The Best TV Spin-Offs Ranked
7. Xena: Warrior Princess
Xena was scheduled to appear in three episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In the third episode, she was supposed to be killed off. However, producers noticed how popular her character was on the show, so a spin-off was created. Xena: Warrior Princess aired from 1995 to 2001 and has become one of the biggest cult-favorite shows out there.
The show gave us a fantasy version of ancient Greece with Lucy Lawless starring as Xena. It was a huge success, even surpassing parent show Hercules as the most-watched show on American television. Throughout the airing of all six seasons, Xena was among the top five syndicated shows on television.
6. Laverne & Shirley
What started out as one-off dates for Richie Cunningham and Fonzie on Happy Days turned into a hit sitcom for Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams. Producer Garry Marshall was right in gambling on these side characters as the show became a huge success.
Laverne & Shirley followed the lives of the title characters as they worked in a Milwaukee brewery. The focus was mainly on their love and personal lives, quickly becoming a comedic hit. Add in Lenny and Squiggy and this was over-the-top funny.
5. The Colbert Report
Stephen Colbert served as a correspondent on The Daily Show for years, as people fell in love with his character of “Stephen Colbert”, who happened to be a conservative pundit. This lead to Colbert getting his own show, which aired right after The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
The craziest thing: kids were getting most of their news from Jon Stewart on The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report. The satire news was hilarious, and after 10 seasons Colbert said goodbye to the show and headed over to his new gig as host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, taking over for David Letterman when he retired.