Dear Vince and Peter,
Your outstanding cable dramas have reinvigorated my love of television over the past 14 years, and I’m not quite ready to leave the Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul universe. What am I supposed to watch come August? Reruns of Manimal? The Masked Singer?
You’ve proven that a spinoff can be as successful as an original, so I urge you to start producing additional sequels, prequels or even equals. As a no-strings-attached gift to you both, I offer five potential Better Call Saul spinoffs that could be on air by next fall.
Huell Be Back: After one-time pickpocket Huell Babineaux (actor Lavell Crawford) finally finagles his release from a DEA safe house following the deaths of agents Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez, the former Saul Goodman bodyguard takes a job working security for the Albuquerque Community Theater. But when a British actor collapses backstage ahead of the troupe’s opening night performance of Hamilton, Huell adeptly steps into the role of King George, earning raucous praise from the sold-out crowd and the play’s director, former University of New Mexico film student Joey Dixon (actor Josh Fadfem). Huell gives up his life of crime and commits himself to his new craft. 30-minute musical comedy. (Bonus: It’s set in Albuquerque so you can reuse old filming sites.)
DVM: Los Angeles: Weary of patching up gunshot wounds for the cartel, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine “Constantine” Caldera (actor Joe Derosa) relocates to sunny southern California and joins an elite squad of pet lovers on the other side of the law. Caldera and his DVM: Los Angeles colleagues use their talents to solve complex killings of famous animal actors, return kidnapped pets of the stars and enforce that L.A. residents get their pets spayed or neutered. Co-starring rapper Snoop Dogg and comedian Drew Carey. 60-minute crime drama. (Bonus: This series could lead to additional spinoffs of DVM: Miami, DVM: Chicago-Special Victims Unit and DVM: Butte, Montana.)
On the Vend: After a temper tantrum spurred by a stingy coin-operated snack dispenser lands Deputy District Attorney Bill Oakley (actor Peter Diseth) in the clink, a judge orders Oakley to fulfill his community service hours by serving as the courthouse’s vending machine repair man. Oakley is so fulfilled by the work that he quits his position and takes on the gig full-time, vowing to ensure that every prosecutor, defense attorney and defendant has reliable access to Snickers, Doritos and Cokes. 30-minute sitcom. (Bonus: You can save on props as these snacks are already sitting on the craft services table.)
Tony vs. Tony: Tony the Toilet Buddy (voice actor Tim Baltz) breaks away from inventor Roland Jaycox, vowing to share his positive reinforcement messages with more than just potty-training children. He seeks out inspiration from a well-known motivational speaker with the same first name, but their potential partnership sours after the famous Tony usurps the aspiring Tony’s trademark line of “Give it to me, Chandler. I want it all. Mmm.” Tony and Tony playfully spend each episode battling for life-coaching dominance as they navigate friendship, relationships and random shenanigans. 30-minute animated series. (Bonus: Matthew Perry may be available for the role of Chandler.)
Camp Kettleman:Missing their days of repeatedly singing “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” with Warren and Jo Jo in the family tent, recent empty-nesters Craig and Betsy Kettleman (actors Jeremy Shamos and Julie Ann Emery) decide to open a summer camp to share their love of classic camp songs with troubled teens. The fun ensues when two of the teens start embezzling funds from the Kettlemans’ burgeoning business. 30-minute dark comedy. (Bonus: “B-I-N-G-O,” “Home on the Range” and the rest of the Kettlemans’ favorite tunes are in the public domain, so licensing costs will be minimal.)
I have tons of other ideas, guys, including an extreme sports/practical joke mashup featuring skateboard scammers Lars and Cal Lindholm (actors Steven Levine and Daniel Spenser Levine), a non-edgy late-night talk-show hosted by strait-laced Davis & Main legal assistant Erin Brill (actor Jessie Ennis), and Ghost of Chuck starring Michael McKean, in which neighbors’ daily newspapers mysteriously disappear from random driveways and are replaced by meticulously written legal briefs wrapped in aluminum foil.
I forgo all royalties and rights to these ideas to ensure I can watch at least one of these shows next fall. Vince and Peter, thank you both for your service.
The Standup Philosopher