In Spanish, the concept of "spin-off" is known as "something that is imitative or derivative of an earlier work, product, or establishment; especially: a television show starring a character popular in a secondary role of an earlier show", but the English term is used for that purpose. So, in Spanish we can say:

Better call Saul es un spin-off de Breaking Bad.

See this example from the Spanish press:

La televisión norteamericana nos ha acostumbrado a las secuelas, las denominadas "spin-off", sobre todo en el género de la telecomedia, donde es frecuente que personajes secundarios de una serie se conviertan a su vez en protagonistas de otras [...].

La Vanguardia, 15/09/1994.

In that example the word secuela is used, but according to the DLE, a secuela is a "work that continues the plot started in another work". But a spin-off do not necessarily needs to continue a previous plot, as they can also be prequels (as in the Better call Saul example), or just tell a completely new story using a character from a previous show.

So, is there a more Spanish way (other than secuela) to speak about the spin-offs, or is the English term widely accepted?

  • Lo más cercano a spin off sería una mezcla entre "salida por la tangente", "hilo lateral" y "desgajamiento", todas las cuales son muy poco prácticas o significan otra cosa...
    – pablodf76
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 10:53
  • Me gusta serie derivada pero voy a proponer otra opción: Better call Saul es una nueva serie, basada en Breaking Bad, o: es una nueva serie que se basó en Breaking Bad, como extensión. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 2:32

4 Answers 4


Reading through some articles on the web, it seems that the term "serie derivada" is sometimes used as a translation for "spin off". Here is a sample article discussing the announcement of a spin off of the show "Grey's anatomy". However, as you may see in the same article, the English term "spin off" is also commonly accepted.

  • Serie derivada sounds good to me. I think it even applies to cases like Metástasis
    – DGaleano
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:40
  • Los artículos sobre la serie Aída, por ejemplo, la llaman una seria derivada de Siete Vidas. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 20:06

Buscando un poco de información por mi cuenta, veo que la Fundeu apoya la opción de serie derivada, pero propone además otra opción interesante: esqueje:

Por otra parte, en televisión, una serie spin-off se refiere a la que ha sido 'creada a partir de otra ya existente, tomando de esta algún personaje, rasgo o situación', por lo que en español se aconseja escribir serie derivada. Otra alternativa es esqueje, término empleado metafóricamente por el crítico cinematográfico Pepe Nieves.

Resulta interesante el símil con esqueje ("tallo o cogollo que se introduce en tierra para reproducir la planta"): de una serie se corta una pequeña parte y se aprovecha para crear una serie nueva.


My suggestion is "desprendimiento", as you can see at the beginning of the second paragraph of this article.

"spin-off" is also used in business law to refer to a company that has been established as a result of the splitting (escisión) of a larger company, and this idea of a secondary series deriving from an original one seems to be in keeping with the same concept.


You don't need to worry about that if you want to write in press.
My main language is Spanish and I personally I think it would be a little akward read "Serie derivada". English is a so "virulent" language that have inserted new words in other languages, if you say "spin-off" I am sure that the majority of people will understand it meaning in related with series.

Even in Wikipedia there is a link to explain the spin-off meaning and it can mean 2 different things:

  • Spin-off or derivative is an Anglo-Saxon term that refers to a project born as an extension of a previous one, or even more of a company born from another one by means of the separation of a subsidiary division or department of the company to become a company by itself.
  • A derivative series or spin-off is a series of television, of films, of radio programs, of videogames or of narrative works created as sequel from an existing work, taking of this some main element, commonly a character that was part of the leading cast, the place where the facts occurred, or the fictitious universe of the original work.

I take that as a proof that spin-off is almost a new term of spanish. Spanish borrow the word from English instead of make a new one and now we (refering to spanish people) use them like it's was our.

Here I will write a list of spanish pages were the spin-off (series) term is used (I'll try to put different websites so you can notice is use even more):

I saw that both terms were used in some pages, so I think you could use any of both, personally it's the first time I read "serie derivada", but it's also common and it's generally used to explain what means spin-off.

  • 4
    And with time as more and more people speak English more people will understand everything, but that doesn't mean we have to abandon Spanish because English is understood. This applies to many question in this site. It is not an issue of being understood. Yes, people understand but what would be the best way to say it in Spanish?
    – DGaleano
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 19:27
  • @DGaleano I suppose that the best way would be "serie derivada" in spanish, but when I read that the first thing that I think is in a "Copy" of the serie, or something with a similar idea (differents characters and place but similar storyline) but not something based on that serie (same character and place but a new whole story based of on the foundations of the first) and you need to see that serie in order to understand better the new one. mmm, I think that I made a mess of words, I hope you could understand it.
    – Ender Look
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 19:38
  • 2
    Yo coincido con DGaleano. Tal y como está, esta "respuesta" es un comentario a la de lcortesh (serie derivada). Si esta respuesta no proporciona ninguna propuesta propia para un término equivalente a "spin off" no responde realmente a la pregunta. Puedes mejorarla ampliándola? Si no, la voy a tener que pasar a comentario de la otra respuesta.
    – Diego
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 20:31
  • @Diego en este caso voy a defender esta respuesta y pedirte que no la pases a comentario, ya que al final de la pregunta pregunto si la expresión inglesa está aceptada en todas partes, y esta respuesta defiende esa opción. Es cierto que se podría documentar más, pero creo que es una respuesta válida.
    – Charlie
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 4:50
  • 1
    I also think this is more a comment than an answer. If you want to uphold OP's (@Charlie) question is the English term widely accepted?, which would make it closer to an answer, then you should provide some kind of data to sustain it.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 12:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.