Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9: Films That Spawned Short-Lived Series

As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of television. If a movie becomes a hit, there is a good chance that one of the networks will launch a small screen adaptation. For every successful series based on a movie (such as M*A*S*H*), there are dozens that get tossed on the television scrap heap. Often these series feature performers who went on to greater fame in other roles. How many of these do you remember?

1. Paper Moon (1974-75)- based on the hit 1973 film, the series featured a young Jodie Foster in the role of Addy Pray (played by Tatum O'Neal in the movie).

2. Fast Times (1986)- this short-lived version of the film "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" featured Patrick Dempsey as Mike Damone, Courtney Thorne-Smith as Stacy Hamilton, and Jason Hervey (Wayne from the Wonder Years) as Jeff Spicoli's little brother.

3. Gung Ho (1986-87)- based on the film directed by Ron Howard, this sitcom starred a pre-Quantum Leap Scott Bakula in the role played by Michael Keaton on the big screen.

4. The Bad News Bears (1979-80)- this watered down version starred Jack Warden in the Walter Matthau role. Corey Feldman (Reggie), Tricia Cast (Amanda), and Kristoff St. John (Ahmad) were some of the young performers who made up the Little League team. Ironically, both Cast and St. John grew up to become co-stars on "The Young and the Restless".

5. Delta House (1979)- based on the frat classic "Animal House", the only memorable thing about this series was that the cast included a 20 year old Michelle Pfeiffer in the role of "The Bombshell".

6. Working Girl (1990)- this adaptation of the hit 1988 film starred Sandra Bullock in the role made famous by Melanie Griffith.

7. Dirty Dancing (1988-89)- starring Melora Hardin (Michael's boss on NBC's The Office), Patrick Cassidy (brother to David and Shaun), and McLean Stevenson, CBS put this series in the corner after just 12 episodes.

8. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1982-83)- based on the 1954 film, the TV version featured Richard Dean Anderson (Macgyver), Peter Horton (thirtysomething), Drake Hogestyn (Days of Our Lives), and River Phoenix as four of the seven brothers.

9. A League of Their Own (1993)- an adaptation of the hit baseball film from the previous year, this series starred Carey Lowell (Law & Order) in the Geena Davis role.

10. Parenthood (1990)- this series had Ed Begley Jr. subbing for Steve Martin. The cast also included Leonardo DiCaprio (in the role played by Joaquin Phoenix in the film) and David Arquette as Tod (originated in the movie by Keanu Reeves).

11. Casablanca (1983)- this was actually TV's 2nd attempt at making a hit series based on the Bogie/Bergman classic. David Soul (best known as Starsky's partner Hutch) took on the role of Rick Blaine in this adaptation.

12. Baby Boom (1988-89)- Former Charlie's Angel Kate Jackson took on the role played by Diane Keaton in the film. This series also featured Joy Behar (The View) in the role of the fearsome nanny Helga Von Haupt.

13. Ferris Bueller (1990)- Starring Charlie Schlatter in the title role, this series also starred Jennifer Aniston (as Ferris' sister Jeannie) and Ami Dolenz (Micky's daughter) as Ferris' girlfriend Sloan.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

1. Lori
2. Lara Angelina
3. Jen McB
4. B
5. Luka
6. Harlekwin
7. Samulli
8. Robin
9. Busy91
10. Kelly
11. Qtpies7
12. Comedy Plus
13. Erin
14. Shabem
15. J. Lynne
16. Lori's Old School Mix
17. Katherine
18. WendyWings
19. The Gal Herself
20. Damozel
21. Angela/SciFiChick
22. Kendra

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Beth said...

Horrified that I remember every one! "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" reminded me of 1968's "Here Come the Brides," with Bobby Sherman — but you're probably too young to remember that one.

Lori said...

Most of them:) Happy TT, great list!

Lara Angelina said...

I was thinking the same thing as Beth -- "Here Come the Brides"! ooo, are we giving away our age? I truly appreciated this one and will add this to my pop queen diva trivia stump list!!
Great list --- happy TT!

Jenny McB said...

I must have been busy either in college or having babies and working evenings, because I don't remember the majority of these. I wish I could see them just to see the stars.

'B' said...

Whilst this is a great list, I can only remember a few of them, as with only a few of the 'stars' that you mention...

Happy TT.

Journeywoman said...

I remember Ferris and Dirty Dancing *Shudder*.

kat said...

I didn't know Casablanca spawned a series... Happy TT'ing! :)

Luka said...

Great List. I sort of remember the Ferris one, for some reason! :-) My TT this week is a movie related one ;-)

Harlekwin said...

Wow, I remembered a couple of these. I have one to add! I loved the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." The TV series sucked! Thank goodness it only lasted a couple of episodes! Yikes, what were they thinking?

Great list!!

Nicholas said...

Short-lived is right! I never saw any of them. There has to be a lesson for TV executives in there somewhere. Has there ever been a successful movie spin off, apart from MASH?

damozel said...

