First of all, thanks so much to everyone who entered Script Notes' first-ever writing contest and sent in their TV spinoff ideas! There were some hilarious entries... some disturbing entries... and some downright baffling entries... but all of them were a blast to read!
As you probably know, the winner of the contest will receive an autographed copy of Larry Brody's TV-Writing book, Television Writing from the Inside Out. To choose that winner, I read through the entries and selected the top 5 submissions... then Larry chose the winner from that.
So, without further adieu, here's the winner (followed by the runner-ups) of the first-ever Script Notes Writing Contest: Search for the Best Spinoff!
And the winner is... (drum roll please)...
Here's Theresa's winning submission, In Character...
SHOW TITLE: “In Character”
SPINOFF: multiple shows
LOGLINE: In Character, a spinoff of various television programs, brings actors together who remain “in character” from their different sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows while interacting with a three-generation family of "characters."
SYNOPSIS: Imagine all of your favorite actors from all of your favorite programs coming together week after week in one new offbeat comedy where they remain “in character” from their previous sitcom. That is the idea behind In Character. In Character is a sitcom about an eccentric but young ex-hippie grandmother, a creative attractive ad-copy mother, and a trying-to-find himself college-age son, who daily interact with characters who remain “in character” of the sitcom from which they come. Audiences watch their favorite actors from a variety of programs, perform together in an offbeat comedy where, week after week, different characters work together In Character.
Congratulations, Theresa! To get your prize, please email me your snail-mail address at WDScriptNotes@FWPubs.com... and we'll get in the mail to you asap!
Also, here are the other four runner-ups (in no particular order)... congratulations to the four of you, and thanks for submitting, everyone!
SHOW TITLE: “Booby Traps”
WRITER: Matt Star
GENRE: Half-hour, Single-Camera Comedy
LOGLINE: College is a womb that traumatized Vietnam War vet ROBBIE KELSO seeks at 1960’s era Stanford University School of Medicine to avoid facing the brutal pressures of the real world--and though it does provide some of the refuge he idealized, it also manifests into its own brand of killing field through viperous cliques, university politics, and of course, mid-terms.
SYNOPSIS: Traumatized by his prior experience during the Vietnam War as a Navy SEAL, ROBBIE KELSO enrolls in med school merely to prolong facing the brutal realities of the real world: namely, paying off his student loans and making a livelihood. He has witnessed the most inhumane acts imaginable; but rather than strengthening him, it has only provoked withdrawal. His overprotective friend and war buddy JOHNNY HOWDYSHELL, convinced that Robbie can’t succeed without him constantly checking his back, decides to enroll along with him at Stanford University during the genesis of the hippie movement.
The story follows Robbie as he discovers that med school can be both the refuge he was seeking as well as a killing field of its own. The bipolar nursing student/go-go dancer BUNNY WELLING, whose mind is never truly made up, both agitates and fascinates Robbie as he simultaneously battles to avoid becoming a 25-year-old virgin.
SHOW TITLE: "Creed Bratton, Proctologist"
WRITER: Brian Stampnitsky
SPINOFF: “The Office”
LOGLINE: Dunder Mifflin's quality assurance director, Creed Bratton, leaves Scranton for Miami Beach, where he opens a proctology practice.
SYNOPSIS: After eating some especially excellent psychotropic mushrooms, Creed Bratton has a moment of clarity -- in the mid-1970s, he enrolled in a Costa Rican medical school and received his proctology license. Feeling a renewed sense of purpose, he packs his bags, forgets to bid farewell to his co-workers at Dunder Mifflin, and moves to Miami Beach, where he opens a proctology practice with Darryl's identical twin brother, Darnell. Creed rents an apartment above the garage of a house belonging to a sexy single mom and her precocious young son. The weekly parade of old Jewish patients and the wacky-but-lovable medical staff provide an endless source of amusement, hijinks, and yes, even inspiration for Creed Bratton, Proctologist.
TITLE: “My Name is Randy”
WRITER: Sam Miller
SPINOFF: “My Name Is Earl”
LOGLINE: After his brother Earl dies, Randy goes on a cross-country journey to touch as many lives as he can by helping people in the small towns through which he travels.
SYNOPSIS: Though no one would ever call the Hickey brothers smart, Randy was always the dumber of the two, though the one with the biggest heart. Always following Earl’s lead, Randy would get in trouble with him but then had a change of heart with him. When Earl dies suddenly after completing his list, Randy no longer knows what to do until he sees all the people who come to Earl’s funeral. Randy realizes that Earl touched their lives and he vows to honor his brother by touching even more people (but not in a bad way). Since Earl’s last wish is for his ashes to be spread at Graceland, Randy journeys out of the town for the first time, discovering similar small towns and helping the folks there.
TITLE: “Cash Cabin” (airplane)—a TV game show that takes place on an airplane.
WRITER: Teri Short
SPINOFF: “Cash Cab”
SYNOPSIS: A spin-off of Discovery Channel’s “Cash Cab,” passengers on a commercial flight compete against each other for a cash prize or a free trip.The first question is a difficult question asked of anyone who wants to play. Passengers write their answer on a slip of paper with their seat number on it. The flight attendants collect the cards. Of all the correct answers, three are selected at random and those three people compete for cash for the rest of the flight. Three strikes and you’re out, and it narrows down to two people. Contestants can use their shout-outs to the other passengers who are not playing. Prizes will be paid for by the airline and advertisers—not just Coke or Pepsi, but destination cities, countries and hotels.