Eight Television Characters That Should Have Had Spin-Offs
With yet another Law & Order spinoff set to debut in April featuring former Special Victims Unit detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), I find myself thinking about some of my favorite shows over the years (including some that were spinoffs themselves) and characters that would have been interesting to see broken out on their own. Here are a few that I feel deserved an opportunity.
Christine Sullivan - Night Court
The series ended with Christine (Markie Post) being elected to Congress. A spinoff focusing on that next step in her life, adjusting to her new career and life in Washington while taking care of her child as a single mom, would have been an intriguing series. Would she remain the same idealistic/optimistic person she was as a defense attorney or would the world of politics threaten to change her?
Mary Winchester - Supernatural
Mary (Samantha Smith) was deceased by the time the series ended, but I would envision the spinoff as being more of a prequel. Before she was the mother of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), she was an established monster hunter in her own right and the series hinted she continued in that role even after she became a mom. A series focusing on her secretly hunting monsters while being a wife and mother would be unique.
Hilary and Ashley Banks - The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
The final episode of the series had Hilary (Karyn Parsons) and her younger sister, Ashley (Tatyana Ali) moving to New York together. A spinoff featuring them living together on their own in a new city would have been an excellent choice, especially since Hilary had never successfully lived on her own before and would now also be responsible for Ashley.
Randy Disher - Monk
When Monk ended, Randy (Jason Gray-Stanford) left San Francisco to be the police chief in Summit, New Jersey and start a romance with Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram). The former would have made an intriguing spinoff given the fact Randy always seemed to be inept as a police detective, especially when compared to Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub). How would those weaknesses affect his ability to lead his own department? More importantly, would he try to continue his music career?
Professor I.Q. Nerdelbaum Frink Jr. - The Simpsons
The Simpsons are still going strong after more than three decades and the spin-off argument could be made for a large number of the secondary characters. I am picking Professor Frink (Hank Azaria) because I think a spin-off featuring him as a would-be supervillain building various doomsday devices while pretending to be a lovable nerd when out in public.
Jeff and Josh - That 70s Show
Jeff (Barry Williams) and Josh (Christopher Knight) only appeared in one episode of the series, as the Formans' gay neighbors. While they were introduced as part of a joke involving Red Forman's (Kurtwood Smith) presumed prejudice, producers could have given the characters their own sitcom, focusing on life as a gay couple during late 70s and early 80s, when being homosexual in a small town could result in being ostracized by the neighbors or affect your ability to get a job. Heck, they even set up the spinoff by telling Red they had to pretend to be brothers.