Email list
11 Points
11 Points Guide To Hooking Up
11 TV Spinoffs You Didn't Know Were Spinoffs
written by Sam Greenspan

The Simpsons was a spinoff from The Tracey Ullman Show. That's TV Trivia 101. Today, we're focusing on graduate-level spinoff trivia. Here are 11 iconic TV shows that are actually just the incestuous spawn of 11 other TV shows (most of which were much less successful).

Try to remember these when, one day, you hear about Stefon: The Series, Ron Swanson and the City or Kendall's Jenner-ation X Report. You never know when a spinoff is going to work...

  1. Jim Henson with Sam and Friends.
    The Muppet Show (spinoff of Sam and Friends) - Sam and Friends was a puppet TV sketch show -- imagine that getting greenlit today -- created by Jim Henson. One of the main characters was a puppet lizard named... Kermit. There are clips available that show you Henson and his team starting to get down the rhythms and the patterns that would make The Muppet Show so perfect.

  2. The Tonight Show (spinoff of Broadway Open House) - Broadway Open House was the first-ever late night variety show. It only lasted one year. But NBC took some of the basics from it, started developing a show with Steve Allen... and that turned into the Tonight Show a few years later. And to this day, it remains THE best source of Monica Lewinsky jokes on television.

  3. Project Runway (spinoff of Project Greenlight) - Project Greenlight was part of the early wave of reality shows. Aspiring filmmakers would compete to get their scripts chosen, then cameras would follow as they tried to make movies starring Shia LeBeouf. (I only watched one season, but I assume that was all fairly consistent.) When the show ended up on Bravo, they apparently liked the "Project" aspect... but hated everything else. So they decided to make it 17x more Bravo, and spin it into Project Runway.

  4. Good Times (spinoff of Maude) - And Maude was a spinoff of All in the Family. The Jeffersons was also a spinoff of All In the Family. And you thought Archie Bunker didn't care about black people.


  5. Beavis and Butthead.
    Beavis and Butthead (spinoff of Liquid Television) - Um... hello MTV? It's LTV -- LIQUID Television. How come it didn't contain any liquid?

  6. Flavor of Love (spinoff of The Surreal Life) - Flavor Flav did not magically appear on his own horrific dating show out of nowhere. He got his start as a cast member on The Surreal Life (which was like Real World with minor celebrities). After a few shenanigans, a contrived romance with Brigitte Nielsen, and some soul selling, VH1 decided to have Flavor Flav star in what would become a giant line of hit minstrel TV shows.

  7. The Honeymooners (spinoff of Cavalcade of Stars) - Cavalcade of Stars was a variety and sketch show. Jackie Gleason was its third host, and did a sketch called The Honeymooners. Which, of course, was spun off into one of the most successful (and domestic violence-friendly) sitcoms of all-time.


  8. Xena.
    Xena: Warrior Princess (spinoff of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) - Lucy Lawless appeared with Kevin Sorbo for three episodes of Hercules, which you may've watched if your cable went out and you only had rabbit ears available on a Saturday afternoon in the mid '90s.

  9. NCIS (spinoff of JAG) - NCIS has but one practical application in life -- the answer to the never-been-solved trivia question, "What's the highest rated show on TV?"

  10. Happy Days (spinoff of Love, American Style) - This means all of the Happy Days spinoffs -- Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Joanie Loves Chachi, Fonzie and Christmas Ape Go to Summer Camp -- can also be traced back to Love, American Style. Love, American Style was an anthology/sketch show featuring different unrelated love stories. Garry Marshall produced it, and is now proceeding to run its legacy through the sewers with his Valentine's Day/New Year's Eve movie series.

  11. Jake and the Fatman (spinoff of Matlock) - There's an entire generation that only knows Matlock because of Grandpa Simpson and only knows Jake and the Fatman because that's one of the top five TV show names of all time. But as none of us has ever actually *seen* an episode of either, we had no idea they were related.

This list was originally published on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:00:00 AM under the category TV.
It currently has View Comments.

Facebookery?
11 Most Disappointing TV Shows of the 2000s

11 Brilliant Arrested Development Shout Outs To Its Actors' Past Roles

11 Things I've Learned From Watching Way Too Much 'Law and Order: SVU'

11 Simpsons Christmas Episodes, Ranked From Worst to Best

11 Most Spot-On Song Parodies From South Park

Archive of all TV lists

Weird Al Yankovic Polka Medleys, Ranked
11 Weird Al Yankovic Polka Medleys, Ranked
Published Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Music
Movie Genres That Have Surprisingly Never Had a $100 Million Hit
11 Movie Genres That Have Surprisingly Never Had a $100 Million Hit
Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Movies
Best Things About American Restaurants - 11 Points Countdown
11 Best Things About American Restaurants - 11 Points Countdown
Published Monday, July 21, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Countdown
Foods You Hated As a Kid You Love Now
11 Foods You Hated As a Kid You Love Now
Published Monday, July 14, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Countdown
People Who Invented Two Seemingly Unrelated and Random Things
11 People Who Invented Two Seemingly Unrelated and Random Things
Published Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Web & Tech
Reality Shows You'd Least Want to Be On - 11 Points Countdown
11 Reality Shows You'd Least Want to Be On - 11 Points Countdown
Published Monday, July 7, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Countdown
Full Archive



Follow
Mailing list
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Pinterest
Instagram
RSS

Categories
Music lists
Movies lists
Countdown lists
Web & Tech lists
Misc lists
TV lists
Food & Drink lists
Sports lists
Travel lists
Games lists
Personal lists
Books lists
Dating & Sex lists
News & Politics lists
Interviews lists
Full archive

Follow
11 Points

Mailing list


Twitter


Facebook


YouTube


Pinterest


RSS