In media, a spin-off is a radio program, Television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work (e.g. a particular topic, character, or event). A spin-off may be called a sidequel when it exists in the same chronological frame of time as its predecessor work. One of the earliest spin-offs of the modern media era, if not the first, happened in 1941 when the supporting character Throckmorton P. Guildersleeve from the old time radio comedy show Fibber McGee and Molly became the star of his own program The Great Guildersleeve (1941–1957).
In genre fiction, the term parallels the usage in television; it is usually meant to indicate a substantial change in narrative viewpoint and activity from that (previous) storyline based around the activities of the series' principal protagonist(s) and so is a shift to that action and overall narrative thread of some other protagonist(s), which now becomes the central or main thread (storyline) of the new sub-series. The new protagonist generally appears first as a minor or supporting character in the main story line within a given milieu, and it is very common for the previous protagonist to have a supporting or cameo role, at the least as a historical mention, in the new sub-series. Spin offs, sometimes generate their own spin-offs, leaving the new show only vaguely connected to the original series.
Examples of notable spin-offs
Supporting characters in comic books, who then got their own titles, include:
- The Smurfs who originated in Johan and Peewit
- Marsupilami who first appears in Spirou et Fantasio
- The Legion of Super-Heroes, who first appeared in Superboy, which in turn was a spin-off from Superman
- Jack of Fables, a spin-off from the DC Vertigo comic Fables
- ↑ December 4, 2006 (2006-12-04). "sidequel". Doubletongued.org. http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/citations/sidequel_1/. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- ↑ Dunning, John R (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio, Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0-19-507678-8, p. 293.