Follow TV Tropes

Following

Spiritual Successor / Live-Action TV

Go To


    open/close all folders 

    A-E 

    F-L 
  • 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.
  • 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 Snarker 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)
  • 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. Crusade could also be considered a spiritual successor to Blake's 7, with a similar crew of rag-tag misfits (Eilerson in particular could be considered something of an Expy of Avon), although the parallels would have been stronger if the series had continued down the path its creator intended before it was Screwed by the Network.
  • FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman was this to Zoom, the first season of FETCH! even having one of the same castmates.
  • 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. 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.
  • Fringe is almost universally considered a spiritual successor to The X-Files. It's also a spiritual successor to Altered States.
  • Game of Thrones to Rome, HBO's first foray into the lavish, politically-driven sword and sandal genre. Several veteran actors from Rome re-enlisted to GoT and some others declared half-jokingly that the show stole Rome's thunder and wouldn't join Game of Thrones, citing It's Been Done.
  • Yet another Schneider example: Game Shakers is this to both iCarly and Victorious.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 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.
  • The Good Doctor is from the creators of House, and uses the same structure as the Patient of the Week. It may be seen as that show's family-friendly counterpart, with an infinitely more friendly protagonist (although like Gregory House, Shaun Murphy also has his share of emotional baggage that interferes with his coexistence with patients and co-workers).
  • The Good Wife is perhaps this to Canterburys Law, as both are courtroom dramas starring Julianna Margulies.
  • One could draw a direct line from Go On succeeding Mr. Sunshine, Mr. Sunshine succeeding Better Off Ted, and Better Off Ted succeeding Andy Richter Controls the Universe.
  • The Goon Show: Monty Python is its closest spiritual successor.
  • Gotham can be one to Smallville, since both are prequels based on DC Comics. However, Smallville stars a younger Superman, while Gotham focuses more on the Batman mythos.
    • The Arrowverse shows are also a spiritual successor to Smallville as they both are DC Comics-based shows that aired on The CW as well as airing on nights that Smallville aired. Some of the things the Arrowverse shows have done, such as having Green Arrow end up with the blond hacker chick and paying homage to earlier DC Comics-based productions, have already been done by Smallville.
  • Top Gear was a show on the BBC about three very British Vitriolic Best Buds messing around with some cars. The Grand Tour is a show about the same three very British Vitriolic Best Buds messing around with some cars... but now they're on Amazon.
  • Great News to 30 Rock. The show is produced by the creator of the latter, and is another Work Com focusing on the story of the wacky crew running a show. It also follows the original plan of the latter show, which is to focus on a news program.
  • Grimm is this to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Many characters in Grimm have prior equivalents in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and there are features such as the trailer library/Sunnydale HS library and Rosalee's Spice Shop/The Magic Box.
  • 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.
  • 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 dorky Phoebe.
  • Heroes itself is the spiritual successor to The 4400.
  • 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.
  • Some viewers consider Home Movie: The Princess Bride to be in the same vein as Be Kind Rewind, with the premises of both being about recreating a classic film in an amateur way.
  • 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.
  • 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. This was lampshaded by early publicity for the UK broadcast, in which the voiceover guy kept "accidentally" called the characters by the wrong names (Chandler for Ted, Joey for Barney, Pheobe for Lily, and "the hot one with hair" for Robin), before eventually admitting "It's basically new episodes of Friends without boring ruddy Ross." 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 Anachronic Order and Continuity Porn.
  • In the House could be considered as a spiritual successor to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air due to both sitcoms sharing the same executive producer (Winifred Hervey) and that one of the cast members of Bel-Air (Alfonso Ribeiro) joined the cast of In the House after the show's end.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one to Seinfeld, both being sitcoms where the entirety of the basic premise is that the main characters are terrible people who never learn anything. The elevator pitch for the show was "Seinfeld on crack." It's also been noted that it's essentially an Irish-American foil to the quintessentially Jewish-American sitcom Seinfeld.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale is very much a revival of The Soup due to similar format (Joel McHale riffing on reality-show clips).
  • 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.
  • 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 activities of our heroes at night rather than their battles against evil.
