Since the golden age of television there have been hundreds of spin-off shows based on popular series. Some, like Frasier and the recently released Better Call Saul, are welcomed with open arms and get the attention they deserve right from the start. While others, like Joanie Loves Chachi and the short lived Friends spin-off, Joey, are dismal attempts to recapture the audience that fell in loved their parent series.
Whether good or bad, spin-off series remain a likely outcome whenever a popular, long-running series comes to a close. However, sometimes a spin-off series is so different from its forerunner, or based on such an obscure character from the original show, that viewers are unaware that they’re even watching a spin-off. Here are 8 popular shows you probably never knew were spin-offs.
8. Mork & Mindy
Starring a then-unknown Robin Williams, this series about a quirky alien named Mork who befriends a human named Mindy got a lot of attention with its very first season. So much attention that, according to the Nielsen rating, it even gained a wider audience than the show that spawned it — Happy Days. That’s right. A show about a comedy-loving being from another planet was derived from a series that revolved around some high school kids in Wisconsin.