The 10 Best TV Spin-offs of All Time

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by UnderScoopFire Staff & Contributors on February 27, 2013

in Lists, TV Discussion

Some of the best TV has been born from other television shows aka spin-offs. I am here now to give you the top 10 best spin-offs of all-time, with side notes of course. Just because they were popular does not mean that we actually were super fans!


10. Road Rules

Season 2 of “The Real World” had a few castmates road tripping across the country to San Diego thus giving MTV the idea for RR. This took a group of 18-25 year olds across the country/world in a confined RV. From this came the challenge spin-offs, which pinned RW stars versus RR alumni and some fans. It still airs today.

road rules


9. LA Ink

…and every other ink that followed “Miami Ink” including “London Ink” and “New York Ink.” LA followed “rad” young tattoo artist Kat von D as she attempted to open her own successful and functioning tattoo shop. It lasted 4 or 5 seasons and ended up on DVD but eventually was axed. However, with its staying power and fan base, it has to be included in this list.

la ink


8. Joanie Loves Chachi

The lovechild of “Happy Days,” the show only lasted two seasons but that was enough for Scott Baio to become one of the premiere young hotties of his time. This led to him getting his own show “Charles in Charge” and ultimately becoming one of the iconic heartthrobs of all-time, sadly.

joanie loves chachi


7. Empty Nest

This show was introduced when Dr. Harry Weston appeared on “The Golden Girls” as their widowed neighbor. His two daughters, living next door as well, also appeared on several episodes of GG. The shows followed one another in the TV line-up and EN lasted 7 seasons.

empty nest


6. The Facts of Life

One of our all-time favorites with Arnold and the “wha’ chu talkin’ ‘bout Willis?” aka “Diff’rent Strokes” actually birthed the concept of taking the good and taking the bad. They used the season 1 finale of Strokes to introduce Mrs. Garrett and her girls which then turned into the iconic smash with Tootie, Jo, Blair and Natalie as well as roller skates all over boarding schools.

the facts of life


5. Melrose Place

Taking a more adult step from “Beverly Hills, 90210,” FOX spun the teen hit in to a more contemporary fan favorite. The show lasted 7 seasons and begun when Grant Show aka Jake did construction for Kelly Taylor’s family on BH90210. That led some of the characters to come over to MP to introduce the show which became a hit with the casting of Heather Locklear.

melrose place


4. The Jeffersons

“All in the Family” really set the bar for the best spin-offs of all-time. They moved on up to the East Side and stayed there long enough to become one of the best and most beloved African-American TV families ever!

the jeffersons


3. Good Times

Spun-off from “Maude” which was spun-off from “All in the Family”, “Good Times”  took housekeeper Florida out of the show and on to her own and boy, was she feisty. Guess she and Ms. Maude took a cure from one another.



2. Maude

…and then there’s Maude aka Bea Arthur and what an amazing and heroic woman she was. Derived from “All in the Family”, Arthur was initially introduced as Edith Bunker’s cousin. The character then got her own series in which she dealt with being 47 and having an abortion as well as being bipolar. The show lasted 6 seasons and can still be seen in reruns on classic networks. This show=WINNING!



1. Frasier

What a horrible show about a radio doctor spawned from the hit TV show, “Cheers.” Why is it on the list then? Because it lasted like 9 seasons and earned main star Kelsey Grammer like 100 awards. Year after year, we never had to guess who the Emmy was going to go to because it was always him. However, because it did last so long and gain such critical acclaim (from everyone but me) it has to be on the list. Sucks, I know.



There you have it; the top 10 spin-offs according to this Voltronette. You may not like these shows and I may not be a fan but the impact is what mattered. The fact that shows like “Beverly Hills, 90210” have been successfully reincarnated shows the staying power. So what’s next to come? The worst spin-offs, duh!


mandi nowitz profle underscoopfireMandi (@3icecubes) is a Golden Girls obsessed social butterfly who runs She loves music, animals and eclectic people. Xoxo


  •!/chapmanrunner Corey Chapman

    Two words: After M.A.S.H.

    • Howie Decker

      I can never hear that and not think of Connery on SNL: “The one with Jamie Farr!”

  • Fogs

    Maude? Higher than the Jeffersons? Noooooo…. Cmon. :o

    •!/chapmanrunner Corey Chapman

      Bea Arthur was a National Treasure!

  • Mandi

    It was done in no particular order but some are definitely tired. But true story…Bea Arthur should have her own stamp! Xoxo

  • Will

    Mandi, I thought you and I were gonna be cool. How gonna do me like that, girl? NO “Three’s A Crowd” OR “The Ropers”?! OK, I’ll let the latter go, as it was basically as bad as “Joey”, but Three’s Company made America discuss the controversial topic of platonic cohabitation, and then Three’s A Crowd took it to the next level with romantic cohabitation. Groundbreaking concepts!

    And no A Different World? And from the Happy Days camp, Laverne & Shirley beats Joanie Loves Chachi. “And I sent you away, Oh Mandi!”

  • Will

    Oh, and true story: my college drama partner ditched me to be cast on Road Rules. The Campus Crawl season. I wish I could say I had more stories than that, but that’s about it.

    • Howie Decker

      Your stories are nuts. I love it.

  • Count Marzo

    11) She-Ra: Princess of Power ;)

    • shezcrafti


    • Howie Decker

      Good call

  • @OldSchool80s

    Not sure #10 and #9 deserve to be on the list.

    Both Laverne & Shirley as well as Mork & Mindy deserve to be on the list (and certainly well before Joanie Loves Chachi).

    A few other 80s misses (off the top of my head) include Benson, A Different World, Family Matters, Just the Ten of Us and Knots Landing. I’m sure I am missing some others. That’s all I have for now.

    • Howie Decker

      All excellent choices I couldn’t argue with!

  • Jaina

    Angel. Couldn’t be more different from Buffy and is arguably, a tad more awesome.

    • Howie Decker

      Good call

  • @eclectik

    Originally I planned on doing a podcast on this very topic, and invite a member of this very site to discuss it … ah well lol

    I dont agree with the entire list (Gimmie some Laverne and Shirley!), but I appreciate it’s creation

    • Howie Decker

      Laverne and Shirley is definitely top 10. The podcast can always still be done!

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