Attention all beet lovers: according to recent reports, NBC is rumoured to be developing a spin-off series for Dwight Schrute, Rainn Wilson’s character on the popular sitcom The Office. Apparently, the series would revolve around Dwight returning to his family’s beet farm/bed and breakfast.
It is not surprising that of all the characters on The Office, Dwight would be granted a shot at a spin-off. After all, some of the most enjoyable moments on the show involve Dwight relating his bizarre family’s history, not to mention the all-too-rarely featured antics of his peculiar (and quite likely inbred) cousin, Mose.
However, as much sense as a Dwight Schrute spin-off show might make theoretically, it is entirely likely that it won’t succeed as network executives might hope. One of the reasons Dwight’s family history has become so popular on the show is because it is merely a detail, as opposed to the centre of focus. The escapades of the Schrutes work well as wacky side-stories, but too much of such an oddball thing can often lead to a product that is not very funny at all.
None of this is to say that spin-offs, as a rule, are doomed to fail. In fact, there are many characters in existence that have huge potential for successful spin-off shows. Here are a few:
Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother
A total no-brainer. Barney is the guy everyone loves to love, winning the heart of every woman in New York, and the respect of every man. The fictional character even has a series of books helping men play the field with his refinement and finesse. Hell, an entire series can be based on his books alone. Add to all this the magic touch of Neil Patrick Harris, who plays Barney, and whose presence turns any project to gold, and we’ve got ourselves the next best show on TV.
Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, Modern Family
This Colombian bombshell, played by Sofia Vergara, steals every episode of Modern Family. Her confused English knowledge mixed with her ball-busting attitude makes for some of the best moments and lines on television. Based on the details she shares about her family and her homeland, Gloria led a fascinating life before meeting her husband, Jay Pritchett. A spin-off show featuring Gloria pre-Jay might be the best idea ever.
Any character from 30 Rock
Seriously. From Jenna Maroney (played by Jane Krakowski) to Kenneth the Page (played by Jack McBrayer), 30 Rock is a cornucopia of characters waiting for spin-offs. In fact, the show already has a backlog of potential spin-offs based on the various fictional shows that are featured on the show: Queen of Jordan, starring Tracy Jordan’s (Tracy Morgan) wife and her crew of wacky friends; Black Frasier, an apparently classier version of the original Frasier, on which the character Toofer worked before TGS; and TGS itself – the live sketch show around which 30 Rock revolves.
Toddlers and Tiaras: Teen Mom Edition
Not so much a spin-off as it is a beautiful marriage of two of the greatest reality shows on television. What happens when you’re a washed-up beauty queen at the age of 14? You get yourself knocked up and right back into the spotlight. This show would have all the mental instability, glitter and streaky tans that make Toddlers and Tiaras so captivating, but this time, the Toddlers are the beauty queens and the crazy moms in one must-see-TV package.
Sue Sylvester, Glee
Sue working in an office. Sue as a cop. Sue as a lawyer. Sue getting cancer and needing to cook meth to make ends meet. It doesn’t matter. Anything Sue Sylvester, played by the incomparable Jane Lynch, would work.
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