Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR favorite movie based on a TV show?

lone-ranger-and-tonto“The Lone Ranger” has seen many adaptations, from film shorts to radio, but his most famous incarnation was most likely the television show that aired on TV for eight seasons, from 1949 to 1957.

Films based off of television shows are nothing new, there have been dozens upon dozens of them. While a number of them get a bad rap, there are quite a few that are excellent.

The entire Star Trek franchise has its roots in TV. 2011’s “The Muppets”, which is near and dear to my heart, can trace its origins back to the TV show. Of course, “Serenity” capped off an excellent show by moving to the big screen. “Heat” was based off of a made for TV movie, “The Naked Gun” movies came from “The Files of Police Squad”, and of course, there’s the “Mission Impossible” movies as well.

What’s YOUR favorite? If you need some help, here’s a handy reference.

Let’s hear it!

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128 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR favorite movie based on a TV show?

      • I love Atkinson. I’m fond of most of his work. I think Mr. Bean was his worst character and worst show. It is depressing that that character has become America’s favorite Atkinson role. That secret agent character he did for two movies was just Mr. Bean-lite.

  1. The Human Centipede animated series that used to run on Saturday mornings was a lot of fun. I was pretty happy when they turned that into a movie.

    • Twilight Zone, wow. Havent thought of that one for awhile. That was a surprisingly decent movie. I definitely remember the Dan Aykroyd opening and then the kid that could make his thoughts happen. That was scary! 8O

      • Trever totally beat me to it! I am a leaf on the wind.

        Also, does Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy count? I know it was a radio series first, then adapted to books and Tele, so I’m not sure.

      • Considering “The Lone Ranger” was originally a radio show (and subsequently theatrical serials) long before it was on TV, I am going to advocate for H2G2. That being my second-only-to Serenity answer.

      • I’m not sure, Dak. I didn’t even know Hitchhiker’s guide WAS a TV show. I always thought that that movie was straight from the book. (Great movie, btw, very funny)

      • HHGG had a TV-miniseries (about 3 hours) in the early eighties. Pretty cheesy, but still funny. It’s kind of a meandering franchise… started out in radio, then came the books, then the miniseries, then more books, then the movie. All of which share some basic plot elements but deliberately change a lot of others.

  2. The Fugitive is probably tops with me. After that I’d go with the The Muppet Movie, Holy Grail and Life of Brian, Star Treks II, VI, and First Contact, and South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.

    • Yeah, I guess you’re right, right? The Python films could all be consider based off a TV show. Good point, hadn’t thought of those!

      The Fugitive is probably more direct though, that’s a good answer. Otherwise, Grail takes the cake! :D

      • I wouldn’t really consider the Python films (except And Now For Something Completely Different) to be based on the TV show just because they star the same guys… that’d be like saying Leonard Part 6 is based off of The Cosby Show… not that I disagree about them being good, of course. :D

      • Mmmmm… I dunno. I’ve been thinking about it, and there’s SO many similarities. From the name, to the cast, to the cartoon scene transitions… I mean, it’s kind of an original work done by a TV crew, but… it’s close enough for school here I think.

      • Given the titles are “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Monty Python’s Life of Brian”, I think a connection with the TV show is implicit.

  3. The Star Trek films have made an impressive transition from TV to film. Especially now. Also, Serenity. I couldn’t not mention this film. Though, watching it recently, I see its faults, but still, it’s a very well done TV to film move.

    • The faults being certain characters dying and making my sad, right?

      Also, wishing we brought some grenades…

      • LOL. I don’t see all that many “faults” in Serenity, Jaina… that’s a really good movie. I actually saw it before I saw the TV show, and I was impressed, so it stands alone, too!

        Trevor: I think its ballsy they killed the characters they did. Most movies wouldn’t do that…

      • Oh its ballsy as all hell. It’s what Joss is good at. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. haha

        But I was a Browncoat long before the movie came out. It was quite beautiful to see that ship on the big screen.

      • Just had the pleasure of meeting Adam Baldwin at Philly Comic-Con. He was really cool. The Ladies were there too, but I never got a chance to get their autographs, the scheduling just never lined up :(

    • Hmmm… I hadn’t considered Pooh. I guess it could count because Disney did have an animated TV run with it, right? Kind of more based off the books though, no? Hmmmm…

      The Simpsons Movie was alright, I never thought it was that great :(

      • I’d say Pooh counts because the audience now only knows Pooh from the Disney cartoon and TV show.

