One only has to look at the amount of classic old movies that are being turned into shows, to see this lack of creativity in action.
One example of this is a new summer sitcom series on ABC, named ‘Uncle Buck’, based on the hilarious John Candy movie with the same name. The show stars actor Mike Epps in a similar role to the one that Candy previously played. Now, what some might not know about this production is, television executives tried to turn this movie into a show before in 1990, but the show ended up being unpopular. Yet, Uncle Buck is somehow back on the small screen.
Kids television network station YTV also airs a show, known as ‘School of Rock’, based on the wildly successful movie that starred Jack Black.
CBS has also learned the peril of attempting to take a movie from the big screen and turn it into a successful series. They recently announced the cancellation of ‘Rush Hour’, a show based on the movie starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
There are numerous other examples of the same thing out there, including Minority Report, as well as Lethal Weapon, set to debut on Fox in September.
What television executives seem to fail to understand is that taking something that was wildly popular on the big screen is not a recipe for success, and really just cheapens the experience for the viewers. The shows almost never star the original actors from the film, with the new actors then forced to try to duplicate everything fans loved about the original characters. The plot is also usually stretched out because the show needs to fill a full season. What current television is doing is the equivalent of taking what was left on the cutting room floor during the making of a movie, and putting it back in.
I find that people tend to enjoy originality when it comes to their television experience. It is like when reading a new book, you don’t know what is going to happen and it gives you a chance to find new characters you can connect with.What was great about television in the early days, from what I have heard from family, was that these stories had never been seen before. Hopefully, someday, networks realize this, and we can return to watching original and fun programming.