The entire FOX television network has been called the spiritual successor to the DuMont network, and not just because it's the "fourth network" in the American TV lineup — after DuMont went bust in 1956, the two remaining owned-and-operated stations (WABD and WTTG) formed the DuMont Broadcasting Corporation, which grew and became the Metropolitan Broadcasting Company in 1957 and Metromedia in 1961; in 1986, Rupert Murdoch bought Metromedia's television operations and used them to launch the FOX network.
Oh, and the Fox Broadcasting Center is right where DuMont flagship WABD (now WNYW) sits — the former DuMont Tele-Centre, later called the Metromedia Telecenter during that era.
Arguably, The Middle is more the Roseanne to Malcolm in the Middle's Married... with Children. The former both shows are interested in finding comedy in the lives of an ordinary-ish blue collar family (with the wife being the central character both times), while the latter shows used it as a backdrop to show the family's wacky antics.
That '70s Show was a show in the 90s that reminisced the 70s, which is what Happy Days did in the actual 70s to the 50s. Both were also set in Wisconsin, right outside of Milwaukee.note Even though That 70's Show suffered from a bit of Where the Hell Is Springfield?, most references placed Point Place near Kenosha, a Milwaukee suburb.
Freaks and Geeks similarly reminisced (very accurately) 1980 in 2000, and likely would have gone on to play to popular 80s tropes had it survived.
Pair of Kings could be considered as one to Wizards of Waverly Place as they're both fantasy comedy with action elements and some grim world elements here and there.
In turn, Wizards of Waverly Place is to Phil of the Future, in the sense that it's Disney's current show with supernatural/magical elements. It's been said that the money Disney gained from the success of Phil was used to create Wizards.
The Prisoner may be considered a Spiritual Successor to Danger Man. Patrick McGoohan plays the same type of secret agent character in both. Some fans (and George Markstein, one of the co-creators of the series) go farther, arguing that Number Six is John Drake, which would make it a true sequel series rather than a Spiritual Successor. However, McGoohan (the other co-creator) denies this, and character differences between Number Six and John Drake call it into question as well. For more details, see the "John Drake?" section of The Other Wiki's article on Number Six.
The Bill was a spiritual successor to The Sweeney. It was made by the same production house (Thames Television), and in its very earliest years it even shared some of the same production team (in particular original executive producer Lloyd Shirley).
The Sweeney was actually made by Thames subsidiary Euston Films, and is closer in style to Euston's earlier Special Branch.
It could be said that Drake & Josh was much more a spiritual successor of The Amanda Show, to the point of being a very indirect spinoff. Drake and Josh were regular cast members on The Amanda Show. The Amanda Show itself, and the aforementioned Kenan and Kel, were both spiritual successors to All That.
Victorious could be considered the spiritual successor of Zoey 101 since it starred the latter series regular cast member Victoria Justice and came from the same creator (Dan Schneider), but in plot it was more the successor of Fame and Nickelodeon's own Taina, and in style and tone, iCarly, also from Schneider.
Jam is this to Big Train - made by the same people, featuring the same actors and using the same general sketch style. The only difference is that the humour in Jam is far darker (due to Chris Morris being its main creator).
While BTR might be a successor to 2gether, the short-lived MTV sitcom which featured a fictional boy band, that pretty much parodies the popular boy bands of the late 90's, which it seems to also do. You can admit that Big Time Rush is almost a Take That and Affectionate Parody to those types of boy bands, whereas 2Gether was just a flat-out Take That. Especially considering they basically revived the genre. Not saying that's a good thing, but YMMV.
Doctor Who: The UNIT stories clearly draw from Quatermass, with the Third Doctor taking on the Quatermass role of a cantankerous scientific advisor aiding military authorities to repel aliens invading Britain, while hampered by the occasional Obstructive Bureaucrat. In fact we're first introduced to The Brigadier in "The Web of Fear", which, like Quatermass and the Pit, featured an alien menace in The London Underground. The 2009 Easter special, "Planet of the Dead", has a direct Shout-Out by having a geeky UNIT scientist name a unit of measurement after Bernard Quatermass. Earlier, "Remembrance of the Daleks" had a slightly more subtle shout out with a reference to "Bernard" and his British Rocket Group. It should be noted that Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale strongly disapproved of Doctor Who: not because he thought that it was ripping off his show, but because he thought that it was too irresponsibly horrific for a series marketed to an all-ages audience, whereas his series were marketed solely to adults.
