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Spiritual Successor: Live-Action TV
  • The entire FOX television network has been called the spiritual successor to the Du Mont 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.

  • Orangeisthenewblack to Weeds. Both shows have the same creator.
  • Covert Affairs to Alias
  • Breakout Kings is one to Prison Break. The show also falls victim to Better by a Different Name.
    • Also a Stealth Sequel with the appearance of Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell and mention of the Fox River Eight.
  • Alphas is very clearly the successor to Heroes.
  • Heroes itself is the spiritual successor to The 4400.
  • The Middle is one to Malcolm in the Middle. The creators don't even try to hide this least giving the show a different name.
  • Mr. Show is often called a spiritual successor to Monty Python's Flying Circus.
  • 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 
    • 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.
  • Reed Between The Lines is intended to be a new millennium version of The Cosby Show. Both shows even have Malcolm-Jamal Warner in starring roles.
  • Hannah Montana is this to Lizzie McGuire, due to the show's lead Miley Cyrus having Hilary Duff as her idol and reason why the show was made.
    • Hannah Montana can also be seen as a sitcom version of Jem, since both series deal with the main characters with a pop star secret identity.
    • Shake It Up is the spiritual successor of Hannah Montana.
    • Shake It Up is also something of a spritual successor of Laverne and Shirley when you consider its creator used to be a writer on the latter.
  • 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.
  • Eli Stone to Ally McBeal, both about a lawyer who hallucinates, though both in different ways.
  • 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.
  • Nowhere Man can be considered a spiritual successor to The Prisoner.
  • There are no fewer than three spiritual successors to Mystery Science Theater 3000 being run by various members of the original cast: RiffTrax, Cinematic Titanic, and The Film Crew.
  • The Young Ones had two spiritual successors, Filthy Rich & Catflap and Bottom.
    • One of the live Bottom stage shows had them going back in time and reverting to their characters from The Young Ones.
  • Tomica Hero Rescue Force is the Spiritual Successor to Madan Senki Ryukendo, made by the same people and sponsored by the same toy company.
  • Endurance was a clear successor to JD Roth's previous kids-reality show Moolah Beach.
  • iCarly is the spiritual successor to Drake & Josh.
  • 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).
  • Big Time Rush is the spiritual successor to The Monkees.
    • The Monkees itself was, more or less, a spiritual successor to The Beatles' films A Hard Day's Night and Help!
      • 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.
  • Rescue Me is a Spiritual Successor to The Job.
  • The Stranger was an independent direct-to-video (and audio) spiritual successor to Doctor Who, starring Colin Baker and other actors from the show during its long hiatus.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher could be considered the spiritual successor to Politically Incorrect.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Psychoville, to The League of Gentlemen.
  • 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 Live Expy.
      • 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.
  • All That was a spiritual successor to the early 90's Nick sketch show Roundhouse, which was a spiritual successor to the immensely popular You Can't Do That on Television.
    • 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.
  • Drew Carey's Green Screen Show and Drew Carey's Improv-a-Ganza are this to Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
    • So is Mock the Week, even sharing several identical games and a couple of guests.
  • The Pacific to Band of Brothers.
  • 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.
  • Night Gallery, a supernatural anthology narrated by Rod Serling, can be considered one for The Twilight Zone.
    • Although considering that Serling didn't have script approval on Night Gallery it might be more of a dispirited sequel.
  • The Soup, formerly "The What the? Awards" is a spiritual successor to Talk Soup.
  • Fringe is almost universally considered a spiritual successor to The X-Files.
  • Glee could be seen as a successor to both the short-lived series Cop Rock and Viva Laughlin. Albeit much more successful and well-known.
    • It's more like Fame: The TV Series with its theme of people wanting to be special and being a musical, except set in a regular school instead of a performing arts school.
    • The 2003 movie Camp was, essentially, Glee with a smaller budget and way more subversion. It takes place in a musical theater summer camp, all of the numbers are Show Within a Show, and the lead character is a Pet Heterosexual in a Cast Full of Gay.
    • Actually, Glee is closer in tune to another Ryan Murphy high school based show, Popular (except without the music).
  • FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman was this to Zoom, the first season of FETCH! even having one of the same castmates.
  • Undeclared to Freaks and Geeks
    • Others would say Do Over to Freaks and Geeks.
  • The rich colors and whimsical feel of Amélie inspired the creation of Pushing Daisies.
    • 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 (Reimagined) 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.
  • The Borgias to The Tudors.
  • 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.
  • The Good Wife is perhaps this to Canterburys Law, as both are courtroom dramas starring Julianna Margulies.
