Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One Word Wednesday - AMC Spin Off Fever

Every Wednesday one question will be asked based on some recent tidbit of news.  You must answer this question in one word.  To emphasize your point, your one word answer may be accompanied by one picture.  One question, one word, one picture.  We'll call it One Word Wednesday.  
Note: You may explain your one word in a sentence or two (or three - ok, you have free reign to go crazy) at the end of the post.  

If you choose to play along, add the link to your post in the comments, and hop around to see what other words are being added.
One Word Wednesday:
AMC.  I don't know anyone was watching AMC.  Executives said...  we need to fix this.  Idea - Let's put on good shows.  BAM.  The Killing, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, etc. etc.  But The Killing has changed, Breaking Bad is days away from ending, The Walking Dead is...  well, polarizing - some love it, some hate it.  So what does AMC do?  Announce a bunch of spin offs!  Breaking Bad will have a prequel spin-off called "Better Call Saul" and The Walking Dead will have a spin off that it not tethered to the comic book world already created.  

In one word, describe AMC's spin off strategy.

One Word:  Dorothy

In 1992, Golden Girls came to an end as the quartet sold their Miami home with Dorothy having married and left (yes, I like The Golden Girls, what of it?!).  So to attempt to capitalize on the star power of Blanche, Rose and Sophia, CBS decided to spin off the series with the remaining characters purchasing a hotel, but uh oh! the staff is gone!  Shenanigans ensues.  The show failed after one season.

What went wrong?  Dorothy.  The Golden Girls is not be The Golden Girls without the entire ensemble in place.  Removing one piece from the machine resulted in a complete shut-down.  This is not the first series for this to happen to (Baywatch Nights, Joey, etc. etc. etc.), nor will it be the last.  What makes Breaking Bad so good is Walter and Jesse.  Saul is comic relief, and let's face it, a spin off will likely just be a sit-com.  It will be completely different, and it likely won't be long until Walter and Jesse make appearances to attempt to save it (Dorothy made 2 appearances on Golden Palace, but that wasn't enough to save the train wreck).

There have been some successes though (Frazier, for one).  And perhaps The Walking Dead will be able to succeed solely because the openness of the premise.  They're creating a spin-off not tied to the comic book world...  so, in other words, you're making a totally unrelated zombie show.  That could work.  But it would need to be a compelling story, because Bea Arthur has taught us, you can't run a hotel with only three old ladies.


  1. As much as I love Breaking Bad and enjoy Saul, I just don't see an entire show devoted to him standing on it's own feet for very long. I'll check it out, but I don't have high hopes.

    1. I just can't imagine it as anything other than a sit-com - bad laughtrack and all.

  2. I can understand the spin-off strategy. When something is working, you want to capture that and keep it going. I know I'm just reiterating what you've already said, but it rarely works without the entire dynamic. My favorite show of all time - Three's Company - had two spin-offs and neither of them worked.

    I love the Golden Girls, but I had no idea there was even a hotel spin-off. The only Golden Girl's spinoff I remember is Empty Nest which I enjoyed. It seems the best spinoffs always revolved around a supporting character versus one of the main characters: Family Matters, Just the Ten of Us, The Facts of Life, and even Frasier. I think shows like Joey are too hard to pull off.

    My one word for AMC's spin-off strategy: Reaching

    1. Spin-offs tend to have that reaching feel for the most part. It's just hard to spin-off a show without diminishing the original premise. It works when time is taken to craft a story that is good enough to standalone. Good word choice.

  3. I still like the Killing. I will say that I don't think the Walking Dead needs a spinoff. This is going to be like Law and Order and NCIS! WHAT!! Too many!

    1. Don't get me started on Law & Order. You spin off a million different versions and then cancel the wrong one!!!