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Six spinoffs you'll probably never see ... but sure would be fun

by Debra McDuffee, posted Feb 10th 2009 1:31PM
Simon Baker and Patrick Jane in The Mentalist

The new fall pilots don't excite me very much, what with all of the cops, doctors and lawyers. But I know networks, and original ideas aren't exactly the "in" thing.

So, why can't we design some spin-offs? You know, the networks might go for some ideas based on hit shows, and we can make them a little bit unique, right? Let's add in some elements that excite us to some familiar characters and see if we can't create some new spin-off pilots better than the actual ones.

1. The Psychic
This one is a combination of The Mentalist, Psych, Scooby-Doo and Supernatural. You know it's going to be a hit! Remember the episode of The Mentalist, "Seeing Red," that featured a "psychic" that bested Jane? Well, she's the star of this spin-off. She goes from town to town, communicating with the spirits to help solve murders and right wrongs. The viewers are kept guessing as to whether she's a real psychic or using Shawn Spencer-like antics to solve the crimes. We do get some elements of the supernatural each week, which throw us off the track even further. If it weren't for that meddling psychic, the house wouldn't have been haunted, or something like that.

2. The Home Office
Jan gets her own show in this spin-off of The Office. The series centers on her home candle-making business and the pitfalls of working from home with a baby. There are a lot of scenes with Jan breastfeeding as she pours wax, conducts conference calls, and plans home parties to sell her wares. Jan's assistant is a tall, quirky male who is clearly uncomfortable with seeing his boss's breasts several times a day, but loves calling Dwight Schrute to talk about it.

3. Influence

This spin-off of TNT's Leverage is actually a prequel. We get to see Christian Kane in all his Eliot glory, and little by little his whole back story is revealed to us. And since the show will film on a schedule opposite that of Leverage, Kane will be able to be in both shows.

4. My Name is Jack

Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin: there's just not room for the both of them at 30 Rock anymore, so Alec Baldwin has his own show, a spin-off of 30 Rock, with a little bit of My Name is Earl and Paris' Hilton's The Simple Life. Jack Donaghy loses his job at the network and heads to the midwest / deep south to find himself. He dresses the part, talks the part, and even enjoys fitting in with the locals. Before he knows it, he's begun writing a proposal for a new series based on his experiences.

5. Notice the Burn
Fiona is tired of being spurned by Michael on Burn Notice all the time, so she leaves Miami and the roller-coaster of love and heads back to Ireland to star in her own show. She's angry: a woman scorned, a weapons runner with a flair for arson, bombs, grenades and the like. You don't want to mess with Fi -- she's a badass who's lost at love, so don't get on the wrong side of that gal.

6. 90023
Tori Spelling just doesn't fit in on the new 90210, but she's anxious for her own series, so she's able to strike a deal with CW (you know, people still respect Daddy). Tori reprises her role as Donna Martin, boutique owner. However, the recession has affected her bottom line and to remain open, she most move her store to a cheaper zip code. Yep, Donna's boutique is officially open in East L.A., and we follow Donna's struggles to fit in where she's clearly not accepted. It's not high school anymore, Donna, and your Gucci's have no place in your new neighborhood.

So what do you think? Maybe, just maybe the networks will be inspired by some of these spin-offs....

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Joe in LA

Um, Number 4 was called "Men In Trees."

February 11 2009 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aron Trimble

I've actually thought a spin-off of The Office, located in some other city called "The Office" would be funny. If for nothing more than 6 episodes, I would enjoy it.

Ideally it would be based off of a global software company of some sorts because developers and business analysts are hilarious.

February 11 2009 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am a huge fan of The Office, but if there was a spi off it has to either be of Andy working at a new branch, or the adventures of Dwight's beet farm...

provided that Dwight can also be in The Office

February 10 2009 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pete Hutter in the 21st Century: The man who never died still hasn't. Blame it on the Orb.

Come on, Carlton Cuse, update one of TV's most original characters. It's the perfect post-Lost project.

February 10 2009 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I vote for 3 and 5 as well. Elliot and Fiona are two of the best characters on television. Just so long as we don't disturb the integrity of the original shows. I'm all for double dipping.

February 10 2009 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You are forgettting the moms from Half and Half. They are the most underrated comedic teaming ever. They were the real reason to watch that show. But, in this age of the 18-49 demos, they are too old by Hollywood standards to carry a show, even on CBS. If this was the 80s, their sitcom might have gotten Golden Girls numbers.

February 10 2009 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Neat list Deb, I like your ideas :-)

No Leverage spin-off? There are at least two P.I. series hidden in that show and an insurance-agent investigating insurance fraud prequel as well as a Thomas Crown Affair series...

February 10 2009 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to StillBash's comment
Debra McDuffee

Silly, number 3, Influence is the Leverage spin-off! ;-)

February 10 2009 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok ill vote for 3 and 5, both of those shows sound great. thoe im not big fan of the spinoff just because a show is working. But seeing Fi with her own show could be fun thoe i would miss her being away from michale. And christian kane playing just total bad a** and having a show would be cool too. If you havnt seen it check out on tnt.tv how they told the leverage cast they got renewed for a second season. Very funny and Burn notice is back for a third as well . two fave shows are coming back baby yeah

February 10 2009 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It could just be my interest in seeing Christian Kane on TV at every opportunity, but I'd watch "Influence" and think it's a great idea for a show.

February 10 2009 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you really want a spin-off, I'd like to see what Roz is up to now that FRASIER's been off the air for a while.

Maybe she's a producer at a wacky cable news outlet in, say... Atlanta.

Single mom with a 6 year old daughter who has no interest in the dating scene, but keeps getting sucked into bad dates.

Meanwhile, she balances the demands of work and home while dealing with wacky co-workers, wacky neighbors and the wacky news of the day.

ROZ - Must See Thursday at 8/7c

February 10 2009 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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