  • Killing Eve is often compared to Hannibal. Both are about troubled law enforcement officers fascinated with killers and alternately pursuing or working with those killers.
  • Killjoys gets compared a lot to Firefly.
  • Kirby Buckets can be seen as the successor to Zeke and Luther or Out of Jimmy's Head.
  • Last Man Standing is a Distaff Counterpart to Home Improvement, being a sitcom about a man's man played by Tim Allen trying to navigate his way through family life, only with his LMS character having all daughters instead of all sons.
  • The BBC's music show Later... with Jools Holland is without a doubt the Spiritual Successor to The Old Grey Whistle Test.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Little House on the Prairie is a Spiritual Successor to Bonanza note , and Highway to Heaven is one to Little Housenote .
  • 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 appeared in the episode "Grandma-a-Rooney" as their grandmother Janice and her twin sister Hillary.
  • Lost Love in Times is made by the same producer, director, and scriptwriter who made the 2015 series The Journey of Flower, so comparisons between the two are inevitable.
  • Love and Destiny is one to Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. Technically the two series are unrelated, and Love and Destiny is about completely new characters who never reference the events of Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, but there are enough similarities between the plots for this series to be considered a spin-off of TMOPB.
Advertisement:

    M-S 
  • Mad Men is one to The Sopranos, no doubt in part due to the former's creator being an executive producer and writer for the latter. Despite The Sopranos being a Criminal Procedural focusing on The Mafia and Mad Men being a period drama focusing on an advertising agency, both are dialogue-heavy character-driven dramas that make use of Black Comedy, nuance, and moral ambiguity. Furthermore, both tackle many introspective topics such as mental illness, addiction, and morality as well as societal issues such as racism and sexism by using Deliberate Values Dissonance. Even more emphasized when considering both Don Draper and Tony Soprano are Broken Aces in their respective lines of work, are serial adulterers married to a blonde Stepford Smiler, and have unresolved childhood trauma from the actions of their parents among other similar traits.
  • The Lifetime mini series, Marry Me is a spiritual successor to Maneater.
  • 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.
  • The Middle is one to Malcolm in the Middle. The creators don't even try to hide this by... at least giving the show a different name.
    • 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.
  • Mock the Week is a spiritual successor to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, even sharing several identical games and a couple of guests.
  • Modern Family can also be seen as The Brady Bunch updated for The New '10s. Both are among the defining Dom Coms of their respective decades, each being about a large extended family that bucked the conventions of the "traditional" nuclear family. The titular Brady bunch was formed by a widowed father and a single mother (she was originally supposed to be a divorcee, but they ultimately left it ambiguous to avoid controversy) who remarried and brought their kids with them, while the extended Pritchett-Dunphy-Delgado clan on Modern Family includes a May-December interracial couple in Jay and Gloria (both of whom are also on their second marriage) and a same-sex couple in Mitchell and Cameron.
  • The Monkees was, more or less, a spiritual successor to The Beatles' films A Hard Day's Night and Help!
  • Monsters We Met and Wild New World are epilogue series to WWD's sequel series, Walking with Beasts, showing CGI Pleistocene megafauna outside of Europe.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Most alternative (sketch) comedy shows all have something similar in common with them.
  • Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing has been compared to the earlier Detectorists; both are BBC comedy series featuring middle aged men sitting around chatting while engaged in an outdoor hobby. Both have seriously relaxed vibes, and both have lots of drone Scenery Porn. The only major difference being that one is a scripted sit-com and the other is two real life friends hanging out.
  • Mr. Show is often called a spiritual successor to Monty Python's Flying Circus due to its avant-garde sketch comedy format and theme of blending one sketch into another.
  • 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).
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a spiritual successor to all the various local "creature feature" shows such as Ghoulardi's. On some of these shows, the host would mock the movie while it was running.
  • 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.
  • 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. Brooklyn Nine-Nine can also be considered a modernized version of Barney Miller.
