Ask Alan: What Are The Best Movie Spin-Offs Of TV Shows?

Time for another installment of Ask Alan, where I take your questions about the past, present, and future of TV.

First up, news of David Chase making a prequel movie to The Sopranos prompted a question about the best movies set in the same continuity as a TV show. So that meant that, say, The X-Files movies and Serenity were eligible, while adaptations like The Fugitive and The Brady Bunch were not. For me, there’s a clear number one, but there have been a handful of other excellent movies in this category. (And that’s not even mentioning a couple that just slipped my mind: The Simpsons Movie and South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.)

As often happens with these videos, a question one week inspires the inverse question in the next. Last time out, I talked about TV’s best replacement characters, which led to a question about the worst replacement characters. I tried to stick with clear one-to-one replacements (i.e., Nora Lewin for Adam Schiff on Law & Order) as opposed to bad characters who were just added to ensembles late in the run.

Finally, we have a question about shows that knew they were canceled and went creatively weird either because they knew the end was near or knew nobody was watching anymore. Here’s the ToddVanDerWerff piece about Til Death I mention in my answer. Todd hopes to do a sequel about a show I didn’t mention in the segment: Lyon’s Den, which star Rob Lowe says got super bizarre once NBC pulled the show while production continued.

As always, you can email me questions at, or tweet at me with the hashtag #AskAlanDay.

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