Reboots and revivals may seem like a recent phenomenon, but they’ve been a Hollywood tradition since the industry’s earliest days.
The practice doesn’t just extend to remaking the same movie again and again — it also encompasses classic films being turned into television series. Casablanca, for example, winner of the 1943 Oscar for Best Picture, spawned two short-lived TV adaptions.
The first show, titled Casablanca, premiered on ABC in 1955 but was canceled after 10 episodes. The second, also titled Casablanca, premiered on NBC in 1983 and was canceled after just five episodes. David Soul, famous for playing Hutch in the original Starsky & Hutch TV series, played the Humphrey Bogart character Rick Blaine, while Hector Elizondo starred in Claude Rains’ role of Captain Louis Renault.
The movies-to-TV trend really took off in the 1980s and early 1990s when hits including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing got small-screen adaptations. In the former, titled simply Ferris Bueller, a young Jennifer Aniston starred as Ferris’ sister Jeannie (played by Jennifer Grey in the 1986 film).
According to former GQ editor Jim Nelson, who worked on the show, the Friends alum dated costar Charlie Schlatter, who played Ferris (Matthew Broderick in the movie). “She was lovely, kept to herself on the set, smoldering a bit like her outraged character, 17-year-old Jeannie Bueller,” Nelson wrote in 2014. “Everyone on set thought she was hot, including Schlatter, with whom she had a brief, torrid romance — while playing, it must be said, his older sister. To we immaturions on the show, this seemed extra-hot.”
Though a few TV shows adapted from movies become hugely successful, many more never quite got their footing. In 2014, a CBS series based on the Cameron Diaz film Bad Teacher was canceled after just three episodes. In the show, Ari Graynor took over the titular role.
Despite the sitcom’s short run, Graynor was still proud of her work. “I love Meredith,” she told the Televixen blog of her role in 2014. “So, even when she’s doing outrageous, ridiculous things, I completely understand where it’s coming from within her. … She’s an underdog herself and that helps to balance some of that stuff.”
Arguably one of the most beloved movies-turned-shows in recent memory is Friday Night Lights, based on the 2004 film of the same name (which was in turn based on a book). Fans have been clamoring for a reboot for years, but it doesn’t look promising.
“I heard inklings a few years ago that they were gonna make another Friday Night Lights,” Connie Britton, who played Tami Taylor on the NBC series, told Entertainment Tonight in July 2021. “Meanwhile, we know we’ve already had a movie, we already had this TV show, and then if they were to do it again with, like, a whole different iteration of it, I don’t know. I would think that would be sort of odd.”
Keep scrolling to see what other movies have been given the TV treatment over the years: