby Show character, Denise Huxtable, as she went off to college. Other great shows on this top '80s spin-offs list include The Jeffersons, The Facts of Life, and Muppet Babies.

What is the best 80s spinoff? Be sure to vote up your favorites and see if other Ranker users agree with you!
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list ordered by
1
Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

Premiered: 1974

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

Spin-off of Love, American Style (1969–1974). 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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#375 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #15 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

2
The Jeffersons is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs

Premiered: 1975

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of All in the Family (1971–1979). 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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#65 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #198 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

3
Laverne & Shirley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander

Premiered: 1976

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Happy Days (1974–1984). 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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#61 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #87 of 295 The Best Duos of All Timelisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

4
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

Premiered: 1989

Genres (Tv): Animation, Television comedy, Comedy, Family Film

Spin-off of The Tracey Ullman Show (1987–1990). The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the ...more

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The Best Fake Words From The Simpsons #27 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

5
Mork & Mindy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Ralph James

Premiered: 1978

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

Spin-off of Happy Days (1974–1984). 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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#47 of 302 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #51 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #84 of 295 The Best Duos of All Time

6
Family Matters is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Reginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White, Kellie Shanygne Williams

Premiered: 1989

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Perfect Strangers (1986–1993). 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? #192 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

7
The Facts of Life is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn

Premiered: 1979

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Drama, Comedy

Spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986). 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' #547 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

8
Mama's Family is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Vicki Lawrence, Beverly Archer, Ken Berry

Premiered: 1983

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1978). 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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#487 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #118 of 446 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time #148 of 298 The Best Female-Led TV Shows

9
Star Trek: The Next Gene... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

Premiered: 1987

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

Spin-off of Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969). 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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14 Small But Fascinating Details Fans Noticed About Star Trek: The Next Generation #89 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

10
Benson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Robert Guillaume, James Noble, Inga Swenson

Premiered: 1979

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Soap (1977–1981). Benson is an American television sitcom which aired from September 13, 1979, to April 19, 1986, on ABC. The series was a spin-off from the soap opera parody Soap; however, Benson discarded the ...more

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#117 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #150 of 446 The Funniest TV Shows of All Timelisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

11
Muppet Babies is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Greg Berg, Katie Leigh, Laurie O'Brien

Premiered: 1984

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series

Spin-off of The Muppet Show (1976–1981). Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, commonly known by the shortened title Muppet Babies, is an American animated television series that aired from September 15, 1984 to November 2, 1991 on CBS. The show ...more

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#38 of 364 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #137 of 485 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #139 of 663 The Best Cartoons of All Time

12
A Different World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Lisa Bonet, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy

Premiered: 1987

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of The Cosby Show (1984–1992). A Different World (NBC, 1987) is an American sitcom created by Bill Cosby, and a spin-off of The Cosby Show. A group of students struggles to make it through college as they attend a renowned ...more

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#234 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #358 of 446 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time #44 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

13
Three's Company is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers

Premiered: 1977

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Three's Company is an American sitcom that aired from March 15, 1977 to September 18, 1984 on ABC. It is based on the British sitcom Man About the House. The story revolves around three single ...more

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#171 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #30 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

14
Empty Nest is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Richard Mulligan, Dinah Manoff, David Leisure

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Drama

Spin-off of The Golden Girls (1985–1992). Empty Nest is an American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from 1988 to 1995. The series was created as a spin-off of The Golden Girls by creator and producer Susan Harris. For its first ...more

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#344 of 507 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #138 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

15
Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins

Premiered: 1981

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Drama

Dynasty (ABC, 1981) is an American prime time television soap opera created by Richard and Esther Shapiro. The trials and tribulations of two feuding families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, ...more

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#301 of 507 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #45 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Showslisted on Longest Running US Soap Operas

16
Enos is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
John Dehner, Sonny Shroyer, John Milford

Premiered: 1980

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Action

Enos is an American television series from the 1980–1981 season that aired on the CBS network. A spinoff of The Dukes of Hazzard, Enos focused on the adventures of Enos Strate, a former ...more
17
What's Happening Now!! ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Martin Lawrence, Fred Berry, Anne-Marie Johnson

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of What's Happening!! (1976–1979). What's Happening Now!! is an American television situation comedy that serves as a sequel series to the 1970s sitcom What's Happening!!, focusing on its main characters as adults. The show ran ...more
18
Count Duckula is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
David Jason, Ruby Wax, Jimmy Hibbert

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Animated series

Spin-off of Danger Mouse (1981–1992). Count Duckula is a British children's animated comedy-drama horror television series created by British studio Cosgrove Hall as a spin-off from Danger Mouse, a series in which the Count Duckula ...more
19
Just the Ten of Us is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Just the Ten of Us Bill Kirchenbauer, Deborah Harmon, Heather Langenkamp

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Growing Pains (1985–1992). Just the Ten of Us is an American sitcom starring stand-up comedian Bill Kirchenbauer as Coach Graham Lubbock, a teacher and the head of a large Catholic family with eight children living in ...more

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#183 of 202 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #496 of 544 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #468 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

20
She-Ra: Princess of Powe... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Melendy Britt, George DiCenzo, John Erwin

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Action, Fantasy

Spin-off of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983–1985). She-Ra: Princess of Power is an American animated television series produced in 1985 by Filmation. It is a spinoff of Filmation's highly successful He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series, ...more

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#113 of 364 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #198 of 485 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #370 of 663 The Best Cartoons of All Time

21
Joanie Loves Chachi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Scott Baio, Erin Moran, Al Molinaro

Premiered: 1982

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Spin-off of Happy Days (1974–1984). Joanie Loves Chachi is an American television spin-off of the American sitcom Happy Days that was originally broadcast on ABC from March 23, 1982 to May 24, 1983. It stars Erin Moran and Scott ...more

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#633 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #104 of 121 The Best TV Spinoffs #2 of 80 The Worst TV Spin-Offs

22
Degrassi Junior High is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Pat Mastroianni, Stefan Brogren, Duncan Waugh

Premiered: 1987

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Teen drama, Drama, Children's television series

Spin-off of The Kids of Degrassi Street (1979–1986).
23
Checking In is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Ruth Brown, Marla Gibbs, Robert Costanzo

Premiered: 1981

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Checking In is an American sitcom that aired on CBS in April 1981. The series is a spin-off of The Jeffersons, which itself had spun off from All in the Family.
24
Day by Day is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Thora Birch

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

Spin-off of Family Ties (1982–1989). Day by Day is an American sitcom starring Douglas Sheehan, Linda Kelsey, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Courtney Thorne-Smith, and Thora Birch. Day by Day was telecast from ...more

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#121 of 121 The Best TV Spinoffs #364 of 510 The Best Shows of the 1980s, Ranked

25
AfterMASH is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s
Rosalind Chao, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan

Premiered: 1983

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

AfterMASH is an American situation comedy that aired on CBS from September 26, 1983, to May 31, 1985. A spin-off of the series M*A*S*H, the show takes place immediately following the end of the ...more

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#81 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows #105 of 121 The Best TV Spinoffs #4 of 80 The Worst TV Spin-Offs