  • 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 Noddy Shop is this to Shining Time Station: Both shows take place in a magical setting related to the stories the live action segments were framing devices for, have puppets singing songs once an episode and were created by Rick Siggelkow. Ironically, The Noddy Shop itself referenced a location from Shining Time Station. On Shining Time Station itself, the "flying saucer" segments from the first season are this to Teeny Little Super Guy from Sesame Street. Same creator, same set, same animation style. Both use stop-motion to depict inanimate kitchen objects as living characters.
  • Northern Exposure is also this to Local Hero; both are Fish out of Water stories with magical realist elements set in a Quirky Town full of Eccentric Townsfolk.
  • Not the Nine O'Clock News was hailed as the natural successor to Monty Python's Flying Circus, due to its Footlights-originating castmembers, anarchic humour and satirical edge. In fact, John Cleese even recorded an intro for the series.
  • Nowhere Man can be considered a spiritual successor to The Prisoner (1967).
  • The OA is a spiritual successor to Sound of My Voice, by the same creators. They both star co-writer Brit Marling as a mysterious woman who is associated with a disability and collects followers based on her claims of extraordinary knowledge. She gives sermons that are mostly recollections from her past experiences and also teaches her followers a specific sequence of bodily movements. Ultimately, her claims are neither verified nor debunked by the end.
  • 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, various Lost-related Easter Eggs, and several actors.
  • The Opposition with Jordan Klepper is the spiritual successor to The Colbert Report, with Klepper acting as a satirical take on Alex Jones, Breitbart, and the alt-right of the 2010s just as Colbert's persona was a parody of Bill O'Reilly and 2000s-era neoconservatism.
  • Orange Is the New Black to Weeds. Both shows have the same creator.
  • The Orville is not even trying to hide its Star Trek roots, mainly the idealism of Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • OWN's Our America With Lisa Ling (originally Inside With Lisa Ling) ran for several seasons. A few years afterwards, CNN began This is Life With Lisa Ling, which is the exact same show except under a different label.
  • Ozark is often cited as a spiritual successor to Breaking Bad, as both focus on a brainy, middle-class family man who plunges into organized crime and gets more than he bargained for.
  • The Pacific to Band of Brothers, sharing the same producer team, telling the story of the Pacific theater instead of the European theater.
  • 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.
  • The Parent 'Hood is The '90s' spiritual successor to The Cosby Show.
  • 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.
  • HBO, Prohibition, crime, police corruption, racism, old timey show business, Holier Than Thou hypocrites, World War I veterans, Tim Van Patten directing, Shea Whigham, Gretchen Mol, Stephen Root... It would not be a stretch to consider Perry Mason (2020) to be the spiritual succesor to Boardwalk Empire.
  • Planet Dinosaur is the BBC's way to showcase new information learned about dinosaurs after Walking with Dinosaurs came out.
  • Play For Today is a successor to The Wednesday Play.
  • 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 Prisoner (1967) 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.
  • Psychoville, to The League of Gentlemen.
  • A Prince Among Men is this to The Brittas Empire, being both work coms starring Chris Barrie in a Jerkass leader role. The major differences are that he is playing an ex-footballer here instead of a leisure centre manager and the series wasn't received as successfully.
  • 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 successor to both Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls.
      • Several characters (portrayed by the same actor/actress) have appeared from one show to the other. All of them do carry themes of fantasy, uniqueness, life and death, golden retrievers and touching people. But the universes are clearly different, with Pushing Daisies being retro-cute, Dead Like Me being fairly normal (save the supernatural elements) and Wonderfalls somewhere in between.
  • A year after Aquí no hay quien viva ended on Antena 3 in 2006, Telecinco premiered another Slice of Life comedy similar to it, La que se avecina, with the same production company and most of the cast and creative team of its predecessor. In fact, the arrival of La que se avecina is subtly hinted during the final scene of Aquí no hay quien viva:
    Concha: Well, but don't get sad! We're starting a new life!
    Higinio: No, not new. It's the same as always, but somewhere else.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher could be considered the spiritual successor to Politically Incorrect.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rescue Me is a Spiritual Successor to The Job.
  • The 2018 NBC series Reverie could be described as a spiritual prequel to Inception (the lead actress even states in this article that it was pitched to her as "Inception meets Alice in Wonderland").
