From the big screen to the small screen: TV shows based on films

Have you ever been watching television and see a commercial for a new show based on your favorite movie?
It is something we see more often in this era as we have essentially ran out of new ideas for TV show story lines.

Now don’t get me wrong, some of these TV adaptations have been a major success. One example I think of if is Fargo which is entering its third season on FX.
The original Fargo was a dark comedy crime thriller that was released in 1996. This success has given the idea to producers and directors across Hollywood to adapt these big screen movies into smaller screen TV shows.

Unfortunately, success does not grace the doorstep of all these programs. One failing example is Rush Hour. The premise of the of the show is based off of the popular film franchise Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, and Rush Hour 3 which combined grossed over $849 million.
However, the developers for the new CBS aired program believed that slapping some of the main characteristics from the movies in the show could make it a success. The show lacked the chemistry of the main characters that were seen in the movie franchise with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.

The show would not hit the ground running, surviving 13 episodes with a little over 1.5 million viewers for the season/series finale according to
Many of these developers believe that if they slap the main points from the movies then the cast doesn’t matter and it will sell. This is a plan that is a total failure.
I have always been a fan of the Rush Hour movies. The story lines were great, with the equal amounts of comedy, action, and drama. But the chemistry between Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan as mentioned before was the icing on the cake of the movie franchise.

Another show that I am not too fond of is Lethal Weapon, based on another successful film franchise. Lethal Weapon is a franchise which had four films which grossed over $950 million. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover would play the characters of Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh.
Like most buddy cop films, there is usually the good cop and the bad cop. Murtaugh would be the by the book cookie cutter cop, while Riggs would be the off the rails cop that would do anything to achieve the best for the greater good.

However, the Lethal Weapon TV series has had decent ratings averaging about 6 million viewers per episode according
Now these ratings aren’t spectacular but they were deemed well enough for Fox to order a full season of the show.

But when I watch it I don’t get any special feelings to it. Once again it seems like it lacks the chemistry that the movie franchise had.
Also the writing isn’t anything special, most of the scenes in episodes of the show are exact copies of events that had occurred in the movie. But if the show can possibly branch out to new viewers who might not have seen any of the original movies. So if this is achievable then the show should have some longevity to it.

However, through all of my comments about Lethal Weapon, it does have some tools to be a major success. If the writers start to branch away from the movie story lines and create original writing then the show will be a success and be a mainstay in the fox lineup.