‘Better Call Saul’ is Great, How Long Do TV Spinoffs Usually Last?

FiveThirtyEight.com: How Long Can A Spinoff Like ‘Better Call Saul’ Last?

“The average spinoff lasted 68 episodes, and its parent series ran an average of 171 episodes, meaning that we can expect the average spinoff to run 40 percent of the length of its originator. The spectrum was wide, though. Some shows, like “Beverly Hills Buntz” and “Bewitched” spinoff “Tabitha,” barely lasted 5 percent of their parents’ runs, while others, like “Frasier” and “Golden Girls” offshoot “Empty Nest,” were on 98 percent as long as their predecessors. The rarest category: spinoffs whose runs exceeded those of their originators. Only five shows were in this category — “Family Matters,” “The Jeffersons,” “NCIS,” “Jackass” spinoff “Viva La Bam,” and the little-remembered Western “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” Most shows, though, fell into the comfortable middle of moderate success, their runs lasting between one-third and two-thirds as long as their originating series.

Based on precedent, we can expect a spinoff of “Breaking Bad,” which ran for 62 episodes, to run for about 25 episodes — two seasons, give or take, by cable standards. But “Better Call Saul” is a different, more retro, spinoff, one that maybe shouldn’t be judged the same way as most contemporary spinoffs.”

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