View Full Version : Definition of a Spinoff?
07-13-2001, 04:08 PM
What is the real definition of a spin off? Many shows spin off characters,etc, but some are in the gray area. Take a show like Friends for example. is it a spinoff? One of the main characters twin sister was on Mad About You and trhe characters were/are played by the same person. So is it a spinoff? The characted was a minor one on Mad About You but the characters on both shows have many similarities. I am also thinking of another show like this but can't remember. And is Kelly's Kid a spinoff of the Brady Bunch? They were only in 1 episode to see how the ratings would do. Please help me out. Thanks in advance.
07-13-2001, 05:39 PM
Hi Davester -
I would probably define a "spinoff" as a show in which a supporting character from one show is given the lead role in a show of their own, and continues to play the same character.
For example, "Rhoda" and "Phyllis" were both spun off from the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
"Maude" was spun off from "All in the Family" and "Good Times" was spun off from "Maude" (i.e. Florida the maid gets her own show).
Another example would be Jim Nabors leaving Andy Griffith to join the Marines as "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.".
I would differentiate the above examples from a situation such as that which occured on "Mad About You" and "Friends". I would probably classify that more as a "cross-over" concept than a spinoff. There have been a number of "cross over" episodes of sitcoms through the years, and it differs from a true spin off in that a character from one show will make an occassional guest appearance on another show, as opposed to becoming the main character of their own sitcom. Examples of Cross over appearances are:
1) Green Acres and Petticoat Junction characters appearing in each other's shows. Lisa Douglass would occassionally appear on P.Junction, and Sam Drucker was on both shows. I believe even Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies appeared on P.Junction in another cross over move (must have been a sweeps month) :-)
2) Estelle Getty of the Golden Girls (whom I can't stand, btw) appearing on "Empty Nest" with Richard Mulligan & Kristy McNichol. Neither one's a "spin off" of the other, but they do appear on each other's shows as guest stars.
If Michael Richards were to be given his own show playing "Kramer", THAT would be a spin off of Seinfeld. Richards did get his own short-lived show, but since he didn't reprise the "Kramer" character, it wasn't a spin off.
Others may have a different take on this question, and other replies are certainly welcome! Thanks for listening...and have a great day!
And, regarding "Kelly's Kids", that episode was actually a pilot for an unsold series that was never picked up. Had it been picked up, I think you could call it a spin off from the Bradys.
[This message has been edited by TVLanFan (edited 07-13-2001).]
07-15-2001, 05:21 PM
Actually EMPTY NEST was a spin-off of the golden girls, because Richard Mulligans Character of Harry had been on GOLDEN GILRLS as a supporting character for two seasons before being spun off into empty nest, whci then spunn off nurses.
" high school is a battelfield, for the heart."- Angelea, My so-called life.
" Sometimes i wish i had like a giant remote control for my life, nah knowing me i'd probrally loose it and get stuck on cheerleader day in the cafeteria." = Angelea, My so-called life.
vBulletin v3.5.0, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.