Catching up on some DVR'ed shows I missed this past week reveals a number of gameable ideas in them without much effort. Here's what a got in a couple of hours yesterday afternoon:
Helix is a science fiction mystery/conspiracy show on SyFy about a team of scientists from the CDC sent to biotech research facility in the arctic to investigate a possible outbreak of a deadly virus. Of course, all is not what it seems: the virus (that sort of zombifies it's victims) is some sort of experimental bioweapon--and people are willing to kill to keep it secret. The setting and situation would work well for an even smaller than usual investigative sandbox. You could always move the base to the Antarctic and make the bioweapon recovered shoggoth material and you've got a great Delta Green/Call of Cthulhu scenario.
Keeping with the somewhat horrific, the last episode of American Horror Story: Coven (which I've mentioned before). The season didn't end as well as I would've liked, but it did have the interesting element of the contest to become supreme (leader of the coven) requiring the completing of the "Seven Wonders" displaying the seven arts of the witches. A competition like that and a series of miracles to perform would make a great guild advancement ritual about magic-users--or the skulduggery around it something for PCs to get drawn into.
For a complete change of tone, we have Space Dandy, an anime airing on Cartoon Network's Toonami.The titular Space Dandy is a pompadoured and none too bright alien hunter who tries (and usually fails) to bring in unknown alien species for cataloging by the government. What Space Dandy does for laughs could easily be done seriously. Hunting new sapient species in an ancient galactic civilization teeming with life (like Star Wars) is a pretty good conceit for a campaign.
7 hours ago