The two episodes of Torchwood written by P J Hammond ("Small Worlds" and "From Out of the Rain") are quite untypical of the show, with their enigmatic Dark Fantasy atmosphere. They are, however, very reminiscent of Hammond's late-70s-early-80s horror series Sapphire and Steel. "From Out of the Rain", in particular, has major conceptual similarities to the Sapphire and Steel story "Assignment Four".
The West Wing was born of material and ideas left over from creator Aaron Sorkin's movie The American President.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was a spiritual successor to The West Wing. In fact, the show's biggest problem was often cited as the fact that the style and tone that worked so well for a show about running the government of the United States felt hilariously out of place on a show about running a Saturday Night LiveExpy.
Studio 60 actually works better as a spiritual successor to Sports Night, being about the running of a TV show. Many jokes and references from the former are either very similar to, or directly taken from, episodes of Sports Night. Ditto for The Newsroom.
In a similar vein, MADtv was a spiritual successor to In Living Color, being Fox's competitor to Saturday Night Live with there being only a year between the two. In Living Color is known for giving rise to the careers of Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, and Shawn and Marlon Wayans, while MADtv arguably did the same for Orlando Jones, Phil Lamarr, Nicole Sullivan, Alex Borstein, Bobby Lee, and current SNL featured player Taran Killam.
Choujinki Metalder was produced by Toei to be a 1980s version of Jinzou Ningen Kikaider. Both involved robotic superheroes with a two-tone color scheme on their body (blue on the left side and red on the right), both end their names with "der" ("Kikaider" literally means "Machineder"), their human forms are modeled after the likeness of their creator's dead son (Jiro's likeness came from Taro's, while Ryusei Tsurugi's was from Tatsuo Koga), and they're both assisted by a rival cyborg in black who formerly worked for the enemy (Hakaider and Topgunder).
The Wire is generally seen as a spiritual successor to the earlier Baltimore police series, Homicide: Life on the Street, which was based on Wire creator David Simon's book and for which he wrote.
It's also a successor to another of Simon's shows, The Corner.
Pushing Daisies is the third (unsuccessful) series created by Bryan Fuller and is seen as a sucessor to both Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls.
Several characters (portrayed by the same actor/actress) have appeared from one show to the other, completing the belief that all three shows exist in the same 'universe'.
Not exactly. The universes where clearly different, with Pushing Daisies being retro-cute, Dead Like Me being fairly normal (save the supernatural elements) and Wonderfalls somewhere in between. All of them do carry themes of fantasy, uniqueness, life and death, golden retrievers and touching people.
Some people believe Battlestar Galactica (2003) to be not only a remake of the earlier BSG, but also to have adopted enough elements from Firefly to be considered a spiritual successor.
Most of Jack Webb's later series (e.g., Adam-12, Emergency!, Project UFO) can be considered spiritual successors to his own Dragnet. They all share a basic approach — following the professional lives of dedicated public servants, filmed in the style of a Police Procedural. In the case of the first two, they also share a universe with Dragnet.
Sliders is a Spiritual Successor to Quantum Leap. The shows share a similar episode forumula, Sliders was advertised at least once as "Quantum Leap with an edge," and dialogue in a later episode implies that Maggie Beckett may be Sam Beckett's niece.
Cheers is a spiritual successor to Fawlty Towers and was actually written as an American version of the selfsame. It was only when the writers realized that the overwhelming majority of the plots were taking place in the hotel bar that they cut the hotel out and just set the show in the bar.
