"Cheers" and "Frasier"
NBC's "Cheers" was an American favorite that lasted 11 seasons. The show, filmed primarily in a bar, originally tried a spin-off series featuring Carla's husband, Nick Tortelli, as the main character. The show was titled, "Tortelli's" and lasted only four months before NBC took it off the air.
After this failed attempt, NBC tried again, giving bar regular Dr. Frasier Crane his own show. The new show, "Frasier," led by Kelsey Grammar as a Seattle psychiatrist, became wildly successful and ranked right up there with "Cheers." During its 11 seasons on the air, "Frasier" became the first television series to win five consecutive Emmy Awards for outstanding comedy series. The spin-off proved to be more successful than its older sibling.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel"
Originally spun off the film of the same name, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as a typical high school student Buffy Summers. When she realized she was responsible for fighting off demons and vampires, her world changed drastically.
First airing on the WB, and later on UPN, the show tracked Buffy through her conquests with villains. Later, Buffy fell in love with Angel, a "good vampire." Together, the duo fought demons. That is, until 1999, when the WB gave Angel his own show called "Angel."
The show tracked Angel as he moved to Los Angeles to continue his battle against the dark forces. A surprising success, it lasted fve years on the WB.
"Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi"Among the flops of television spin-offs is ABC's "Joanie Loves Chachi." It spun off of one of America's favorites, "Happy Days," a show that lasted 10 years and garnered numerous awards and great ratings.
"Happy Days" featured the Cunningham family living in Milwaukee, including son Richie and his friends Potsie, Ralph and Fonz.
"Joanie and Chachi" followed Joanie, the Cunningham's daughter, and Chachi as they moved to Chicago to pursue a music career. The show, which tried to mix together comedy and music, didn't make it on ABC and lasted a little over a year.
"Friends" and "Joey"
"Friends," an amazingly successful show which lasted for 10 years, starred six New York City friends and followed them as they ventured through life in the big city.
In 2004, NBC created the spin-off "Joey," which featured one of the friends, Joey Tribbiani, a struggling actor known for his witty personality. The show followed Joey as he left his friends in New York to pursue his acting career and reunite with his family in California.
Lasting less than two years, "Joey" struggled without the rest of the "Friends" cast. While the show demonstrated high interest in its premiere, numbers continued to drop, and "Joey" was eventually cancelled.
"Baywatch" and "Baywatch Nights"
While the babe-filled "Baywatch" proved to be a huge success, lasting over 12 years, its spin-off "Baywatch Nights" was a huge dud.
"Baywatch," a show consisting of beautiful lifeguards, including Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra, patrolling the beaches of California, was a favorite among viewers.
"Baywatch Nights" followed Mitch Buchannon, played by David Hasselhoff, as he worked at a detective agency. The show lasted only two years and was taken off NBC for poor ratings.
"Three's Company" and "Three's a Crowd"