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A guide to TV prequels

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Spin-offs are common, but prequels are rareBy Dave LakeSpecial to MSN TVDespite being based on an existing TV universe, prequels have a tougher challenge than the average spin-off, since creating a new setting for Frasier Crane after "Cheers" wraps up is a lot easier than having to create a new setting AND a new Frasier Crane. As The CW prepares to launch "The Carrie Diaries" (Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT), a "Sex and the City" prequel set in the 1980s with a teenage Carrie Bradshaw at its center, the network is smart to aim the show at an audience too young to view Carrie Bradshaw as an iconic character, leaving her free for reinvention. But Carrie's not the only character whom networks have tried to reinvent over the years. Here's a look at some of television's other notable prequels.Bing: More about 'The Carrie Diaries' | More about AnnaSophia Robb | Related: TV's 'it' girls"The Carrie Diaries" premieres Monday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.What's your favorite TV prequel? Tell us on our MSN TV Facebook and Twitter pages.(The CW)
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