‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ continues TV’s spinoff tradition


Austin, Texas, is the setting of new Fox spinoff series


Rob Lowe stars in “9-1-1: Lone Star,” which has a two-night premiere Sunday and Monday on Fox.

You’d think that if a series is popular enough to yield a spinoff, the second show also stands a good chance of success.

Yes, you’d think that … but recent television years have shown that it doesn’t always end up that way.

Still, that doesn’t stop producers and networks from rolling the dice and trying to expand upon their successes. A new example is Fox’s and prolific show-maker Ryan Murphy’s “9-1-1: Lone Star,” which arrives with a two-night premiere Sunday and Monday, Jan. 19 and 20. Rob Lowe returns to weekly TV work as the sole survivor of his New York firehouse on 9/11, now relocating to Austin, Texas, to help another company of firefighters move past a tragedy of their own.

While Fox’s hopes clearly are high for “9-1-1: Lone Star,” here’s a look at some other spinoffs of recent vintage and how they’ve fared:

“BH90210” (Fox): Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling came up with the idea to make a pseudo-reality show reuniting them with most of their “Beverly Hills, 90210” co-stars, but after a fast start out of the gate, diminishing returns led Fox to pass on a Season 2.

“The Blacklist: Redemption” (NBC): Had the spinoff focused on the character Tom Keen lasted more than two months, star Ryan Eggold might not have been available for the considerably more successful “New Amsterdam.”

“The Conners” (ABC): Curiosity over how “Roseanne” would be without Roseanne brought viewers back to watch the rest of her fictional family … and a lot of them have stayed.

“Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” (CBS): Though this show only had a two-season life, it lived on in a sense when cast member Daniel Henney transferred his character to the original “Criminal Minds” (itself ending its run now).

“FBI: Most Wanted” (CBS): Time will tell how producer Dick Wolf fares with his latest effort to build a multiple-series franchise a la “Law & Order” and the NBC “Chicago” shows, but since this just-premiered drama is his first attempt to do that for CBS, the network is likely to give it a very fair shake.

“Schooled” (ABC): Being a companion piece to parent show “The Goldbergs” surely hasn’t hurt the sitcom tracing the further misadventures of Lainey (AJ Michalka) as she finds her way as a faculty member at her alma mater. Now in Season 2, the series has held its own.

“Station 19” (ABC): Opening its third round Thursday, Jan. 23, the firehouse-themed “Grey’s Anatomy” offshoot is taking no chances by starting its new episodes with a “Grey’s” crossover. Interestingly, “Station” now is the lead-in to “Grey’s” instead of the other way around, which would appear to be a vote of confidence from the network.


Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

jbobbin has 2289 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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