While a lot of people write off TV spinoffs as indicative of a lack of originality on the part of show creators, as well as an easy cash grab for networks, it's hard to deny their appeal. It takes characters and universes we already know and love and expands upon them in interesting ways, be it focusing on a specific character or looking at a previously, completely unexplored location or time period of an existing series. In fact, many of the great TV shows of the past and present have been spinoffs, including The Jeffersons, Laverne & Shirley, Frasier, and Better Call Saul.
When looking at the lineup of new shows to debut in 2019, this year looks to be relying pretty heavily on spinoffs of existing hits. In some cases, the spinoffs are going to be picking up just as their parent shows are ending, while others will run concurrently with the shows they have spun off from. There is also a particularly noteworthy case where we'll be getting a spinoff that technically follows a TV series that ended its run way back in 1994. Here's a hint: it involves boldly going where no one has gone before. Another type of spinoff that is looking to be especially prevalent this year are spinoffs of movies. While this isn't technically a new concept, the TV spinoffs of movies that are projected to hit in 2019 are somewhat unique in that they are bringing along actors from the original films, which is something that was almost unheard of for TV spinoffs of films up until recently. With that being said, here are 11 TV Spinoffs Coming in 2019 (And 9 Possibilities).
While a lot of the excitement following the announcement of Star Trek: Discovery was dulled when it was revealed to be exclusive to CBS' All Access streaming service (at least in the U.S.), the show nonetheless garnered a strong critical reaction and still found its way to enough fans to warrant a second season, debuting later this month.
Following the success of Discovery, CBS doubled down on its Star Trek production, not only working on Discovery's second season, but also creating a separate series that will focus on The Next Generation's Jean-Luc Picard. With Patrick Stewart reprising the role that first earned him worldwide fame, hype for this new, second Star Trek series is high, and CBS is aiming for a late-2019 debut for the show.
There have been fewer examples of “event television” on the scale of HBO's Game of Thrones, which blurred the lines between television and movies in a way that no other TV show had done up to that point. With the show ending its epic run next year, fans would already be feeling preemptive withdrawal symptoms, that is, if it wasn't for the fact that a GoT spinoff prequel series was already in the works.
While most details of the prequel have been kept under wraps, what is known is that it will star Naomi Watts and take place thousands of years before the events of the original series. With filming already underway, it's not entirely impossible that we'll see a pilot by the end of the year; though, admittedly, it's a bit of a long shot.
Once the DC Comics-based action series Titans was abandoned by original network TNT while the show was still in development, DC took that as an opportunity to make the series one of the tent poles of its own streaming service called DC Universe. Before the show even debuted, DC had not only greenlit a sequel, but also a spinoff.
That spinoff, Doom Patrol, will pair young talent like April Bowlby, Diane Guerrero, and Joivan Wade with established actors Brendan Fraser, Alan Tudyk, Matt Bomer, and even former 007 Timothy Dalton, who will play the team's leader. Expect to see the first batch of Doom Patrol episodes released on DC Universe between February and May.
When Disney first announced that it would be developing its own streaming service, nobody quite knew exactly what it would look like in terms of programming. Sure, the assumption was that it would contain legacy Disney content and become the exclusive home of any theatrical movies they release going forward, but what about new, exclusive content?
It stands to reason that Disney will take advantage of its extremely wide net of owned companies and properties when filling out Disney+, and Pixar will most definitely have a major presence on the platform. In fact, Disney has already announced a spinoff series based on Monsters, Inc., though little is known about it. Disney has been mum about debut dates for individual Disney+ programming, but having brand new Pixar content ready to launch day-and-date with the service to help sell it seems likely.
Like we mentioned in the introduction, some of these spinoffs were set up to begin just after their predecessor series comes to an end. That is the case with Good Trouble, a spinoff to Freeform's The Fosters, which was announced not long after it was confirmed that The Fosters show was to end in 2018.
Set five years after the ending of The Fosters, Good Trouble follows sisters Callie and Mariana as they navigate adult life in Los Angeles. The show already had a soft premiere online on New Year's Eve, but will get its official debut on January 8th and is set to have its first season consist of thirteen episodes that will air into the Spring.
Television is fast becoming the new home for Hollywood's former action heroes. Following in the footsteps of Amazon's Jack Ryan comes a spinoff series to the Bourne franchise. Titled Treadstone, the series will focus on the origins of the mysterious titular organization that trained Jason Bourne and subsequently became his greatest enemy.
