How these second bananas fared in their spinoffs

The spinoff is a time-honored TV tradition that’s met with mixed results through the years.

Every success — “The Jeffersons,” “Maude” — has been matched by a dismal failure. Anyone else remember the “Friends” spinoff “Joey,” starring Matt LeBlanc or “Beverly Hills Buntz,” spun off from “Hill Street Blues” and starring Dennis Franz? Didn’t think so.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the more memorable spinoffs with differing track records.

Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors)

Original show: “The Andy Griffith Show” (1960-68)

Spinoff: “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” (1964-69)

How it went: Lights out. It’s one of the most-watched spinoffs in TV history, finishing in the Top 10 in each of its five seasons.

Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper)

Original show: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-77)

Spinoff: “Rhoda” (1974-78)

How it went: Good, at first, but petered out after Mary’s former neighbor Rhoda — who moved back to New York City — married, then divorced, Joe (David Groh). No one wanted to see Rhoda single (again).

Photo showing Valerie Harper wearing a dress and hat as Rhoda Morgenstern in "Rhoda."
Valerie Harper as “Rhoda,” which aired on CBS.
Courtesy Everett Collection

Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer)

Original show: “Cheers” (1982-93)

Spinoff: “Frasier” (1993-2004)

How it went: Great. “Frasier” ran for 11 seasons, turned Grammer into a huge star and is being revived on Paramount+ with Grammer returning to the role.

Photo showing Kelsey Grammer and guest star Harriet Sansom Harris in a 1998 episode of "Frasier."
Kelsey Grammer and Harriet Sansom Harris in a 1998 episode of “Frasier” on NBC.
©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collectio

Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh)

Original show: “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005-present)

Spinoff: “Private Practice” (2007-13)

How it went: OK, but was never an out-of-the-box hit and averaged just over 6 million viewers in its final season — a far cry from the 14 million-plus who watched Season 1.

Photo of Kate Walsh and Benjamin Bratt from "Private Practice."
Kate Walsh and Benjamin Bratt in a scene from “Private Practice.”
©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collectio

Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk)

Original show: “Breaking Bad” (2008-13)

Spinoff: “Better Call Saul” (2015-present)

How it went: More of a critical darling than a ratings-grabber, earning nearly 40 Emmy nominations (but no victories). By the time Season 6 premieres in 2022, it will have been two years since the last new episode. Not good.

Photo showing Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk as Kim and Jimmy in "Better Call Saul."
Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk in “Better Call Saul,” which returns next year.
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Tel

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