I saw a lot of the original films, but I never even knew about any of these shows....I do remember a Ferris Bueller cartoon my stepchildren used to watch.

Damozel said...

PS. Cool idea for a post!

Malcolm: said...

Beth: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I was too young to catch "Here Come the Brides" when it first aired. When CBN showed reruns in the mid 80s, I wish I had taken the opportunity to check it out.

Jenny McB: Yeah, these were pretty much "blink and you miss them" shows. Because of the future stars involved, TV Land has shown Fast Times, Paper Moon, Delta House, Parenthood, and Ferris Bueller. Maybe they'll show them again someday. I'd rather see these than reruns of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". I still can't figure out why TV Land is showing reruns of this, but I digress.

Nicholas: There is a lesson, but network executives will never learn it. Besides MASH, some of the other successful TV adaptations are:

Alice (based on the Scorsese film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore)

Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea


The Courtship of Eddie's Father


In the Heat of the Night

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

La Femme Nikita

samulli said...

Geez, here I was thinking I was a tv junkie, but I never heard of any of these shows - sometimes I don't even know which original movie you were talking about. LOL
Then again, if they were so short-lived, they probably never even made it across the pond to my side of the world.
Great list, though.

Rasmenia said...

Awesome list.

I vaguely recall a few of these, then there are others that I had never heard about until I read this.

The fact that they tried to turn "Casablanca" into a series was quite surprising to me, indeed. :)

Xakara said...

I never saw any of the shows but I vaguely remember something about Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller.

M*A*S*H and Buffy were two successes that leapt to mind, but I forgot about Fame until reading it in your comments. And my grandmother used to watch In The Heat of the Night, so I'm familiar with it.

I love your lists!


Robin said...

They tried to make a series out of Casablanca?!? *gasp* *shudder*

I think M*A*S*H is one of the only instances where the series was actually better than the original movie.

busy91 said...

I think the only one I knew about was Ferris, I can't recall the others. Happy TT! Thanks for visiting.

Kelly said...

Great list! Were any of these actually GOOD?? LOL ;-)

Qtpies7 said...

Not a one. I could see the ones after '89, because I was in Germany, but before that I was a kid/teen. Why wouldn't I have seen these? Did you need cable? I didn't have cable. Was there cable back then? LOL

Comedy + said...

I didn't know this, but I don't watch television anymore and never did watch it very much before I gave it up completely. I did see most of these movies though. Very intersting and it looks like you did a lot of research here. Great TT and have a great day. :)

Denise Patrick said...

Interesting TT! I remember the movies, but don't ever remember hearing about the TV shows - but then again, I haven't watched much in the way of tv for over a decade.

Thanks for visiting my TT!

erin said...

I think the only one of these I remember is Parenthood. Pretty sad. Great list, though! Happy TT! My list is 13 words I love.

Gabriella Hewitt said...

I remember Ferris Bueller and Baby Boom on TV. Honestly they are forgetable.

Another movie made to tv was My Big Fat Life basedon My Big Fat Wedding. Had only one show I think before it got canned.

Thank you for visiting my TT last week. This week I am thanking my fellow TTer's. Come by and get your thanks!

Shabem said...

Great list! Happy Thursday.

J. Lynne said...

I don't know why but I thought 7 Brides had been aired in the 70's. I guess you learn something every day.

You should also do a list of bad movies made from good tv series. ;)

Happy TT!

Lori said...

Interesting list. I remember (or know about) MOST of the movies, but NONE of the tv series. Also, I didn't know Joy Behar had a tv life before the View.

What about the "Soul Food" series, one of my favorites . . . Yeah, it ran on ShowTime, but it was a movie first and a pretty decent one at that.

I have a list of "13 Internet Pet Peeves" up and running over at my place. Stop by and check it out if and when you get a chance.

Jenny! said...

I only know a few of those: Dirty Dancing, Bad News Bears, Fast Times, and Working Girl...I have never seen Casablanca! But I love MASH!

katherine. said...

I missed just about all of these....geez...

WendyWings said...

Most of these were VERY short lived and didn't air in NZ lol.
Happy TT day

The Gal Herself said...

The only one I remember seeing was Baby Boom with Kate Jackson and I thought it was pretty good. But the though of David Soul as Rick is going to give me nightmares!

DK said...

I DO remember most of these - thank goodness I ignored them! There are some stinkers here, and I too remember "Here Come The Brides" (68-69)It starred Bobby Sherman and David Soul! lol Hey, I was a little kid. Thanks for making me feel really old! And thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy TTing :)

Malcolm: said...

Samulli: With the exception of "Delta House" and "Fast Times", the TV shows all had the same name as the movie that inspired them. I was wondering, do they often re-title American movies when they show them in Germany? You are right, these TV shows were on so briefly that they probably never even made it over to Germany.

