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In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work (e.g. a particular topic, character, or event). A spin-off may be called a sidequel when it exists in the same chronological frame of time as its predecessor work. One of the earliest spin-offs of the modern media era, if not the first, happened in 1941 when the supporting character Throckmorton P. Guildersleeve from the old time radio comedy show Fibber McGee and Molly became the star of his own program The Great Guildersleeve (1941–1957).
In genre fiction, the term parallels the usage in television; it is usually meant to indicate a substantial change in narrative viewpoint and activity from that (previous) storyline based around the activities of the series' principal protagonist(s) and so is a shift to that action and overall narrative thread of some other protagonist(s), which now becomes the central or main thread (storyline) of the new sub-series. The new protagonist generally appears first as a minor or supporting character in the main story line within a given milieu, and it is very common for the previous protagonist to have a supporting or cameo role, at the least as a historical mention, in the new sub-series. Spin offs, sometimes generate their own spin-offs, leaving the new show only vaguely connected to the original series.
- 1 Examples of notable spin-offs
- 2 Related phenomena
- 3 See also
- 4 References
Examples of notable spin-offs
Name changes or retoolings
- The main character from All in the Family, Archie Bunker, continued in a retooled version of the series called Archie Bunker's Place, which then spun off Gloria, the story of the Bunker's now-divorced daughter.
- After The Golden Girls ended its run, due to star Bea Arthur's decision to leave the show, the other three stars—Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty—reprised their characters in a follow-up series entitled The Golden Palace. It lasted 24 episodes.
- After the seventh year of Da Vinci's Inquest, most of the main characters returned the next season for Da Vinci's City Hall. The new series carries over some of the same plot threads, the difference being a slight shift in themes that began in the last season of the original series. City Hall is sometimes even referred to as the eighth season of Inquest.
- Before the 11th season of M*A*S*H the seven principal cast members voted whether that season would be the series' last. Following the series' conclusion, the three actors to vote for continuation, William Christopher, Jamie Farr, and Harry Morgan, appeared in the post-war series AfterMASH, which lasted less than two complete seasons.
- The popular cartoon Batman: The Animated Series was brought back after cancellation with a new name and a new smoother animation style. The New Batman Adventures only lasted 24 episodes. It is later replaced by another spin-off Batman Beyond, lasted 52 episodes.
- The characters played by Lynda Bellingham and Julia Sawalha in the UK TV series Second Thoughts later reappeared in the series Faith in the Future.
- Six years after the British sitcom Are You Being Served? ended, a new series started up featuring five of the six cast members from the final season of the original show. The new show was entitled Grace & Favour (aired in the United States as Are You Being Served? Again!) and featured the characters from the original show transplanted into a new setting.
- After three series of the prison-based sit-com Porridge, the main character of Norman Stanley Fletcher was released from prison and the show was retooled as Going Straight. It sees Fletcher trying to re-emerge as a valued member of society, having vowed to stay away from crime on his release.
- At the end of its seventh season, Three's Company became Three's a Crowd following the marriage of Janet (Joyce DeWitt) and the departure of Terri (Priscilla Barnes). Jack (John Ritter) moves in with his girlfriend Vicky (Mary Cadorette) in an apartment above his restaurant, located in a building subsequently bought by her disapproving father (Robert Mandan). This development ended the gay ruse, with Mr. Furley (Don Knotts) taking credit for Jack's "conversion".
- The cult Nickelodeon hit cartoon franchise The Ren & Stimpy Show was retooled as Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon which aired on Spike TV and lasted only three episodes.
- After The Suite Life of Zack & Cody ended, the series was retooled as The Suite Life on Deck. It involves Zack Martin, Cody Martin, London Tipton and Mr. Moseby staying on a cruise ship.
- Having succeeded with Isa TKM, the original soap opera-like teen program from Nickelodeon Latin America, it has a spin-off named Isa TK+, with some of the same and new main characters, and new support characters.
- NCIS is a spin-off of JAG while NCIS: Los Angeles is a spinoff of NCIS.
- After season 9 of How I Met Your Mother, the writers of the show are producing a new show titled How I Met Your Dad.
Support character getting own show (during run)
- Angel was a spin-off 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, based around 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 and Phyllis, based on supporting characters, as well as several unsuccessful series pilots and one TV movie.
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys spun off Young Hercules, which relates the adventures of Hercules during his teenage years. And more notably, sister show Xena: Warrior Princess emerged from Hercules, eventually outlasting and out-rating its parent programme.
