Shreya Durvasula, Mark Barry
You guys, there is SO MUCH TV to watch. Between classics (Wire, Sopranos), stuff that's HOT right now (Scandal, House of Cards ) and shows I really need to get a DVR for (Game of Thrones, Veep), I basically have given up friendships for TV (that's a blog post for another day). So one night during a bout of insomnia, I decide to start chipping away at this gigantic list. So what did I start with? FRASIER. I haven't even watched all of Cheers. I figured this was bound to put me to sleep.
Well it's been 2 weeks, and I've watched four(!) seasons now. Too bad I have SEVEN more seasons to get through. For those under the age of 30 and with healthy social lives (weirdos), here's a quick rundown: Frasier is about Dr. Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist from Seattle who hosts a radio show. He lives with his father, Martin and his father's physical therapist Daphne. His brother Niles and producer Roz round out the cast. Frasier counsels patients on his show and deals with his family/father issues. Doesn't that just sound fascinating?
Actually, the show was wildly successful and won 37 Emmys altogether. For a show that was a spin-off from another popular show, this went beyond NBC's wildest dreams. Here's the thing: According to a Pew Resarch Poll, only TWO PERCENT of Cheers viewers wanted Frasier to get his own show. Well, that two percent was extremely happy. Spin-offs are still pretty common, and a TV executive's go-to movie for pilot season. It's rare for lightning to strike twice, (looking at you Snooki & JWoww) but that doesn't stop producers from trying.
For all you TV execs trying to get ready for the fall season, here are some ideas from Mark and I. You're welcome.
The Office: Instead of Dwight and Mose on a beet farm, how about the romantic travails of Kelly and Ryan? Maybe Kelly moves to New York and becomes an OB-GYN and dates a bunch of white men...oh wait. Thanks for making this happen, Fox.
How I Met Your Mother : Now that they've finally introduced the Mother and will turn this last season into a 24 -esque season that focuses on the last weekend before Ted finally meets her... CBS must be in need of some more HIMYM fodder to continue this cash cow. How about a spin-off focusing on Lily and Marshall? If you don't want to see more of that awkward but adorable couple, you're just wrong. BONUS: Less whining Ted Mosby, and that's always a good thing, according to Mark. Shreya wouldn't mind douchey Ted talking about en-cyclo-pae-dias some more.
30 Rock : "The Italians have a saying, Lemon. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. And although they've never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this area they are correct. In five years we'll all either be working for him... or be dead by his hand." Jack Donaghy couldn't have been more right about Mr. Kenneth Ellen Page, and though it took seven seasons to get there (close enough) Kenneth did in fact end up running NBC. A spin-off revolving around Kenneth's reign of a new Golden Age of NBC would be glorious, or at least delightfully silly.
The West Wing: Remember at the end of the third season when Rob Lowe left the show and all you wanted was to follow him and forget about the Bartlet Administration for a bit... Hooray revisionist wish fulfillment! Sam Seaborn, whether in a corporate boardroom or the damn Oval Office was usually the smartest and always the most eloquent person in the room. If I can't have Sam Seaborn right after he left the show because of the pesky issue of aging, then I want a reboot showing us what he's been up to for the past eight years and what amazing speeches and political campaigns he has in store for the future.
The League : What does the gang do after the end of the NFL season? As someone who has tried to chase the high of fantasy sports in the offseason, I know that it's tempting to try to supplement with fantasy baseball or basketball. There's no way that Ruxin, Pete, Kevin, Andre and Jenny would pass on a chance to humiliate each other. In my head, Andre wins this every year.
Happy Endings: Because no one listens to us, ABC has cancelled Happy Endings. This is why we can't have nice things, America! Maybe they'll take a chance on Eliza Coupe and Damon Wayans Jr. as Jane and Brad, and we can watch more of their shenanigans as the best interracial couple on TV. And maybe Max and Penny would pop in for a visit now and again. Maybe Alex eats some ribs. Maybe Dave wears a fedora and hangs out with Scott Caan again....we might be in withdrawal. TBS or USA better pick up this show.
Clearly, we should stick to our day jobs. But given the crap that producers are willing to put money into (2 Broke Girls...yes, I know it's a hit. And yes, I'm still bitter about that), why wouldn't any of these pan out? We can keep hoping.