Kelly: Sad to say, but all of these paled in comparison to the films on which they were based. Probably the best one on the list was "Paper Moon". I used to watch the TV version of "The Bad News Bears" all the time when I was kid. However, it didn't hold up when I saw it as an adult. Some of these are fun to watch now for an episode or two just to see stars such as Jennifer Aniston before they became famous.

Qtpies7: If you lived in Germany, these may not have made it your way. Some people would consider you lucky. :-)

Gabriela: I remember the 1st episode of My Big Fat Greek Life getting huge ratings. However, viewers quickly tuned out when they saw how bad it was. Can you believe that they released the entire series on DVD?!

J. Lynne: Thanks for the idea, I may just do that someday. However, because of the number of bad movies based on good TV shows, I would probably have to do a Thursday Thirty.

Lori: Shame on me for not listing "Soul Food" in my response to Nicholas' question about whether or not there were other successful TV shows based on movies besides MASH. Not only was the TV version of "Soul Food" successful, but it was critically acclaimed as well. Again, shame on me.

I checked out your 13 Internet pet peeves... great list! I don't know what site I visited, but I have been getting a ton of "British Lottery" and "Bank of Africa" emails lately.

Jenny!: On the 60th anniversary DVD set of the film "Casablanca" one of the special features is an episode of the 1955 TV version. It wasn't very good, but it was interesting to see for historical purposes. Some people might consider me a masochist for saying so, but I wouldn't mind seeing an episode of the David Soul version of "Casablanca" for the same reason.

The Gal Herself: If you have it, pop in the Bogie/Bergman version of "Casablanca" and that should rid you of those David Soul nightmares.

Angela/SciFiChick said...

I remember some of those.. and wonder why they even tried.. lol

Mama Pajama said...

Wow. I always learn new things every time I visit your site. I was confused about the Ridgmont High all makes sense now. And, I didn't know there was a Parenthood spinoff. I LOVE that movie....

Lori said...

Hey Malcolm,
Another successful TV series based on a movie--the show "What's Happening" which, if I'm not mistaken was based on the movie "Cooley High."

Thanks for helping me sharpen up my trivia skills (smile).

Kendra said...

hey michigander, thanks for stopping by my site again! you had an interesting TT this week as well!!

pjazzypar said...

Good TT list Malcolm,

Unfortunately I remember most of these. I especially remember watching "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" because I was a fan of the original movie and a fan of the pre "McGiver" Richard Dean Anderson and Peter Horton. Here's a bit of Trivia, Richard Dean was once engaged to Sela Ward and Peter was married to Michelle Pfeiffer in the 80's.

Hey what about successful television shows that were made into films, bad films I might add..."Beverly Hillbillies", "Bewitched", "Dukes of Hazzards"...Need I go on?

Malcolm: said...

Angela/SciFiChick: I ask myself the same thing. Out of the 13 that I listed, I think the worst idea was "Delta House". With standards and practices limiting what could be shown on TV at the time and without the benefit of having the services of John Belushi or Tim Matheson... why bother?

Mama Pajama: Thanks for the props. Although I haven't seen it for awhile, I also enjoyed the movie version of "Parenthood". Given that even short-lived shows sometimes get released on DVD, there is a chance that the TV version of "Parenthood" might see the light of day. Given that Mr. DiCaprio was in the cast, I think that increases the odds.

Lori: You are right on the money about "What's Happening" being based on "Cooley High" (one of my favorite movies). Several months ago, I found out that there was a pilot that more closely resembled "Cooley High". Since it tested poorly, they retooled it into "What's Happening".

Did you ever wonder why "What's Happening" didn't have a character based on "Cochise" (played by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs in the movie)? A few years ago, TV Land did a week long special on the history of blacks on TV. I can't remember who said it, but somebody associated with "What's Happening" said that the networks put the squash on creating a Cochise-like character. The reason: they didn't want young female white viewers looking at his character in a romantic light. As a result, the character of Rerun was created. Believe it or not, the producers 1st envisioned a skinny, white guy as Rerun!

Kendra: backatcha! I'll be stopping back periodically.

Pjazzy: Although I knew about the marriage of Peter Horton and Michelle Pfeiffer, I didn't know that Richard Dean Anderson was engaged to Sela Ward. However, it makes sense because they both co-starred in a short-lived military drama called "Emerald Point, NAS". On the show (which ran from 1983-84), they played brother and sister. Successful TV shows that become bad films might be the subject of a future TT by me.

Agapetospaidiske said...

I had no idea that there was a series based on 7 brides for 7 brothers!
Thanks for your comment!

fanoftricia said...

I heard Tricia Cast was coming back to Y&R and I couldn't be more happier! Her fans have missed her!

Malcolm said...

Fan of Tricia: Thanks for weighing in on this post. I had no idea that Tricia had been absent from Y&R since 2001 (I mainly follow the ABC soaps). I love it too when a fan favorite returns to one of my shows.

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