As a fan, there's nothing better than your favorite movie becoming an amazing TV show. More character development, new stories, familiar settings — what more could you want? As "What We Do in the Shadows" — the vampire-centered horror-comedy series based on the 2014 flick of the same name, which was written and directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement — returns for its second season on FX on April 15, 2020, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at the best movie-to-TV adaptations! Keep reading to see more…
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HBO's "Westworld" has it all: adventure, romance, awesome storytelling and phenomenal acting. The sci-fi series, which is based on the 1973 film of the same name, follows multiple robot "hosts" as they try to escape fictional, technologically advanced amusement parks where they lack free will. "Westworld" — which stars Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton, among others — has been nominated for an impressive 43 Emmys and so far has won nine.
The addictive NBC series "Parenthood" debuted in 2010 to rave reviews and stellar ratings. The show, which starred Peter Krause, Dax Shepard, Bonnie Bedelia and more, earned a Critics' Choice Television Award, two Television Academy Honors and four Young Artist Awards during its five-year run and has continued to charm audiences on streaming services ever since.
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"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is as close to perfect as a TV show can be. The supernatural drama, which is based on the 1992 movie of the same name, followed Buffy Summers as she battled vampires, demons and other forces of darkness. The series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz, among others, averaged 4 to 6 million viewers per episode and spawned an entire franchise of novels, comics, video games and spin-offs.
"Friday Night Lights" was an amazing film and an even better TV show. The NBC series starring Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton followed a high school football team in a small, close-knit town in Texas. "Friday Night Lights" received critical acclaim when it premiered in 2006 and went on to win three Emmys, a Peabody Award, a Humanitas Prize and a Television Critics Association Award.
"M*A*S*H" is not only one of the best TV shows of the '70s and '80s — it's also one of the highest rated TV shows in history. The CBS series was based on the 1970 film of the same name and followed a team of doctors and support staff stationed at a surgical hospital during the Korean War. The show, which starred Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers and Loretta Swit, among others, was nominated for more than 100 Emmy Awards during its 11-year run, winning 14.
It's hard to top a Coen brothers original, but somehow "Fargo" pulled it off. The FX show, which is based on Joel and Ethan Coen's 1996 film of the same name, is an anthology series that introduces new characters in different eras every season. A-list actors like Kirsten Dunst, Ewan McGregor, Ted Danson and Billy Bob Thornton have all appeared on the critically acclaimed show. "Fargo" has received eight Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and taken home an Emmy for outstanding miniseries and a Golden Globe for best miniseries.
"The Odd Couple" has been adapted several times (there was a 1975 Saturday morning cartoon, a 1982 reboot of the '70s series, a 1993 TV film reunion, a 1998 sequel and a 2015 TV reboot), but it's the 1970 ABC series that's stood the test of time. The show, based on the 1968 film, starred Tony Randall and Jack Klugman as two divorced guys who share a Manhattan apartment. "The Odd Couple" received three Emmy nominations and is often regarded as one of the best TV shows of all time thanks to its humor and strong performances.
"Alice" makes our list thanks to its spot-on humor, great acting and powerful female-focused content. The CBS series was based on the 1974 film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and starred Linda Lavin as Alice, a widow who finds work at a diner and moves with her young son to start life over again. "Alice" aired for almost 10 years from 1976 to 1985 and produced more than 200 episodes of quality television.
"Bates Motel" was one of the most innovative TV shows to ever appear on our television screens. The A&E series was a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film "Psycho" and followed the lives of Norman Bates and mother Norma prior to the events in the film. Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga gave phenomenal performances on the show, which received three Emmy nominations and seven Critics' Choice Award nominations.
Mix sci-fi with a little Scottish history and supernatural folklore and what do you have? The perfect TV show, of course! "Highlander: The Series" was an alternate sequel to the 1985 movie of the same name that followed an immortal man who was taken in by a clan of Scottish Highlanders. The Canadian series, which starred Adrian Paul and Alexandra Vandernoot and aired from 1992 to 1998, was an international hit that won several awards in multiple countries.
Musical numbers, stellar choreography and Janet Jackson? What's not to love?! "Fame" was one of Hollywood's most successful movie-to-TV adaptations. The NBC series, which starred Janet, Debbie Allen and Nia Peeples and ran from 1982 to 1987, was based on the 1980 movie of the same name. It followed the lives of the students and faculty at the fictional New York City High School for the Performing Arts. The show's popularity lead to several hit records and concert tours from the cast, including the "Fame U.K. Reunion" tour in 2019.
We didn't think we could enjoy a Hannibal story without Anthony Hopkins, but we were oh so wrong. The 2013 to 2015 NBC series, which was based on 2001's "Hannibal" and 2007's "Hannibal Rising," focused on the relationship between FBI special investigator Will Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a forensic psychiatrist (and secret serial killer). Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen starred on the critically acclaimed drama.
"Star Wars" has been adapted into several TV shows, sequels, prequels, audio books, web series and other forms of entertainment, but "The Clone Wars" is by far our favorite adaptation. The 3D CGI series is set during the three years between the prequel films "Episode II: Attack of the Clones" and "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." Beloved by critics and fans, "The Clone Wars" was canceled in 2014 but will revived on the upcoming Disney+ streaming platform in 2020.
Based on the 1994 film of the same name, "Stargate SG-1" was one of the best sci-fi adaptations to ever debut on TV. The Showtime/Sci Fi Channel series, which aired from 1997 to 2007, followed an elite United States Air Force special operations team who explored the galaxy and defended Earth against alien threats. "SG-1" wasn't only a success in the U.S. but a major hit in Europe and Australia, which helped spawn an entire franchise of merch, spin-off series and films.
"Mr. Belvedere" was one of the best sitcoms of the '80s. The ABC series, which was based on the 1948 film "Sitting Pretty," starred Christopher Hewett as a posh butler who works for an American family headed by George Owens. "Mr. Belvedere" was so popular with audiences that it continued to run in syndication until 2018 — 28 years after it was canceled.
We absolutely adored "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp." The entire adult cast of 2001's "Wet Hot American Summer" returned for the Netflix series, which served as a prequel to the the film. A-listers like Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler played much younger versions of their original characters, which made the whole show that much funnier. The success of the "First Day of Camp" led to another great movie-to-TV adaptation, 2017's "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later."
There's nothing better than a butt-kicking female assassin! "La Femme Nikita," which is based on the French film "Nikita," followed a wrongly accused assassin (played by Peta Wilson) as she took down bad guys and became one of the government's top operatives. The USA series, which ran from 1997 to 2001, was a critical and commercial success that became the highest rated drama on American basic cable during its first two seasons.
We were pleasantly surprised when "Lethal Weapon" hit our TV screens in 2016. The FOX series, which was based on the "Lethal Weapon" film franchise, followed Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh (characters from the original film) as they investigate new crimes. Starring Damon Wayans, Clayne Crawford and, later, Sean William Scott, "Lethal Weapon" was beloved by audiences and critics until its cancellation in 2019.