10 TV Spin-Offs That Almost Could Have Happened

It’s still not too late for Clarissa Now.

1. Mystik Spiral

Spin-off of: Daria

Plot: Trent Lane and his band, Mystik Spiral, move into a rundown house in the “cool town” Mirage, where they hope to make it big.

Why it never happened: In 2001, following the making of the final Daria movie “Is It College Yet?,” MTV Animation abruptly shutdown and consequently the show.

2. The Mertzes

Spin-off of: I Love Lucy

Plot: Not too much is known about the plot, other than it would be the story of Fred and Ethel Mertz post I Love Lucy.

Why it never happened: According to Rob Edelman and Audrey Kupferberg’s book Meet the Mertzes: The Life Stories of I Love Lucy’s Other Couple; Vivian Vance (Ethel) and William Frawley (Fred) had a deep hate towards each other.

When Vivian found out about the proposed spin-off she nixed the idea, she could not stomach the idea of working with William again. She refused to film the pilot and a $50,000 bonus Desi Arnaz offered her.

3. Jackée

Spin-off of: 227

Plot: Sandra Clark (portrayed by Jackée Harry) moves to New York City to start a career in the film industry.

Why it never happened: The spin-off ran as an episode 227, during its fourth season. However, NBC decided against picking up the series and Sandra was sent back to Washington, D.C.

4. The Art of Being Nick

Spin-off of: Family Ties

Plot: Nick Moore (portrayed by Scott Valentine), who was Mallory’s boyfriend on Family Ties, moves to New York City to live with his sister and nephew. Notably, the series also costarred a young Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Why it never happened: This was the third attempt by producers to spin-off the character and the pilot did do well in the ratings; but reportedly NBC did want to not pick-up the series because they were reluctant to lose the popular Nick character on Family Ties.

5. Jackie Chiles

Spin-off of: Seinfeld

Plot: According to Phil Morris, who portrayed Jackie Chiles, his character would be the only black lawyer in an otherwise all-white firm.

Why it never happened: Castle Rock Entertainment, the production company for Seinfeld, did confirm the show, but it never left the early development stages.

6. The New Facts of Life

Spin-off of: The Facts of Life

Plot: In the series finale, Blair Warner (portrayed by Lisa Whelchel) buys Eastland to prevent its closing and changes it to co-ed a school. The new Eastland students included Juliette Lewis, Seth Green, and Mayim Bialik.

Why it never happened: Ratings had already declined during the last two seasons of theThe Facts of Life and NBC decided against picking it up.

7. Robert Barone spin-off

Spin-off of: Everybody Loves Raymond

Plot: The series would revolve around Robert Barone (portrayed by Brad Garrett) and would feature characters already introduced on Everybody Loves Raymond, his wife Amy, in-laws (portrayed by Fred Willard and Georgia Engel) and brother-in-law (portrayed by Chris Elliott)

Why it never happened: Reportedly, negations stalled between CBS and producers, which led to the writers from “Raymond” to take other jobs.

8. Clarissa Now

Spin-off of: Clarissa Explains It All

Plot: A follow-up series to Clarissa Explains It All, the show revolved around Clarissa’s internship at a New York City newspaper.

Why it never happened: The pilot was filmed for CBS, but was not picked up.

9. Ripper

Spin-off of: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Plot: The series would follow the life of Rupert Giles (portrayed by Anthony Head) in England.

Why it never happened: The series has gone through several different developments; in 2001, the show was planned to as a miniseries for the BBC, and later it was developed into a two-hour TV movie.

As recently as 2012, “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon has stated that he still wants to develop Ripper into a series.

10. Karen

Spin-off of: Will & Grace

Plot: The further adventures of everybody’s favorite alcoholic socialite Karen Walker (portrayed by Megan Mullally).

Why it never happened: According to Megan, NBC canceled the plans for the series after the failure of Friends spin-off Joey.

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