What happens when a television series hits it big? If the network that airs it is smart, it will take one or more of the show’s most popular characters and give them a series of their own. That’s called a spinoff, and this practice is a time-honored tradition in TV. In the last decade, a slew of such series have cropped up, including ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, Private Practice, and the Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul. That’s not to say there haven’t been some less-than-stellar spinoffs in the past — for every Frasier, there’s a Joey. But networks keep on trying, because it’s one of the best ways to keep fans in their seats. Here are three series that haven’t yet gotten the green light for a spinoff, but definitely should.
1. Mad Men (AMC)
This series, which stars Jon Hamm, weaves stories about the social and political turmoil of the 1960s through the lives of marketing executives in New York City and came to an end in May. Mad Men fans around the world are wondering how they’ll fill the Don Draper-sized hole in their hearts now that the troubled exec has made his last pitch. So why not keep the Mad-ness going? The AMC series boasts a large ensemble of characters, and many viewers would love a chance to see Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks), or even Don’s troubled daughter, Sally, navigate the 1970s during the height of the women’s liberation movement.
2. The Wire (HBO)
HBO produced one of the most critically acclaimed series of all time when it took on David Simon’s gritty crime drama, The Wire. The series spent five seasons exploring the streets, schools, docks, and police precincts of Baltimore. It amassed a huge ensemble of powerful, unforgettable characters in the process, many of whose stories were left open-ended when the series wrapped in 2008. Devoted fans of the series, as well as those who’ve given it new life on streaming channels, would undoubtedly return to find out what happened to their favorite characters. Since The Wire’s fourth season focused on a group of middle school students, they may be prime candidates for a spinoff that follows their adult lives.
3. Parks and Recreation (NBC)
From 2009 to February 2015, fans of Parks and Recreation treated the show’s fictional setting, Pawnee, Indiana, like a second home. But now that the series has ended, we’ll no longer be treated to the hilarious rapport between Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her colleagues. That is, unless NBC decides to keep the spirit of the show alive and commissions a spinoff. There are numerous ways a Parks and Rec spinoff could become a reality. Just the thought of a Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) show would probably be enough to get most fans excited; NBC could also follow recently departed characters Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) on their new adventures outside the Pawnee city limits.