A detailed look at Hollywood's latest trend: turning feature films into television series.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published as a short list in June 2014. Since then, Hollywood’s reboot train has gone off the rails. We’ll continue to update this article to reflect new information on movie adapations that hit the air, were cancelled, or are stuck in development hell.
Making a TV pilot is undoubtedly frustrating.
Pumping tons of time and energy to create a compelling premise, crafting characters that are interesting right from the get go, and leaving enough room open to explore a complex story over the course of a season, just to have a network pass?
That sounds like hell.
Maybe that’s why it seems much easier to adapt other works for TV. Why start from scratch when you can adapt another property, with all of the heavy lifting done already and a fan base already built in?
That seems to be the million dollar question these days as TV executives keep reaching into their respective studios’ vaults, using beloved movies as source material for the moving pictures on the small screen in your living room. Movie to TV adaptations have been around forever, but lately announcements for new movie-inspired pilots pop up Hollywood trade publications as reguarly as announcements for the lastest crop of superhero films.
Many of these cinema-inspired shows are already on the air, but we’ve compiled a list of all the other movies bound for TV that are in development, to put a microscope on TV’s latest trend…
These are shows currently in development. Westworld, Frequency, Shooter, Uncle Buck, Limitless, 12 Monkeys, Damien, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Minority Report, Shadowhunters, Rush Hour, School of Rock, Van Helsing and A Series of Unfortunate Events have already aired, thus we’ve removed them from the list. We’ll continue to update the list with new information as it becomes available.
What We Do in the Shadows
In news that had us throwing our phones across the room in excitement last night, Deadline confirmed that FX has ordered a pilot of a new What We Do In The Shadows TV series (not to be confused with the New Zealand-set spin-off in development). This new half-hour series will star none other than writer/actor/comedian/musician/general legend Matt Berry (Toast Of London, IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, The Mighty Boosh), alongside Facejacker‘s Kayvan Novak, rising star Natasia Demetriou and Eye Candy‘s Harvey Guillen.
The series has secured original creators Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords) as executive producers, and Waititi is expected to direct at least the pilot episode currently ordered by FX.
The Mighty Ducks
Disney is reportedly developing a television series based on The Mighty Ducks. It’s nothing to quack about just yet since the project is in its early stages according to THR, but the franchise may skate again on the small screen.
The project comes from ABC Signature Studios, which focused on ABC’ cable and streaming productions. Steven Brill, the screenwriter for all Mighty Ducks three films, approached the studio to dust off the hockey property. There’s no script written, so we’ll have to see what form The Mighty Ducks will take on the small screen. Like the ragtag team’s playoff chances, it’s a longshot we’ll Emilio Estevez reprise his role as older versions of Gordon Bombay or Joshua Jackson as Charlie Conway.
How far can a delightful joke be stretched? We’re about to find out, because the amusing five-star hotel in John Wick, which grew into being a whole underground franchise with its own governing bylaws and multiple, unique-to-assassins currencies by John Wick: Chapter 2, is about to be the basis of its own TV show!
Yep, we’re all set to check into The Continental on Starz (UK broadcaster TBC, but we’d confidently bet a quid or two that it’ll be Amazon Prime). The series will be executive produced and overseen by showrunner Chris Collins (who was an executive producer on Sons Of Anarchy and a writer on The Wire). The John Wick movies’ stable of executive producers will also enjoy those titles on The Continental, including Keanu Reeves, Basil Iwanyk, Chad Stahelski, Derek Kolstad, and David Leitch. Kolstad is also the screenwriting mastermind on the films. Stahelski meanwhile will continue his directorial appointments at the Continental’s undoubtedly austere lobby by directing the pilot after previously helming John Wick: Chapter 2 and co-directing the first John Wick with Leitch (Leitch went on afterward to direct Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2). Ian McShane may even be returning as hotel manager Winston. We’ll keep you posted!
