10 Spin-off TV Shows That Made It Big

"The Colbert Report"
Stephen Colbert launched his satirical show after appearing on "The Daily Show" for years. Brad Barket/Getty Images

A blow (or boost) to democracy was dealt in 2005, when Stephen Colbert was promoted from "The Daily Show" supporting cast to host of his own series. Also along for the ride: Stephen Colbert, fictional conservative talking head. The character provides the platform to mock extreme, illogical, and hypocritical positions. Instead of alienating or depressing his audience, Colbert brings them along for the ride with memorable lines, such as, "If women are breadwinners and men bring home the bacon, why do people complain about having no dough? I'm confused. Also hungry" [source: Specktor].

The political parody occasionally ventures out of the studio and into the real world. In 2008, Colbert had a short stint as a presidential candidate. He's testified before Congress, started a super PAC, and earned his own Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor, Americone Dream. Colbert the character has done well for Colbert the actor. As of 2014, the show has 37 Emmy nominations and six wins, including outstanding variety series [source: Television Academy – Colbert]. The 2015 Emmy Awards will be the last time Colbert can add to his cache, as he signed off for the last time on Dec. 18, 2014.