- 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 animated series Count Duckula was a spin-off of DangerMouse 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 only two daytime soap operas to spin off a primetime soap are As the World Turns and General Hospital. In 1965, the producers capitalized on the popularity of the character Lisa Miller Hughes and created a limited-run show around 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. General Hospital, from 1997-2003, had the spin-off soap, Port Charles that included the GH characters Lucy Coe, Kevin Collins, and Scott Baldwin.
- 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.
- By 2007, the long-running BBC series Doctor Who is the show with the most spun off media, with nine in total. The first, in 1981, was an unsuccessful pilot featuring Sarah Jane Smith, called K-9 and Company. Wartime (1987) is about the adventures of some of the UNIT personnel. The 1995 film Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans features one of Doctor Who's antagonist races, but for licensing reasons not the Doctor himself. In the 1990s, Reeltime distributed PROBE, a series of five made-for-video movies featuring Caroline John as her Pertwee-era character, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. BBC, on their part, produced and released a series of movies based on one of Dr. Who's villains: Auton, Auton 2: Sentinel and Auton 3. In 2006 the BBC launched another spin-off, Torchwood, aimed at a more adult audience and featuring Captain Jack Harkness from the newer series. The Sarah Jane Adventures (which ended with the death of Elisabeth Sladen) is more child-oriented than Doctor Who. K-9 is currently in production, and there is also an animated serial The Infinite Quest.
- Even reality shows can have spin-offs. 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 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 1967, 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.
- The Originals is a spin-off to the mystery series The Vampire Diaries centering around the former supporting characters Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson.
Supporting character getting own show (after original series ended)
- Frasier is one of the most critically acclaimed and popular spin-off series of all time, based on the character Dr. Frasier Crane from the American sitcom Cheers. The series ran for eleven seasons (the same number as Cheers).
- The Green Green Grass was spun off from Only Fools And Horses, featuring the recurring characters of Boycie and Marlene moving from Peckham to the country.
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show spun off Lou Grant. This series was notable for being a rare example of a change in genre, from the original comedy to a drama.
- Joey was spun off from long-running show Friends after the show's final season. The show focused on the character Joey Tribbiani moving to Los Angeles.
- Cory in the House was spun off after the series That's So Raven ended. It involves Cory and Victor moving to the White House; Raven has appeared as a guest-star.
- Highlander: The Raven was spun off from Highlander: The Series, featuring the recurring character of Amanda. Highlander: The Series was itself a spin-off from the Highlander film franchise, featuring a relative of the film's protagonist.
- Angelica and Susie's Pre-School Daze was spun off from Rugrats after the show ended the previous year, featuring recurring characters Angelica Pickles, Susie Carmichael and Harold in pre-school. It is the second Rugrats spin-off series, following All Grown Up.
- Following Jackass, Bam Margera got his own show which centered around him and his family, Viva La Bam.
- Michael Tse starred in the film Turning Point, which was spun off from the TVB serial E.U. to feature his popular character Laughing Gor. The film centers around Laughing's life before the events of E.U.. He later also starred in the TV series Lives of Omission which centers around Laughing's life after the events of E.U..
- The Australian show Mako: Island of Secrets is a spin-off from the show H2O: Just Add Water.
- The character Sheen Estevez from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius stars in a spin-off known as Planet Sheen. Sheen crashes on an alien planet known as Zeenu after borrowing a rocket from Jimmy Neutron. After destroying his rocket by crashing into the alien antagonist Dorkus's home, he has to fix his broken rocket to get back to Earth.
- After Channel 4 sitcom Desmond's was brought to an end in 1994 by the death of Norman Beaton, who had portrayed the title character, another popular character was featured in a short-lived spinoff series, Porkpie.
- Sam & Cat is a spin-off of both iCarly and Victorious which focused on Sam Puckett (Jennette McCurdy of iCarly) leaving Seattle for Los Angeles to become a babysitter while becoming best friends with Cat Valentine (Ariana Grande of Victorious).
Shows from segments/episodes of anthology series
- The longest running and by far most successful spin-off is The Simpsons, which was created as a series of animated segments for the sketch series The Tracey Ullman Show, and featured the voices of four cast-members.
- The Yogi Bear Show (1961) was the first animated spin-off, Yogi Bear having first appeared in 1958 in The Huckleberry Hound Show.
- The Cartoon Cartoon Show, then called The What a Cartoon! Show, featured a number of pilots for possible animated series on the Cartoon Network. Dexter's Laboratory was the first of those pilots to get its own show followed by Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, The Powerpuff Girls and Courage The Cowardly Dog.
- I Am Weasel was originally a series of segments in Cow and Chicken. It was later separated and got its own series after Cow and Chicken production ceased.