USA Network initially ordered a pilot for Treadstone, but later confirmed they were skipping the pilot stage and just ordering the show to series. For the first time, Matt Damon won't be portraying the former CIA black-ops agent, with the role being taken over by actor Jeremy Irvine (War Horse, Stonewall, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again). Treadstone is in production now with no official air date yet, but is far enough along that a 2019 debut wouldn't be out of the question.
America's Got Talent is a reality competition where amateur artists and performers vie for a chance at stardom and a seven-figure contract. What makes the show unique from its peers is that it doesn't just focus on musicians (though they definitely have a place), but all manner of performers, with winners also including three ventriloquists, two magicians, a dancer, and an animal act.
Fronted by first-time host Terry Crews, America's Got Talent: The Champions debuts this month and brings back not only past winners, but finalists and other fan favorites. Most interesting of all is that, despite the title, the competitor list of performers has also been culled from originator Britain's Got Talent, as well as international versions from Australia, Holland, Russia, Spain, Denmark, South Africa, and Ukraine.
Proof that any source material can be reworked into something fresh and interesting with the right people behind it, the Archie comics were adapted into teen drama Riverdale, which is currently in its third season and is responsible for the surprising comebacks of 1990s teen drama stars Luke Perry and Skeet Ulrich.
While Riverdale has already spawned one successful spinoff by way of the Netflix horror series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, showrunner (and Archie Comics CCO) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has stated that he and his team already have an idea for a second spinoff. Though he didn't elaborate on whether the show would follow a Riverdale regular or go a Sabrina-esque route, he did claim that it will be “very different from Riverdale.”
When Guillermo del Toro puts his name on something, in any capacity, it's almost always worth paying attention to. While he is most commonly known for his film and television work, del Toro is also an accomplished author, with four horror and fantasy books to his name. His most recent, Trollhunters, was actually conceived by del Toro as a live-action series that he instead turned into a book when it was deemed too expensive of an idea.
But, he didn't give up on a Trollhunters TV show and eventually turned into it a CG series for Netflix. The acclaimed show was soon seen as the launching point of a whole “Tales of Arcadia” franchise, spinning off into 2018's 3Below, which will be followed by second spinoff Wizards sometime this year.
Starz is quietly building up a respectable portfolio of original programming and has the potential to get on the level of HBO and Showtime if it keeps doing so. Its current marquee series, Power, has run for five seasons with a sixth already confirmed, but there is more coming from the Power universe than just the core series.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, a former cast member who is also an executive producer, confirmed alongside Starz CEO Chris Albrecht that multiple Power spinoffs are being considered, but as of now, only one is confirmed as being in production, which is a prequel spinoff focusing on Jackson's character. No premiere date has been announced, but 2019 wouldn't be out of the question.
For mainstream audiences, director Taika Waititi is a name that seemed to have come out of nowhere when it was attached to the fantastic Thor: Ragnarok in 2017. But, indie comedy fans were already familiar with Waititi's work via his previous films like Eagle vs Shark, Boy, and the vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows starring himself and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords and Dinner for Schmucks).
A spinoff series of What We Do..., entitled Wellington Paranormal, was released in Waititi's native New Zealand and focuses on the movie's police officer characters Mike and Karen. Soon, it will be adapted for U.S. television to air on FX beginning this year and will be titled the same as the original film.
It seems as though every other article written about The Walking Dead in recent years has been about the show's flagging ratings and popularity, but AMC still has a lot of faith in the series and has said as recently as September that they still have a ten-year plan for continuing the franchise.
There has already been talk of multiple made-for-television movies set within the universe of TWD and it seems as though those films are to serve as pilots to see which ones fans take to the most in order to spawn them off into their own series. It's all just been talk at this point, but we have a feeling we might see the first of those movies sometime this year, and that it'll be a glorified pilot for the second TWD spinoff.
USA Network's legal drama series Suits has taken some hits in recent years with the departure of two main, original cast members – Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle. But, as of now, there is no official end in sight for the show, with the second half of its eighth season set to premiere later this month.
That being said, there is already a plan B of sorts for the Suits universe to live on should the core series' days be numbered. Last March, it was announced that a spinoff was in development to focus on Jessica Pearson, played by Gina Torres. The new series, titled Second City, and debuting in 2019, was already set up in the season seven finale that saw Torres' character heading to Chicago; thus, the reason the spinoff is named as such.
