There is a long history of movies that hit the big screen diving into television sets in the forms of Television shows. Some have been met with huge success and longevity, but most of them were virtual train wrecks.
On the surface it seems like a realistically great idea: take a film that audiences adored and extend it into a more digestible, bite-sized version that they could watch each week in the comfort of the homes. But carrying over the success of a film into the television realm seems to involve a tricky and delicate science that nobody seems to be aware of the formulas to.
A TV series adaptation of the Blade trilogy and the recent news of a live-action The exorcist television series coming to life near the end of the decade beg us to inquire about whether either will succeed. Obviously, success in this sense could be interpreted in a variety of ways. Will it depend only on the caliber of the show? Most likely not, since there has been movie-to-television cross-overs which were critically acclaimed but were only given a few months to run. Will it depend solely about the interest in the show? Not as much as one would think. So what does success in this genre rely on?
Let’s take a look at some TV shows that were originally movies that ran for long periods of time, and more that burnt out quickly to see if there is a visible pattern.
MASH, Lots of people forget that MASH was originally a movie (1970) which was met with approval in the theaters. It made its way onto TV screens in 1972 and ran completely to 1983.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, This movie was launched in 1992 and was met with very mixed results. Somehow the show were able to run for seven solid years (1997-2003) as a TV series with a huge group of followers.
Stargate SG-1, Stargate was a movie released in 1994. It had been met with mixed responses, however the show fared much better, running from 1997 all the way till now.
Highlander, The film version hit theaters in 1986. Audience response was decent, but the TV series that was launched in 1992 found a faithful following. It ran until 1998.
La Femme Nikita, Nikita would be a film directed by Luc Besson that was released in 1990 and received good responses from audiences. The television series were built with a strong following and ran on TV from 1997 to 2001.
My Big Fat Greek Life, though movie studios underestimated My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s chances for success about the giant screen, CBS overestimated its chances for similar triumph in a television series. This big fat disaster ran for seven episodes in 2003.
Clueless, In 1995, Clueless did well in cinemas like a comedy-romance. However, when the motion picture became a Television show in 1996 it had been simply a vain, painful, and lame television experience. The show somehow managed to remain on air until 1999.
Ferris Buellers Day Off was a huge hit in 1986, but the TV series only lasted one miserable season in 1990. Ferris has had plenty of off days since then.
Planet of the Apes, The Charlton Heston-infused movie did well in the theaters in 1968, but for whatever reason the TV version only lasted one season in 1974.
Uncle Buck was the movie really that great in 1989? It was just a standard comedy that attempted to teach children the thought of appreciating your family. So was it series in 1990 really necessary? One season informs us “no”.
There are countless other movie to TV shows that only lasted a few months, in the event that. Dangerous Minds, Fast Times, and Parenthood are simply three of numerous, many failures with this genre.
The possibilities against the soon-to-be Blade television series and George Lucas’ live-action Star wars TV show. Though Blade doesn’t really seem to be anything special, it will likely be interesting to see if the vampires and monsters that carried the film trilogy can do the same on TV screens.
Star wars comes with an insanely huge and loyal fan base, the kind of which no movie to TV series has already established the posh of getting, and could be the tipping point for that shows potential longevity and success. But in no way will this guarantee the triumph of the adaptation. Neither will high caliber story-lines or acting.
It would appear that tv audiences and studios are definitely more fickle than their movie counterparts, so good luck to both creators of the movies and their television counterparts, both of whom is going to be at the complete mercy of factors which are virtually unknown.
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This fun fright-fest was a wonderful surprise from what I was initially anticipating. This is another horror reprise (from the folks behind ‘Final Destination’ – great film), but not like so many others; it did manage to come up trumps; such as ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ This can be a remake of Bob Clarke’s 1974 classic slasher movie, ‘Black Christmas’; which really came four years before John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’. Some fans lay claim that it was the original slasher flick.
Externally, this looks like just yet another of your fundamental ‘there’s a psycho hacking up a bunch of beautiful girls, who are running up the stairs instead of from the door,’ and to a certain extent that is correct, it is the way this is conveyed which is interesting and enticing to view.
The story: crazed killer, Billy Lenz, runs away from his psychiatric ward and is determined to make it to his childhood home, where he was abused, by Christmas. Problem is, it’s actually years later and the house is now a Sorority house. It is Christmas Eve and a who’s who of teen/horror girl stars are there to welcome him, including Melissa (Michelle Trachtenberg , ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ fame), Heather (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, ‘Final Destination 3′), Dana (Lacey Chabert, ‘Mean Girls’) and Kelli (Katie Cassidy, ‘When a stranger calls’ remake.)
This film is basically pretty good, it features a constant sensation of being watched that runs right through it and adds a sparkle to the scares, and the tension is kept high. The actresses, although expressing some awful lines at times, also say some good ones. The acting is good, and because the majority of the leading ladies are stars, and many of them horror stars, the audience is not going to guess which one is going to make it to the rolling credits. The story-line builds well, and there’s a mounting tension, as the killer initially phones the girls, and then starts to eliminate them.
A comparable storyline to the original ‘Halloween’, with a monster coming home for the holidays, there are also many similar P.O.V shots of the killer, watching the girls throughout the house. The Christmas theme bleeds in nicely with the plot, and it comes across in places (especially, the flash-backs to Billy Lenz’s childhood) like something, director, Tim Burton, would dream up. The film gets darker and darker as we move through it, with some very violent scenes, and the music by Shirley Walker is great; capturing horror and Christmas all in one twisted melody. Also, the use of red and green lighting throughout (owed to Christmas) is very cool, and generates a great atmosphere.
Because of it being set in a Sorority house, and this no longer being 1974, some of the dialogue just doesn’t cut it. I can’t imagine several girls’ staying in the home with a crazed serial killer, just because they can’t discover their ‘sorority sister,’ believable in 2007 – sad, but true. There is, sadly, the customary shower scene, but it’s used for scares, not thrills, and so it works.
Immediately you can tell, this isn’t your usual run of the mill slasher, it actually has a back story, and we do find ourselves caring for some of the characters, for example, Kelli, played by Katie Cassidy is great; plus if you hated ‘Dawn’ in ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ – you are going to love this motion picture.