- Happy Days, a spin-off from Love, American Style, also spun off multiple shows: Laverne & Shirley, Blansky's Beauties, Mork & Mindy, Out of the Blue and Joanie Loves Chachi. These shows resulted in spin-offs of their own: the animated series Laverne & Shirley in the Army, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, and The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour.
- Both the animated series Beavis and Butt-head and Æon Flux were spun off of the MTV variety series Liquid Television. Daria then spun off from Beavis and Butt-head.
- Rugrats episode "All Growed Up" acted as the pilot for All Grown Up.
- After Da Ali G Show, the three main characters all got their own spin-off movies: Ali G with Ali G Indahouse, Borat with Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and Brüno with Brüno.
- XHDRBZ, a successor series to Derbez en Cuando, would spin off La familia P. Luche.
- El privilegio de mandar was originally a series of sketches on La parodia. It was later separated to become a weekly television series of its own.
- Dallas, a hugely popular prime time soap opera, spawned its own successful spin-off series called Knots Landing. A continuation to the original Dallas series was also produced in 2012.
- EastEnders is a popular British soap opera that spawned several spinoffs. Civvy Street was a one-off prequel set during World War II. Perfectly Frank was a short-lived series following a popular character after he left the parent show. More recently there was E20, a spin-off show on BBC3 which focuses on the teenage characters (but had cameos from the main cast too), which had a limited number of episodes (compared to the soap which runs weekly).
- The Green Green Grass and Rock & Chips are both spin-offs from the British sitcom Only Fools and Horses. Rock & Chips is a prequel to Only Fools and Horses.
- Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures and K-9 are all spin-offs of the long-running BBC science-fiction drama Doctor Who; all feature companions of the Doctor who appeared on the original program.
- British police drama The Bill had spin offs called Burnside and MIT: Murder Investigation Team.
- Maude and The Jeffersons were both spin-offs from the sitcom All in the Family as were the less popular Gloria and 704 Hauser. Maude itself spun off Good Times while The Jeffersons spun off Checking In.
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show spun off Phyllis, Rhoda, and Lou Grant. It also inspired the television movie Mary and Rhoda.
- Frasier is a spin-off from NBC's Cheers, as was The Tortellis starring Dan Hedaya as Nick, Carla Tortelli's loutish ex-husband.
- Private Practice is a spin-off from Grey's Anatomy.
- NCIS is a spin-off with its characters originating from JAG, and has its own spin-off in NCIS: Los Angeles.
- The Practice was a television series that ran for eight seasons on ABC and then was canceled. New characters who were introduced during the later seasons became so popular they became the main characters in a spin-off, Boston Legal, which ran for five more seasons—giving the franchise a 13-year total run. The show shared such similar characters in the same universe, the show began with the working title The Practice: Fleet Street, before the name was changed.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (itself a sequel to the 1966 Star Trek) had three spin-offs: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager. Star Trek: Enterprise was not, officially, a spin-off as none of the cast members from the other series made any appearances on the previous shows. Therefore, Enterprise was a prequel, of sorts, instead of a spin-off.
- Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe and Stargate Infinity are spin-offs from the Stargate SG-1 television series, which was itself spun off from the film Stargate.
- Crusade is a spin-off of the original Babylon 5 series.
- The Law & Order series has spawned a total of 10 spin-offs: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Crime & Punishment (a documentary series as opposed to scripted drama); the short-lived Trial by Jury; Conviction; Paris enquêtes criminelles, a French adaptation of Criminal Intent; the British spin-off Law & Order: UK; the short-lived Law & Order: LA; and Russian adaptations of Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent. A South African spin-off of the original series, Law & Order: Cape Town, is scheduled to debut in 2012.
- CSI, the popular series produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, has produced two spin-offs: CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. CSI: Miami is connected to the original series by a crossover episode, while CSI: NY started in a cross-over episode with CSI: Miami (Miami and NY have had further crossovers in later seasons, and a three-way crossover has been done).
- Sabrina's Secret Life is a spin-off of Sabrina: The Animated Series, which itself was a spin-off of the 1996 version of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch which was a spin-off of Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies which was a spin-off of The Archie Comedy Hour which was a sequel to The Archie Show.
- The VH1 celebreality show The Surreal Life has led to a long-running franchise of reality shows: The Surreal Life: Fame Games, My Fair Brady, The Salt-N-Pepa Show, and Strange Love.
- Strange Love spun off three seasons of Flavor of Love. Additionally, Rock of Love can be seen as a conceptual spin-off of Flavor of Love (other than the similar name, it is a VH1 show featuring contestants vying for the love of a popular musician).
