1. L.A. Confidential
The film brought gritty, old school noir back to the big screen with Russell Crowe playing a tough cop and Kim Basinger classically glowing (thanks to classic lighting). A pre-24 Kiefer Sutherland took over the Kevin Spacey role.
Though stylish, it didn’t catch an audience the way the film did.
2. The Terminator
For obvious reasons, the television version decided to completely ignore the third Terminator film. Otherwise, the title Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles would have been pretty confusing.
Though an ambitious project, audiences preferred their robot assassins in two hour doses, not weekly.
Parenthood was a hit for director Ron Howard in 1989. The current television version is actually the second attempt at the small screen. The first one aired for only a year (1990) and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2010, they tried again to great success.
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This is a quirky transition because the original film didn’t really draw a lot of attention and the television show barely resembles the movie.
Fortunately, film creator Josh Whedon saw more potential than the film allowed and an exec at the newly formed WB agreed.
That Shaft is one bad mutha… Well, he may have been too bad for the small screen. The Shaft films were adult oriented in all ways that blaxploitation allowed.
Toning all that for network television? You ended up with a bad mutha in leather strutting New York streets. It wasn’t enough.
6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The John Hughes film is beloved and for good reason.
What the television version didn’t take into account was a lot of that had to do with Matthew Broderick’s charming performance and the support he had in the likes of Jeffrey Jones, Alan Ruck and Mia Sara. The show lasted only a few months.
The adventures of a dolphin and its caretakers are unique. It’s a franchise that managed to alternate between big and small screen. The 1963 hit turned into a show that ran almost four years.
Thirty years later, a new Flipper show ran another four years. In 1996, a new Flipper film was released.
8. Dirty Dancing
Someone actually thought making sure Baby didn’t stay in the corner could sustain a weekly story. They were mistaken.
Despite using the movie’s classic I’ve Had the Time of My Life as its theme, no one took any real interest. The show lasted less than three months before cancellation.
This is the granddaddy of the movies to television format. Based on Robert Altman’s chaotic film about a military hospital in the middle of war torn Korea, the critically acclaimed show lasted an astonishing 11 years.
That’s almost four times longer than the actual Korean War.