Recently we’ve heard about potential spinoffs for Breaking Bad, centered on Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), and Once Upon a Time, centered on the Mad Hatter (Sebasitan Stan). What other current shows could be spun off into new lives? More to the point, what shows should be?

Mad Men: Whatever Happened to Sal?

mad men sal

For the past two seasons, we’ve watched Don and the rest of the SCDP crew after they split from the original Sterling Cooper when it was sold off. We saw them hire Ken back and we mostly didn’t care all that much about what happened to Paul, but we never found out what happened to poor Sal after he was so unceremoniously fired.

A new show could pick up where his story left off near the end of season 3. Surely a guy with his talent landed on his feet professionally, even with the whole Lucky Strike debacle. But how about his personal life and his marriage? The perspective of a closeted gay guy on the 60s is one that the show could definitely benefit from; if they’re not going to bring him back on the show, they could at least add him to the franchise.

Revolution: The Other Nations


J.J. Abram’s post-blackout show has only focused on one of the territories that formed in the former U.S. We’ve seen Monroe’s attempts to consolidate power (both political and electrical) and we’ve seen flashbacks developing the story of what happened in the immediate aftermath of the blackout, but we don’t know much of anything about what’s going on elsewhere in North America or the rest of the world.

We’re finally about to see our intrepid heroes go to Georgia, but what about a show set in California, where we can finally see “Governor Affleck”? Better yet, now that the flashbacks have suggested that the blackout was indeed worldwide, we could go to just about any (formerly) industrialized place and see what happened. Oh, who am I kidding? I just want to see knights jousting in postapocalypic Europe.

The Following: How it All Began


Now that this serial-killer-cult thriller has been joined by NBC’s Silence of the Lambs prequel, Hannibal, it could use a prequel of its own. We’ve seen flashbacks and heard bits and pieces of the story of Joe’s original capture, but there’s clearly more to the story than the bare-bones boy kills girl, cop arrests boy, cop falls in love with boy’s wife narrative that we’ve heard so far. If they can get multiple seasons out of the story they’re working with now, Ryan’s original investigation should give them at least as much material.

Downton Abbey: Outside the Abbey


We only get glimpses of the nearby town once in a while, like the fair in last season’s finale and the reports of gossip about Ethel. But they would have been hurt by the war, not to mention the flu pandemic, just as much as the household.

It would be nice to see their perspective on not just world events but the decline of the feudal economy in the countryside. Not to mention that it would have been nice to see if they’re all rolling their eyes at Matthew and Isobel as much as the rest of us, or what they really thought of the Dowager Countes constantly winning that flower show.

Castle: The First Generation


The last couple of seasons have featured large-scale two-parters with big shot federal agent types coming in. Some of them are more intriguing than others, but James Brolin’s appearance as Castle’s spy father left a lasting impression.

The semi-retired international man of mystery protecting the family that doesn’t even know him—it has some promise. If James Brolin’s not up for a series, surely there must other older actors with a rugged, yet dignified, bearing and Nathan Fillion’s jawline. And anyway, Castle’s father wasn’t really retired, right?

Law & Order: The Other Side

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 14

And, because you can never have too many Law & Orders (or is that Laws & Order?), here’s a perspective they haven’t used: the defense team. Yeah, it might sound like it goes against the most basic concept of the entire franchise, but that kind of procedural investigation and trial structure isn’t something we’ve seen much of from the defense perspective.

The X-Files: You Can’t Handle the Truth


Back when this show was still on, it turned out that Mulder’s buddies, the Lone Gunmen, didn’t make such a good show on their own—at least, not the way it was done. You know who would make a good show? The shadowy cabal—led by the Cigarette Smoking Man, among others—who made a secret deal selling out the future of humanity to alien invaders.

In the first movie, Fight the Future, one of their members suggested that they were hoping to buy time until they could figure out how to beat these alien invaders and save the world—maybe that’s true for some of them, maybe it’s not true of others. In any case, it would be nice to get a look at one of those meetings without Mulder getting in the way. Too bad this didn’t start soon enough to show what really happened on the projected invasion date in December 2012.