Spin-off (media)

An offshoot or spin-off is in the field of mass media and entertainment industry with a product that was " outsourced " from another work of fiction. This is often the case in television series, in which popular secondary characters are made to the main characters in the new series.

  • 3.1 TV series 3.1.1 Germany / Austria
  • 3.1.2 International


The first example of such a spin-off of a TV series in 1960 The Andy Griffith Show, an offshoot of the Danny Thomas Show (aka Make room for Daddy ), which also raised four additional locations by itself. Most common are the offshoot even in comic series.

Often in offshoots of television series is the storyline of one or more figures, which are already known from the original series, continued in a separate series. In most cases the figures leave for this purpose the original series. This logical overlap act the origin series and the new series in the same series universe. A classic case is The Empire - The Colby's, which was developed directly from Dynasty out.

In television series, it may happen that the original series is already set and only after a follow-up series is produced in order to build on the success of the original series. An example of this is Joey, a spin-off of the sitcom Friends, in which the storyline around the character Joey Tribbiani will continue.

Special forms


Sometimes the principle of the offshoot is also handled only indirectly, when indeed be linked from design and content to an existing plant, but not the original actors are used or in the title of the new series is not taken directly to the original factory cover. Often, the branch will not be a stand-alone pilot, but by means of a so-called Backdoor Pilots ( German about: Back Door Series Start) started. Thus, a series expanded to a whole series and film family. This form is also referred to as " franchise " in English. Also a successor series may constitute a franchise. Examples of franchises in which, although the original title was retained, the actor has not been incorporated, are the numerous series and films of the Star Trek series or more recently CSI: Miami and CSI: NY, both of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The successful top model series America's Next Top Model has many offshoots and was invented by Tyra Banks. The German version is called Germany's Next Top Model and will be hosted by Heidi Klum.

Succession series

Another special form of the offshoot is the successor series. In this case, started after the original series setting another series in the same universe is moved. It can be incidental or main characters of the original series again include series regular on the series, but it can also be used exclusively completely new characters as protagonists, with key elements of the original series will be accepted.

An example of the latter is the Knight Rider series Succession Team Knight Rider, in which neither Michael Knight KITT yet (apart from some references) show up. Instead, operates a new team of private laws protector with new " super cars " for Michael Knights former employer, the " Foundation for Law and Government ."

An example of a succession series in again protagonist of the original series can be seen in the lead roles, is the Golden- Girls- Succession Series Golden Palace, in the Sophia, Rose and Blanche again three of the four main characters of the original series can be seen in the lead roles.

The delimitation of successor series to "normal" offshoots is sometimes difficult and not always perfectly possible. One example is called Joey, in which the experiences of the Friends character Joey Tribbiani are described after the events of the last Friends - Season. Since the series was not produced until after the cessation of Friends, they can also be regarded as the successor series. Since, however, was taken apart from the main character Joey nothing (no other characters, not the Handlungsort (Los Angeles rather than New York) and also no significant stylistic elements ) from Friends, the series can be classified as a normal offshoot.

There may also be a follow-up series of two previous series. A recent example is the Nickelodeon series Sam & Cat. This series is an offshoot of iCarly and Victorious. From the two series one figure has been adopted for it. From iCarly was Sam Pucket ( Jennette McCurdy ) and Victorious Cat Valentine was ( Ariana Grande) taken. The two become friends and start a babysitting business.

Examples of spin-off

The offshoot principle is found, as it promises high sales figures for a given popularity of the respective original, in all possible sectors of the entertainment industry again.

TV series

Germany / Austria

  • Schimanski is an offshoot of the scene
  • Solo for Sudmann is an offshoot of SOKO 5113
  • Stockinger is a spin-off from Inspector Rex
  • Trautmann is an offshoot of Kaisermuehlen Blues
  • Hotel Elfie is an offshoot of girl friends - friendship with heart
  • City, State, murder! is an offshoot of Der Bulle von Tölz
  • Cologne 50667 is an offshoot of Berlin - Day & Night


  • Baywatch Nights is an offshoot of Baywatch - The Baywatch
  • Boston Legal is an offshoot of Practice - Attorneys
  • A Different World is an offshoot of The Cosby Show
  • CSI: Miami and CSI: NY are offshoots of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • NCIS is a spin-off of JAG - The Call of Duty
  • NCIS: Los Angeles is an offshoot of NCIS
  • Frasier is a spin-off from Cheers
  • Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: UK, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent - Criminal Intent are offshoots of Law & Order
  • Private Practice is a spin-off of Grey 's Anatomy
  • The Simpsons is an offshoot of the Simpsons shorts, an animated short film series from the Tracey Ullman Show
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is an offshoot of Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Trapper John, M.D. is an offshoot of M * A * S * H
  • Knots Landing is an offshoot of Dallas


  • Ewoks - The caravan of the brave is an offshoot of The Return of the Jedi
  • Riddick: The Chronicles of Riddick is an offshoot of Pitch Black - Planet of Darkness
  • The Scorpion King is an offshoot of The Mummy Returns

Novel series

  • Mars is an offshoot of Maddrax
  • Atlan is an offshoot of Perry Rhodan
  • Operation Rainbow and In the Eye of the Tiger are offshoots of command from above

Radio plays

  • Bibi and Tina and Elea Eluanda are offshoots of Bibi