'Supernatural,' 'Gilmore Girls' & More Shows That Almost Had Spinoffs

Veronica Mars, The CW, Kristen Bell, Gilmore Girls, The WB, Milo Ventimiglia
The CW; The WB

Did you know that there were at least five scrapped spinoffs for Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

What about how Selena Gomez almost got her Disney Channel start on a different show than Wizards of Waverly Place or the fact that Supernatural had two subsequent shows written that never quite saw the light of day?

The world of TV is filled with creativity and hard work, but sometimes even the best (and worst) of ideas get brushed aside or replaced by writers, directors, networks and even the cast themselves. Scroll down to see just a few modern TV spinoffs that could have been.

Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars, Season 3 Episode 2
The CW

Veronica Mars: FBI Years

Veronica Mars fans are lucky, because although the spinoff of the original series was essentially scrapped after the pilot episode was not picked up by the CW, a version of the script came to life in the form of a movie in 2014. The televised sequel would have followed Veronica (Kristen Bell) herself using her homegrown detective techniques from her young adult life and applying that to the FBI. Instead, The Veronica Mars Movie took aspects of that idea and showcased it through an older, but equally as curious, Veronica being dragged back to her childhood home to do some amateur sleuthing and detective work to help her ex-boyfriend not be accused of murder.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The WB, Season 6 Episode 4
The WB

Buffy (or Faith?) the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer always had a lot to give, because the show itself was based on an in-depth plot and creative story arcs for characters big and small. Because of that, the creators were always looking for new ways to both capitalize on the success of the fantasy drama and also bring more attention to stars who deserved it. There are five different known spinoffs that were attempted by the original creators.

Two of the biggest ones, surprisingly, included Faith (Eliza Dushku) and cartoons. Dushku almost became Faith the Vampire Slayer in her own version of Buffy, but turned it down to focus on film roles outside of the sci-fi genre. Buffy: The Animated Series was also pitched to networks, and the entire cast (except for Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar) returned to voice their respective characters. It was hoped to have the quick wit of the original series intertwined with the stylization of Batman: The Animated Series. Unfortunately, the four-minute pitch that they created was pushed aside as many believed the show going the animation route would shift their demographic and ruin the writing that made the show so popular. Luckily it lives in infamy on the Internet now for fans to watch, enjoy and wish it came to life in a full series. 

The other possible spinoffs included The Slayer School, which would take the concept of being a vampire slayer and put it into an academic setting with wannabe Buffys, and another was a series completely dedicated to Spike (James Marsters) and his intricately crafted backstory. The one that was pushed for the most, though, was Ripper and would have followed Anthony Head in his reprised role as a slayer mentor returning to England and fighting not just vampires but all of the monstrous and off-the-wall creatures in a darker, edgier series.

Friends, Lisa Kudrow, NBC, Matthew Perry
NBC

From Friends to Girlfriends

With Lisa Kudrow and Aisha Tyler reprising their roles as Phoebe Buffay and Ross’s scientist girlfriend Charlie, Girlfriends could have been the Friends spin-off we deserved. The show was slated to follow the two women becoming friends and going about their lives as people’s girlfriends, wives and each other’s companions. Ross Gellar himself would have been seen as well, as David Schwimmer was set to make cameos throughout what would have been the first season. Unfortunately, the show never saw the light of day because the network decided to go with another character spin-off, the sitcom Joey that for many reasons did not last more than two seasons and starred Matt LeBlanc reprising his role as the infamous Mr. Tribbiani.

Supernatural: Bloodlines, The CW, Supernatural
The CW

Supernatural

Although both known Supernatural spinoffs were given back door pilots for a possible series run, neither were brought to life by The CW or any other network that could have been interested in them. The first was Supernatural: Bloodlines and the second was Wayward Sisters. Although both were promising on their own, trying to connect them to Supernatural was the issue that creators of the program found; because Supernatural was so successful and beloved, it was hard to do anything  that could possibly live up to that potential and still be worth the time, money and effort put into it.