- Contestants from Rock of Love's first and second seasons went on to appear in Rock of Love: Charm School.
- Contestant Daisy De La Hoya from Season 2 of Rock of Love spun off her own show Daisy of Love. It additionally features David Amerman aka 12 Pack from season one of I Love New York as a contestant.
- Contestant Megan Hauserman from Season 2 of Rock of Love spun off her own show Megan Wants a Millionaire, which was canceled due to controversy surrounding contestant Ryan Jenkins.
- Contestants from the first two seasons of Flavor of Love went on to appear in Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School. Contestants from the third season went on to appear in Charm School with Ricki Lake.
- Tiffany Pollard, a contestant in the first two seasons of Flavor of Love, went on to two seasons of I Love New York, in addition to New York Goes to Hollywood, and New York Goes to Work.
- Contestants from Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, I Love New York, and Real Chance of Love (many of whom have also appeared in other shows listed previously) have appeared on the two seasons of I Love Money. A third season was produced, featuring contestants from Rock of Love, Real Chance of Love, Daisy of Love, Megan Wants a Millionaire, and For the Love of Ray J. It was however canceled prior to airing because of controversy surrounding contestant Ryan Jenkins, who was also rumored to have been the winner.
- Strange Love spun off three seasons of Flavor of Love. Additionally, Rock of Love can be seen as a conceptual spin-off of Flavor of Love (other than the similar name, it is a VH1 show featuring contestants vying for the love of a popular musician).
- The Lone Gunmen and Millennium were spin-offs of the popular science fiction series The X-Files.
- Angel was a spin-off of the popular Warner Bros. television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- The popular teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–2000) is at the root of its own franchise:
- The BBC show HolbyBlue is a spin-off of Holby City, which is itself a spin-off of Casualty. All shows are set within the fictional town of Holby, and characters from the various shows often appear in episodes of the other shows.
- The popular detective series Barnaby Jones began as the second part of a two part story-arc as a spin-off to Cannon.
- Planet Sheen is a spin-off series based on Nickelodeon's Jimmy Neutron
- A Bear's Tail is a spin-off from Bo' Selecta!.
- Outsiders Inn is spin-off of Gone Country
- Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami is a spin-off from Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
- The Girls Next Door has spun off two shows featuring former regulars: Kendra and Holly's World.
- Thomas and Friends is based on The Railway Series.
- Shining Time Station is the American spin-off of Thomas and Friends to introduce the series to American viewers.
- MTV's reality show The City is a spin-off of another reality show, The Hills, itself a spin-off of Laguna Beach.
- Mexican producer Carla Estrada planted the roots of her comedy franchise on La hora pico (2001-2007):
- Eugenio Derbez' comedy franchise originated with the 1992 series Al derecho y al Derbez:
- Primeval: New World is a Canadian spin-off to the British sic-fi series Primeval.
- The 2008 direct-to-DVD feature Legally Blondes is a spin-off to the Legally Blonde film series.
- The High School Musical series spawned a movie, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure (2011), in which Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) moves to New York to pursue her dream.
- The producers of the film U.S. Marshals stated that it was a spin-off from, rather than a sequel to, The Fugitive.
- Several superhero films have had spin-off films, many focusing on female heroines. Examples include Supergirl being a spin-off of the older Superman film franchise and Elektra being a spin-off of Daredevil.
- The X-Men film series spawned 3 spin-offs. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, about the origins of Wolverine. X-Men: First Class, explores the beginnings of Professor X and Magneto. The Wolverine, focuses on Wolverine after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand.
- The movie Beauty Shop is viewed as the spin-off to the Barbershop movie series.
- The movies Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor are called interquel spin-offs of the Star Wars trilogy.
- Evan Almighty is a sequel of Bruce Almighty.
- The films American Pie Presents: Band Camp, American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile, American Pie Presents: Beta House and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love are spin-offs of the primary American Pie series.
- Turning Point is a spin-off of TVB's E.U. which focuses the life of Michael Tse's character, "Laughing", before the events of E.U..
- Once a Cop is a spin-off of Police Story 3 but commonly misrepresented as a sequel.
- The Chronicles of Riddick is a sequel spin-off of Pitch Black
- The Scorpion King is a spin-off of The Mummy Returns, which centers around The Scorpion King, an antagonist from The Mummy Returns.
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is a spin-off sequel to the Fast and the Furious franchise
- Get Him to the Greek is a spin-off from Forgetting Sarah Marshall that focuses on the character, Aldous Snow.
