Happy Days premiered 45 years ago today (January 15) and became one of the most successful television shows of all time, but do you remember that it’s actually a spin-off?
In honor of its debut, we look back at these ten iconic TV spin-offs and their origins.
It’s easy to forget, but Happy Days was a spin-off of Love American Style and was on the air for 11 seasons.
Laverne & Shirley
A spin-off of a spin-off! Laverne & Shirley lasted eight seasons and gave the world one of the best theme songs ever!
Mork and Mindy
Happy Days was so influential it had two successful spin-offs. Mork and Mindy lasted four seasons and helped launch Robin Williams’ career.
The Soap spin-off lasted seven seasons and netted lead actor Robert Guillaume an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
Frasier had a tough act to follow being a spin-off of Cheers, but it lasted 11 seasons and won a staggering 37 Emmys overall.
A Different World
This classic sitcom spun-off from The Cosby Show, and the first season followed Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) as she entered college. Bonet would leave the series after the first season, but A Different World would last for five more seasons. Plus, their primary theme song was sung by Aretha Franklin. How awesome is that?!
And then there’s Maude! The late, great Bea Arthur stared in this All In The Family spin-off that lasted six seasons.
The Jeffersons were the second spin-off from All In The Family and stayed on the air for 11 seasons. Oh…and it easily had one of the best ensemble casts and theme songs EVER!
Yet another spin-off of a spin-off! Good Times spun-off from Maude, lasted six seasons AND gave the world Jimmie Walker. (Side note: Apparently, it was a rule for all shows created by Norman Lear to have amazing theme songs.)
No spin-off list is complete without The Simpsons. This iconic animated series started off on The Tracey Ullman Show and is on its 30th season.
Erica Banas is a lover of classic television and wishes tap dancing would make a serious comeback.