With Supernatural coming to a close on November 19, we can only hope that one day there will be something brought to light regarding the adored franchise. Just because these two spinoffs did not get the green light in the past, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t potential for a future resurrection. (And who wouldn’t want to see two girls in the same vein of the Winchester Brothers exploring, investigating and fighting to do what they do best: protecting themselves and their people?)

Milo Ventimiglia, Gilmore Girls, Season 2 Episode 10
The WB

Gilmore… Guy?

Jess Marino (Milo Ventimiglia) made a mess of Stars Hollow. That being said, the resident bad boy was a fan-favorite right from the get-go and the depth of his life and backstory has been questioned and theorized by TV lovers for years. While Gilmore Girls fans were treated to a miniseries revival on Netflix years after the conclusion of the original series, there were still not enough answers given about Jess and the life he led before, during and after his relationship with Rory (Alexis Bledel).

Titled Windward Circle, the spinoff would have probably brought those questions to life. Gilmore Girls fans almost had an entire series dedicated to Milo Ventimiglia, his beloved heartthrob character and the questions they have had for years. The show was planned to follow Jess and his relationship with his father off of the east coast and out west where they could work on their relationship and grow as individuals and together.

While no genuine pilot has surfaced on the internet, many believe that the “Here Comes the Son” episode of Gilmore Girls is the backdoor pilot for what could have been this equally successful spin-off series — if only the new location of production cost less the film, then that show could have maybe been on our screens today .

Arwin, Brian Patrick, Stepanek, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
Disney Channel

Arwin!

While The Suite Life of Zack & Cody did have a very successful spin-off show, The Suite Life on Deck, it wasn’t the first subsequent program slotted by Disney Channel. Before On Deck, the network had plans for a show that followed the life of the beloved recurring character Arwin (Brian Patrick Stepanek). He was the goofy, but lovable, maintenance man at the Tipton Hotel that Zack and Cody (Dylan and Cole Sprouse) lived in, who, in the spinoff, quit the job to move in with his sister and raise his three nieces. The oldest niece — and who would have been Arwin’s right-hand girl — was to be played by none other than Selena Gomez. Because Arwin! never got picked up, Gomez was free to be cast in the Emmy award-winning Wizards of Waverly Place and the Sprouse twins were able to move on to a successful three seasons of Suite Life on Deck.

NCIS: Red, CBS, Pilot
CBS

NCIS: Red

NCIS has 18 Seasons to its name and two equally celebrated spin-offs under its belt. NCIS: Los Angeles is 12 seasons in and NCIS: New Orleans is up to seven. The well-known, veteran crime drama is clearly doing everything right when it comes to creating immersive storylines, memorable characters and scenarios based in the real world. NCIS: Red was cut of the same cloth, but didn’t make it, which left fans and TV lovers alike questioning why this spinoff didn’t have as much of a following as the two prior.

Unfortunately, similar to Supernatural, CBS did not want to go forth with another NCIS show if it couldn’t maintain the integrity of the NCIS brand. Some critics believe that the pilot didn’t go forward because of casting and bland characters, while others believe that the specialized mobile unit was just a little too niche for a show that is so broad and engaging. Whatever the reason is, NCIS has brought a lot to modern television and we can’t be too hung up over one failed spin-off.

The Office, NBC, Mose, Michael Schur
NBC

From The Office to The Farm?

Throughout the nine seasons of The Office, the main cast saw many minor characters come and go. Some made a distinct mark on the show, though, and NBC wanted to profit off of that. Therefore, The Farm was thought up as a soon-to-be sequel to The Office and followed the life of a beet farmer. Unfortunately, it was not going to be our favorite television beet farmer, Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson); instead it would have followed his quirky and occasionally terrifying cousin, Mose (Michael Schur), on the pair’s well-known beet farm. It would have been a similar concept to The Office with interpersonal relationships going awry and menial tasks being pushed aside for a more playful work environment, but NBC didn’t see growth without The Office’s main cast taking part.