Ten TV Shows That Were Made Into Movies

  • As movie fans, we’ve been subjected over the past few years to a flood of remakes, sequels, prequels and spinoffs. Even TV shows have been mined for subject matter that can still appeal to theater audiences. Some remakes of television series have been great, while others belly-flopped. Here are ten TV shows that have been memorably remade—or not:

    Dark Shadows

    Director Tim Burton’s loony originality is perfect in his current big box-office movie: an updating of the 1968 soap opera about a vampire, Barnbaras Collins, emerging from the grave into his family’s Maine home—in 1972. (That’s scary enough.) Depp’s Collins is a courteous yet sinister figure, who’s able to make jokes about his vampirehood. But Depp’s characterization bears little resemblance to the Barnabas Collins, (Jonathan Frid) who had teens racing home every afternoon to chew their nails and shudder at every funny noise the house made at night. Collins took himself very seriously, and so did we.
  • Bewitched Elizabeth Montgomery was luminous as Samantha, the suburban witch who really didn’t want to be one. Husband Darren, who worked in an ad agency (shades of “Mad Men”), was constantly in conflict with Sam’s mother Endora, played by the magnificent Agnes Moorhead, who was as close to a drag queen as you’d ever find on mid-60s TV. Maybe the problem in the remake was that Nicole Kidman had a flair for drama, not comedy. And Shirley MacLaine as Endora gave it a good try but had an impossible act to follow.
  • The Addams Family Based on the cartoon series by the grimly witty Charles Addams, this show was all the more enjoyable because it never took itself seriously. Anchored in a deeply perverse world, where matriarch Morticia (Carolyn Jones) snipped the heads off flowers while gathering them, the characters nonetheless seemed innocent and unaware of why normal people regarded them with such horror. And “Addams Family Values” worked as a movie because it was an affectionate reimagining of the series rather than a mockery of it. With Anjelica Huston, the late Raul Julia and Christina Ricci as the monstrous little Wednesday .
  • The Twilight Zone Host Rod Serling just may have the scariest voice in television history. The minute he started talking, you knew some really horrible yet fascinating story was about to be told, whether it concerned monsters from outer space, the last man on earth or an ordinary guy going crazy. The movie update paid homage to the show by redoing one of its most famous episodes, about gremlins on the wing of an airplane. Avoid window seats whenever possible, OK?
  • Mission: Impossible This series, with its signature phrase, “Your mission, should you decide to accept it,” still holds up well after decades, even though there were some pretty impossible tasks, like staging a fake nuclear holocaust on very short notice. But few of them equaled Tom Cruise’s hanging-by-a-thread stunt in the first movie of the franchise. He’s been doing it for 15 years now, and who knows? He may continue if his upcoming movie “Rock of Ages” isn’t as big a draw.
  • The Flintstones BFFs Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble were stay-at-home mothers in the cartoon series "The Flintstones," about "a modern Stone-Age family." The series, focusing on the erratic doings of husbands and children, seemed as much directed at adults as kids. It was that way with the movie version, too, but the real-life actors took away some of that animated magic. Except, of course, for Rosie O'Donnell's pitch-perfect Betty Rubble giggle.
  • Star Trek The word “franchise” is often overused for a series of movies, but not in this case. The original series, which lasted three seasons, has spawned five other TV shows and twelve movies (with a thirteenth in the works). And let’s not even mention the throngs of devoted Trekkies who flock to countless gatherings. Fans say it’s all about the search for unknown territories and the equally important, though less obvious, search for equality and brotherhood. Those cool uniforms and blinking control lights don’t hurt, either.
  • Dukes Of Hazzard Two good ol’ Georgia boys, Bo and Luke Hazzard, just want a quiet life of cars, beers and girls. But trouble always seems to find them, especially when they’re driving their 1969 Dodge Charger, The General Lee. Helping them in their investigations is Cousin Daisy. You could probably write some scripts yourself. The movie succeeded popularly if not critically, mostly because of Jessica Simpson’s really short shorts (christened Daisy Dukes back in the day).
  • Charlie's Angels Often a series will have just one breakout star, but “Charlie’s Angels” boasted three. Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith all went on to successful careers, and the movie “Angels” were equally well known: Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore. Both the TV show and the movie provided tongue-in-cheek entertainment with women demonstrating their brains, athleticism and sensitivity--all while wearing extremely tight pants. .
  • Sex and the City Although decades sometimes elapse between TV series and their movie adaptations, "SATC" mastermind Michael Patrick King didn’t let any grass grow under his feet – he brought forth the first movie in 2008, just four years after the series ended. Millions of fans were ecstatic. After all, who wouldn’t want the new adventures of Carrie Bradshaw and her band of girly girls? The SATC movie and its sequel upped the OMG factor with Carrie in an enormous wedding dress and the crew making their way across the trackless desert in chic caftans.