There have been many attempts to take characters from popular shows — your housemaids, your second bananas, your vampire boyfriends, your visiting aliens from the planet Ork — and base entire new series around them, in the hope extending a brand or keeping that fan-based excitement alive and kicking. Often, these shows can turn into unexpected hits; once or twice, they’ve even managed to become superior to the originals. Occasionally, however, these spin-offs manage to spin off of a cliff and into the abyss: For every Mash, there is a potential AfterMASH, waiting in the wings to soil a show’s good name forever.
We imagine that the makers of Better Call Saul, the highly anticipated prequel to Breaking Bad that’s debuting this weekend, are praying for a best-case scenario here. We also hope that they’ve looked at the following 10 case studies of broken, bad TV spin-offs and have learned valuable lessons from these failures. Not even Saul Goodman could have gotten these TV-series Hindenburgs out of a jam.