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Spunoff Competition 2014: And The Winners Are…

After a week of receiving pitches far more groundbreaking than anything on Dragon’s Den, our Spunoff competition has closed. After much deliberation, here are the results. //

We asked you, dear readers, to write us the very best spinoff pitch ideas from your favourite Lightbox show. In return, you had the rare chance to win a Samsung GALAXY S tablet and a place on our prestigious Group Think panel. You responded in absolute droves, and we couldn’t be prouder.

With the announcement this morning of the much-anticipated Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul coming to Lightbox in February 2015, there is no better time sit down and applaud our own spinoff geniuses. We can’t guarantee it, but within these pitches could well be lurking the next Better Call Saul. Except that we own all of them now for the rest of eternity so, next stop Tinseltown.

The overall Grand Tablet winner is at the bottom – but we were so stoked with the ridiculous standard of entries that we’ve gone all primary school sports day on it and picked a bunch of category winners too:

Best Tagline
Winner:
Matt’s Mac and Cheese (spunoff from Nothing Trivial)
“After the implosion of his old business, all that was left was de brie”

Best Ambitious Multi-Show Crossover
Winner: Sean Bamber’s Better Off Dead (spunoff from Seinfeld, My Name Is Earl,
Dawson’s Creek & Rescue Me)

Best Post-Modern Weirdness
Winner: Josh Davis’ A (Post-) Modern Epic (spunoff from Friday Night Lights)
Runners up: Simon Casey’s Swiper: Behind the Mask (spunoff from Dora the Explorer) and Talia Smith’s It’s Hard For a Player (spunoff from Arrested Development)

Best Use of Original Imagery
Winner:
Emma’s Jean-Ralphio & DJ Roomba Take New York (spunoff from Parks and Recreation)
original
Could also double as the CD soundtrack cover, clever multi-platform use.
Runner up: Simon Casey’s Swiper: Behind the Mask (spunoff from Dora the Explorer)
original (2)
Eerily realistic, a very plausible scene.

Best Use of Time Travel
Winner:
Alessandra Rachael’s Lily Lawless (spunoff from Modern Family)
Runner up: Renee Church’s Empty House (spunoff from Full House)

Most Plausible Spinoff 
Winner: Darren Maslin’s Don’t Touch the Band (spunoff from 30 Rock)
Runners up: Renee Church’s Jenna Maroney All Aloney (spunoff from 30 Rock), Siouxsannah’s Afternoon Delight (spunoff from Arrested Development), Natasha Hoyland’s Rondevous (spunoff from Parks and Recreation) and Holly’s Queen Quinn of Quinoa (spunoff from Weeds).

Best Use of Stock Imagery
Winner:
Andrew McColl’s Dance Dads (spunoff from Dance Moms)
original (1)
Glasses of beer full to the brim, interesting tribal tie. It’s the most fitting image that www.visualphotos.com could ever offer this competition.

Best Titular Puns
Winner:
Matt’s Mac and Cheese (spunoff from Nothing Trivial)
“The highs and lows continue thanks to the creators of Nothing Trivial, the season is Emmental”
Runner up: Natasha Hoyland’s Rondevous (spunoff from Parks and Recreation)
“Rondezvous becomes a popular meating place and the diner is soon bustling with happy customers.”

Best Use of Trendy Grain
Winner: Holly’s Queen Quinn of Quinoa (spunoff from Weeds)

Best Ineligible Entry
Winner:
Renee Church’s Empty House (spunoff from Full House)

Best Use of a Minor Character
Winner: Emma’s Jean-Ralphio & DJ Roomba Take New York (spunoff from Parks and Recreation)
Runner up: Talia Smith’s It’s Hard For a Player (spunoff from Arrested Development)

Most Aggressive Non-Entry
Winner:
Guest Post’s Rare Fact About Joey
Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 2.22.48 pm

Best Borderline Fan Fiction
Winner:
Cathy Casey’s Afternoon Delight (spunoff from Black Books)
A heart-wrenching ode to the relationship between Fran and Bernard, “he rushes onto the stage for the longest kiss with his beloved and the beginning a new way of being.”

