It’s getting weird in TV spinoff season. Fox just took “The Voice,” stripped it of its talent and its capital V, then replaced it with abs and sadness. It’s called “The Choice,” it’s mildly entertaining, and it’s basically a Bat Signal for whichever Mayan God controls the apocalypse. He can now press the big red button without any semblance of regret.
But we thought we could do worse. We’ve come up with a list of the worst possible spin-offs of currently airing TV shows.
And, yes, they’re all considerably more watchable than The Choice. In most of these shows, at least the terrible people die at the end.
Actual Shark Tank
Entrepreneurial inventors who’ve figured out how to build a better mousetrap bring their product and their pitch (and more than a little moxie) to a panel of investors who, upon carefully considering the pitches, releases a trap door through which contestants plunge to their imminent demise in an actual shark tank. Once in the tank, as the inventors plead for their lives, the millionaire panel will taunt them for actually having dreams before stealing their ideas which will be available on the show’s website immediately after air. Donald Trump is set to host.–Martin Moakler
15 & Responsible
A documentary series that explores the life of a bright, funny 15-year old girl whose older sister accidentally got pregnant. Watch each week as a new, promising teen, who works very hard in school and acts very responsibly, doesn’t get any attention or praise from her parents because all of their time is spent squaring off against their obnoxious daughter who got knocked up by a punk dropout with zero motivation. Each episode follows a five-to-seven month period in the teenager’s life during which time she increasingly acts out in reaction to her once loving family dedicating all their time and extra money to her older sister’s “blessing” until any hopes the younger sister had are dashed alongside the rest of her family. Brought to you by Hooters.–Martin Moakler
Raising Hope’s Maw Maw is sick of actually “raising Hope.” She’s 86 now, solely identified as the great-great-grandmother of a hilariously neglected child. She wants to cash out on her one-and-a-quarter-life crisis.
She’s decided to date an older man.
After her 1987 Buick LeSabre breaks down outside of the Denny’s where she got a “late dinner” at 4:15 p.m., she’s offered a ride by 104-year-old gentleman’s magazine entrepreneur, who we’ll call “Stu Leffner.” She provides Stu the touch of a sort-of younger woman. He provides Maw Maw hope.
Raisin Hope.–Ben Collins
Half a Man
Jon Cryer is left to pick up the scraps after a series of failed magic tricks leave his subjects–Ashton Kutcher and that insufferable, nameless teenage son of his–dead and himself torn to pieces.
Really torn to pieces.
Jon Cryer is now just a chest and a head, like the porcelain bust of a dead president in a museum. But that doesn’t stop him from wooing his new love interest, Jessica Alba, and somehow getting a tryout with the Oakland Athletics.
He may only be half a man, but he’s got an enormous heart. And it’s going to require surgery by Season 7.–Ben Collins
The Art of Being Dylan
It’s that boyfriend from Modern Family! That’s right, Haley’s on-again, off-again goofy boyfriend is fresh from his Wendy’s commercial and off on a quest to find himself.
Each episode finds little Dylan in a new job, a new town, trying to make sense of it all. Can Dylan ever discover the true meaning of existence? We’ll try hard to make sure you care.–Nathan Alexander
Top Chef: Just the Garnish
Watch as 13 of America’s top garnishers attempt to wow judges Kelly Choi and Katie Lee Joel in an epic battle of style over substance.
In the Quick Squirt Challenge, contestants must drizzle sauce on the edges of plates – and some of the wild-card characters may get crazy with a paintbrush and make a saucy skid mark.