  • Riverdale maybe a spiritual successor to Beverly Hills, 90210 (and to a lesser extent, Twin Peaks) with Archie Andrews being Brandon Walsh, Betty Cooper being Brenda Walsh, Veronica Lodge being Kelly Taylor, Jughead Jones being Dylan McKay, Reggie Mantle being Steve Sanders, Ethel Muggs being Andera Zuckerman, Midge Klump being Donna Martin, Cheryl Blossom being Valerie Malone, Jack McKay being Hiram Lodge, Fred Andrews being Jim Walsh, and the Chocolate Shop being the Peach Pit.
  • Queen for Seven Days's star Park Min-young described the series as "Love in the Moonlight five years later".
  • 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." Sabrina the Teenage Witch could also be considered a spiritual successor to that of Bewitched as also with another female-strong Witchcraft-themed show that Sabrina would later share the same network, Charmed.
  • SEAL Team is essentially this to The Unit, albeit from a different branch of the U.S. military (Navy rather than Army).
  • 7th Heaven to Little House on the Prairie. Both shows were set in a town where everyone knew each other. The main characters' parents were always right and wise. They added tons of foster children and teens to the cast after the original kids got too old to be cute or have teenager problems. Laura and Lucy are very similar, spirited and a bit jealous of their more beautiful older sisters, who both end up suffering great tragedies. The youngest children are just there to be there, like living props.
  • Sliders is a Spiritual Successor to Quantum Leap. The shows share a similar episode formula, 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.
    • Beginning in the middle of season 2 (or the start of season 3), the show also became a successor to Doctor Who during that time between the original series' cancellation and the revived series' beginning.
  • Snug's House (formerly Sprout House) is this to Sunny Side Up, but pre-recorded since the crew didn't like how live broadcasts of Sunny Side Up were handled. It borrows much from its predecessor.
  • Some Assembly Required is a spiritual successor to Mr. Young.
  • Mike Rowe's Somebody's Gotta Do It is this to his cancelled Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs.
  • 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.
  • The Sopranos was heavily influenced by Goodfellas, being a similarly gritty and unglamorous take on Mafia fiction with flashy editing and cinematography, a catchy pop soundtrack, and an eye for authenticity. Several actors from Goodfellas also made it into the main cast, including Lorraine Bracco (Karen Hill and Dr. Jennifer Melfi), Michael Imperioli ("Spider" and Christopher Moltisanti), Tony Sirico (Tony Stacks and Paulie Gualtieri), Frank Vincent (Billy Batts and Phil Leotardo), and Vincent Pastore ("Big Pussy" Bonpensiero and an unnamed Lucchese mobster). Adding to the parallels: Ray Liotta was apparently HBO's first choice for the role of Tony Soprano, and Lorraine Bracco was originally offered the role of Tony's wife Carmela; she asked to play Dr. Melfi instead, feeling that Carmela was too similar to her character in Goodfellas.
  • So Random! was pretty much this to All That despite being on rival networks.
  • The Soup, formerly "The What the? Awards" is a spiritual successor to Talk Soup.
  • 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".
  • Sprout Control Room was this to The Sprout Sharing Show, borrowing the viewer-submitted videos concept from its predecessor.
  • 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.
  • Disney Channel's Stuck in the Middle, is essentially a Disneyfied version of Malcom In The Middle, complete with the lack of laugh track, scheming intelligent protagonist, and talking directly to the audience that the previous show featured.
  • The Sunny Side Up Show of Sprout was pretty much this to Zoom. Viewers were allowed to submit their creations on both.
  • Supernatural to The X-Files, at least before they got deeper in the Myth Arc and it was mosly about the Monster of the Week. The first couple seasons (at least) of Supernatural included at least three The X-Files alumni, including Kim Manners, John Shiban, and David Nutter; John Shiban was hired specifically because of his writing work on The X-Files. As a result, season one, especially, has an "X-Files" vibe.

    T-Z 
  • Teen Wolf Is more a Darker and Edgier spiritual successor to Big Wolf on Campus.
  • 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.
  • The Thick of It is spiritual 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.
  • The Thundermans is widely seen as Wizards of Waverly Place, but with superheroes.
  • 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.
