Spin-Off vs Split-Off – Difference and Comparison

What is a Spin-Off?

A spin-off is the production of something new based on a popular television program, movie, or character. A radio program, book, movie, tv series, video game, or narrative originating from already prevailing work and being represented again in a more detailed and comprehensive way is called a spin-off in media.

It may be a specific character, a topic, a narrative, or a specific event. It may be fictional or in a real-time story. The purpose of the spin-off is to pinpoint the alteration in the story’s perspective based on the main character and their activities. Due to this dynamic shift, the secondary character becomes an attraction hub.

Initially, the main character in the spin-off is a side character in the original story, but now the show is based on their original narrative. The earliest spin-off in history was done in 1941. A spin-off is also called a sequel. The most considerable spin-off in media is the Simpsons series, created as animated series from a sketch series.

What is a Prequel?

A prequel is a narrative or movie that depicts events before those of an already-published work. A dramatic, literary, or cinematic work whose story paves the way for previous work or events before the original narrative is called a prequel. The prequel is part of the backstory to the preceding work.

Prequels, like sequels, can or cannot focus on the same theme as the original material. Most frequently, the prequels concentrate on the story’s actual background, due to which the events happened initially, but sometimes links could be more precise.

Sometimes prequels deliberately use citations to create a dramatic situation to get the audience’s attention and knowledge of what will happen next. Historically, prequels first appeared in 1958, and terms were used from 1970-1980.

An example of a prequel is A Godfather, the Godfather Part II is a sequel and one of the more unusual examples of a prequel film. Other examples of prequels are Indiana Jones’s the Temple of Doom, produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas as a sequel to the well-received Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Difference Between Spin-off and Prequel

The spin-offs and prequels are creative works but are different from each other. 

  1. In the prequel, the background of the original story is focused, while in comparison to this, in the spin-off stories, the character mentioned is foremost in the story and is built on their point of view.
  2. Prequels may be past stories, while the rule differs in spin-offs. It may be a new product based on a popular tv program or a character.
  3. Prequels involve the character because it provides insight into the production of the novel, but spin-offs may decide to ignore the character completely. A spin-off creates a brand-new work based on a well-liked television show, movie, person, etc.

Comparison Between Spin-off and Prequel

DefinitionA spin-off is the production of something new based on a popular television program, movie, character, or previous narrative.A prequel is a narrative or movie that depicts events before those of an already-published work.
ThemesGoal of the spin-off is entirely different, but the main character is the same as in the original story.A prequel is supposed to come from the events of the original story.
ImportanceSpin-off the character is based on the point of view of the original story.Prequels explain a character’s good history and psychology in a show or a story in the universe takes place.


  1. Bellamy, R.V., McDonald, D.G. and Walker, J.R., 1990. The spin‐off as television program form and strategy. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 34(3), pp.283-297.
  2. Duffy, D., Enrique, A., Connell, S., Connolly, C. and Richards, D., 2020. Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy as a prequel to face-to-face therapy for depression and anxiety: a naturalistic observation. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, p.902.