The ‘90s were an interesting period for television, as there was a strong desire to take older concepts and improve upon them with progressive stories and well-developed characters. One such exemplary TV show was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was based on the 1992 movie of the same name.

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Spanning seven seasons with an additional spinoff, Buffy’s story about its titular heroine battling mythical creatures left a significant impact on later shows. This includes series like Charmed, Supernatural, and Shadowhunters. But there had been preceding shows in the past with similar concepts to Buffy, such as the ones listed below.

10 Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974)

Another time period where television underwent significant change was the 1970s. Not only were various issues being openly addressed, but also science-fiction/fantasy shows became prevalent with Kolchak: The Night Stalker being an early example.

Based on two television movies, Kolchak focused on a reporter stumbling upon various cases involving the supernatural. While the show itself was short-lived, it gained a cult following while influencing shows like The X-Files and, arguably, Buffy.

9 The Ghost Busters (1975)

While most people are familiar with the Ghostbusters franchise that began with the 1984 film, they may not know it wasn’t an original concept. Because there was a ‘70s show called The Ghost Busters.

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Featuring two guys and a gorilla, these Ghost Busters used a camera-like device to deal with supernatural entities. It was arguably one of the first television shows to have characters actively hunting the supernatural, which later shows like Buffy fully realized.

8 Monster Squad (1976)

Not to be confused with The Monster Squad movie, Monster Squad was a 1970s kid’s show. Storywise, it’s about a criminology student named Walt whose supercomputer brings to life wax figures of Dracula the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster.

Wanting to make up for their misdeeds, the monsters help Walt solve crimes. This was arguably one of the first shows to have monsters aid the good guys, as seen in Buffy with characters like Angel or Spike.

7 The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo (1985)

Given that Buffy and her friends are informally called the "Scooby Gang," it’s easy to compare Buffy’s premise to Scooby-Doo, particularly, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo where the monsters were real instead of guys in rubber masks.

The set up is Scooby and Shaggy accidentally unleash several ghosts from a cursed chest. They must return them with help from Daphne, a kid named Flim-Flam, and a warlock called Vincent Van Ghoul.

6 The Real Ghostbusters (1986)

Though the Ghostbusters movie was able to license the name from the ‘70s Ghost Busters show, similar negotiations for the sequel cartoon series fell through. Hence, it was called The Real Ghostbusters to distinguish itself from the other animated Ghostbusters show which was a sequel to the original series.

Yet The Real Ghostbusters ended up becoming more successful as it lasted seven seasons. It may have even inspired Buffy: The Animated Series, which never aired.

5 She-Wolf Of London (1990)

Later known as Love and Curses, this show was a British-American co-production that lasted one season with the first-half set in England and then California. The plot focused on an American college student named Randi who gets bitten by a werewolf.

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Aided by her British mythology professor Ian, the two investigate supernatural occurrences while trying to cure Randi’s lycanthropy. One could argue this show influenced Buffy and the Teen Wolf series.

4 Forever Knight (1992)

Before Angel had its titular vampire investigating crimes as a detective while battling his own personal demons, there was an earlier show with a similar premise titled Forever Knight. Released in 1992, this Canadian-produced show told the story of police detective Nick Knight, who is actually a vampire.

While investigating crimes of normal and supernatural origin, he tries to find a cure to his vampirism. Unlike Angel, though, Forever Knight lasted only three seasons.

3 Monster Force (1994)

Over the course of Buffy, its heroine had several love-interests. This included Riley, who worked for a government organization that used technology to fight monsters. 

As odd as this concept sounds, it had been done in shows like The Real Ghostbusters and Monster Force. Regarding the latter show, Monster Force’s premise focused on a professor and his students battling supernatural creatures using advanced technology. They were even aided by Frankenstein’s Monster and a werewolf.

2 Kindred: The Embraced (1996)

One year prior to Buffy’s release, there was a short-lived series called Kindred: The Embraced which had vampire groups in a modern setting. Loosely based on Vampire: The Masquerade, the show focuses on a secret vampire society in San Francisco.

Split into clans, they’re all controlled by one leader called Julian who keeps them in check. But when a human police detective named Frank discovers the vampire society, he and Julian become reluctant allies.

1 Sabrina The Teenage Witch (1996)

Even though Buffy had witches fighting supernatural forces before Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch preceded both of them. Particularly with its premise of having a young woman discover her innate magical abilities and learn how to deal with them.

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While it may not be as dark or action-oriented as the other series, Sabrina was one of the earliest to appeal to teenage girls. Plus, its legacy can be seen in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

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