The Nice Guys
Or should we call them The Nice Girls? The Nice Guys producer Joel Silver is adapting the Ryan Gosling/Russell Crowe ’70s-set noir comedy for TV with a gender-flipped twist. Fox has a script commitment with Michael Diliberti (30 Minutes or Less) writing. 20th Century Fox TV will produce alongside Silver Pictures Television and Lionsgate TV. Silver has a succesfully track record at adapting his projects for TV, as his Lethal Weapon adaptation is currently in its second season on Fox.
With Ghostbusters rebooted, Groundhog’s Day enjoying success on Broadway, and rumors of a What About Bob? gender-flipped remake gestating, what Bill Murray project could be next? Stripes, of course! The 1981 Bill Murray-Harold Ramis film has a TV remake in development courtesy of CBS. If the prospect doesn’t have you saluting your shorts, then you’ll be pleased to know that the project is being shephered by the very funny trio of Trevor Moore, Sam Brown and Zach Cregger from the comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U’Know. Ivan Reitman, who directed the original, will helm and executive produce the new Stripes via his Montecito Picture Company. Echoing the film, the series adaptation being written by Moore, Brown and Cregger will focus on a “perennial rebellious outsider who finally finds his purpose in life when he joins the U.S. military and must unite a group of ragtag eccentrics.” We’re ready to report for duty for this one!
The Lord of the Rings
Since the last adaptation of this classic book series was a trilogy of films, we’re going to count this one anyway. Warner Bros. is working with Amazon to develop a Lord of the Rings TV series. Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate have apparently been considering this option for some time, and Amazon has now committed to multiple seasons and a possible spinoff, as well.
TV Line reports that the series will “explore new storylines preceeding The Fellowship of the Ring.” This is a smart move. Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films are towering, inescapable icons of the genre, and it’s difficult to imagine the story of Frodo and the Fellowship getting a better page-to-screen translation. The Hobbit films are another story, of course, but again, Jackson’s 18 hours or so of Tolkien adaptations aren’t something I imagine any filmmaker or showrunner would be in a hurry to compete with.
Fortunately there’s so much other material out there, from the various appendices to the books themselves to Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, there are lots of Middle-earth stories that could fuel several seasons of TV and flesh out the world of Middle-earth.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
A series based on the Hugh Grant-starring romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral is in the works at Hulu, written and produced by the wonderful Mindy Kaling and Matt Warburton, Deadline reports.
Richard Curtis, who wrote the 1994 film, will be executive producing alongside the pair, and Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title will also be overseeing the show’s development. MGM TV have the rights to the property, and they’ve struck a deal with Universal to work on the project with Kaling.
The general proposal (sorry) is that the TV version will be an anthology series following a group of pals whose lives intersect through four weddings and, yes, a funeral. The lead character may well always remain the same, but the people and locations around them could change from season to season. It would probably make more sense to change the main character as well, but we’ll have to see what Kaling and Warburton ultimately settle on.
L.A. Confidential is the latest movie getting the TV treatment, with CBS developing a new adaptation of James Ellroy’s classic noir novel.
Arnon Milchan, the Oscar-nominated producer of the 1997 film, is behind the project with New Regency, Gotham and The Mentalist producer Jordan Harper, Lionsgate Television and CBS Television Studios also on board. Harper is working on the script for the new series.
The third of Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet book series, L.A. Confidential is a ‘50s set, L.A. noir that centers on three homicide detectives, a female journalist and a famous actress who become intertwined after a series of sadistic murders.
With original producer Milchan steering the ship, the new L.A. Confidential will try to match the prestige of the previous adaptation. We’ll keep you updated as more details on the project become available.
With The Leftovers having wrapped its final season to wild critical acclaim, Damon Lindelof is sticking around HBO to develop a Watchmen TV series. Yes, you read that right. Watchmen is finally getting the prestige cable drama that fans have wanted for as long as prestige cable drama has been a thing.
