movies based on TV shows. But did you know it works the other way, too, and that some TV shows actually started out as movies? Anything is possible and the future is now. There are plenty of good TV shows that started out as movies: MASH, Friday Night Lights, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At least, I've heard that people like MASH and Friday Night Lights; I've never seen either one, because no vampires. The point is this: there are way more terrible shows that started out as movies. Here are but a few.
1. Gung Ho (1986; 9 episodes)
Scott Bakula leaped into Michael Keaton's body and was all "Oh boy."
2. Uncle Buck (1990; 22 episodes)
This isn't real. This has to be a Mr. Show sketch.
3. Fast Times (1986; 7 episodes)
Back to the Future's Claudia Welles' boobs step in for Phoebe Cates' boobs. Spicoli is played by Dean "Chainsaw" Cameron. Also featuring a young Courtney Thorne-Smith and Patrick Dempsey. All seven episodes were surprisingly abortion-free.
4. Working Girl (1990; 12 episodes)
A great example of just how misconceived so many of these movies-turned-TV-shows are. This could have been any workplace sitcom; there's no reason to call it Working Girl. Sandra Bullock can do almost no wrong, though (with the exception of All About Steve...also, The Blind Side), and this is proof that she was great to watch even in junk. What I'm saying is that I love her.
5. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (1992; 7 episodes)
Not the Saturday morning cartoon from 1990 (which actually retained all of the actors as voice talent), but a 1992 FOX "comedy" that looks so awful I physically can't watch the opening titles. I'm too embarrassed for everyone involved, and I can't handle feeling that way. The good news? San Dimas High School Football rules.
6. Clueless (1996-99, 62 episodes)
The longest-running show on this list by a huge margin, Clueless began as part of the TGIF lineup on ABC before moving over to UPN, where it lasted another two seasons. The whole cast returned, though Rachel Blanchard (the Fringe-verse Alicia Silverstone) took over in the lead. And what was Donald Faison going by in those days? And why do the opening credits look so much like the opening credits to Fast Times, even though it's 10 years later?
7. Alien Nation (1989-90; 22 episodes)
For some reason, my memory is that this show ran way longer than a single season. It was a cult favorite, and it's easy to understand why; though the opening titles don't suggest it at all (they're all doing utterly ordinary things, but they're, you know, aliens), this is one of the few movies that might work even better as a weekly series. And we know it's THE FUTURE because of Rambo 6.
8. Ferris Bueller (1990; 13 episodes)
NBC attempted to turn the classic John Hughes' movie (one of Doug's favorites!) into a sitcom, replacing the charm of Matthew Broderick with the douchey smarm of Charlie Schlatter. That opening title sequence is one of the worst things ever made. The lyrics are great, though. Noteworthy only because it co-starred Jennifer Aniston (as Ferris's sister) and because, as reader J.M Vargas points out, the show was done better and lasted longer as Parker Lewis Can't Lose (later just Parker Lewis) on Fox.
9. Delta House (1979; 13 episodes)
Several key cast members, including Stephen Furst, Bruce McGill and John Vernon reprised their roles for this sitcom based on John Landis's Animal House. John Belushi, Tim Matheson and Tom Hulce are all conspicuously absent.
10. Fargo (2003; 1 episode)
Edie Falco does her best Frances McDormand impression stepping into the role of Marge Gunderson in an hour-long drama based on the Coen Brothers' 1996 classic (one of Mike's favorites!). As much as I hold the movie sacred, I have to admit that there could be a TV show here; both the main character and the location are good enough to sustain a series. I'm certainly not disappointed that it didn't happen, though, because a bad Fargo show might be more than I can take.
11. Dirty Dancing (1988-89; 11 episodes)
Notable for starring Melora Hardin (of The Office) in the role of "Baby," as well as featuring future Freaks & Geeks creator and Bridesmaids director Paul Feig in a supporting role
12. L.A. Confidential (2003; 1 episode)
Originally shot in 1999, the TV adaptation of Curtis Hanson's 1997 movie (itself an adaptation of a James Ellroy novel) starred Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Vincennes (which means SPOILER? the show must be a prequel?), Melissa George as Lynn Bracken (the Veronica Lake-lookalike prostitute role that won Kim Basinger an Oscar) and Josh Hopkins (from Cougar Town) as Bud White. Nope! Only the pilot was filmed, and it's available in its entirety on the L.A. Confidential Blu-ray.
13. Police Academy (1997-98; 26 episodes)
I'm guessing you're asking yourself "Who would ever watch a Police Academy TV series?" Easy: the person who stuck around all the way through Mission to Moscow and wished that the party didn't have to end. This syndicated show (which ran ONE HOUR per episode) aired primarily in Canada, which you can tell by the opening credits. Michael Winslow's bullhorn sounds are funny in ANY country.
14. Revenge of the Nerds (1991; pilot never aired)
Yes, this looks terrible and was so bad it never got picked up (consider that ALF was a hit show that ran for several seasons). What's truly amazing about this show is that it's from 1991. WHAT? Wouldn't you swear the clip is from the mid-80s? Not that it's a huge difference or anything, but it just seems that we would have learned some things about comedy and TV and life and love by the '90s. The star of the show was Rob Stone from Mr. Belvedere, who was also the inspiration for Jason Schwartzman's character in Funny People. TRUE STORY.
15. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1973; 7 episodes)
I guess in 1973, turning Paul Mazursky's 1969 movie about two couples who decide to all sleep together into a half-hour comedy seemed like a good idea? "The first sitcom for swingers!" Robert Urich and Anne Archer starred, as did a young Jodie Foster, who was clearly turned off marriage by the whole thing. And possibly penises?