The Middle was a hit among critics and audiences alike for much of its nine-season run, and a possible spinoff series was already being rumored a mere week after The Middle's May 2018 series finale. Centering on daughter Sue Heck (Eden Sher), Sue in the City seemed all set to go and was talked up by ABC for months. That is, until ABC officially passed on the pilot in November.
However, the producers of the show are said to be trying to shop it around to other networks and are hoping to follow in the footsteps of another canceled ABC spinoff, Grown-ish, that went on to find success on another channel (Freeform). With the pilot already filmed, Sue in the City could debut as soon as this year if a new home is found quickly enough.
Bad Boys III is one of those movies that seemed to be perpetually “in development,” even as years went by with no concrete information. After over a decade of false starts, screenwriter changes, and missed release dates, it seems as though the movie is finally happening and will be released in 2020 under the title Bad Boys for Life.
But, while all that nonsense was going on, original Bad Boys story writer George Gallo, Jr. conceived a Bad Boys spinoff series to star Gabrielle Union, reprising her role of Sydney Burnett from Bad Boys II. After also encountering a couple years of its own developmental troubles, it was finally announced that L.A.'s Finest (to co-star Jessica Alba and Ernie Hudson) would debut in 2019 as the first original series on the Spectrum cable service.
Due to the popularity of very non-family-friendly shows like Pretty Little Liars, ABC Family realized it needed to re-brand itself (again), adopting the name Freeform in early 2016. And while PLL would only air on Freeform for a little over a year before the series came to a close, we haven't seen the last of that universe.
A lot of people have long forgotten the first attempt at a PLL spinoff, 2013's Ravenswood, which was canceled after one season, but producers are hoping that Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists will have better luck and will serve as more of a successor than Ravenswood was, bringing back several main characters and resolving specific plot threads that OG PLL left hanging.
Fifteen years ago, the idea that Disney could sustain an entire streaming service with only its own content would've had a lot of people skeptical. Fast forward to the company acquiring both Marvel and Lucasfilm, and suddenly, Disney+ seems like it can compete with the big dogs in the arena, and possibly even surpass them.
It was a given that there would be exclusive Marvel-focused content on Disney+, though nobody quite knew what form that might take. But, Disney has since confirmed a live-action series centered on villain Loki (with Tom Hiddleston reprising his role) and it seems like a pretty safe bet that it'll be among the first batch of shows on the service when it launches this year. This will be followed by other standalone Marvel character shows featuring Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier, and Falcon.
After the end of Mythbusters' remarkable 14-season run, it seemed like co-host Jamie Hyneman was content to retreat from the limelight and return to his career of working behind the scenes as a Hollywood special effects wizard. Adam Savage, on the other hand, remained a prominent public figure via various appearances on television and at conventions and seminars. This year, Savage returns to the series that made him a household name, well, sort of.
Mythbusters Jr. follows a similar format to its literal parent series using science to prove or dispel various myths and legends, but with a more educational capacity befitting its young cast.
Fans of The Goldbergs were a little puzzled last January when an episode of the show aired titled “1990-Something,” it seemed to be set during a future point in the show's timeline and only featured some of its characters. It turned out that it wasn't actually an episode of The Goldbergs they were watching, but a pilot for a Goldbergs spinoff that was confirmed by ABC a few months later.
The 1990s-set Schooled will be a little different than “199o-Something,” mainly in losing Nia Long and giving Goldbergs star AJ Michalka a starring role, this time playing a music teacher. But, it still takes place in a high school and features the return of Coach Mellor (Bryan Callen) and Principal Glascott (Tim Meadows), as well as newcomer teacher Charlie “CB” Brown (Brett Dier).
The other key component of Disney+'s eventual slate of original programming will be Star Wars, and several projects are already discussed as being in the works. But, the one that is the farthest along, and the only one that has a real chance of launching alongside (or at least shortly after) the launch of the service is Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian.
After literally decades of being teased with the prospect of a live-action Star Wars series, we're finally getting one with this show that will take place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, creating new canonical stories for that time period after all previous Star Wars Extended Universe content was stricken from the record following Disney's acquisition of the franchise. The Mandalorian will star Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, and Nick Nolte.
Which spinoff series are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below!