Would anybody be interested in a Cheers movie? Could Pulp Fiction sustain its unique brand of storytelling through seven seasons on television? Though we would be interested to see producers attempt either, you’d have to bet that the answer to both questions is no. Though it is difficult to take a property from film to television, the rewards are huge. A built-in audience of a certain size will make any producer salivate.
Until recently, the film to TV move had generally negative results. Utterly forgettable shows like Ferris Bueller, Delta House, and My Big Fat Greek Life still serve as cautionary tales to executives whose senses are blinded by the prospect of residuals. Lately, the move hasn’t seemed so crazy. Friday Night Lights, Bates Motel, and Hannibal have found critical and commercial success. The mark left by these shows has paved the way for a slew of new contenders debuting in the next year or two.
This week, tear-jerker movie adaptation master Jason Katims is bringing yet another heartwarming film dramedy to TV with About A Boy, based on 2002 Hugh Grant-starrer of the same name. We don’t know if audiences will bite, but we do know what kind of properties tend to succeed with such a transition. Let's take a look at some of the more successful jumps from film to TV and ask Can TV Shows Based on Movies Actually Be Good?