CBS’s military crime drama “NCIS” is one of those rare spinoffs that prove to be better than the show if was spun off from “JAG,” a popular military law drama on CBS from the mid-‘90s through the early 2000s. “NCIS,” which just wrapped up its eighth season, is the most-watched scripted show on television, bringing in almost 20 million viewers a week. The show even has a spinoff of its own, “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
“NCIS” can be seen locally every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on Conway Corp. KTHV Channel 11.
2. “The Andy Griffith Show”
Most people don’t realize “The Andy Griffith Show” was a spinoff. It was spun off an episode of “The Danny Thomas Show” in 1960 when Thomas is arrested and detained by Griffith’s Andy Taylor in the episode “Danny Meets Andy Griffith.” “Andy Griffith” became one of the finest shows in TV history and spun off two shows on its own: the successful “Gomer Pyle, USMC” and the less successful “Mayberry RFD.”
Re-runs of “The Andy Griffith Show” can be seen locally Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. on Fox16 Conway Corp. Channel 16.
Frasier Crane from the ‘80s sitcom “Cheers” was one of the lesser characters on the show, but they spun off a show based on him anyway and thankfully so. Kelsey Grammer played Crane for 20 years between the shows, which ties with James Arness’ Marshall Matt Dillon from “Gunsmoke” as the longest running character on TV. “Cheers” is one of the greatest sitcoms ever, but I think “Frasier” is even better.
Re-runs of “Frasier” can be seen locally on a nightly basis on the Hallmark Channel Conway Corp. Channel 106.
4. “Boston Legal”
“Boston Legal” was a quirky, critically acclaimed success of a law drama in the mid-2000s from David E. Kelley that was spun off of his highly successful law drama “The Practice.” The “Boston Legal” quirkiness is what made it such a special show led by a fantastic cast of James Spader, William Shatner and Candice Bergen, all Emmy winners. I’d argue this is one of the five best shows of the last decade.
Re-runs of “Boston Legal” can be seen locally Monday through Friday mornings at 4 a.m. on TVLand Conway Corp. Channel 20.
5. “The King of Queens”
“The King of Queens” is another series that many people don’t realize is a spinoff. It’s a spinoff of the CBS sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” In ‘ELR,’ Kevin James plays one of Ray Romano’s characters friends. Romano’s Ray Barone would later appear in four episodes of ‘Queens.’ “The King of Queens” had a hilarious nine-year run and James’ Doug Heffernan is one of television’s funniest characters.
Re-runs of “The King of Queens” can be seen locally Monday through Friday afternoons from 5-6 p.m. on TBS Conway Corp. Channel 8.