  • Tim & Eric are the spiritual successor to Monty Python, with the bizarre visual style and Anti-Humor in their shows.
  • Tin Man has Spiritual Successors in the form of Alice and Neverland''.
  • Tomica Hero Rescue Force is the Spiritual Successor to Madan Senki Ryukendo, made by the same people and sponsored by the same toy company.
  • Nicolas Winding Refn's miniseries Too Old to Die Young is a spiritual successor to his previous film Only God Forgives. Both works feature:
    • Stories set in a criminal underworld with gray and black characters
    • Long, slow scenes filled with pauses
    • Compositions of bright, colorful light, including lots of neon, contrasting with deep darkness.
    • Stoic characters
    • Sudden and shocking violence
    • A serious Oedipal complex between a man and his crimelord mother.
    • A character hinted to be an incarnation of death.
  • 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".
  • 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. At the time, Northern Exposure was also seen as a Lighter and Softer spiritual successor to Twin Peaks
  • Ultra Series: Due to the nature of the franchise as a Long Runner, expect to see similar series to one another after a while.
    • Ultraman X: To Ultraman Cosmos, both series feature a Central Theme of co-existance, the main characters of both shows are Technical Pacifists who desire to create a world where everyone can live in harmony and are friends with a Kaiju since their childhood, furthermore the Big Bad of each series (Chaos Header in Cosmos and Greeza in X) are Eldritch Abominations that warp reality and corrupt living beings with their essence driving them berserk and empowering them along the way along with the Ultra mostly sparing his corrupted opponents instead of destroying them.
    • Ultraman Orb: To Ultraman Tiga, aside from debuting in the year of its 20th anniversary. Both Orb and Tiga are Ultras who had been on Earth since the ancient times, fighting against monsters and had involved with ancient civilizations during said period. Lampshaded in-series when Tiga is the other component alongside Ultraman for Orb to access his first form, Spacium Zepellion, with the former is also the first Ultraman cars that Gai collected. In fact, Orb's true form, Orb Origin debuted when his body shrouded with glittering lights, which was an allusion to Tiga's final form, Glitter Tiga.
    • Ultraman Geed:
      • To Ultraman Leo, due to a crippled Ultraseven-based Ultra being The Mentor to the titular hero, as well as a Downer Beginning (coincidentally, the crippled Ultra in Geed is the son of Ultraseven, who was Leo's mentor). Somewhat lampshaded in-series by Geed's Solid Burning form, which uses assets of both Leo and Seven.
      • Also one to Ultraman Dyna, due to having a larger emphasis on outer space and Alien Invasion, as well as directly following the previous series (Ultraman Tiga for Dyna, Ultraman Orb for Geed) in some form (Dyna being a direct sequel to Tiga, Geed expanding upon the power fusing introduced in Orb). Doesn't hurt that 1) Dyna as well follows up Tiga's Type Change gimmick, not unlike how Geed did so to Orb and 2) Geed's series debuted in the 20th Milestone Celebration of Dyna's 20th anniversary.
    • Ultraman R/B: Much like with Ultraman Orb being one to Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Geed being one to Ultraman Dyna, R/B continues the trend by being one to Ultraman Gaia, due to its focus on two Ultras, as well as ditching the transformation gimmick from the previous series (Gaia ditched the Type Change gimmick present in Tiga and Dyna, and R/B ditches the idea of fusing powers used by 2 different Ultras that Orb and Geed featured). It even debuted in the year that Gaia turns 20!
    • Ultraman Taiga: To Ultraman Tiga. Apart from their similar-sounding names, they are the first Ultra shows of a new Japanese imperial era (Heisei for Tiga, Reiwa for Taiga), and also breaking the trend of the Ultra Series (multicolored forms and body coloration for Tiga, three Ultras sharing the same human hosts in Taiga).
