The 10 Best Backdoor Drivers, Ranked by IMDb Score

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As is the case with many other procedural crime shows, the producers of ABC The recruit were quick to mount a spin-off. The foundation of the offshoot titled, The recruit: the feds, was featured in a two-episode arc during the current fourth season. And there is no doubt that it will happen since several cast members have been announced.

However. things are not always straightforward when it comes to backdoor drivers. Many have not been recovered, one of the most recent examples being “Pakilliller” in Black Lightning. Others have not only been picked up, but have given rise to equally great performances. So which ones did fans like the most? IMDb has the answers.

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ten “You Really Have a Hold on Me” (Grey’s Anatomy) – 7.4


Meredith talks to a member of Station 19 in Grey's Anatomy

The backdoor driver for Post 19 sees two firefighters bring back two boys who have been caught in a fire. One of them clashes with the staff when he insists on watching the boys get treatment because he was a surgeon.

RELATED: 10 Best TV Spin-Offs, Ranked According To IMDb

At the time of the events, Ben, one of the firefighters, is already a regular on the parent show, introducing the spinoff’s planned main character through him is a perfect idea. And while Ben isn’t the face of the spinoff, his participation encourages fans of the medical drama to check it out.


9 “The Seeker” (Bones) -7.4


In the Season 6 episode, the remains of a Maritime Museum security guard, who attempted to steal an 18th-century nautical artifact, are discovered in the Florida Everglades. Iraqi war veteran Major Walter Sherman, who can see patterns where others cannot, is hired to solve the murder.

However The searcher is one of the spin-offs that was canceled after just one season, its backdoor pilot is entertaining. Not only do the war veteran’s skills prove distinctive in a show that has shocked viewers many times before, but he is also intriguing with his many other quirks.


8 “The Girls’ School” (Diff’rent Strokes) – 7.7


Edna talks to her students in Different Strokes

Edna Garrett receives a job offer as a stay-at-home mom at an all-girls boarding school. After careful consideration, she decides to take it, leading to the spin-off, The facts of life.

Picking up one of the most likable characters and giving them their own show is always a good idea. While most spinoffs try to stray too far in different directions, the backdoor pilot indirectly gives fans the promise that things won’t be too different. That’s because it always makes young people a big part of the plot, only that this time it’s girls, not boys.


seven “Goodbye” (costumes) – 7.8


The newlyweds dance in the costume finale

Lawyer Harvey Specter travels to Chicago to help another lawyer (a former law firm partner) stop a mayor and real estate developer from evicting low-income tenants. The episode lays the groundwork for the new drama, Pearson.

This is one of the few occasions where the series finale doubles as a backdoor pilot. Since the ratings were still decent and Jessica had become a popular character, it made sense for her to create a new show. And to make sure no fan is disconnected, most of the themes and plot structures are retained.


6 “Maude” (All in the Family) – 8.0


Maude's first appearance in All In The Family

Maude Findlay is introduced as a woman visiting a suburban family. She is shown to have politically liberal viewers, which makes some characters uncomfortable.

RELATED: 10 TV Shows You Didn’t Know Had Spinoffs

The original sitcom already tackles serious issues such as racism, homosexuality, abortion, the Vietnam War, menopause and impotence, but the introduction of Maude helps amplify these themes even further. Things could have gone well if Maude had gone from a supporting character to one of the main characters, but giving her a new show turns out to be an even better decision because viewers get to see a different family.


5 “Ice Queen” and “Meltdown” (JAG) – 8.2


The NCIS team is brought in to investigate a homicide involving an influential lieutenant. A commander is then designated as the main suspect.

Two-part backdoor pilots are also quite rare, but “Ice Queen” and “Meltdown” work not only because of the weight of the investigation, but also because of the plot of the NCIS team. There is clearly potential for similar investigations and thankfully CBS chooses to explore this territory. Today, NCIS counts as one of the spinoffs that lasted longer than the original broadcast.


4 “My Favorite Orkan” (Happy Days) – 8.5


Robin Williams as Mork in Happy Days Crossover Mork and Mindy with the Fonz

A visitor introduces himself as an alien from the planet Ork. Several characters then try to find out if he is telling the truth. Events lead to the spin-off, Mork and Mindy.

The sitcom definitely jumps the shark by stepping into sci-fi territory and introducing a character who is an alien. But it’s not such a shocking turn since the sci-fi genre had become hugely popular in the 70s and 80s. The arc also works because Robin Williams gives the performance of a lifetime as Mork.




3 “The Originals” (Vampire Diaries) – 8.6


The backdoor driver for "The originals" (Vampire Diaries)

In the season 4 episode, a vampire travels to New Orleans in search of clues to his family history. A few new characters are introduced, who will continue to be part of The originals.

The main reason the episode feels like a rejuvenation for fans is because it explores a whole new city. It also has darker themes than the parent show, making it clear that older audiences are being targeted. The most important. it avoids the many love triangles that became a big part of the original.


2 “Tale of Two Wolves” (The Originals) – 9.1


The backdoor pilot for Legacies in The Originals

A vampire travels to the mysterious Mystic Falls to get help for his sick friend. The Season 5 episode ties into the upcoming spin-off, Legacy.

RELATED: 10 TV Shows That Obviously Spinoff

A number of things make the episode a go-to, including the fact that it’s structured around a popular 21st-century urban legend that the name is borrowed from. There are also plenty of amazing pop culture references, including one where one of the characters is compared to Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series. The most important. all the basic information needed for the new spin-off is given.


1 “Three Ghosts” (Arrow) – 9.2


Barry Allen acquires his powers in "three ghosts" (Arrow)

After briefly working with Oliver Queen, Barry Allen returns home to Central City. He is then struck by lightning and gains special abilities, officially becoming the hero known as The Flash.

The backdoor pilot is gripping as it finally gives fans the moment fans have been waiting for. After his first few appearances on the show, fans knew it was only a matter of time before Barry became The Flash. And when that happens, he finally becomes able to stand and becomes equal to Oliver Queen.

NEXT: 10 TV Shows With The Most Spinoffs


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