        Only us old folks remember that it was a book before then…

      • The first Disney “Pooh” movie came out 11 years before the TV series, so I wouldn’t say it counts. If anything, it’s a TV series based on a movie…

  4. I love The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993). Technically the Addams’ got their start as a magazine cartoon in the ’30s (and the ’93 film in particular borrows heavily from those cartoons). BUT since the TV series from the ’60s is so well-known, I’m going to pretend these films count, haha.

    • Oh, they count. I’d definitely say that those movies were based off the TV show more than the books, Lindsey, no doubt!

      I enjoyed them well enough, especially the first one. That was good stuff. :D

  5. I was about to say “none!” But then I realized that there are some movies I like a lot that did come from TV, Star Trek notwithstanding. Mission Impossible is probably the best, but I also love the X-Files movie as well.

    And even though the movie came before the TV show, I also want to mention MASH, just because its so awesome.

    • Yeah, that is kind of an inverse direction of what we’re talking about, but you’re right, MASH was great – the movie and the TV show, both!

      I was never a big X-Files fan, but obviously Trek has a great onscreen lineage!

  6. Great question! And difficult to answer, which also raises the question of why studios continue to make them… although money, laziness and… money… are obviously the answers to that.

    For me it has to be Twin Peaks. Everything else pales – a great TV show and a great film.

    I also adore Heat but that might be considered a bit of a cheat in this category.

    • Hollywood is a) Creatively bankrupt and b) Afraid of taking risks. That’s why existing properties are gold as far as being turned into movies…

      I don’t know that Heat is a cheat, it WAS on TV first. Just because it was a TV movie and not a show [shrugs]…

      Meanwhile, yeah Twin Peaks was awesome. Season 1 was the best though. LOL

  7. Anything “Star Trek” Gets My Hands Down, Fo SHO, Vote.
    But, Other Notables Would Be…
    …Uh…
    …Hmm…
    …Did I Already Say “Star Trek” Fo SHO???
    Can I Say It Again???
    PLLLLLEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEE?!?!?!! ;)
    -B.

  8. I agree with a bunch that have already been mentioned, so to bring a couple new offerings to the table: The Blues Brothers and Wayne’s World.

    • Ah, the SNL clan represents. Yeah, obviously the Blues Brothers is a great answer. Wayne’s World was a great movie, too. I caught some of it recently though, and I don’t know how well it’s aged for me…

  9. You know, up until I read your intro and the comments, I was prepared to say I couldn’t think of any… you’re right that there’s a knee-jerk reaction to think of them all as being bad. But The Muppet Movie, Star Trek II, The Fugitive, and Wayne’s World are all great. (As is The Blues Brothers, as DB mentions above, but I have a harder time calling that “based on a TV show”, as they were strictly a performance group on SNL.)

    • Nice one. SNL 2 Waynes World. ;-)

      Cassandra: “I don’t believe I’ve ever had French champagne before…”

      Benjamin Kane: “Oh, actually all champagne is French; it’s named after the region. Otherwise it’s sparkling white wine. Americans of course don’t recognize the convention, so it becomes that thing of calling all of their sparkling white ‘champagne’, even though by definition they’re not.”

      Wayne Campbell: “Ah yes, it’s a lot like ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. In many ways it’s superior but will never be as recognized as the original.”

      • LOL @ S. :D

        Meanwhile, yeah, I know The Blues Brothers were only a skit/musical act on SNL, but they definitely have their roots in TV, Morgan, so I think it counts.

        “The Muppet Movie, Star Trek II, The Fugitive, and Wayne’s World are all great.” As is “The Muppets”, come on now! And I have to admit to loving all the original Star Treks, even the much maligned odd numbered ones. ;)

  10. The Muppet Movie from the Muppet Show (TV); I watched the series as a kid and felt the film was a good fit.

    Hard to deny the Fugitive or Mission Impossible as I like those movies, but I really never watched the television shows.

    Starsky and Hutch onscreen as reimagined by Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller was awesome.

    • The Starsky and Hutch movie was ok. The Will Ferrell cameo, was great of course. LOL

      I guess to answer the question, the movie just has to be based on a TV show, you don’t really have to have been a fan of said show. ;) So… if that influences your answer at all, there you go.

  11. 21 Jump Street, Jackass, Borat all come to mind…if I had seen any episodes of the Star Trek tv shows, I’m sure that would be up there as well, but I’ve only seen the recent movies.

    • Borat is an awesome answer. I forgot that that came from Da Ali G show. 8O Nice call!

      The original Star Trek tv show was incredible. Total classic. Not sure how the movies would play to someone seeking those out before the show though….

  12. Since I always draw a blank on these things, I think I’m just gonna start posting the first thing to jump to mind, whether it’s actually my favorite or not, lol! And in this particular instance, the first thing to jump to mind is 21 Jump Street. :P

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