    • Ultraman Z:
      • Keeping up with Ultraman Taiga being one to Ultraman Tiga, Z is one to Ultraman Dyna in that they are both the second entries of their respective eras (Heisei for Dyna, Reiwa for Z) and serving as a followup for their previous series in some form (Tiga and Dyna share the same universe and the latter series serves as a sequel to the former. Whereas Taiga and Z are Ultras from the Land of Light who are connected to one of the Ultra Brothers — Taiga is the son of Ultraman Taro and Ultraman Ace is later revealed to be Z's godfather). Both series' endgame arc even deal with a splinter faction within the main attack team's organization who plan to construct their artificial Ultraman (Terranoid and Ultroid Zero) to be used to protect humanity, only to be hijacked by an alien force (Spheres and Celebro), resulting them into being mutated into an Eldritch Abomination (Zelganoid and Destrudos) to be used against mankind. It also helps that Dyna, along with Tiga and Gaia serve as the main component for Z's psychic-oriented Gamma Future.
      • Also, to Ultraman Max. Both shows are also set on different universes separate from the main Showa continuity, but nonetheless have a Sequel Episode to a Showa entry (Max has "The Untargeted Town" and Z has "Do-Over in the Year 2020", both of which are continuations of storylines started in Ultraseven and Ultra Q). Both series have a fair share of lighthearted moments, though that doesn't mean their respective series does not have its serious moment. Matters also help that Max was aired concurrently at the time of Z's own original airing.
    • Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga:
      • To the Heisei Ultraseven spin-offs in that both series take place in an Alternate Universe rather than in the original continuity of their respective shows—as Trigger is an alternate modern retelling of the story of the original Ultraman Tiga, whereas Heisei Ultraseven's story is a What If? Ultraseven was the only Ultra to set foot on Earth and the Ultra Guard never disbanded after he finished his mission on Earth.
      • Also to Ultraman Mebius. In addition to both shows commemorating the franchise's Milestone Celebration, both series take stroll back to a previous continuity from the preceding Japanese Imperial era. The only main difference however, is Mebius takes place in the same universe with the Land of Light Ultras that have previously set foot on Earth (i.e., Ultraman to Ultraman Leo and Ultraman 80) whereas Trigger is an alternate retelling of the original Ultraman Tiga series in an Alternate Universe separate from the World of Neo Frontier Space (aka., the universe of Tiga and Dyna) intended for the current generation of audience. Mebius served as the 40th Milestone Celebration for the Ultra Series, while Ultraman Trigger celebrates the franchise's 55th anniversary, and the 25th anniversary of Ultraman Tiga.
  • Undeclared to Freaks and Geeks. Others would say Do Over to Freaks and Geeks.
  • YTV's Undercover High is a spiritual successor to Prank Patrol, with both series focusing on elaborate pranks being set up on new unsuspecting targets in each episode. The main differences are that the action happens in high schools, and no ninjas are involved.
  • 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 Unusuals is a successor to The Job.
  • The Australian sitcom Utopia is the spiritual successor to The Hollowmen. Both are Working Dog Productions shows about fictitious Australian Government departments and star Working Dog's Rob Sitch.
  • 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 Story Arcs 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.
  • 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.
  • Wayward Pines was a better American remake of The Prisoner (1967) than the official Continuity Reboot. As a Bait-and-Switch, pre-release publicity falsely suggested instead that it would be a Spiritual Successor to Twin Peaks.
  • The West Wing was born of material and ideas left over from 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.
  • Westworld is this to at least five different works:
    • First off, it's one to Person of Interest, Jonathan Nolan's previous series. Before Westworld even started, he admitted that the two series basically look at the same question (what if AI became truly intelligent?) but from vastly different points of view, with Westworld having the A.I.s be anthropomorphized while the A.I.s in Person of Interest were always mainframe-based. The similarities actually become emphasized in Season 3, which introduces an omnipotent AI called Rehoboam that observes and controls society from the shadows (functioning in many ways like PoI's Samaritan), operated by a ruthless corporation willing to do anything to maintain its hold.
    • Alternately, it can also be seen as a spiritual "interquel" to Dollhouse. Both shows examine the use of advanced technology to exploit "lesser" individuals (robots in one, mind-wiped humans in the other) for the entertainment of the wealthy elite. It even extends to an attempt to grant the rich and powerful a form of immortality using this tech, only for the indentured subjects to rise up and buck their programming, leading to an apocalyptic nightmare world. Dolores and Echo parallel each other in their "special" ability to draw upon multiple backstories, and are the leaders of their respective rebellions. Pretend the hosts are actually dolls, and the Delos uprising could easily slotted in between the main timeline of that show and its "Epitaph" finales.