Lindelof’s vision is apparently unrelated to a Watchmen series discussed by Zack Snyder (who directed the film version) and HBO back in 2015. According to Variety, the Lindelof version is “starting over from scratch” and has nothing to do with those previous discussions. TV Line now confirms that HBO has not only placed a pilot order for the series, but ordered “back up scripts” as well for more episodes. In other words, it’s all but certain this thing is getting picked up. The big question, then, is just what will this new series be? Another pure adaptation? More inspired by the Before Watchmen comic series? We’ll just have to wait and see.
As revealed via Deadline, a True Lies series is in development at 20th Century Television, with McG and Arrow’s Marc Guggenheim credited as creators and executive producers.
The series will update the saga of a spy who tries to keep his undercover work on the down low while married to a housewife who grows increasingly distressed with the boredom that’s seeped into their relationship. But once she accidentally becomes ensnared in his world of explosions and super-fights, their marriage will become stronger than ever.
McG is set to direct the hour-length pilot, which will be written by Guggenheim. They’ll be joined on the project by executive producer James Cameron.
White Men Can’t Jump
I mean, how do you top the original? Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is going to bring the 1992 sports comedy starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson to the small screen. Very little is known about this project, but it’s one of only a few sports films on this long and unruly list.
Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail explores class warfare through the lens of cyber security on the breakout USA hit. For his next project, he’ll take on a the plight of the industrialized elite in a television adaptation of the 1927 classic, Metropolis. The original film was set in 2026, a decade from now, so it should be interesting to see how far in the future they set the remake. We have more details on the project here.
Do you smell a rat? Cause The Departed is coming to TV. Martin Scorsese’s 2006 cops and robbers undercover opus was itself an adaptation of the 2002 Hong Kong film, Internal Affairs. The TV version of The Departed is being developed for Amazon and will see the setting of the story change from Boston and Chicago, with the Irish mob being swapped out for Latino drug runners. Jason Richman (Bangkok Dangerous) will write and executive produce with Amazon Studios and Brad Pitt’s Plan B banner producing the project as well. A timetable for release is unknown.
The young adult novels by Veronica Roth turned film series starring Shailene Woodley failed to connect in the same way that other YA-adapted series like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games caught fire. Instead of limping its way to the finish line with a reduced budget and a fourth film, Lionsgate has considered moving the series to TV. Of course, the film’s cast is less than thrilled by the prospect and many have said that they would not return to conclude the series if Divergent heads to the small screen, so I guess the ball is in Liongate’s court.
Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s Jack the Ripper graphic novel became a film by the Hughes Brothers starring Johnny Depp back in 2001. Now FX is in talks to adapt the graphic novel turned movie once more for TV. Don Murphy, who produced the film, has tapped David Arata (Children of Men) to write the script, but that’s all we know for now.
In the Line of Fire
Wolfgang Petersen’s Oscar-winning 1993 action film saw Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich square off as a secret service agent and a rogue CIA agent turned assassin with designs on the president, respectively. The cat and mouse style thriller is perfect for a 24-style drama series and Carol Mendelsohn and Josh Berman – who worked together on CSI – are writing scripts for NBC. Gail Katz, who served as one of the film’s producers, will produce.
Novelist Tom Clancy’s signature character, Jack Ryan, has seen film adaptations starring Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and most recently, Chris Pine. A whip smart CIA operative who can also kick a little ass, Jack Ryan is like an American Bond. With so many interpretations of the character, it was only a matter of time before the character appeared on TV. Lost and The Strain alumni Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland are set to bring their version of Jack Ryan to Amazon Instant Video, with John Krasinski (The Office) stepping into the iconic role. Paramount, Skydance and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes banner will produce. The show is expected sometime in 2018.
