Great TV Shows That Never Were: Hillhanger (Cliffhanger spinoff)

That’s a death-defying hill right there.

In 1993, Sylvester Stallone wowed the world with muscle-fest action romp Cliffhanger. In that film, a load of mean guys (and a token woman) do some bad stuff on big old cliffs. It’s the type of death-defying macho drama that’s left somewhat confused as Stallone’s character is called Gabriel. What? Like, Gabrielle… the British singer? Whose dumb idea was that? They might as well have called him Pretty Patricia, or some such.

Anyway, we’ve decided to try and fund a script for a spinoff TV show called Hillhanger. It’s the same as Cliffhanger but a bit more sedate because, you know, the show’s antagonists and protagonists are on a hill. It’s a pretty steep one, though, so you’re left with an edge of your seat, nerve-shredding experience right here, you are!


Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger pretending to be Sylvester Stallone, the supporting cast would consist of the utterly useless Jai Courtney, the largely inept Megan Fox, the acceptable Vince Vaughn, Andrew Garfield, Andrew Garfield’s quiff, and Gary Oldman as a hill.

There would also be the occasional cameo from Julie Andrews singing the Hills Are Alive (with the sound of music). Well actually, love, in this TV show the hills are alive with the sound of machine gun fire, bloodcurdling screams, Schwarzenegger’s bizarre Stallone impression, macho grunting, and other such anti-social, music-free behaviour.

Less noticeable would be Gary Oldman, whose performance as a hill would be critically acclaimed. Boasting impressive prosthetics, and a dollop of CGI, he’s almost unrecognisable in the role! Indeed, the New York Times will comment:

"He makes for a most convincing hill; boasting a quiet solemnity, interspersed by susurrations of ancient times of yore from whence hills have sprung, his dialogue free role may well be challenging, but it holds no personal abnegation, certainly not one to behold, for there is simply a ludic and milquetoast affirmation of his talent."

Anyway, the show would be about Hilly the Hill (Oldman) and the hill climbing rescue team headed by Schwarzenegger, Fox, Courtney, and Garfield. Over the course of the series, they would have to take care of numerous exhilarating incidents (such as leading confused drunks off the hilltop) in order to keep hill and humans safe and society away from the brink of collapse. High concept stuff, yeah?

Hillhanger Episodes

TV shows like to end on cliffhangers in order to generate anticipation for the next episode. Hillhanger would rely on hillhangers to do the same job, ensuring contrived nonsense plots leave the show’s fans simply dribbling for more! Here would be the best episodes – if you want this to be a reality, send all of your cash to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • Bills from the hills: As Hillhanger’s heroes and villains keep hanging around Hilly, he sends them all a batch of bills for using up his time. When these reach red headed letter stage, he sues them all for trespassing. This behaviour, much to his chagrin, leaves Hilly dubbed the “hotheaded hill”.
  • The chill hill: A bunch of stoned college students start hanging out on Hilly. Getting increasingly irritated, he gets in touch with the Schwarzenegger/Stallone combo and Big Arnie arrives armed with a load of mountain climbing gear. As he ascends the hill in a pair of crampons and an axe, the stoned teenagers remark it is one of the most unusual sights they have ever seen. They’re then bludgeoned to death by Schwarzenegger.
  • Pilly the Pill Hill: Hilly drops acid and spends the entire episode hallucinating wildly about being a mound of dirt. What follows is 30 minutes of nonsensical psychedelic colours (mainly brown), ending with Hilly swearing never to do that again.
  • Hillary Swank: The actress visits Hilly and the gang. Starstruck, Andrew Garfield and his quiff propose to her on the spot. She declines politely saying, “Get ****ed you, bequiffed ****ing ****.” Everyone is shocked by this profane outburst and Swank is ordered off the property.


  1. What about Courtney Fox? Will she be in this? You could save some $$$ by combing the Jai Courtney role, with the largely inept Megan Fox role, and have it played by Courtney Cox.
    This is one of the most brilliant pitches you’ve come up with! Gary Oldman as the Hill… BRILLIANT!!! Finally, the part he’s always deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

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