Best Theme Song
Winner: Josh Davis’ A (Post-) Modern Epic (spunoff from Friday Night Lights)
With a pitch centred around the ridiculous naming of miscreant Epyck, it’s only right that the theme song be “Epic” by Faith No More.

Best Closing Line
Winner:
Paul Williams’ Please Just Pull the Trigger! (spunoff from Just Shoot Me!)
“22 minutes of David Spade hanging out with David Spade, or as I like to call it, 22 minutes of pure gold.”
Runner up: Dorothy Holder’s The Kimberly Process (spunoff from Mrs Brown’s Boy)
“The first series ends, with him hugging his mother Agnes Brown, camera cuts to the single diamond in his hand”

The Top Five Runner Up Entries:

Matt’s Mac and Cheese (spunoff from Nothing Trivial)
Seriously expect to see this cheese-based spinoff show at the TVNZ launch next year. Packed with high cheese puns and high drama, it’s a grate pitch.

Renee Church’s Empty House (spunoff from Full House)
Although an ineligible entry due to Full House unfortunately not being a Lightbox show, Michelle Tanner’s magical journey through 22 years of missed culture would surely delight, and has room for screeds of incredible cameo appearances. We’re all looking forward to getting John Stamos out of that rest home.

Simon Casey’s Swiper: Behind the Mask (spunoff from Dora the Explorer)
A journey beneath the visage of the animated kleptomaniac fox, this dark spinoff enlists the always-welcome Nigel Latta to get to the bottom of some serious cartoon-based psychological issues.

Josh Davis’ A (Post-) Modern Epic (spunoff from Friday Night Lights)
Possibly the most niche spinoff submission, this is a tale of the inevitable rebellion which comes when you give a character a crappy storyline and an even crappier name.

Talia Smith’s It’s Hard for a Player (spunoff from Arrested Development)
Also a strong niche frontrunner, this was surprisingly the only entry starring a 50 year-old moustache as the lead character. Since Miami Vice, at least.

The Grand Prize Winner:

Nic Sampson’s Shorts! (spunoff from Suits)
The younger suit from Suits bites off more of the Big Apple than he can chew when he accidentally rides his lawyer bicycle into the nice car of the older suit and scratches the paint! The older suit tells everyone the younger suit isn’t really a real lawyer, just a poor fake lawyer with a big ol’ brain that can remember EVERYTHING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED! Now young suit is wanted in lawyer-court on 10 counts of being not a lawyer and 1 count of smirking too much. Well, that doesn’t ‘suit’ our man one bit! So he’s on the next New York subway car…to Miami, Florida!

Our man’s got the street smarts, the haircut, and cycling abilities of a high price lawyer! But how’s he going to cope in a city where the only crime is Not Beach-Dancing?!

With the help of a no-nonsense cuban drummer and his precocious Macaw, young suit goes about setting up Miami’s first food truck/attorney’s office specialising in criminal defence and huevos rancheros! It’s all sun and games when your office is the beach and your desk is a jetski! And don’t even get me started on those bikini interns…ay, caramba!

But it’s not all sun and games. For our man has pulled yet another con – he never properly trained to be a food truck owner, he doesn’t even have a drivers licence for heck sake! Will his new found cuban partner expose him for the fraud he is (despite being very good at his job so who even cares)? Or just maybe, has our man found another mentor to learn from, aspire to, and trade some serious hands-in-pockets banter with? SHORTS-pockets that is!

Shorts! Coming soon!

Judges’ Comments: We would like to approach the bench and declare that this spinoff pitch suits us right to the ground. Nic has done a great job of fusing the popular law-based television format with something even more in vogue: food television. The result is a promising debaucherous food truck romp that Michael Van de Elzen couldn’t hold a candle (or a gross healthy paua hot dog) to.

And that concludes the 2014 Spunoff Awards Ceremony. Thanks to Lightbox for the sweet loot and even sweeter shows, and thanks to everyone who entered. Grab yourself a beer and recreate the jovial stock image as seen in Dance Dads.

You are all winners today.

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