From the Ashes
When the end of one series also serves as the point of departure for a Spin-Off
These kinds of spinoffs fail just as often as, possibly more often than, the other kinds of spinoffs. Usually, the audience has simply tired of the previous show and doesn't feel up to investing themselves in it a second time. Other times, the critical element of the previous show that hooked the audience is missing from the spin-off entirely. After all, it's the series finale - everything's already been wrapped up. What else is there left to do in that universe?
On some rare occasions, this type of show will actually succeed with a fraction of the old show's success. In extremely rare cases, they may actually match it.
This explains the long trend of networks continuing to attempt this type of show in spite of the much longer list of failures.
The line between this and a series that simply changes its title can be somewhat vague. For instance, was Sanford
simply a Revival
of Sanford and Son
without the "Son", or was it a different series? Was Archie Bunker's Place
a different show than All in the Family
? Sort of depends on who you ask.
Compare After Show
- Frasier is the canonical example of a show that performed as well as its predecessor. Frasier ended its run after 11 seasons, exactly as long as Cheers.
- Meanwhile, the failure of Joey to repeat the success of Friends is probably more indicative of the category as a whole. Many critics pointed to the lack of interest in simply following one character when Friends was a show about an ensemble. Another problem was that many believed Joey had become too dumb and cartoonish by that point to really be able to carry an entire series on his own.
- Boston Legal picks up where The Practice leaves off. (Well, a bit more complicated than that: TP gets half the cast replaced with new characters in the last season, the new characters move to a new law firm for BL, then most of that cast gets replaced and so BL no longer feels like the same show renamed. Main stars Alan and Denny are the only Practice characters left.)
- Babylon 5 was followed by Crusade - according to J. Michael Straczynski these shows eventually would have more obviously blended into one extended story if Crusade hadn't been canceled after 13 episodes.
- Subversion: Stargate Atlantis was originally intended to be a continuation of Stargate SG-1 in this manner... but then SG-1 got renewed by the network, so they made the two shows side-by-side for three more years instead. Notably, this led to the relocation of Atlantis itself to another galaxy, while it was originally supposed to be in Antarctica.
- The ninth season of Stargate SG-1, with its new main characters and new major villain, almost became an entirely new show called Stargate Command that would pick up where SG-1 left off. Ultimately it was decided to just continue with SG-1 instead.
- The last season of Highlander: The Series had several episodes designed to promote potential spin-offs. When the series ended, the network chose to give the immortal Amanda her own series, Highlander: The Raven.
- At the end of The Golden Girls, three of the four characters moved on to The Golden Palace, in which they bought a hotel with Don Cheadle as the manager. It lasted only one season.
- Several years after Inspector Morse ended, Sergeant Lewis's character was revived (now promoted to DCI, and with a rookie partner of his own) on the series Lewis. Inspector Morse's character (played by a different actor) would return for a third series, Endeavour, a prequel set during Morse's own training as a rookie detective.
- Three's Company spawned Three's a Crowd, after the entire cast aside from Ritter departed at the end of the eighth season.
- The shorter-lived The Ropers spun off earlier, when Don Knotts replaced them as the landlord on the original show.
- Despite the incredible resolution of the final episode of M*A*S*H, it still managed to spawn a follow up, AfterM*A*S*H the very next season, starring Colonel Potter, Klinger, and Father Mulcahy. This happened after a vote from the main cast of the former show voted not to continue for another season - these three actors voted in the minority to continue on. The new show took place in a veteran's hospital and attempted to mimic the dramatic turns of the later seasons of M*A*S*H. It lasted for two seasons, never getting high ratings in its first season and being pitted against the intensely popular The A-Team in its second, which effectively slaughtered it.