How I Met Your Mother is very much a spiritual successor to Friends, which is itself a spiritual successor to Cheers. All three are sitcoms with some form of restaurant as their default set (Friends is the odd man out, using a cafe instead of a bar), and are centered around a group of unmarried ~30-year-olds, with sexual tension amongst the group.
It's also something of a spiritual successor to The Wonder Years, using the framing device of an older narrator telling the audience stories about his past. How I Met Your Mother took the idea and instead of the fairly straightforward application in The Wonder Years, ran with the concept and branched out like crazy, turning the show into a convoluted mystery built on Anachronistic Order and Continuity Porn.
The short-lived sitcom "Good News" is this to Amen as they were both created by the same people, took place in a church, shared the same sets, shared a Hettabrink sister (Amelia), and most of the plots involved an Amoral Attorney and the church's reverend. The only thing that's different on GN is that there's no Thelma or Rolly, and GN is set in inner-city Los Angeles while Amen is set in Philadelphia.
The Lifetime mini series, Marry Me is a spiritual successor to Maneater.
My Summer With Des (one-off slice-of-life dramedy by Arthur Smith against the backdrop of Euro '96) is a spiritual successor to An Evening With Gary Lineker (one-off slice-of-life dramedy by Smith and Chris England against the backdrop of the 1990 World Cup).
Jessie could be considered a successor to The Nanny, since they are both about regular women being hired as nannies for wealthy families through pure happenstance.
Not to mention that the creator/executive producer for the former, Pamela Eells O'Connell, was one of the original writers for the latter.
Homeland is a Spiritual Successor to 24. In addition to sharing a lot of writers, executive producers and production staff, both shows are concerned with intelligence and counter-terrorism work, what motivates terrorists and double agents, the personal costs of such a life (both terrorists and counter-terrorism agents) and the lengths that both sides will go to. Homeland, however, skips 24's major gimmick.
Downton Abbey can be considered a spiritual successor to Upstairs Downstairs, given the similar themes (both deal with the lives of a large aristocratic family and their servants, both are period pieces, and both feature numerous characters) that both shows share. As a bonus, Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton, even admits to his show being a successor to Upstairs Downstairs.
It can also be seen as a Spiritual Successor to Fellowes' film, Gosford Park. Actually, Fellowes reportedly intended to have Downton Abbey exist in the same universe as Gosford Park, but ultimately decided against it.
Twin Peaks was a Spiritual Successor to an unrealised Mark Frost/David Lynch plan to dramatise the life of Marilyn Monroe. Both stories featured the mysterious death of a beautiful blonde with a murky secret life, all recounted in a secret diary. Lynch's film Blue Velvet could also be considered the spiritual ancestor of Twin Peaks.
"Reaper" to "The Loop". Both had Bret Harrison playing a guy named Sam, who hangs out with his slacker friends. And they both got worse the second season, although YMMV on The Loop. Also Bret Harrison played a guy named Sam on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, who (like in Reaper) had a blonde mother named Linda.
Cougar Town to Scrubs. Both have the same creator and share many of the same writers and actors, and are very similar in tone and humor. They even share at least one character. One episode lampshaded it in the opening title. "Welcome to Cougartown. No, it's not just Scrubs in Florida with a lot of wine."
Community also feels like one. "Mundane" setting, every character is strange at the very least, lots of improbable Bunny Ears Lawyers at anything, Loads and Loads of Characters all known for a quirk or a gimmick (POP POP!), and a lot of "unique" episodes which do something different.
Tin Man has Spiritual Succesors in the form of Alice and Neverland
Bunheads to Gilmore Girls: both created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, both have a fast-talking, pop culture savvy, cynical (though Michelle is INFINITELY more bitter than Lorelai), thirty0something female lead. Both take place in small towns, both shows share Kelly Bishop, Chris Eigeman, and others, etc.
Battle Dome to American Gladiators. Michael O'Hearn was in both (as Michael O'Dell in the former and as Titan in the latter's revival). Also, Terry Crews' schtick as the Old Spice spokesman could be a Spiritual Successor to his T-Money character on Battle Dome.
JAG, following its second season revamp, was by some in the late 90's considered to be spiritual successor of L.A. Law, albeit in a military setting.
