10 Movies You Had No Idea Were Turned Into TV Shows [VIDEO]
With the premiere of ‘The Firm,’ NBC has unleashed another movie-turned-TV-show on the world. You’ve no doubt heard about several other popular TV shows that were based on movies, such as ‘M*A*S*H*,’ ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Parenthood.’ But did you know that there was a ‘Parenthood’ sitcom in 1990 starring Leonardo DiCaprio?
Check out 10 TV versions of hit movies that you may not have heard of below.
Based on the 1989 comedy starring John Candy, the ‘Uncle Buck’ TV series founded itself on a seriously unfunny premise: Buck’s brother and sister-in-law died in a car accident, making him the guardian of their three children. It also replaced the loveable Candy with the decidedly less loveable Kevin Meaney. Comedy did not in fact ensue. (Watch the show’s intro below.)
‘Ferris Bueller’ (1990)
‘Ferris Bueller’ had plenty of things going for it. For one, it was based on the beloved John Hughes film of the same name. Plus, a then-unknown Jennifer Aniston took the Jennifer Grey role of Ferris’ sister, Jeanie. But alas, neither of these things were enough to save the show, which was canceled only a few months into its first season. Watch an inexplicably creepy makeout scene between Ferris and Jeanie below and you’ll understand why.
‘Working Girl’ (1990)
Debuting as a midseason replacement on NBC in 1990, ‘Working Girl,’ which was based on the 1988 movie starring Melanie Griffith, featured a very young Sandra Bullock as spunky-secretary-turned-junior-executive Tess McGill. Check out a clip starring Bullock and Nana Visitor from ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ fame.
‘L.A. Confidential’ (2000)
The television counterpart to the 1997 neo-noir film ‘L.A. Confidential’ was filmed as a pilot and developed by HBO and Fox. Unfortunately, the stylish show, which served as a prequel to the film, never made it to the air. (Though it was included on the ‘L.A. Confidential’ DVD.) Kiefer Sutherland took over the Kevin Spacey role for the movie, while Melissa George slinked into Kim Basinger’s heels. If it had been a hit, we may never have seen Kiefer yelling “dammit!” into multiple cellphones as Jack Bauer on ’24.’ Watch Kiefer in action in the clip below.
‘Delta House’ (Based on ‘Animal House,’ 1979)
‘Delta House’ was loosely based on the 1978 classic ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’ and saw several actors reprising their roles from the film, including John Vernon as Dean Wormer and Stephen Furst as Flounder. (Michelle Pfeiffer appeared in an early role as “The Bombshell.”) However, constant fighting between executive producers and the network, who wanted the racy plotlines toned down for the show’s 8PM slot, led to its cancellation after only 13 episodes. Look for Pfeiffer in the catchy theme song below.
‘Flipper’ was first a successful movie in 1963 and then a well-received TV show that ran from 1964-1967. In 1995, the dolphin returned once again in a TV revival starring Jessica Alba that ran for four seasons. And then it was remade as another movie in 1996 with Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan and Elijah Wood. Which is a roundabout way of saying there have been far too many adaptations of ‘Flipper.’ Watch an underwater dream sequence with Alba and the beloved bottlenose below.
Based on the 1989 movie of the same name, ‘Parenthood’ aired for only one season in 1990, two decades before the 2010 version which is currently on the air. Executive produced by Ron Howard (and featuring Joss Whedon on the writing staff), the original TV show was an early quirky, one-camera comedy before Howard’s ‘Arrested Development’ and starred a young Leonardo DiCaprio. Watch a clip below of teen Leo’s early ’90s work from ‘Parenthood,’ ‘Growing Pains’ and more.
‘Harry and the Hendersons’ (1991)
A comedy about Bigfoot may seem an unlikely choice for a TV adaptation, but ‘Harry and the Hendersons’ ran from 1991 to 1993 in syndication, with an impressive 72 half-hour episodes produced. Watch the intro from the show below, which features a song by Leon Redbone called ‘Your Feets Too Big.’ (Redbone also performed the ‘Mr. Belvedere’ theme.)
‘Blue Thunder’ (1984)
If you have trouble recalling the 1984 TV series ‘Blue Thunder,’ which was based on the 1983 movie starring Roy Scheider, don’t feel bad. The series used footage from the movie as a way to cut costs and it showed. Plus, it competed against ‘Dallas’ and lost the ratings battle after only 11 episodes. Fun fact: it starred Dana Carvey, of all people, in a dramatic role. Look for him in the intro below.
‘Baby Talk’ (Based on ‘Look Who’s Talking,’ 1990)
Creative clashes behind the scenes of this short-lived adaptation of ‘Look Who’s Talking’ led to two actresses in the role Kirstie Alley played in the movie — ‘Newhart’s’ Julia Duffy and soap star Mary Page Keller. ’80s sitcom staple George Clooney was a love interest during season one, while Scott Baio joined in season two to give the show a pure concentrated shot of Chachi. The only consistent element was Tony Danza, who subbed in for Bruce Willis as the voice of Mickey. Well, that and corny diaper jokes accompanied by a laugh track. Witness the mighty early ’90s hair of Clooney in the clip below.