Friday Top Five: TV at the Movies
March 16th, 2012
02:04 PM ET

Friday Top Five: TV at the Movies

Jonah Hill’s “21 Jump Street” movie arrives in theaters today, and there's no doubt that when some of us saw the trailers for this comedy, we were understandably confused.

“Wait, wasn’t that TV show pretty serious? Didn’t it star a young, brooding Johnny Depp?” Why yes, it was and it did.

When a TV show gets remade as a movie, sometimes all bets are off. It can stick as close to or veer as far from the source material as it wants. Since we seem to be living through an endless string of these remakes, don’t expect it to change anytime soon.

For this week’s top five, we’re looking at some of the biggest TV-to-movie remakes from the past few decades. (One quick note: The movie has to be a remake, not a continuation of the show’s storyline, so you won’t see “Sex and the City” or “Firefly”/"Serenity.")

1. “Mission: Impossible” (1996): Take a 1960s spy show, update it for the digital age, and turn the only character with name recognition for the original audience into the villain. Instant franchise!

2. “The Brady Bunch Movie” (1995): Instead of updating the classic show for the 1990s, this movie dropped the 1970s family into the 1990s, fashion sense and all. Hilarity – in theory – ensued.

3. “Star Trek” (2009): How do you tackle a franchise with decades of mythology and continuity that hardcore fans know inside and out? Reboot it on an alternate timeline. Oh, and make it awesome. Done and done.

4. “Charlie’s Angels” (2000): Three attractive female investigators breaking all kinds of gender stereotypes while working with a goofy handler for a faceless benefactor voiced by John Forsyth. That’s a recipe for success in any decade. (Just don’t try to remake it as a TV show again.)

5. “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” (2009): Instead of being a campy cartoon about “a real American Hero,” this is an overly serious movie about an international special forces team. Hopefully, producers know how badly they misfired, and this year’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” will be better. After all, knowing is half the battle.

Honorable Mentions:

“The A-Team” (2010): I love it when a plan comes together, but I pity the fool who decided to destroy the iconic A-Team van in an opening scene.

“The Addams Family” (1991): Making one of Hollywood’s most lovably weird families accessible to a whole new generation.

“Dragnet” (1987): If you’re going to remake one of TV’s most straight-laced shows as a comedy romp, you better cast a couple of world-class comedians like Aykroyd and Hanks.

“The Flintstones” (1994): And if you’re going to remake an iconic animated show into live action… don’t do it like this. This remains the only movie I have ever walked out on.


soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Observer1

    charlie's angels was bad...

    March 20, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brock

    The Fugitive was incredibly well done and is remarkably rewatchable. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and many other awards that year, Tommy Lee Jones won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

    Can't believe that didn't make this list. Or that it wasn't mentioned by anyone else in the comments yet.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. christo

    By far, the worst movie based on a TV show would have to have been The Wild, Wild, West. The TV show was fantastic, the movie was unbearable to watch.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ron31

    1.Leave it to Beaver
    2.The Pink Panther
    3.The Smurf's
    4.Alvin and The Chipmunks
    5.Speed Racer
    6.Miami Vice
    7.The Dukes Of Hazzards

    March 19, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. ron31

    1.Leave it to Beaver
    2.The Pink Panther
    3.The Smurf's
    4.Alvin and The Chipmunks
    5.Speed Racer
    6.Miami Vice
    7.The Dukes Of Hazards

    March 19, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. ron31

    1.Leave it to Beaver
    2.The Pink Panther
    3.The Smurf's
    4.Alvin and The Chipmunks
    5.Speed Racer
    6.Miami Vice

    March 19, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. ron31

    1.Leave it to Beaver
    2.The Pink Panther
    3.The Smurf's
    4.Alvin and The Chipmunks
    5.Speed Racer

    March 19, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. ron31

    Leave it to Beaver
    The Pink Panther
    The Smurf's
    Alvin and The Chipmunks
    Speed Racer

    March 19, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. carrieanne

    On the really bad and should have just not been done list are Lost In Space and dont forget Starsky and Hutch!

    March 17, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Fritzy

      Hey Carrieanne- good one. You know, I've been lost in space a few times in my life! lol Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

      March 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Samantha

    Saber, what tv shows were all those movies based on?

    March 17, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Saber

    There are only two movies worth mentioning here. Star Trek and Impossible Mission. The others are ehh! I'll roll the clock back a little and throw in a couple other films: The Great Escape, The Guns of Navarone, Ailens, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Flight of the Phoenix, Pitch Black, Blackhawk Down, and finally, Oceans 11! Oh yeah!

    March 17, 2012 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
    • @Saber

      None of the movies that you mentioned were take offs from television shows. That was the point. Somebody didn't read the clip, did they?

      March 17, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. @@observer

    its some jerk that's trolling everyone. I don't think that observer. It seems it his mission to empty marquee from all bloggers.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Samantha

    STAR TREK! Just get JJ Abrams and his crew to remake anything and you have pure gold!

    March 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. @Observer

    Nobody cares about your opinions so please refrain from posting them, you liberal garbage pail!

    March 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Techno Viking

    Those Charlies Angels movies were some of the worst junk I ever saw. I curse my ex for making me watch them. 4 hours of my life that I will never get back. Someone please stop Drew Barrymore from ever producing again!

    March 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  16. The Observer

    Mission: Impossible, the first movie I didn't like it because they made Phelps a villain. I never saw the I-SPY movie and thankfully was grateful, but felt bad for Culp and Cosby for that movie remake crap.
    The first Brady Bunch movie was funny but the second one sucked which was the same thing that happened to Charlie's Angels – only Demi Moore was the only thing that looked good in it.
    As for the A-Team, I asked my cousin about the movie (which just came out few months ago then) and he saw it and afterwards, told me he cannot remember a single thing about it (talk about forgettable !)
    As for the Flintstones...saw it on tv years after it was in the theatres and quickly turned to another channel.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Observer

      So, genius, what show did you come up with to add to the list? I think all the ones you commented on were already given by CNN. I think you owe Fritzy "the fruittard", as you called him, an apology. At least, he came up with I Spy. You came up with nothing!

      March 17, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  17. jellybean

    star trek was awesome.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  18. •£€€¥•

    How about the Ninja Turtles movies?

    March 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • nmalcom

      Michael Bay is working on a new TMNT. He's going to completely change the origin of the turtles and say that they're an extraterrestrial race. This guy can't be thrown into the wood chipper fast enough.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Observer

    X-Files wasn't a re-make, tw!tbag.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fritzy

      So what if I am a twitbag! That's nothing to feel bad about. Ok, so I was wrong. It takes a big fairy to admit that. Just don't get your panties in a bunch, observer. I'm sorry.

      March 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      I may be gay, but I don't wear panties fruit-tard.

      March 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Fritzy

    How about "I spy" or the X Files.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |

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