From the Television to the Cinema
This week on the Forgotten Cinema podcast, we covered the director's cut of Miami Vice. Directed by Michael Mann and starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. I would hope that most people know this is an adaptation of the 80s TV show of the same name starring Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas and it ran for five seasons.
That got me thinking of other older TV shows that could use some adaptation love. Here we go!
Divorced working mother Amanda King is thrusted into the international spy world when Lee Stetson, code name "Scarecrow", hands her a package and tells her to hand it to "the man in the red hat." King doesn't do that and takes the package home, which is only the beginning as she must hide her new secret spy life from her family while saving the day with Scarecrow on a weekly basis.
The show ran from 1983-1987, for 4 seasons and 88 episodes. It starred Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner. Is it the greatest show ever? No. Of course, not. But it's premise (which is kind of used in True Lies) is a good one and could be mined again for box office gold!
I love this show as much as Emerson Cod loves his shovel. (Fans will know that reference) Ned has the power to revive the dead with a single touch. No, they're not zombies. They're just alive again. But if he touches them again, they go back to being dead forever. Enter Ned's childhood sweetheart, Chuck, who Ned has brought back to life after dying and he can never touch her again despite how much they care for each other.
The show ran for 2 seasons from 2007-2009 and only had 22 episodes. It starred Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Kristin Chenoweth and Chi McBride. I wish this show was given a better shot. I forgot to mentioned that Ned's a pie maker and every episode left me hungry because those pies looked fantastic.
High-school teacher, Ralph Hinkley (Changed to Ralph Hanley for a brief time in the first season when John Hinkley shot President Reagan) is given a super-suit by some aliens that give him super powers, including the gift of flight. Unfortunately, Hinkley loses the instructions to the suit and hilarity ensues. He screws up his powers, he can barely fly and forget about landing.
This show has tried to be rebooted several times for television, but never made it passed development or the pilot stage. It's got issues, mainly, the believability that Hinkley can't eventually figure out how to work the suit. That's why television makes no sense. It's a movie. It's an origin story that I'd probably lean more towards the action/drama and less of the comedy.
The show ran for 3 seasons, 44 episodes from 1981-1983. It starred William Katt, Connie Sellecca and Robert Culp. I think 20th TV and ABC own the rights, which means Disney owns the rights, so...DISNEY!!!! It's a movie! Call me. We'll talk.
No list of TV shows that should become movies cannot be complete, at least from me, without mentioning one of my favorite TV shows of all time. Of. All. Time.
“Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished... He woke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home…”
Sam is still leaping! He's still out there! And his story needs an ending. Now, I'm not looking to remake this premise. What I want is a movie which isn't about Sam, but the plot involves getting Sam home. I highly recommend people check out the show which ran for 5 seasons, 97 episodes from 1989-1993 and it's awesome. When I first met my future wife, we bonded over two shows. - The X-Files and Quantum Leap.
If you've got some other television shows that could use the movie treatment, I'd love to hear them! And make sure you check out the podcast, Forgotten Cinema where all podcasts are available.