- The 3D film Puss in Boots is a prequel spin-off to the Shrek films.
- The animated short film BURN-E is a parallel spin-off from the feature length movie WALL-E.
- The movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be a spin-off the Harry Potter films
- The Bourn Legacy is a spin-off to the Bourne series.
- The 3D film Planes is a spin-off of Cars
- Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a spin-off the Paranormal Activity horror movie franchise.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls is a 2013 spin-off film
In video games
- Spin-offs also occur in video games. For example, the Wario Land series began as a spin-off from the Super Mario Land series (Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3), which was itself a spin-off of the Super Mario Bros. video game series, which in turn was a spin-off from Donkey Kong. In fact, Mario has many spin-offs, such as Mario Party, Mario Kart, Mario Role-playing games and the various Mario sports games.
- Viper Phase 1 began as a spin-off from the Raiden series.
- The Nina Williams game Death by Degrees was a spin-off from the Tekken series.
- Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX, Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder and Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer are spin-offs of Tony Hawk's series.
- Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland and Tingle's Balloon Fight DS are spin-offs of The Legend of Zelda Series.
- Pokémon Ranger series and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series are spin off series from the Pokémon series.
- Bejeweled Blitz and Bejeweled Twist are spin-offs in the Bejeweled series.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is a spinoff series from the Final Fantasy series.
- Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? and Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! are spin-offs of the Disgaea series, featuring the creature known as the Prinny.
- Sonic the Hedgehog has a couple of spin-offs including Tails Adventure, Tails' Skypatrol and Knuckles' Chaotix.
- The Rayman Raving Rabbids series is a spin-off of the Rayman series.
- The Tales series has a number of spin-off titles, most notable the Tales of the World series and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World.
- Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies is a spin off of the Nazi Zombies feature in Call of Duty: World at War, but on the iPhone.
- Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light from the Tomb Raider series, first spin-off in the series
- The Age of Mythology is a spin-off of the Age of Empires series.
- The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is a spin-off of the Megaman Legends series.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a spin off of the Metal Gear Solid series, but still considered part of the main timeline, through the gameplay is rather a Hack 'n Slash than a Stealth game.
- Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir is a spin off of the Fatal Frame series.
Supporting characters in comic books, who then got their own titles, include:
- the Smurfs who originated in Johan and Peewit
- Marsupilami who first appears in Spirou et Fantasio
- The Legion of Super-Heroes, who first appeared in Superboy, which in turn was a spin-off from Superman
- Jack of Fables, a spin-off from the DC Vertigo comic Fables
- Midnight Sun and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, a spin-off from the Twilight series
- Bloodlines, a book series by American author Richelle Mead, is a spin-off from the Vampire Academy series.
Sometimes even where a show is not a spin-off from another, there will nevertheless be crossovers, where a character from one show makes an appearance on another. A notable example of this is Ursula and Phoebe Buffay, twin sisters played by Lisa Kudrow who normally are on different shows, Mad About You and Friends respectively, but sometimes meet. This is also done by Ray Romano and Kevin James with Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens. Additionally, Romano appeared on an episode of The Nanny where it was revealed that the characters Ray and Fran attended the same high school. Steve Urkel from Family Matters was also shown to be the cousin of one of D.J.'s friends on Full House. The title character from Ally McBeal appeared in episodes of The Practice, both David E. Kelley shows. Steven Harper, the main character from Boston Public who played the principal of a Boston high school, appeared as a client in Boston Legal a year after Boston Public was taken off the air. These two were also David E. Kelley shows. Harper also was represented by Young, Frutt and Berlutti in The Practice, the show that preceded Boston Legal. Therefore, all four shows were in the same universe.
Sometimes crossovers are created in an attempt to provide closure to fans of another failed series. For example, Millennium’s characters Frank & Jordan Black (played by Lance Henriksen and Brittany Tiplady) appeared alongside Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in The X-Files 1999 episode "Millennium" (episode #7.05). This allowed the fans to have some closure, as none was given when Millennium was abruptly canceled prior to the 1999 season.
Sometimes show producers will re-introduce a character from an older series into a later one as a way of providing a connectivity of that particular producer's television "universe". Television producer Glen A. Larson is particularly known for this; for example, the character of Jonathan Chase (played by Simon MacCorkindale) from Glen A. Larson's failed 1980s series Manimal appeared in an episode of Larson's syndicated 1990s series Night Man.
- December 4, 2006 (2006-12-04). "sidequel". Doubletongued.org. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
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- "DanWarp". Danwarp.blogspot.com. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- "Jasime Fiore person of interest Ryan Jenkins desperate for cash".