10 Classic Shows With Movie Adaptations


The worlds of film and television have crossed paths many times over the years. There have been examples of movies receiving small screen adaptations and, perhaps most prominently, tv shows that leap to the big screen. Some shows even received movie adaptations that may have flown under the radar of many. For better or worse, here are ten classic shows that earned big-screen adaptations.

10. Bewitched (2005)

Will Ferrell in the movie version of Bewitched, one of the most classic shows

One of the most classic shows from the golden age of television was Bewitched. The show follows a New York ad executive as he traverses life after discovering his wife is from a family of witches. The show leaped to the big screen in 2005, but not in a straight adaptation. The film follows an actor played by Will Ferrell after he signs on for a remake of the classic Bewitched series. He soon realizes that his co-star is a witch. The film does have some fans, but many viewers find themselves they were watching the actual show instead of this meta satire of sorts.

9. The Honeymooners (2005)

The movie adaptation of The Honeymooners

The original Honeymooners series from the ’50s is one of the earliest examples of a blue-collar sitcom. Most sitcoms of the time, such as Leave it to Beaver, showed upper-class families dealing with mundane issues. The Honeymooners showcased a lower-class family dealing with the struggles of life, and viewers found it much more relatable. In 2005, the series earned a movie adaptation many view as a cult classic. The plot follows Ralph and Ed in various get-rich-quick schemes while butting heads with their wives. Many fans feel the film would have been better received without the Honeymooners connection, but it is far from a terrible film.

8. The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)

Bo and Luke in Dukes of Hazzard

In the post-American Pie world, most comedies were looking to cash in on the craze. Even wholesome shows of yesteryear weren’t safe, as is the case with Dukes of Hazzard. The original is one of those classic shows that viewers of any age could enjoy. The film, on the other hand, just barely missed out on an R rating. It was crass, vulgar, and a poor example of an adaptation. The film does have some fans, but to most, it just blends in with all the other American Pie clones of the time. It even has American Pie alum Seann William Scott as Bo Duke, showing that the filmmakers didn’t even try to hide their inspiration.

7. The Fugitive (1993)

Dr. Kimble in The Fugitive, based on one of the most classic shows

The Fugitive was a show from the ’60s that follows Dr. Richard Kimble after he escapes police custody. Dr. Kimble spends the series hunting down the man who killed his wife, trying to clear his own name in the process. Kimble is trapped in a cat-and-mouse game as Lt. Gerard hunts down the fugitive. The show got a movie adaptation in 1994, and this is where most people have heard of The Fugitive. The movie stars Harrison Ford as Kimble and Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard. The film is exhilarating and actually manages to outshine the show in most aspects. The Fugitive was so well received that it received a spin-off featuring Jones’ character called U.S. Marshalls in 1998.

6. The A-Team (2010)

The cast of the movie adaptation of the A-Team

One movie that went under the radar of many was the big-screen adaptation of The A-Team. The movie is actually an enjoyable action movie with plenty of exciting set pieces. The film follows the basic plot of one of the most classic shows. A team of ex-military men set out to clear their names and bring those responsible to justice. All involved do a decent job of breathing new life into the classic characters, and fans of the show should check it out. It does its own thing while paying tribute to the original.

5. Mission: Impossible (1996)

Tom Cruise in the 1996 adaptation of Mission: Impossible

Perhaps one of the best examples of a movie adaptation of a classic series taking on a life of its own is the Mission: Impossible series. The Tom Cruise-led franchise has become so popular that many casual fans may not even realize the small-screen origins. The original show aired in the ’60s and featured a team of super spies chosen for each mission based on their skill sets. The same team may not carry over between episodes, and that is what made it so entertaining. Outside of a handful of characters and, of course, the iconic theme song, the films more or less stand on their own and do a great job at it.

4. 21 Jump Street (2012)

The movie adaptation of one of the most underrated classic shows 21 Jump Street

From memes to quotable lines, 21 Jump Street and its sequel have become some of the most popular comedies in recent years. What many fans may not realize is the movie is actually a movie adaptation of a show from the late ’80s. Like the movies, the show follows narcotics cops as they go undercover as students in a high school. The show’s main claim to fame is that it starred a young Johnny Depp. The first movie reveals that it is actually a continuation of the series, with Depp even appearing near the end in a cameo appearance.

3. Get Smart (2008)

Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway in the movie adaptation of Get Smart

Get Smart is another example of a fair movie adaptation that has gone under the radar. It follows Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart, an intelligent yet bumbling secret agent, as he helps take down an evil organization. Get Smart won’t be topping the list of greatest classic shows, but it is still a decent and fun time, as is the film. Get Smart also features Dwayne Johnson and Anne Hathaway, a fun cast that works off of each other well.n If you haven’t seen this film, or the show for that matter, it is definitely worth a watch.

2. Land of the Lost (2009)

Will Ferrell in Land of the Lost

Like The Dukes of HazzardLand of the Lost takes a family-friendly television series and adds raunchy elements for the adult viewer. However, unlike the prior movie, Land of the Lost holds back the adult humor and makes for a better film. The original show follows a family as they are trapped on an island that time forgot. The film sees scientists led by Will Ferrell trapped on the same island. The movie isn’t comedy gold by any means. It is still a decent enough film that is good for a few laughs.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

The movie adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The argument could be made that the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies are based on the comics rather than the cartoon. However, enough elements are lifted for it to be considered an adaptation. For example, the turtles having different colored bandanas as well as their personalities are lifted from the classic animated series. However, the darker elements and more mature content is very much the comics. This is one movie adaptation that takes from the classic shows, as well as other sources. This creates one of the greatest versions of these characters.