Single White Female
If we needed an update on anything, it’s the plight of single white females. NBC seems to agree as they’re working on a reboot of the 1992 film starring Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh. According to a THR exclusive, the series will be a modern-day spin on the thriller, shifting the setting from New York to San Francisco. There’s even a synopsis for it: “When erstwhile con-artist Hedra (played in the movie by Leigh) uses her professional connections to target Allie (portrayed by Fonda), a seemingly moneyed colleague in search of a roommate, Hedra slowly begins to realize that her mark may not be quite as innocuous as she first seems. Soon, viewers will come to understand that Hedra may have met her match in Allie, making viewers question who is really being “single white female’d.”
The Last Starfighter
A TV version of the 1984 sci-fi film The Last Starfighter, titled The Starfighter Chronicles, is in the works from original Starfighter screenwriter Jonathan R. Betuel. The original film saw arcade whiz Alex Rogan, played by Lance Guest, recruited by aliens to battle in an intergalactic war. The new series will not be a continuation of the story, but a serialized narrative about “alien law enforcement.” Betuel is teaming with Surreal.tv co-founders Rick Rey and Andy Vick, with the intention of inserting virtual reality elements into the series.
The Lost Boys
Joel Schumacher’s 1987 teen vampire flick is a cult classic, so it was only a matter of time before someone wanted to bring back from the dead. Luckily, that someone is Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) who is adapting the film as an anthology series for The CW. The plan is for the series to take place over the course of 70 years, with each season focusing on a different decade. The first season is set to center on the “summer of love” in San Francisco in 1967. Each season the setting, humans, and plot will change, but our vampire Lost Boys will remain. Thomas will executive produce via his Spondoolie Productions, along with frequent collaborators Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge in association with Gulfstream principals Mike Karz and Bill Bindley. Expect it in 2017.
No, not the team that blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the iconic 1979 Walter Hill film The Warriors will be getting the TV treatment. Captain America: Civil War masterminds Joe and Anthony Russo are developing the series as a one-hour drama for Hulu with the help of writer Frank Baldwin. The Russos will direct the pilot and plan to “honor the original film while adding its own unique brand of grit, pulp, sex and violence,” according to Deadline. Sounds good to us!
Kevin Bacon vs. goo-filled giant worms known as “Tremors,” round 2. It can’t be any worse than The Following, so the second TV adaptation for Tremors gets the Den of Geek stamp of approval. Bacon will reprise his role as Valentine McKee and the series will be set in the fictional town of Perfection, Nevada, just like the original 1990 film. After four straight-to-video sequels, Syfy brought Tremors to TV for a 13-episode run in 2003.
The project is in development over at Amazon Video, with Universal Cable Productions and Blumhouse Productions are developing the series reboot. Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle) to write the adaptation and Bacon to produce.
Speaking with Collider, Bacon teased the project as a true follow-up to the original film:
It’s a super cool idea. They went and made a bunch of sequels to the movie. I want to put those aside because, first of all, I wasn’t in them. But what I was really interested in was taking this guy and, 25 years later, seeing what happened to him, to his dreams, and to his life. Andrew Miller, who’s writing the script, came up with this really, really interesting take on it, and I think it could be a lot of fun.
Snowpiercer was an odd success story from the start. The South Korean film, based on a French comic, and starring Marvel’s Captain America Chris Evans, managed to pull in more than $86 million at the global box office (only $4 million in the US), while earning critical acclaim after its release. If you’re paying close attention to this list, box office success isn’t the only measuring stick to earning a television adaptation.
Josh Friedman, who produced Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, NBC’s Crossbones and the upcoming loosely-based Wizard of Oz adaptation Emerald City, is bringing the story of a globe-spanning train that hold that last survivors of an ice age to television.
Sylvester Stallone drew first blood when he signed on to play Green Beret John Rambo in 1982’s First Blood. Proving anything Stallone touches turns to decades worth of franchise gold, the hulking leading man is set to executive produce a Rambo TV series for Fox.
Tentatively called Rambo: New Blood, the series will indeed find a new red-blooded American military veteran whose lineage reportedly connects back to the original franchise. In December 2015, it was reported that Stallone opted to pass on being involved with the project.
