This Sunday marks the world premiere of the much anticipated “Napoleon Dynamite” on FOX. The animated movie adaptation won’t be the first TV series to be based on a major motion picture—some of the most successful and beloved shows in television history were adapted from the big screen.
Clerks: The Animated Series
“Clerks:TAS” has become something of a cult classic on DVD and late night syndication. The animated version branched out from the original film by showcasing Kevin Smith’s satirical pop culture humor and comic book sensibilities.
This dark update of the 80’s comedy tells the story of a teenage boy who has to deal with the pressures of high school and his secret life as a werewolf. The original movie was a campy sports comedy while the remake has a little more horror that humor.
The series currently hold the record for longest-running primetime drama featuring a predominantly African American cast. Both the series and the film revolve around the Joseph sisters, who undergo many trials and tribulations only to find strength in the bond of family love.
Loosely based on the Academy Award winning film, “Crash” was an ensemble drama that showed how interconnected strangers can be. Unfortunately the series ended before its time when lead actor Dennis Hopper passed away.
Based on the quintessential 90’s teen comedy, “Clueless” brought back a majority of the film’s cast—minus Alicia Silverstone. While the film set out to lampoon shallow 90’s teens, the characters were fortunately a little more down-to-earth in the TV series.
Friday Night Lights
The TV adaptation of the high school football drama only borrows elements from the movie instead of being a complete adaptation. However, its memorable characters and complex drama made it a cult classic when it was continually tossed around the schedule.
“Parenthood” follows the drama in the lives of the Braverman family—a substitute for the film’s Buckman family. The characters may be different, but much of the drama– such as a father dealing with his son’s emotional issues or a mother clashing with a rebellious daughter—is pulled directly from the film.
The Odd Couple
“The Odd Couple” started out as a play before becoming a successful film and then TV show. The premise of adult male roommates with clashing personalities provided a goldmine of comedic moments for this sitcom.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
“Buffy” was a surprise hit when you consider the original movie was barely memorable. The film that the series is based upon was more of a horror-comedy than the witty butt-kicking fantasy that kept us compelled for seven seasons.
“M*A*S*H” is often considered one of the best television programs in history for its ability to inject humor into the drama of war. The TV show wasn’t the first time audiences were captivated by the antics of these “meatball surgeons” as it was based on a dark comedy directed by Robert Altman.