Lately the people at TV headquarters have grown tired of having their shows turned into profitable movies and have turned the tables. Now the trend is to have TV shows serve as prequels to popular films. Hannibal and Bates Motel fill us in on the early exploits of the killers from Silence of the Lambs and Psycho, and soon we'll have Gotham to tell us about young Bruce Wayne's stomping grounds.
Where will it all lead? We are glad you asked! Here are several more TV show prequels to movies that are currently in the works. Watch for them soon on your nearest television set or Hulu device or Netflix machine.
The Adventures of Mogwai and Old Chinese Man
Before Billy's dad bought the furry, adorable Muppet from that strange Chinatown shop, the Mogwai who would later come to be known as Gizmo traveled the world with Old Chinese Man, collecting curios and solving mysteries. Once a season, there's a two-parter where Gizmo gets wet and his clones turn into gremlins and destroy a town.
Kramer Loves Kramer
Ted and Joanna Kramer are a quirky pair of happy newlyweds in this laugh-track sitcom set long before their bitter divorce. Series creators promise that in season three, hardcore fans of the film will be able to spot the precise moment when the Kramers turn on each other. Featuring Kathy Griffin as the Kramers' sassy neighbor.
Before it sank the Titanic in 1912, that infamously deadly mass of frozen water was just an ordinary section of a harmless glacier. Set over the course of 14 million years, this National Geographic Channel series shows the gradual process by which that chunk of ice became the mass murderer we know today. Narrated, inexplicably, by Gilbert Gottfried.
Marty & Doc
Before they traveled through time, changed history, and tampered in God's domain, Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown were an unlikely pair of friends in a small California town. What's a teenage boy doing hanging out with a mentally unstable old scientist? That's what this show's writers will have to figure out! Michael J. Fox stays far away, but Christopher Lloyd makes frequent unwelcome cameos as Marty's grandfather.
Wolfgang A. Mozart is a 10-year-old prodigy competing in piano tournaments across Europe in this family dramedy set in the 1760s. His frequent opponent is 16-year-old Salieri, who hates him at first but gradually comes to be a big brother figure before hating him again. Cloris Leachman plays Mozart's nanny, while the kid himself is played by an as-yet-unknown Fanning sibling.
Just the Right Age for This S***
L.A.P.D. homicide detective Richard Murtaugh is still in his early 30s in this police squad comedy—old enough to be an experienced cop, but young enough to handle the demands of the job. The perfect age, really. Martin Riggs, a brash young cop of questionable judgment, makes occasional appearances as fan service.
Maynard, Zed, & the Gimp
There's plenty of pulp friction in this zany comedy about two quarrelsome perverts who run a pawnshop while dealing with the challenges of keeping a mischievous sex slave in the basement! You'll cringe with nervous laughter every time the boys face a hostile customer and Maynard utters the show's catchphrase: "Better get the Gimp!"
Schindler's Brainstorming Session
Before he compiled his list, Oskar Schindler ... eh, forget it.
BONUS! And look out for these recently announced titles, still in development!
Almost, But Not Quite, As Good As It Gets
The Stepford Girlfriends
The Young Human Centipede Chronicles
The Next-to-Last Picture Show
Eric D. Snider is a freelance film journalist and comedy writer. He tweets here.
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