The 10 Greatest TV to Film Adaptations

Successful victories from the idiot box to the silver screen

The Fugitive
The Fugitive (Warner Bros.)

    Television has proved quite groundbreaking in recent years. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Friday Night LightsGame of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, True Detective, Louie, and countless other series worth binge-watching have all turned our collective heads away from the silver screens and overpriced popcorn stands. Yet that hasn’t stopped producers and filmmakers from taking past serials and turning them into big blockbusters for cinemas worldwide.

    This week, Dax Shepard and Michael Peña star in CHiPs, a modern reimagining of Rick Rosner’s original buddy cop series that ran on NBC from 1977 to 1983. In anticipation, Consequence of Sound decided to revisit the more successful adaptations over the years and slotted out their 10 favorites. Not all of them surpassed their source material, but each one hit the mark nonetheless. So, flip ahead and share your own recommendations below.

    Note: We did not include any films adapted from material outside the original TV series (e.g. The Untouchables) or continuations of an established program (e.g. Wayne’s World).


    10. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)


    By 1983, creator Rod Serling had been dead for eight years. So, why The Twilight Zone was ever up for grabs is beyond me. But the groundbreaking television series wound up making for an exceptional anthology movie, namely for its use of talent: Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Joe Dante, and George Miller. Working with some diamond source material — specifically, episodes “A Quality of Mercy”, “Kick the Can”, “It’s a Good Life”, and “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” — the directors were paired with exceptional casts and top-of-the-line SFX. While the shift to horror certainly takes away from the show’s original intent, it’s also what makes the film so sinister. “Wanna see something scary?” Dan Aykroyd asks a National Geographic-singing Albert Brooks. The answer, of course, is what follows: the movie. The real answer, however, is reading why second assistant director Andy House replaced his name with the pseudonym, Alan Smithee, in the film’s credits. Blech. –Michael Roffman

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