First Wives Club
Yet another trifecta entry on this list (from book to movie to television adaptation), First Wives Club could be coming back to give hell to ungrateful ex-husbands. Based on an Olivia Goldsmith novel and adapted into a 1996 film that starred Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn, TV Land picked up a pilot that will be set in modern-day San Francisco.
Alyson Hannigan, in her first regular role since How I Met Your Mother, and Megan Hilty (Smashed) are set to play two of the three leads. New Girl’s Rebecca Addelman will pen the script and Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City) will executive produce the pilot.
All of Me
Carl Reiner’s body-swap comedy could be swapping mediums. All of Me, the 1984 comedy starring Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin, is reportedly in development as a half-hour comedy at NBC. In the film, Martin plays Roger Cobb, a lawyer hired by dying millionairess to rework her will, one that says her soul should enter a younger woman’s body after death. Through a series of blunders, the soul ultimately enters Cobb’s body instead, creating the greatest buddy-lawyer comedy ever captured on film.
The concept doesn’t particularly lend itself to a TV series format, though Deadline is reporting that it could be an anthology series with a soul jumping into a different body each week. It sounds like a complete departure from the source material, but we’ll have to keep watch. Universal Television is backing the project, with My Boys creator Betsy Thomas to serve as showrunner.
A movie about a sci-fi TV show is becoming a sci-fi TV show for Amazon. Partnering with Paramount Television, Amazon Studios is bringing the 1999 cult comedy hit Galaxy Quest to its Amazon Prime Instant Video.
The film centered on the cast of a Star Trek-esque TV show that is abducted by an alien race that mistakes the actors as a real starship crew. The film’s co-writer Robert Gordon will write and executive produce the pilot, with director Dean Parisot returning behind the camera. No word on if any of the original cast members will return, but we’ll be sure to follow this one closely. Read more about it here.
Friday the 13th
Jason can’t stay dead. The character always returns to stalk teenagers whether in sequels, reboots, or TV series. Yes, Friday the 13th looks to have another TV series in the works, the 13th project of the Friday the 13th franchise (Spooky!). CW Network President Mark Pedowitz confirmed at the Television Critics Association Press Tour that the network is going to be taking a more grounded approach to the Jason Vorhees/Camp Crystal Lake saga.
Steve Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle (The Pretenders) will write the project, which will center on a detective searching for his missing brother when Jason Vorhees, believed to be dead, comes back to terrorize the camp. MTV had success with its Scream adaptation, with horror series in vouge among teens, so expect to see more horror adaptations appear on this list.
The Flamingo Kid
For a while it was rumored Disney was looking to remake Gary Marshall’s The Flamingo Kid for the big screen. Brett Ratner was reportedly on board to direct with Nzingha Stewart (For Colored Girls) writing the script. Now it seems that The Flamingo Kid may be heading to TV after all. TV Line says that ABC Studios is supposedly on the hunt for a showrunner that can create a half-hour comedy out of the 1984 film, which saw Matt Dillion play blue collar kid working at an upscale beach resort in order to be near his crush.
This romantic tear-jearker based on Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling novel of the same name became a sleeper sensation for New Line in the 2004 Ryan Gossling/Rachel McAdams adaptation. The CW is hoping to mine the film’s decade spanning love story for a period piece romantic drama based on the early days of Noah and Allie’s relationship in post-World War II 1940s North Carolina. Sparks will executive produce the show under is Nicholas Sparks Productions banner in association with Warner Bros. Television. Todd Graf will handle scripting duties.
The Devil’s Advocate
One TV trend that is more widespread and has a longer history in television than the movie adaptation is the legal drama. So creating a legal drama based on a movie seems like a no-brainer, but add in a supernatural twist?! I bet it’s ordered right to series!
The Keanu Reeves, 1997 legal drama, The Devil’s Advocate, where a lawyer begins working for Satan (Al Pacino standing in for the devil), is currently being developed for NBC by Warner Bros. TV. A procedural where the lead character’s boss is actually evil incarnate sounds like it could be a hit. Last we heard, it was still in development at NBC, however that was almost a year and half ago at this point.
