Spin-offs are underrated. It may look like a desperate cash grab from TV executives, looking to milk a beloved character, but the concept has brought us a long list of hit shows. Frasier started on Cheers, The Jeffersons came from All in the Family, Torchwood from Doctor Who. Law & Order has provided so many spin-offs they’re basically employing half of New York City at this point! When you have a great character (like Angel from Buffy, or Rhoda from The Mary Tyler Moore Show), why not build a series around them? Here are some characters who could have provided us hours more of entertainment, if only someone had thought to spin them off.
Sally Draper from Mad Men
Keirnan Shipka surprised Mad Men viewers by growing into a formidable young actress, carrying Sally Draper’s arc across several seasons and holding her own in scenes with Jon Hamm.
I would have gladly watched many more seasons of Sally becoming a young woman in the late 60s and early 70s, rebelling against her parents and getting into trouble at her boarding school.
Even Jon Hamm was on board with the idea, telling EW he’d like to see a series with Sally in the 70s riding motorcycles and playing in a rock band. Unfortunately, it never happened and Shipka was wasted on a short-lived Sabrina spin-off instead.
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Pretty Much Anyone from Brooklyn Nine Nine
One of the best things about Brooklyn Nine Nine was how every character in the ensemble was unique, zany and fully realised – any one could have the main storyline of the episode and you’d be in for a good time.
There are lots of potential spin-offs in this cast, from the surprisingly handsome and adept young Hitchcock and Scully to the criminally written out early Gina Linetti.
My ultimate pick, however, is Pimento, and not just because Jason Mantzoukas is a gift. Pimento was wild and weird, and the show could do just about anything with him.
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Abed from Community
We were promised six seasons and a movie of Community, so maybe Abed deserves a standalone film rather than a new series!
Either way, Danny Pudi’s iconic character is more than worthy of more screentime. At the end of the series, he’s heading to Hollywood to work in the film industry he loves so dear. It would be the perfect set-up for an Extras-style show with lots of real-life celebrity cameos and in-references – they already did it with Cougartown!
A recent Community reunion brought a different suggestion: Abed goes across the country in search of Troy, who was kidnapped by pirates in season 5. I’m in.
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Samantha from Sex and the City
We all know that Kim Cattrall is done with the character, and she’s been written out of the new series And Just Like That.
But here’s a solution that might make everyone happy: a new, Samantha-centric show set in London.
Kim Cattrall could executive produce and come up with better plotlines for her character (one of the alleged reasons she didn’t want to come back); she and Sarah Jessica Parker would never have to interact, and fans would get more of Samantha Jones.
She’s still having sex, just in a new city. How is HBO not making this happen?
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Alfie from Peaky Blinders
It’s hard to imagine the world of Peaky Blinders without Cillian Murphy, but creator Steven Knight has suggested plans for a spin-off not focused on the Shelby clan.
There are many memorable foes that have crossed paths with Tommy Shelby over the years, but one of the most unique relationships that arose was with Alfie Solomons, played by Tom Hardy.
A prequel series showing Alfie’s rise to the gangster throne would be a compelling series, and let’s face it: more Tom Hardy is never a bad thing.