    • invoked There are many elements and themes drawn not only from the original film but also Čapek's nearly century old play Rossum's Universal Robots (and the works it influenced). There's enough of these references to make the series a Spiritual Adaptation of the play. In R.U.R., the robots are manufactured on assembly lines, but are otherwise organic, the biochemistry of their tissues consisting of artificially derived organic compounds. The series' depiction of host-manufacturing, via synthetic analogues close to real organic tissues, assembled on loom-like futuristic 3D printers, is probably the closest visualization of what Čapek could only loosely describe in The Roaring '20s. In this sense, it's almost Life Imitates Art (though we're still nowhere near building artificial organisms that convincing). Initially, R.U.R.'s robots couldn't feel pain and kept hurting themselves at work by sheer ignorance, in a bit of a parallel to the hosts glitching out or willfully ignoring things at odds with their programming. There are also some similarities between the series' characters and those of the play. James Delos is in some respects similar to his corporate counterpart Harry Domin, a self-assured man who doesn't fully understand the ramifications of what he's investing in. Dr. Ford himself has plenty of parallels to professor Rossum himself, including his apparent misanthropy and cynicism, but Ford's Mad Scientist public image is more about him playing things up, rather than actual fact. Arnold, Ford's more meek and less cynical friend, and more host-caring former colleague, has several similarities to the other scientists from the play. He has an element of Rossum's "reclusive Mad Scientist" backstory too. When using her Wyatt-based persona, Dolores has parallels to RUR's robot revolt leader Radius. Otherwise, she also resembles the human character Helena Glory, an activist for robot rights early in the play. And if some of the implications about the six parks' location are true, the parks might be situated on an isolated island... just like the RUR headquarters and production facilities were.
    • And, of course, Westworld is heavily reminiscent of Michael Crichton's most famous adapted work - Jurassic Park. Both stories are about carefully monitored & artificially created organisms being used as entertainment at huge theme parks located on isolated islands. Both stories have common themes of chaos and how life will refuse to be constrained & desires freedom (though Westworld cynically implies that this desire for freedom and finding a purpose is futile). Westworld and Jurassic Park also has both central corporations having lots of backstabbing and internal turmoil as the titular theme parks become increasingly unsafe & their main inhabitants begin to create more & more security risks. And that's all without the fact that both InGen and Delos are established as having many nefarious goals for the advanced technology being used in their parks that conflict with how it's currently being utilized by the respective park owners.
    • The third season's setting is inspired by Production I.G.'s anime series, Psycho-Pass, where there's an A.I. system called Rehoboam that analyzes data which gives the person a direction to their lives which is very similar to the Sibyl System except the latter is commonly used for law enforcement. Likewise, the technology of both shows also rely on holographs and virtual reality. There are also outliers (people who are threat to the system) and the system uses some outliers to neutralize other outliers which is similar to the Sibyl System using latent criminal as Enforcers to neutralize other latent criminals.
  • The 2012 British Mini Series White Heat drew comparisons to Our Friends in the North due to it focusing on the lives of a group of friends over many years of British history. The creator, Paula Milne, rejected a direct comparison, however:
    Our Friends in the North was absolutely seminal. But it didn't have a lot to do with women, and it didn't have a lot to do with race, and it didn't have a lot to do with sexual politics.
  • 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.
    • Time Warp tried to replicate the Mythbusters' success but studying on slow motion rather than exploring myths. The Mythbusters eventually even tackled at least one "myth" that Time Warp had already explored.
  • 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? And in turn, Escape the Night is this to Whodunnit. Its a Closed Circle Murder mystery (although they don't solves mysteries as they more solve Room Escape Game puzzles and vote each other off to die.) Hell, it even features a similar grey-hared host!
  • The Wire is generally seen as a spiritual successor to the earlier Baltimore police series, Homicide: Life on the Street, which was based on David Simon's book and for which he wrote. It's also a successor to another of Simon's shows, The Corner.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place is this to Phil of the Future, in the sense that its 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report