Author Dennis Lehane’s books — from Mystic River to Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island — have fared well on the big screen. The latest one, the Martin Scorsese directed Shutter Island, is getting a prequel series at HBO. The 2010 film follows U.S. Marshals investigating the strange happenings at a mental hospital on a creepy offshore island.
The HBO series, tentatively titled “Ashecliffe,” will document the early days of the hospital and its founders. Lehane is penning the pilot episode and Scorsese will direct the series.
In November 2014, Paramount announced that they had hired Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner to start scripting a television series based on the 1990, Oscar-winning film, Ghost. The original film starred Patrick Swayze as a murdered man who tried to avenge his death from beyond the grave as a ghost, while also romancing his widow. There’s been little talk about this one, so it could be stuck in between dimensions in development hell.
The Truman Show
The idea for a series based on The Truman Show, the Oscar-nominated 1998 film that explored America’s reality TV craze, came out of Paramount’s desire to mine their film canon for the next big TV hit. Still in it’s very easy stages, a television version of The Truman Show may be just hot air, but it would certainly be intriguing to see the story of a man whose entire life has been manufactured for a worldwide audience fleshed out over several seasons.
To Live and Die In L.A.
William Friedkin, of the Excorist and French Connection fame, directed this action thriller based on the Gerald Petievich novel of the same name. In June 2015, it was reported that WGN America is planning to bring the property back to life with Friedkin on board and Oscar-winner Robert Moresco (Crash) handling the scripts.
Based on the 1985 comedy starring Val Kilmer, NBC is developing a single-camera comedy out of Real Genius. Kilmer played an incredibly smart and suave super genius in the original picture, and NBC has hired Workaholics co-executive producer Craig DiGregorio to develop the premise as a workplace comedy, where a genius must work together with a sheltered, square co-worker. The show has received a script commitment from NBC, so you may be seeing it sooner than later. Read more about it here.
$300 million and six Oscar nominations can’t lie. Audiences were enamored with Fatal Attraction, the Michael Douglas/Glenn Close thriller about a man being stalked by lover from his past, so it’s no wonder that Mad Men alums Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton are working on the scripts for a potential event series at Fox.
Fox recently announced their plans to develop a multi-camera sitcom about, ““a happy couple about to learn the joys and horrors of parenthood while managing the most challenging relationship of all—the one between a wife and her husband’s mother.” Sounds like a lot of sitcoms, right? Well, inexplicably, the project is being touted as “loosely inspired” by the 2005 Jennifer Lopez vehicle Monster-In-Law.
The show is coming from 30 Rock’s John Riggi and the Carrie Dairies’ Amy B. Harris. We’re not entirely sure why this sitcom with such a basic TV premise needs to be connected to a lackluster, modestly received romantic comedy, but so be it.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Canada’s top children programming producer DHX Media, responsible for kiddie hits such as Yo Gabba Gabba!, Teletubbies, and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, has recently required the rights to adapt Sony Pictures Amination’s Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. DHX will produce and develop the upcoming show, but Sony retains the rights of U.S. distribution. As of the moment, the film’s directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, are not involved with the series.
Plug in the Zoltar machine and dust off your giant piano, Fox is planning something Big. The 1988 classic starring Tom Hanks is coming to television as a half-hour comedy. Loosely based on the film, the project comes from executive producers Kevin Biegel (Cougar Town) and Mike Royce (Men of a Certain Age). Continuing with Fox’s new programming strategy, the untitled project will be an event series, which is code for mini-series or regular series with less episodes.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is hit theaters in 2015, but don’t be fooled by that name, Resident Evil may have many more chapters if German production house Constantin Film has their way. There’s no word yet if a network has interest or whether the series will continue the events of the film, but Constantin is readying a TV adaptation, with more film-to-TV adaptations on their minds, like Perfume and The Mortal Instruments.