Once Upon a Time to LOST. Despite the former being a bit Lighter and Softer, the shows share many of the same themes of about belief and destiny, as well as a healthy dose of greymorality, two writers, various Lost-related Easter Eggs, and several actors.
Many see Community as the spiritual successor of Arrested Development. Smart comedy? Check. Vastly under appreciated hilarity? Check. Loved by the internet? Check.
Since both shows involve a protagonist played by Melissa Joan Hart who is a quirky Cool Loser with an interest in journalism and a rather unique first name, more than a few people have described Sabrina the Teenage Witch as "Clarissa gains magical powers."
The BBC's Atlantis is a spiritual successor to the much loved Merlin (2008), drawing influences and ideas from classical mythology and history rather than Arthurian legends. The series is also built around the relationship between the male leads, although Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules are considerably less vitriolic than Merlin and Arthur.
The Goldbergs is essentially the 1980s set version of the 1960s set The Wonder Years, sans the warm fuzzy nostalgia. Both feature a family of five, with the main character being the youngest of three siblings, along with his aloof sister and pain in the ass older brother. Both feature a sometimes grouchy father with a subtle heart of gold, and both feature ongoing retrospective narration from the now-adult main character.
In broad strokes, Kamen Rider OOO bears something of a resemblance to InuYasha. Both are heavily focused on collecting scattered Plot Coupons that create monsters. Both have one deuteragonist who's an animal-themed monster from hundreds of years in the past and wants to gain the Plot Coupons to become more powerful, because he is not a 'complete' monster. Both have a protagonist who is an ordinary human that is often forced to restrain the amoral deuteragonist, and who also ends up with a Plot Coupon inside their body, giving them extra power. In both cases, the two main characters have a lot of friction in their attempts to get what they want (and both need each other). While Inuyasha and Kagome are explicitly implied to be attracted to one another, however, Eiji and Ankh are not, at least officially.
Whenever the idea of a Spaced american remake comes up, many bring up the fact that it would be a lot like Community. Both shows are about a gang of weirdos coming together to help each other grow, both are thoroughly obsessed with pop culture and both have had memorable paintball episodes.
VH1 Classic has the show Metal Mania, which airs late at night and plays a 2-hour block of Heavy Metal and Hair Metal music videos from the 1980s and 1990s. It's a spiritual successor to the old MTV show Headbanger's Ball.
Liv and Maddie is a modern day Sister Sister but replace the part about twin sisters separated at birth with sisters seeing each other again after one of them was done with a TV show.
Both series also share much in common, at least in the concept of twin relatives with opposing personalities, with The Patty Duke Show. Also similarly to TPDS, Dove Cameron plays both "twin" roles. Patty Duke herself once appeared in an episode as their grandmother and her twin sister.
Fairly Secret Army is a "spiritual spin-off" to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. It was created by David Nobbs, and the lead character, Major Harry Truscott, played by Geoffrey Palmer, was essentially Palmer's Perrin character, Major Jimmy Anderson, without the "bit of a cock-up" catchphrase. However, Fairly Secret Army was a Channel 4 show, while the rights to Perrin characters remained with The BBC.
Kanpai Senshi After V was broadcast in Japan during 2014 at the same time the third season of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger would have aired. Though After V is not produced by Toei, it does parody Super Sentai in a similar vein to Akibaranger, but with more focus given on the activites of our heroes at night rather than their battles against evil.
Faking It could be considered the spiritual successor to both MTV's own Awkward., with it's neurotic teens, goofy adult characters and humor heavy on the Deadpan Snark variety, as well as a more satirical South of Nowhere, with it's exploration of a teen girl discovering her sexuality and coming to terms with her attraction to her female best friend (although with Faking It it's a case (probably) of Incompatible Orientation where as South of Nowhere it ends up being mutual)
The House Of Eliott was one to Upstairs Downstairs, both being British period dramas created by the same team of Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins, though they were shown on different channels, Upstairs Downstairs on ITV and The House Of Eliott on the BBC.
