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House of the Dragon: How Profitable have Spin-offs been in the TV Industry?

"House of the Dragon", prequel to "Game of Thrones", will be added to the extensive list of spin-offs from successful series. Will it be able to surpass the success of its predecessor?.

Still from the series 'House of Dragon'

One of the next projects to be released, in addition to being one of the most anticipated by the community, is "House of the Dragon", a spin-off of the acclaimed series "Game of Thrones". Photo: YT-HBO

LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid

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Leer en español: House of the Dragon: ¿Qué tan rentables han sido los spin-offs en la industria televisiva?

For those who do not know its meaning, a spin-off is a TV series or movie that is linked to a previous production and whose popularity was quite high at the time. This type of project is usually a strategy of production companies and television channels to try to attract the audience once again. However, this can become a double-edged sword, as nothing and no one guarantees that a spin-off will achieve the success of its predecessor.

Today, this practice has become very common in the television industry, which seek to make a new narrative work from a plot or character already known and thus develop their own story. What is the purpose of all this? Give a different twist to the series in question to expand its universe and thus be able to explore more versions and facts that surround it. Obviously, and as it tends to happen with these productions, criticism or controversy will always be present at all costs.

One of the next projects to be released, in addition to being one of the most anticipated by the community, is "House of the Dragon", a spin-off of the acclaimed series "Game of Thrones" . The success of the novels created by George RR Martin and which aired on HBO between 2011 and 2019 marked a milestone in the history of television, to the point of generating a huge cultural impact around the world. But beyond the bittersweet sensation her final season brought, the idea of expanding her own universe looks as appealing as it is dangerous.

For this occasion, many fans will not only be looking forward to the next adventures that will be seen in The Seven Kingdoms, but also for what GOT meant at the time and the high bar it left at the audiovisual level. For now, "House of the Dragon" will have a creative team that will be led by Miguel Sapochnik, director of chapters such as 'Battle of the Bastards' or 'The Long Night', in addition to George RR Martin and Ryan J. Condal as his creators and executive producers.

When success knocks on the door of a spin-off

While it is true that betting on spin-offs are like tossing a coin and it is not really known if it will be successful, the list of these productions that had the approval of the audience and critics has several representatives. In other words, there is no magic formula for this to happen, but one detail that serves as a fundamental foundation is in the creative minds behind the show.

To date, there is no better example of a spin-off that totally surpassed its original series than "Frasier" (1993-2004). This sitcom was the continuation of "Cheers" and had as main character Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist who returns to his hometown to rebuild his life after divorcing. The success was so resounding that in addition to having 264 episodes and eleven seasons behind it, it won a total of 37 Emmys, setting a record of 5 statues won consecutively for Best Comedy Series.

For its part, we also have the phenomena of television series such as "Law & Order" and "CSI" that throughout this last decade have not stopped taking spin-offs that serve to enhance their strengths and improve those weak, having as a final result the expansion of a unique universe in its style. With this last premise, one can also mention "Chicago Fire", one of the most successful dramas on the NBC and which gave rise to a whole line of productions such as "Chicago PD", "Chicago Med" and "Chicago Justice".

Read also: "No Time To Die": The Goodbye Of Daniel Craig's James Bond

And the ones that did not have the same luck?

Just as there are some spin-offs that surpass the original and others that are quite acceptable, there are also many cases where it would have been better not to bet on those ideas. Even the failure of these series was so evident that almost no one remembers or knows that such a production existed. One of the most popular and recent was "The Carrie Diaries" (2013-2014), a prequel to the hit "Sex and the City" that narrated the beginnings of Carrie Bradshaw, a character played in 1998 by Sarah Jessica Parker. With only two seasons and 26 very low-rated episodes, The CW channel chose to cancel it.

Also, after the acclaimed series "Friends" came to an end in 2004, one of its most beloved characters had a spin-off totally forgotten. In "Joey" (2004-2006) they wanted to relate the life of this character in Los Angeles after the latest events with his friends in New York. Of course, the final result was not what was expected and the magic that at the time characterized Joey Tribbiani only reached him for two seasons and 46 episodes, of which 8 were not broadcast.

And it is that just as there are spin-offs that fail to connect with the audience despite the success of their predecessors (such as "Ravenswood" from "Pretty Little Liars", or "Models Inc." from the franchise "Beverly Hills, 90210" ), there are also other examples that have earned the respect of critics (such as "Better Call Saul" from "Breaking Bad", or "The Mandalorian" from the "Star Wars" universe). In the end, the television industry will continue to launch its ambitious projects, but we will have the last word.