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Posted on Monday 7th May 2018
As sure as night follows day, if there’s money to be made in a show then Studio Executives will investigate, milking the most out of a success story.
Soap operas are no different and over the last few decades we have seen our fair share of decent extensions and dodgy cash-ins.
So let's raise a glass to our Top 5 of the best soap spin-offs, is yours here?
The Bill originally started life in 1983 as a one-off drama with the name Woodentop, executives saw promise in this and soon The Bill (as it was now known) ran until 2010. One of the most popular characters was DCI Frank Burnside, played to perfection by Christopher Ellison so he was the natural choice when a spin-off was considered. This no-nonsense, gruff talking Copper did things his way, no matter how questionable his procedures were.
4: Damon and Debbie
Though Brookside also had the spin-off South, the big one was Damon and Debbie. Running over only three episodes (so is often termed as a Soap Bubble rather than full spin-off but we like it so it stays in the list!) it gave Brookside fans exactly what they wanted, and then something they really didn’t. It was the first of an occasional series of late-night Brookside spin-offs but still remains the most popular.
3: Holby City
When the hospital drama Casualty started back in 1986, few would have believed it would have lasted over three decades. Even fewer would have suggested that a spin-off show would be just as successful. Set in the same hospital as Casualty, Holby City started in 1999 and gave us an even greater insight into the how hard working in such a stressful environment can be, with added pieces of romance. There was another spin-off, the police series HolbyBlue but it only lasted 2 series.
2: The Colbys
The Colbys may have only lasted 49 episodes but it left its mark on the soap opera landscape, mainly thanks to its incredible, star-studded cast. Starting in 1985, at the height of Dynasty mania, The Colbys focused on another family who were connected to the Carrington’s but were just as wealthy. Charlton Heston, Ricardo Montalban, Stephanie Beacham and Barbara Stanwyck were just some of the ensemble collected for this big-budgeted TV block-buster, but it failed to the the sassy edge that its parent show had.
1: Knots Landing
The soap spin-off to beat them all, Knots Landing took the family fractures of Dallas and re-located them to a posh cul-de-sac in LA. First focusing on the domestic issues of Gary and Valene Ewing we were soon introduced to the rest of the community who were all trying to hide their marital secrets and personal demons. The drama soon shifted after a few seasons and become more about big-businnes rather than small issues but this added sparkle and ran from 1979 till 1993.