Its strange that "Better Call Saul," which debuts on Feb. 8 on AMC, is so eagerly awaited. After all, how can the series, a prequel of sorts to "Breaking Bad," be anywhere near as good as the show that spawned it? Sure, the adventures of lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) before he became the money-launderer to Albuquerque's meth-dealing elite ought to be darkly funny in the way that "Breaking Bad" often was. Nonetheless, history is not on the side of the spinoff.
That's because a spinoff is usually an indication of creative bankruptcy, not creative ferment. There's usually something hacky about taking a character introduced in one show and placing him or her in his own series, or expanding a franchise to create a new show that's just like the old show but with a different setting.
Still, as rare as a good spinoff is, it's less rare than you'd think. In fact, many classic shows are spinoffs, including several you may not have realized were spawned from other shows. Here are 35 of the spinoffs that give us hope for the prospects of "Better Call Saul."