Could there be a "What if" TV series? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-30-2012, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I had a thought the other day... I was a fan of a Marvel comic "What if" where they explored alternate versions of events. Some weren't as good as others, but the concept was good.

So I was thinking...

Could it be possible to produce a weekly anthology series of "What if" for TV... where alternate versions of various current and past TV shows were explored?

Granted, older shows would be harder because of actors aging out of the parts... but even if it stayed with recent shows of the last 5 years say... it just struck me as an interesting thought.

I don't know how to handle the logistics of all the cross-licensing... but I am thinking like when Weird Al does a parody and gets original band members to record on his album... get original people and crews from the shows.

So, like one week might be an alternate Buffy episode, next week might be alternate Smallville, then alternate House. They could pretty much do any and every type of show... pick an episode and go a different direction with it than what originally happened.

I think it could be potentially really cool... and getting actors/writers to sign up for one-offs probably wouldn't be that hard... but handling all the rights and broadcast permission and DVD release, etc. probably would be a nightmare that would prevent it from happening.

But... it just struck me as a really cool thing IF it could be done.

If nothing else... maybe a particular production group could do it for their shows... like WB could do a series based on all of their productions... FOX for theirs... and so forth.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 16 Old 03-31-2012, 05:00 AM
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That actually would be pretty cool.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-31-2012, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

So, like one week might be an alternate Buffy episode, next week might be alternate Smallville, then alternate House. They could pretty much do any and every type of show... pick an episode and go a different direction with it than what originally happened.

In the case of the shows you mentioned, I believe all those have done alternate reality episodes.

While it sounds cool, I doubt the viewers would watch consistently since there would often be shows profiled that the potential viewers have never seen. As a result, they'd likely tune out when they don't know what's going on.


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post #4 of 16 Old 03-31-2012, 08:56 AM
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Interesting, but seriously doubt it would ever happen. On a related note, I remember that issue of WI where Betty Brant was bitten by "the spider", instead of Pete Parker. Good story; excellent artwork.

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-31-2012, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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The logistics pretty much doom this concept before it could ever be imagined I'm sure... and I know some fans would tune out on weeks their favorite show wasn't altered.

BUT... a side-bonus would be promotion for current shows. They do an alternate Supernatural episode and maybe people who don't normally watch catch a glimpse and start with the show... it could be used to sell shows with lower ratings by featuring them one week.

I know it'll never happen... I just wanted it out of my brain and into the ether just in case!

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post #6 of 16 Old 04-01-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

The logistics pretty much doom this concept before it could ever be imagined I'm sure... and I know some fans would tune out on weeks their favorite show wasn't altered.

BUT... a side-bonus would be promotion for current shows. They do an alternate Supernatural episode and maybe people who don't normally watch catch a glimpse and start with the show... it could be used to sell shows with lower ratings by featuring them one week.

I know it'll never happen... I just wanted it out of my brain and into the ether just in case!

It's not a bad idea - it's just that if it works for a show, the show has probably already done something like it, and probably better than a separate show would.

For example, I like the episode from ST:TNG where we see what might have happened if Picard hadn't ended up with an artificial heart. I'm not sure another series would have done as good a job with it.

On the other hand, the Voyager Episode where we see what might have happened if Harry Kim hadn't joined Starfleet was terrible.

Your show's mileage may vary.


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post #7 of 16 Old 04-01-2012, 10:28 AM
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There already IS a "What If" show. It's called your local news. Next time some big story happens in, say, Japan, I guarantee your local TV news will have a "what if it happened here" segment.

My favorite was from Cincinnati during a huge forest fire out west. The anchor asked the local parks official, "Do YOU have an evacuation plan for something such as this?
The park official said, "No, ma'am."
The reporter's eyes widened and her nostrils flared..she could smell the blood in the water. Her big "gotcha" moment was coming. She asked the park guy, "And just why NOT?"
The park official said, "Well, ma'am. We'd need a forest, first."
Awkward pause
Blushing reporter looks at camera.. "Back to you."

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post #8 of 16 Old 04-01-2012, 10:36 AM
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What if Hitler won WWII; the South won the Civil War; Hannible defeated Rome; there was no Jesus Christ; and on and on.
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-01-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpillar View Post

What if Hitler won WWII; the South won the Civil War; Hannible defeated Rome; there was no Jesus Christ; and on and on.

I've always thought that'd make a great video game. Go back and change something and see how it plays out going forward.

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post #10 of 16 Old 04-01-2012, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpillar View Post

What if Hitler won WWII; the South won the Civil War; Hannible defeated Rome; there was no Jesus Christ; and on and on.

There's actually a whole literary genre devoted to what's known as "speculative fiction". I like that stuff. For Germany winning WWII, check out the cool detective story "Fatherland" by Robert Harris (they even made a movie of this one starring Rutgar Hauer and Miranda Richardson). For the South winning the Civil War, check out "The Guns of the South" by Harry Turtledove.
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-01-2012, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

There's actually a whole literary genre devoted to what's known as "speculative fiction". I like that stuff. For Germany winning WWII, check out the cool detective story "Fatherland" by Robert Harris (they even made a movie of this one starring Rutgar Hauer and Miranda Richardson). For the South winning the Civil War, check out "The Guns of the South" by Harry Turtledove.

I've always known this specific genre you are referring to as a sub genre of speculative fiction, known as "alternative history."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alterna...erary_genre%29

If that kind of stuff interests you, I second the reco about Turtledove. He's the the king of alternative history. He has a bunch of novels in this realm. Would love to see this stuff turned into a TV series or movies.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-01-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pappy97 View Post

I've always known this specific genre you are referring to as a sub genre of speculative fiction, known as "alternative history."

Yes, that's correct.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-01-2012, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

I've always thought that'd make a great video game. Go back and change something and see how it plays out going forward.

Like "Quantum Leap"?
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-03-2012, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

It's not a bad idea - it's just that if it works for a show, the show has probably already done something like it, and probably better than a separate show would.

Dallas did that, if JR hadn't been born. A whole different arrangement with the same cast. Star Trek TNG did it well in Parallels. The Stargate franchise did it at various times with each of their series.

Books. I liked Harry Harrison's West of Eden trilogy. Harry Turtledove of course has several good books and series, I liked Worldwar in particular. SM Stirling has Conquistador, the Draka series, and the Peshawar Lancers. Any of these would be good either for a TV movie or miniseries depending on length.

Unfortunately most of the viewing public would be more interested in watching American Idol...
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-03-2012, 10:18 PM
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Futurama had the "What If" machine.


'You Watched It!, You Can't Un-watch It!"
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-04-2012, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarg7883 View Post


Unfortunately most of the viewing public would be more interested in watching American Idol...

I constantly wonder what if people had rejected "reality TV" as crap and it never took off to be able to glom onto every channel...

The same goes for remakes that destroy the essence of the original show.


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