  • 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.
  • Unhappily Ever After was the spiritual successor to Married... with Children, made by the same creator, with each character on UEA an Expy of someone on Married with Children.
  • 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.
  • A.N.T. Farm is a spiritual successor to That's So Raven.
  • Deadliest Warrior is a spiritual successor to Animal Face Off.
  • 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.
    • It's also a double-case, as it's pretty much a Spin-Off of The Suite Life on Deck (once again, another O'Connell creation) focusing on Bailey Pickett but with the Serial Numbers Filed Off.
  • Chuck, in a lot of ways, is a combination Spiritual Successor. Take one part Jake20 (everyday geek infused with Applied Phlebotinum to make him a badass), one part She Spies (a borderline Affectionate Parody of the spy genre), mix well, top with Adam Baldwin, and serve.
  • The BBC's music show Later... with Jools Holland is without a doubt the Spiritual Successor to The Old Grey Whistle Test.
  • The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff (surreal Dickensian parody written by Mark Evans) is a Spiritual Sound to Screen Adaptation of Bleak Expectations (surreal Dickensian parody written by Mark Evans).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • While not exactly a case of Spiritual Successor, 3rd Rock from the Sun and The Big Bang Theory have a lot in common with each other. Both shows are about Insufferable Genius physics prodigies with terrible social skills and all of their (equally) weird and socially inept friends, both have vaguely science based titles, and both John Lithgow and Jim Parsons have won Emmy's for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series.
  • "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.
  • Mr. Sunshine to "Better Off Ted", and "Better Off Ted" to "Andy Richter Controls The Universe".
  • The Colgate Comedy Hour to Vaudeville.
  • 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.
  • Wizards Vs Aliens is this to The Sarah Jane Adventures. Both are CBBC fantasy sci-fi shows aired in two-part serials and created by Russell T Davies (and are both more child friendly than his usual shows).
  • Desperate Housewives to American Beauty. Both examine the Stepford Suburbia, and Marc Cherry even announced the inspiration. Even the music sounds a little similar at times.
  • 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 grey morality, two writers, 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.
  • Red Dwarf is one to "Dave Hollins: Space Cadet", a recurring sketch that featured on Grant Naylor's radio show Son of Cliché. Hyperdrive could be considered a spiritual successor to Red Dwarf.
  • Little House on the Prairie is a Spiritual Successor to Bonanza note , and Highway To Heaven is one to Little Housenote .
  • Whodunnit is one to classic early 2000s reality shows like The Mole and Murder In Small Town X, although those programs played things much more straight compared to Whodunnit?
  • The Goon Show: Monty Python is its closest spiritual successor.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Most alternative (sketch) comedy shows all have something similar in common with them.
  • 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, 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.
  • Life With Boys, although a Canadian Series broadcast on Nickelodeon with a low concept, can be considered a Spiritual Successor to the glory years of 2006-2007-era Disney Channel kidcoms like Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and That's So Raven in feel and in comedy, as it was created by Hannah creator Michael Poryes, features plenty of zany schemes, cool losers and Sibling Rivalry (though that can be said of many KidComs), and co-stars Cory in the House alum Madison Pettis. Star Torri Webster seems to have a very Miley Cyrus-like charisma and energy, and Emily Osment got to guest-star as herself in one episode.
  • 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.
  • Play For Today is a successor to The Wednesday Play.
  • 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.
  • The Parent 'Hood is The Nineties' spiritual successor to The Cosby Show.
  • 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 sisters with opposing personalities, with The Patty Duke Show. Also similarly to TPDS, Dove Cameron plays both "sister" roles.
  • Teen Wolf Is more a Darker and Edgier spiritual successor to Big Wolf on Campus.
  • 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 Four show, while the rights to Perrin characters remained with The BBC.
  • Veronica Mars has been compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer a lot. Both shows are postmodern twists on a popular genre (Noir for Veronica Mars, Horror for Buffy the Vampire Slayer) set in high school and with a female blonde lead, both shows adopted the same structure of telling season-long StoryArcs through Monster of the Week (or Mystery of the Week) episodes, and both shows displayed copious amounts of snark. Joss Whedon is a notable fan of Veronica Mars and even had a small part in an episode.
  • Party Down captured the tone of The Office (UK) (Cringey Workplace Comedy set in a hopeless corner of the world) more than the American version did.
  • 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.
  • In the UK, every new drama series about the Fire Brigade, such as Steel River Blues and The Smoke, is invariably described as a "new London's Burning".

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