10 Insane TV Plots That Almost Happened

Crazy TV plots that almost happened! Breaking Bad, Firefly & more were nearly so different.

Doctor Who/Harry Potter
BBC/Warner Bros.

Since the dawn of television, writers have been coming up with all kinds of crazy plots and story arcs to keep audiences engaged. Just look at daytime television, and you’ll discover a plethora of amnesiac half-siblings coming back from the dead to reveal they were the real killer all along.

Daytime TV sure has its fair share of insane TV plots, but Primetime has plenty too. There was that time on Friends when the gang crafted a long poking device to make sure “Ugly Naked Guy” wasn’t dead and let’s not forget the time Issie Stevens got it on with a ghost on Grey’s Anatomy.

However, for every whacky TV plotline that makes it to the small screen, there are tons that don’t. They might get laughed out of a writer’s room, or something that seemed appropriate during the show’s planning stages doesn’t work when it comes time to film.

Whatever the reason, some of the craziest TV plots never made it to film… but they almost did. These ten plots are insane, and there’s a good chance they might have worked at the time, but it’s probably good they never saw the light of day.

10. Sam Malone Came Close To An HIV Scare On Cheers

Doctor Who/Harry Potter
CBS Television Distribution

If you go back and binge-watch all of Cheers, you're going to find a few episodes and story arcs that delve into controversial subjects for the time, but ultimately those episodes didn't dig too deeply into anything that might have enraged the censors at NBC.

There were a few mentions of topics related to abortion, teenage pregnancy and the like, but one topic that didn't make it into the final series was HIV/AIDS. Cheers ran from 1982 to 1993, so it was right smack-dab in the middle of the AIDS crisis as it was developing.

There were plans to touch on the subject at the end of season six, and while it would have been controversial, that wasn't the reason the episode never made it to air. The 1988 Writers Guild of America strike put a damper on the planned story arc, which would have ended season six.

The plan was to have Sam learn that a former girlfriend had tested positive for HIV. The cliffhanger ending would have ended the sixth season, leaving the show's fans the entire summer to worry about Sam's fate. The Writer's Strike made that impossible, and the concept was scrapped.


Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com