18 Movies That Became TV Shows, For Better & Worse

Photo: Courtesy of NBC
Have you ever left the theater and thought to yourself, "Oh man, I wish that movie would have gone on forever?" If a film is doing its job right, it's easy to become super attached to the characters and feel personally invested in plot lines. You want MORE than an hour-and-a-half of tape (plus previews). You want a UNIVERSE.

Luckily, studio execs totally understand this plight. That's why every so often, a silver screen hit transitions to a run on the small screen. While this doesn't always pan out perfectly (see: Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, Ferris Bueller's Day Off), we're still mostly appreciative of the effort because even hate watching can be a joyous way to spend an afternoon. Check out these 18 feature films that became serialized television — for better or worse.


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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Why yes that is Jennifer Aniston starring in a serialized remake of Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). The Jeannie Bueller character suits her, as do cowboy boots paired with a floral skirt.

Modeled on the original movie, this half-hour series ran from 1990-91 for a single season. Sadly, Ferris Bueller was not played by Matthew Broderick, which sort of kills the premise for us — he was half, if not three quarters of, the fun.
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Photo: Courtesy of A&E.
There's a reason Norman Bates turned into a true villain in Psycho (1960). He had a pretty rough childhood — and Bates Motel isn't afraid to use it for serialized drama fodder.

This show details the early years of Bates' life at home with his mother, Norma, and the inn she owns in White Pine Bay. As if you weren't creeped out enough by the movie, now the series has three terrifying seasons.
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Photo: Courtesy of FOX
All we want to know is ... where was OUR time machine when we had history presentations to make? Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) was pretty much the best representation of what it was like to be a young bonehead with homework to do, and it clearly had all the makings of a cartoon series.

The show Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures may have been a stoner classic that was ahead of its time, because '90s audiences weren't into it. The series ran just a single season, in 1992.
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Photo: Courtesy of The WB.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992) was an excellent girl power flick long before it was ever an excellent girl power series (1997-2003).

This was one of this special instances where the show did an incredible job of expanding on the film's storyline. It galvanized Buffy fans and converts across America, and even spawned Angel, a much-loved spinoff. We've got our fingers crossed for a reunion, if you're listening Joss Whedon!
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Photo: Courtesy of CBS
Dirty Dancing (1987) was a tough one to transition to television, in no small part because all the story lines were solved by the end of the movie. No matter, though — studio execs decided to take this one to the small screen anyway.

The series of the same name aired for a single season in 1988, and featured zero members of the original cast. No babies ended up in corners during the making of this show.
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Photo: Courtesy of FX.
The Coen brothers' Fargo (1997) knocked it out of the park — and the movie has the awards to prove it. The show, which didn't arrive until years later on FX, didn't do so badly either.

The series was received with critical acclaim and, after a successful first season, has been renewed for fall 2015. That might be the only reason to get excited about the end of summer.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC
You may know Friday Night Lights (2006-2011) as a television phenomenon that had you binge-watching every second you weren't at work or asleep, but did you realize the the popular series got its start on the big screen?

Friday Night Lights hit theaters in 2004 — and we actually mean hit, because it's about football and also did pretty well with critics and audiences alike.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Did you know Daredevil (2015) is one of the most-watched shows on Netflix? Well, it is.

Another fun fact: The series sprang from a 2003 movie of the same name, which didn't do so hot. We're happy to have this new-and-improved version at our viewing disposal.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC
The 1989 film version of Parenthood stars Steve Martin, who proves that it's pretty hard to be a dad with a bunch of rug rats running around.

Meanwhile, Parenthood the series (2010-2015) is a dramatic television featuring the annals of the four adult Braverman children, their parents, their children, and the other people they gather along the way. It's much beloved by many.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
We REALLY wanted Clueless-the-series (1996-1999) to be as good as Clueless-the-movie (1995).

Alas, it was not, even though Stacey Dash came on board. Maybe there would have been more magic with Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone? Perhaps less pleather was in order? Something could have saved this show, we know it.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC Family.
This was another one of those shows that we knew was going to bomb but we couldn't help but being excited for anyway.

10 Things I Hate About You
was a markedly better movie than it ever was a series. But, at least the producers brought the dad from the big screen to the small screen. That guy is hilarious.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Rosemary's Baby, made in 1968 and starring Mia Farrow, has been called one of the creepiest films of the 20th century.

Unfortunately, it fell a little flat as a miniseries in 2014: Critics claimed the two-part, four-hour show was too stretched in its time slot, although it stayed pretty true to the original movie. Womp womp.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Disney Channel.
Kids of the '80s and '90s will forever remember the Rick Moranis classic movie where he shrinks the kids, and accidentally sends them on the journey of their lives.

What they may not remember is that the movie, made in 1989, ended up as serialized television — and despite the fact that Honey I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show ran for three full seasons on the Disney Channel, it was a far cry from the epic film.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fox.
When it comes to action films, nothing is as classic as 1984 hit, The Terminator.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
(2008-2009) is not a classic anything, but it was fun to watch a badass lady taking the lead in an action series. #SmallVictories
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Photo: Courtesy of MTV.
Teen Wolf came out as a series at the height of American audience's obsession with the supernatural. It is basically standard teenage drama with extra body hair, and some fangs every so often — and people love it, which is why the fifth season is on its way this month.

But the original star in our hearts will always be Michael J. Fox, who starred in the 1985 film of the same name. He somehow made furry hands boyishly handsome.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
Here's another one of those rare instances that a series is just as good as the film on which is was based (at least when it comes to awards season).

Soul Food
(1997) was a critically acclaimed drama; Soul Food (2000-2004) was a critically acclaimed series — as well as the longest running drama featuring a predominantly black cast in U.S. prime time history.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Care to see Dr. Hannibal Lecter become a monster? You've got the option: The series — which acts as a prequel to both films Hannibal (2001) and Silence of the Lambs (1991) — is delightfully creepy. And, like the movies, it might give you nightmares.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
What began as a book and became a film is now a recently-cancelled sitcom starring Minnie Driver, among others.

About A Boy
ran for two seasons on NBC, but prior to that it was a pretty well-received movie starring Hugh Grant, who was nominated for a Golden Globe. We have novelist Nick Hornby to thank for this one, on all counts. Bravo!
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