Special Report

27 Best TV Spinoffs

Detailed findings and methodology: 

Television spinoffs generally follow a side character from the parent series or concentrate on a specific story line from the original series. While there are some notable exceptions on the list – such as “The Colbert Report,” which is based on a character that Stephen Colbert developed on “The Daily Show” – the majority meet these criteria.

Spinoffs of children’s shows are particularly popular and extremely successful. Children are drawn to the familiar. A number of such spinoffs appear on the list, including “Degrassi High,” “Beast Wars: Transformers,” and “The Bugs Bunny Show.”

While not all spinoffs are produced for children, one-third of those listed are animated. Animated shows generally aren’t restricted to keeping the same actors, and characters are not subject to aging as those in live action shows.

Spinoffs are also very popular overseas, especially in the United Kingdom. This is represented in the list, as eight of the 27 best spinoff shows come from the UK. Six of these are comedies, which frequently share characters with their parent shows.

To determine the best television spinoff shows, 24/7 Wall St. created a list of the top-rated spinoffs on the Internet Movie Database with at least 1,000 IMDb user ratings. To be considered a spinoff, a show must be connected to its original series through shared characters or a shared universe that is unique to the original. Series that are based on segments from variety or sketch shows – such as “The Simpsons,” which first appeared on “The Tracey Ullman Show” – were excluded from consideration. Rebooted versions of series – such as the episodes of “The Twilight Zone” that aired during the 1980s and then 2000s – were also excluded. Award wins and nominations come from IMDb.