15 Spinoffs That Outshined The Original Series

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Spinoffs are a tricky thing to get right.

If the new series sticks too closely to the original's premise and formula, it can end up feeling superfluous. On the other end of the spectrum, stray too far away from it, and you run the risk of alienating the core fanbase.

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That small margin of error in between is where a spinoff series finds success. There have been countless attempts at spinoffs throughout the history of television, but very few succeeded in capturing the magic of the original series. And some even managed to surpass them.

Here are the best TV Spinoffs that not only captured the spirit of the original but drove the franchise to exciting new heights!

1. The Flash

The Flash
Marvel may own the big screen, but what DC has been bringing to our televisions over the past seven years is a thing of wonder! While first introduced during Arrow's sophomore season, Barry Allen and team Flash took what made the original show so much fun and dialed it up to eleven. The Flash's lighter tone, lovable characters, and simply Tom Cavanaugh's presence give this series a leg up over the original series.


NCIS originally aired as a backdoor pilot on JAG. While only Mark Harmon and David McCallum remain from the original cast, the show's procedural storytelling and enthralling characters continue to outshine its parent series in every way. Now in its sixteenth season, NCIS shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

3. Law & Order: SVU

Law & Order: SVU
There have been several spin-offs of Law & Order over the years, but none have lasted as long or garnered as much of a following as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. This series delved deeper into the lives and backstories of the officers more than the original series ever did. Now in its twentieth season, it shows no sign of running out of gas.

4. Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead premiered during its parent show's peak popularity. While the first two seasons struggled with inconsistent tone and writing, Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 is where the series finally found its footing.

The show's significantly smaller group of characters enabled the series to put more focus on its core cast, and the series has also proven to be willing to take more risks. And as a result, this spin-off has become far more engaging than The Walking Dead has been in years.

5. CSI:Miami

While keeping the same formula as its parent series, CSI Miami moved the action to a new city and introduced us Lieutenant Horatio Caine, played by the always fantastic David Caruso. While the series was unceremoniously canceled during its tenth season, CSI: Miami remains a prime example of an exceptional spin-off.


6. Saved By The Bell

Saved By The Bell
Little known fact: Saved By The Bell was actually spun off from Good Morning Miss Bliss. The original series which only aired for thirteen episodes, revolved around elementary school teacher, Carrie Bliss. The series included characters Zack Morris, Lisa Turtle, Screech, and Mr. Belding, which were carried over into the repackaged series we know and love.

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