The Illusionist was initially overshadowed by Christopher Nolan’s magician movie, The Prestige, upon release in 2006, but the movie may have a second chance to connect with audiences. The CW is looking to bring the show to TV, taking a script from True Blood‘s Mark Hudis about a a 20th-century New York illusionist who, after a recent stint in jail, uses his special tricks to pull off robberies. That’s not all — the heists are all an elaborate plan to get back at the mob boss who framed him and married his wife. It’s much different than Edward Norton’s role in The Illusionist, but intriguing nonetheless.
In the Heat of the Night
This 1967 Oscar-winning Sidney Poitier vehicle already had a life on television, running for seven seasons and spawning four made-for-TV films in the ’80s on NBC. But now In the Heat of the Night, based on the John Balls murder mystery novel, is may return to the small screen on Showtime. Tate Taylor (The Help) will be writting and directing the new adaptation.
Not content to let Fox hog all the Tom Hanks inspired properties (BIG), ABC has ordered his 1984 comedy, Bachelor Party, to pilot.
Bachelor Party was a raunchy ’80s comedy featuring drugs, sex, Tawny Kitaen, and very little else, but Fox has bigger ambitions with its television adaptation. Tapping New Girl writer-producers J.J. Philbin and Josh Malmuth, Fox plans on Bachelor Party being an anthology series, effectively hitting two TV trends with one stone, following a different wedding party, focusing on the drama that ensues from a co-ed bachelor/bachelorette party, each season.
Marley & Me
Animal Practice didn’t work at NBC, but About a Boy did, so the network is going to bank on cinema-inspired sentimentality, animals be damned, with the announcement of a planned pilot for a show based on 2008’s tear-jerker, Marley & Me. The new series will reportedly serve as a sequel to the movie and take place back in Florida, where the film’s main couple, John and Jenny Gorgan, decide to adopt an underappreciated neighborhood pup despite crushingly loosing their last little guy.
Emmy-winning Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks will pen the script, with the film’s director David Frankel committed to direct the pilot.
NBC will take all of your family-friendly big screen hits, thanks. Once again, the network has ordered a pilot based on an old, fun for the whole family movie, this time inspired by 1990’s John Ritter-led, Problem Child. The original saw Ritter and his wife adopting a redheaded menace who destroys the lives of everyone he touches. Ok, it’s not that dramatic, but still, the kid really is a nuisance.
Awful kids usually work on TV, and NBC has tapped a guy familiar with writing awful man-children, The Hangover and Old Schools’ Scot Armstrong, to develop the single-camera comedy. Last we heard, NBC was still casting the project, though that was over a year ago.
In Good Company
In Good Company was a 2004 Dennis Quaid/Toper Grace/carlett Johansson rom-com, that was openly panned by Grace in his cameo in Ocean’s Eleven. The film actually isn’t as bad as Grace estimates, and CBS seems to think so too.
America’s number one network is developing the movie with original director John Weitz helping sitcom veterans Josh Bycel and Jon Fenner (Happy Endings) pen the script. CBS is planning for the series to be a hybrid of single and multi-camera sitcoms, whatever that means.
Paramount, who have many properties on this list heading to TV, seem to be, excuse my language, whoring their older properties out to TV for more cash. It’s fitting then that the studio is also prepping a TV version of American Gigolo, the 1980 Richard Gere vehicle that saw the actor playing a male escort who gets mixed up with the authorities. “With its signature noir aesthetic, ‘American Gigolo’ has remained a deeply entertaining, psychological thriller,” said the film’s producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “I’m thrilled…on remaking it into a television series.”
Fox can’t keep its hands off these movie adaptations. Since October 2014, the network has a Hitch adaptation, based on the 2005 Will Smith romantic comedy, in development. Smith and his wife, Gotham‘s Jada Pinkett Smith, are executive producing. There’s been little chatter about this project as of late, so it may be stuck in the development stage.