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12 TV Shows That Strayed Hard From the Source Material


Friends' Rachel Green wouldn't have been able to stumble into Central Perk wedding-dress-clad if it wasn't for another city's group of Singles. Yes, the monolithic sitcom is just one of many shows that veered far off from the original concepts. And no, we're not talking about how different a show is from a pilot; we all know pilots lay down hard inconsistencies and feature decidedly different hair cuts from the rest of the season. I'm talking about shows that, in its earliest form, was something entirely different. Maybe that means taking a detour from someone's life story, taking a tonal rewrite from big-to-small-screen transitions, or having a janky short evolve into entire multi-faceted world. Whatever the case, you may be shocked to hear of the humble beginnings of your favorite series. 

Below, check out 12 shows that ended up a different monster than their first draft.

1. Parks and Recreation

Source: NBC

In its earliest form, Parks and Recreation was meant to be an Office spin-off. Leslie Knope serving as the show's Michael Scott, and Rashida Jones was possibly reprising her Karen Filipelli role. And then suddenly Jones was cast as a different character, leaving a severed tie between Scranton and Pawnee. The weirdest part was that the connector between the two worlds was going to be a broken copier in Dunder Mifflin — after the copier was recalled and refurbished, it would be shipped off to the parks department. 

Eventually the spin-off aspect was completely demolished, leaving Leslie to flourish as the determined, waffle-loving politician we've learned to love, and Ann Perkins, a poetic, noble land mermaid.