Six Series Spin-Offs I'd See in a Second
by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 28th 2010 12:02PM
With the season coming to a close, the networks are starting to look toward next season. In the case of 'Criminal Minds,' that includes exploring the possibility of a spin-off series. They ran an embedded pilot for it earlier this season, introducing the new cast, and they've already had tremendous success with both 'NCIS' and 'CSI' spin-offs. But whatever happened to the old-school way of creating spin-offs?
'Frasier' was a long-time cast member on 'Cheers' before he headed off to Seattle and sitcom super-stardom. 'The Jeffersons' spent time living next to the Bunkers ('All in the Family') before moving on up. Even as recently as 'Friends,' they spun series co-star 'Joey' off into his own series -- maybe that's when it all went so wrong.
In an era of eroding viewership, why not consider taking a popular characters from established shows and spinning them off on their own to see if they can bring the viewers with them? It's a time-honored television tradition, and it's high time it came back. Here's a few ideas to get you started, networks. You're welcome.
I Have My Own Talk Show
Starring: Jack McBrayer as Kenneth Parcell
[30 Rock Spin-off]
NBC decides that the only way to ensure longevity in late-night is to get the most loyal employee of the company to host their marquee late-night talk show. Who more loyal than long-time page Kenneth? By having Kenneth film his show in 30 Rockefeller Center as well, crossovers between it and cast-members from 30 Rock could still happen. They'll also have the opportunity to bring in other NBC stars from their real shows to act as guests on Kenneth's talk show. His unique innocence and lack of knowledge about the real world would make him an interesting host for guests to deal with, so he might need to be tempered with a good sidekick who can keep things grounded, like Norm MacDonald. Or, should 30 Rock end, Tracy Jordan could become a lunatic sidekick.
A Man's World
Starring: January Jones as Betty Hofstadt
[Mad Men Spin-off]
We catch back up with Betty Hofstadt, formerly Draper, a year after her departure from Mad Men. A single mother, she's finding that her new-found independence isn't as appreciated in the 1960s as she'd hoped. Struggling to find employment, and trying to stay hidden from Don, she is able to find regular work at a modeling agency. Unfortunately, she finds that the men in charge aren't that interested in the ideas of one of their pretty girls. As Betty learns to find the stronger woman inside of her, she finds that she is in the perfect place at the perfect time for the women's social movement starting to sweep across the nation.
Pour Me Another
Starring: Mike Lombardi as Mike Silletti & Steven Pasquale as Sean Garrity
[Rescue Me Spin-off]
After Sean's kidney cancer treatment forces him to leave the fire squadron, Mike quits as well so the two of them can focus on the growing success of their bar. Mike forms a new house band, and is shocked when a bootleg demo gets released and they become the hottest underground band in New York. Suddenly, he finds himself a local celebrity, swarmed by tons of gorgeous men and women, which puts a strain on his relationship with Sean. As the celebrity starts to go to Mike's head, Sean is left to take on more and more responsibilities at the bar, which complicates his own health situation.
How Do You Feel About That?
Starring: Hamish Linklater as Matthew Kimble & Clark Gregg as Richard Campbell
[The New Adventures of Old Christine Spin-off]
After getting his license, Matthew and his new massage therapist roommate move into a house on the beach so they can both set up their practices and work from home. Because of past relationship troubles, they agree that they should never get romantically involved. This works out great until Matthew realizes he's madly in love with her. Everything is working out fine, until Richard shows up on the front porch with all of his bags. New Christine has finally had it and he has nowhere else to go. Like a modern-day 'Three's Company,' this trio must find a way to live together without driving each other crazy.
The Junior Senator
Starring: Calista Flockhart as Kitty Walker-McCallister
[Brothers & Sisters Spin-off]
Jumping ahead past the election, the series follows Kitty's move from California to Washington, DC as she steps into the seat vacated by former Senator Robert McCallister, her husband. With the higher profile this show would offer his character, Rob Lowe might even agree to come back to the role. With her passionate political opinions, Kitty would move quickly into the inner circle of some of the key political movements, cozying up to politicians both kind and devious. Her differences on some policies with Robert will put her at odds with several of his closest former allies, creating further strain on their relationship.
Starring: Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin
[The Office Spin-off]
Impressed with the track record of the shipping department at the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin, CEO Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates) promotes Darryl up to her corporate office and makes him an executive in charge of all manufacturing and shipping for Sabre. Uncomfortable in his new surroundings, Darryl quickly discovers that the white-collar workers are far more uncomfortable with him. With Jo's support and belief in him, Darryl begins to assert himself, implementing sound strategies and proving that you don't need an Ivy league degree to have smart ideas.
Who do you think could spin-off into their own show?
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