With so many
TV shows being released every week across TV networks and streaming services, it’s easy to overlook the source material they come from. A lot of your favorite TV shows are, in fact, adaptations from popular films dating back as far as 1973. So whether you’re a film fan who wishes your favorite movie would never end or you’re a TV junkie who’s binged all the episodes but find yourself hungering for more, why not scout out the other genre of the entertainment you can’t quit? We’ll kick off your search with these 13 movies-turned-TV shows that we can’t take our eyes off of.
Cover Photo: Phillip Caruso/Hulu
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Movie Turned TV Shows
Nick Hornby’s novel keeps getting reinvented by Hollywood. First, it was adapted into the cult favorite film of the same name starring John Cusack in 2000. Now, it’s coming back again as a gender-swapped Hulu series starring Zoë Kravitz as the protagonist.
Photo: Phillip Caruso (Hulu)
'About a Boy'
Another Nick Hornby creation,
About a Boy began as a novel about immature bachelor Will Freeman who finally learns to man up thanks to a friendship with a young boy named Marcus. The 2002 dramedy starring Hugh Grant and Toni Collette (as Marcus’ mom) captured the hearts of audiences and was turned into an NBC sitcom in 2014 that ran for two seasons. Photo: NBC
When this classic Coen Brothers black comedy came to the small screen, it diverged from its original storyline, instead focusing on a new star-studded cast and crime drama plot for each of its three seasons on FX. A fourth season is due out this spring.
Westworld was originally a Western sci-fi thriller released in 1973. But it wasn’t until HBO adapted it into a TV series that the robot-run amusement park plot really took off.
'She's Gotta Have It'
In this Netflix adaptation of Spike Lee’s 1986 joint of the same name, Brooklynite Nola Darling juggles three open relationships with drastically different men. Its two-season, 19-episode run lasted from 2017 to 2019.
'Dear White People'
The 2014 film
Dear White People was a sleeper success, so it’s no wonder Netflix snatched up this dramedy. Focused on black students at an Ivy League school, it deftly tackles issues of race in a way that doesn’t alienate the viewers who need to hear its message most. Its fourth and final season airs this year.
Jack Ryan is a longtime favorite character of Tom Clancy fans. What started off as a series of “Ryanverse” novels became several action films starring the likes of Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Chris Pine. Amazon’s take on the CIA analyst character cast John Krasinski in the lead role of the political thriller series, which has a third season currently in the works.
The 2011 sci-fi thriller starring Bradley Cooper focused on how a drug called NZT allowed a man named Brian Finch to use his entire brain. In the one-season TV series, Finch joined forces with the FBI to use his abilities to assist in solving cases.
'The Silence of the Lambs'
The terrifying 1991 film starring Anthony Hopkins as cannibal Hannibal Lecter and Jody Foster as the naïve student tasked with interviewing him was adapted for TV in 2013. The series, titled
Hannibal, focused on forensic psychiatrist (and secret serial killer) Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and an FBI profiler. It ran for three seasons on NBC.
The Wes Craven slasher film franchise about high school students targeted by a masked serial killer was adapted into a TV series that aired for two seasons on MTV and a third on VH1.
'Wet Hot American Summer'
The farce film about camp counselors belly-flopped at the box office when it was released in 2001, but its 2015 TV show adaptation prequel,
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp, was an instant favorite when it hit Netflix thanks to comedic heavyweights like Janeane Garofalo, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and Molly Shannon. Another season, Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later, followed in 2017.
The iconic ‘90s comedy from Amy Heckerling about a group of friends coming of age in Beverly Hills became an ABC sitcom in 1996 before jumping to UPN for its second and third seasons. The cinematic leading lady Alicia Silverstone did not join the rest of the movie cast for the TV show, which is likely why it had little staying power.
Steve Martin was at his comedic finest in the 1989 family drama
Parenthood (which also featured a young Keanu Reeves). While the TV adaptation pales in comparison to its source material, it gained critical approval during its six-season run.