From Movies to TV: Shows in Development Based on Popular Movies

By Rachel Cruz | 2 years ago
From Movies to TV: Shows in Development Based on Popular Movies

There’s a trend washing over TV series development season of late. Networks are looking into movies for inspiration on what new shows they could bring to television next season. Since the critical success of Fargo, which aired on the cable network FX last spring, producers have been tapping into film archives for movies they can revive as TV shows. So, what are these shows? Take a look at our list below.

This list touches on developments from the five broadcast networks only: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW. It does not include developments from cable networks and streaming sites.


"Big" on FOX – Tom Hanks became a Hollywood sensation because of this film, which was released in the late 80s. The TV series, which will be developed by the people behind the comedy show “Enlisted,” is being set as a half-hour comedy series, centering around “what it means to be an adult and what it means to be a kid, and how in today’s world those two things are more confused than ever,” according to the press release published on The Hollywood Reporter.

“Devil’s Advocate” on NBC – The pilot has already been ordered from the movie’s original producers, John Wells and Arnold Kopelson. They will be developing the TV series with Matt Venne as the pilot’s writer. The movie, a legal thriller, starred Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. It was released in theaters in 1997.

“In Good Company” on CBS – This comedy starred Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid in the film version, which was released in 2004. CBS is bringing Paul Weitz on board to do the television series, which will be both in a single-camera and a multi-camera format. Weitz was actually the director of the film.

“The Illusionist” on The CW – The film starred Edward Norton and touched on the love story between a magician and the woman who belongs to a social class higher than him. The television series is reportedly going to undergo a lot of plot changes, but the central characters will remain intact.

 “Monster-In-Law” on CBS – Released in theaters in 2005, the film headlined Jane Fonda with Jennifer Lopez as the daughter-in-law. The television show will be a multi-camera production with Amy R. Harris (“The Carrie Diaries”) handling it. It will take the central idea of the movie, where an overprotective mother will make it hard for her son’s girlfriend. The film’s original producers are also part of the show’s development.

“Problem Child” on NBC – The television series will be developed by TBD Productions, which currently has “Manhattan Love Story” airing on ABC. The show will be based on the 1990s movie starring John Ritter. The movie had two sequels, which were all hits.  

"Real Genius" on NBC – Back in 1985, Val Kilmer starred in the movie and the television show will be produced by Happy Madison, Adam Sandler’s production outfit. Craig DiGregorio and David King from “Parks and Recreations” will be handling the development project, which is set as a comedy in the workplace.

“Rush Hour” on CBS – The film was a box office hit and spawned two more sequels starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Bill Lawrence will produce the television adaptation with Brett Ratner also joining the fray. Ratner was the director of all the “Rush Hour” movies. CBS has already ordered a pilot for the show.

"Uncle Buck" on ABC – To be turned into a multi-camera comedy, this John Hughes classic, which starred the legendary John Candy back in the 1980s, will be developed for television by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley. The story will involve an adult taking care of the children of his brother in the most unconventional ways. Back in the 1990s, the movie was already turned into a TV show and ran at CBS for a short season.


All these shows are still under development and even as pilots have already been commissioned for some of these productions, it won’t guarantee the show moving forward yet. So, keep checking back to Movie News Guide (MNG) for the updates.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Les Chatfield