Then it’s on to the main event, the Elimination Challenge, where the garnish is the star of the show. Don’t miss the episode when five chefs accidentally choose the same garnish – a slice of lotus root.–Nathan Alexander
Don’t Trust the D in Apartment 22
Ever wonder what the other people in the building are up to? Catherine and Charlie are the neighbors next door, and they’re full of surprises. Just which of these goofballs is the eponymous “D” remains a mystery, like the “I” in How I Met your Mother, and the “Everybody” in Everybody Loves Raymond.–Nathan Alexander
It’s a paranormal risky business: Jennifer Love Hewitt is a high-profile madam for a haunted brothel where she hones her special gift for contacting working girls of sexy time’s past. From Victorian ladies of the night to ’80s call girls formerly of Heidi Fleiss’ ring, J-Love wrongs their rights: She helps seek vengeance against abusive pimps and fulfills their lifelong dreams of opening up orphanages or posing for PETA billboards. She’ll do whatever it takes to help them finally get to the White Light.
Look out for special guest stars like Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Neve Campbell. And these dead hookers have hearts of gold, so you know what that means: happy endings.–Sheila Dichoso
Best Friends 4 Eleven Episodes
While it certainly wasn’t the most offensively failed attempt at a sitcom NBC has produced in the last few years, its apparent lack of a sense of humor and generally unfunny cast doomed this friendship from the start. Perhaps it all would have come together if the couple-living-with-the-girl’s-best-friend scenario actually produced some kind of compelling conflict. In this spin off, we thought it would be more interesting if we shuffled the cards a bit and made Lennon not only a serial dater, but a serial best friender, too. This not only keeps the formula fresh, but odds are that we’ll eventually stumble across a cast that has some chemistry! And in just enough time to get short-ordered.–Jay Johnson
Are You Awake, Chelsea?
Since Awake made us laugh when it wasn’t trying, and Are You There, Chelsea? was never really able to, our natural conclusion was that these two shows combined would create a powerhouse dramedy that would surely outlast both of its parent programs. At the very least we can all agree that the title makes sense.
In this hidden-camera reality show, Chelsea Handler gets black-out drunk and makes a fool of herself to unsuspecting strangers. We’re not sure what to expect, but you can bet we’ll all be surprised at how much she can put away.–Jay Johnson
Ron Swanson’s $100,000 Pyramid of Greatness
Those of us who matter greatly value the meat of wisdom that is Ron Swanson. Now you can get all the Swanson you want–and need–by watching his brand new game show. Don’t worry, Ron Swanson knows game shows are for morons, so he’s devised one for actual human beings. Players will compete in practical, real-life challenges that will improve the lives of us all. The challenge categories consist of the elements of Ron’s Pyramid of Greatness, such as Stillness, Haircuts, Protein (Deer, Cow, Chicken, and Pig), Living in the Woods, Masonry and Handshakes. Players will attempt to “Out-Ron” Ron Swanson, going up against the man himself. The winner gets 100,000 dollars in solid gold (if they are able to dig deep enough within the 30 minute time allocation), the losers the honor of competing. Each episode will end with a steak dinner, a bottle of whiskey and a life lesson well-learned. Tune in on Monday afternoons.–Miranda Peters-Lazaro
After pleading down to misdemeanor assault with a deadly peanut-infused smoothie to avoid hard jail time, Ellis finds salvation in the bottom of a bottle of bath salts. Through his hallucinations that are invariably punctuated by elaborate musical numbers featuring songs by bands that no one has cared about in five years, Ellis uncovers a shocking secret that would rock Bombshell’s world.
The trouble is no one believes him.
No one, that is, except the viewers at home. Because we’ve known all along that the only way Karen Cartwright would ever make a better Marilyn Monroe than Ivy Lynn is if everyone involved with the production were intoxicated.
And boy, are they smashed.
That brunette Pollyanna from Iowa made sure of it. (Cue menacing jazz hands and overly dramatic music.)–Andrea Marker
Glee: The College Years
It’s a different world for the kids of McKinley High after graduation. After leaving Lima behind for the bright lights of Broadway, Rachel learns the hard way that there are thousands of talented kids just like her fighting for their shot at center stage. When she mouths off to the wrong casting director during an audition for an off-off-off Broadway production of Bombshell, Rachel finds herself cursed to live out her days singing Streisand standards on a TV show where her personality changes from episode to episode and the plots never make any sense.–Andrea Marker