We’ve been waiting for months now, anxiously pacing around our living rooms and marking off our calendars — and finally, this Sunday and Monday, we’ll get our first look at the highly anticipated, two-part premiere of the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. The question is not whether this prequel series about the misadventures of Walter White’s shady attorney will be better than Breaking — roughly 99 percent of TV shows out there wouldn’t meet that standard, so we’re not going to judge it on that merit. Rather, it’s whether Saul will become one of those shows that sprung from a former TV hit and then went on to achieve small-screen glory on its own.
The landscape is littered with great spin-offs (and, frankly, a good deal of wretched ones as well), so while we wait to see where Vince Gilligan and Bob Odenkirk’s show falls on the spectrum, we’re looking back at the 20 best TV spin-offs of all time. Whether it was taking a supporting character and elevating him of her to star status, or simply continuing to mine a show’s universe for more adventures, these are the ones that set the bar for how to do it right.