(CNN) By spawning the acclaimed "Better Call Saul," "Breaking Bad" achieved a bit of spinoff immortality that eluded "Friends" ("Joey"), "MASH" ("AfterMASH") and "The Golden Girls" ("The Golden Palace"), among others.
As the prequel nears its end, it's worth considering how the original series' Emmy-winning legacy cooked up one of the best TV offshoots since "Cheers" begat "Frasier."
Introduced in 2008, "Breaking Bad" made its debut the year after "Mad Men" put AMC on the map as a home for prestige storytelling.
Perhaps foremost, "Breaking Bad" -- which presented the evolution of high-school chemistry teacher Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston), faced with a terminal diagnosis, into a criminal mastermind -- became one of the most unpredictable series TV has ever produced.
Creator Vince Gilligan and his team consistently wrote themselves into seemingly inescapable corners, before revealing some plausible and usually ingenious way out.
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