With AMC developing a The Walking Dead spin-off, CBS working on a How I Met Your Mother spin-off, and the Breaking Bad spin-off in development, television is obviously continuing in its grand tradition of avoiding original properties. In addition to spin-offs, however, there are a slew of television series being developed AT THIS VERY MOMENT based on movies. Most of them are bad ideas. In fact, all but one (Fargo) are bad ideas. But that’s never gotten in the way of a television studio with $$$ on its mind.
Let’s take a look at the nine series currently in development based on feature films.
Limitless — Bradley Cooper is producing a TV series based on his 2011 hit about about an unsuccessful writer whose life is transformed by a top-secret “smart drug” that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself. I’m sure there’s 10 seasons in that idea.
Outbreak — An hourlong series based on the hit 1995 Warner Bros feature directed by Wolfgang Petersen that will be co-written by John Wells and Orman. Outbreak, which is being developed for NBC, is described as a medical thriller that follows an ensemble of characters as they race to contain a lethal virus before it becomes a global pandemic. So, The Walking Dead minus zombies.
Rambo — In August it was announced that Sylvester Stallone was developing a television series based on his character, and Stallone may even return to play the role. Stallone, by the way, is 67. I’m sure this will play well as the Blue Bloods lead-in on CBS.
Fargo — FX has greenlit the series, based on the Coen Brothers movie (though, the story will be different) and it has a pretty great cast, including Glen Howerton and Bob Odenkirk. This, which had the blessing (and is produced by) the Coen Brothers is legitimately exciting.
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle — ABC Family is developing this series based on the early 90s movie, which will tell the story of a young, attractive nanny who terrorizes a suburban family from the inside. HOW THE F&$% DO YOU MAKE 13 EPISODES OUT OF THIS?
The Money Pit — A series based on the 1986 Tom Hanks comedy is being developed NBC by The Office writer-producer Justin Spitzer. Honestly, screw the TV series. If they played this clip from the movie — the best laugh in cinematic history — on a loop for half an hour every week, I’d watch.
Dominion, based on the 2010 Paul Bettany film that no one remembers, Legion, is described as “an epic supernatural action drama set 25 years in the future after a war between an army of Angels and mankind has transformed the world. The series follows the perilous journey of a rebellious young soldier who discovers he’s the unlikely savior of humanity. Scott Stewart, who co-wrote and directed Legion, will direct the pilot for SyFy.
Act of Valor — National Geographic’s first scripted TV series will be based on the 2012 Navy SEAL feature about pararescuemen, also known as PJs, who are the unsung heroes tasked with recovery and medical treatment of personnel in humanitarian and combat environments. This is not the worst idea. It’s basically another medical series, though.
L.A. Confidential — As of April, James Elroy — who wrote the novel that the movie L.A. Confidential was based upon, is shopping a sequel series to the movie/book. It was being pitched to broadcast and cable networks as well as emerging distribution platforms. Apparently, multiple parties were interested, but so far, no one has picked it up. With the right cast, I would so watch this.