The Thick of It is spirital successor to Yes, Minister. Both take a very cynical and comedic look at british politics at a cabinet minister level. Both have an invisible 'frienemy' style Prime Minister. Both show the Minister being worked over and having his chain yanked by the media as well as Malcolm Tucker and Sir Humphrey Appleby respectively. The Thick of It is also notably the Spiritual Antithesis to The West Wing.
Happy Endings is pretty much Friends for a new generation, a group of six, a bimbo Rachel, a blonde Monica, a Metro Ross, a black Chandler, a Gay Joey, and an even more Adorkable Phoebe.
Nazotoki Battle TORE! is like Dasshutsu Game DERO! but with a Indiana Jones theme. The premise is the same as the previous show's battle format, but with a few differences.
Younger to Sex and the City. Being produced by Darren Star, set in the Big Apple, and focusing on someone working in the publishing/literary field, even Star himself said he hopes this show will be to the currently-gentrifying Brooklyn what Sex and the City was to Manhattan.
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert is this to The Colbert Report, with the major difference being that Stephen Colbert is playing himself instead of an idiotic, know-it-all conservative political pundit. Virtually all of the production and writing staff from the Report moved to The Late Show with Stephen (including, of course, Jon Stewart as executive producer); they share a set designer and set aesthetic; Stephen continues to have on an eclectic mix of political, business, and celebrity guests; and political snark abounds.
Sons of Anarchy to The Sopranos. Though their settings and subject matter differ (East Coast vs. West Coast, urban New Jersey vs. small town California, upper-class Italians vs. working-class WASPs, The Mafia vs. biker gangs, etc.), both are intergenerational crime sagas that balance in-depth portrayals of the criminal underworld with black comedy and family drama, and both examine the American Dream and the nature of family at length; in particular, the DiMeo crime family and the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club are both portrayed as surrogate families that sometimes distract the protagonists from their biological ones. Fittingly, Sons of Anarchy debuted on FX almost exactly a year after The Sopranos ended its run on HBO. Drea de Matteo also appears prominently in both, playing Adriana La Cerva in The Sopranos and Wendy Case in Sons of Anarchy.
Pompeii: The Last Day (2003) was followed by other BBC semi-documentary dramatizations of historical disasters, such as Hiroshima (2005), Krakatoa: The Last Days (2006) and Atlantis: End of a World, Birth of a Legend (2011, actually based on the Thera eruption).
The Cooking Channel show "Cheap Eats" is one to Food Network's "$40 a Day." "$40 a day" had Rachael Ray from 2002 to 2005 going to a city to find three meals and a snack/drink for under a budget of 40 US Dollars (or 40 Euros when they were still less than a US Dollar) in a 12-hour (later 24-hour) limit. "Cheap Eats" had host Ali Khan do the same task in just 12 hours, but for under a buget of just 35 US Dollars (five dollars less than before, AND when the US dollar isn't as strong as it had been 2002-2005). Twice Rachael blew her budget on purpose (Philadelphia and Arizona) while Ali only blew his in Charleston (the pulled pork BBQ dinner he had put him over by just under 4 dollars, but for a dinner like that, he said he wouldn't do a thing differently).
It may or may not have been deliberate, but Farscape is essentially Blake's 7 with an actual budget, a cruder sense of humour, and more explicit sexuality. Both series are about a bickering team of eccentric and morally-questionable Nominal Heroes, most of whom are escaped criminals, on the run from an oppressive government in a Sapient Ship, and sometimes managing to do good, at times by complete accident.
Night Court could be considered one for Barney Miller as it focuses on the wacky misadventures of the staff of a New York city courthouse and also mixes comedy with some dramatic moments(though it also goes outside the courtroom more than the latter show did). The series' creator, the late Reinhold Weege, was a writer for BM, and several actors like Kenneth Tigar, Florence Halop & Florence Stanley appeared on both shows.
White Rabbit Project has been dubbed the spiritual successor of Mythbusters due to it taking taking on a similar premise and starring the universally fan-loved build team from the predecessor.