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A lot of times successful TV shows get the call up to motion picture status – a movie based on the TV series, Downton Abbey and Sex and the City for examples. But sometimes it goes the other way too and the movie comes first, followed by a (usually-unsuccessful) television adaptation. Most of the time the movies become Saturday morning cartoons – Police Academy, Ghostbusters, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective are just three. However, here we will focus on live-action TV series. Here are 8 movies you might not know had a spinoff TV show:

  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Did you know Ferris Bueller’s Day Off had a TV series following the massive success of the movie? The series premiered on NBC on August 23, 1990…. and didn’t even make it a full season before being canceled.

  • The Karate Kid

    OK… so you probably know about this one. You might even be a big fan of the TV series. Cobra Kai premiered on Netflix on May 2, 2018 and has been running for four successful seasons. Proof that the transition can be done successfully.

  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding

    The movie was a massive hit in 2002 so on February 24 to April 13, 2003 My Big Fat Greek Life premiered on CBS. The ratings started pretty decently but declined rapidly and the show was canceled during the first season after just 7 episodes.

  • A Nightmare On Elm Street

    A Nightmare On Elm Street hit theaters in 1984 and the franchise soon became one of the dominant horror movie series’ of the 1980’s. So why not spin it off into a series? Hosted by the now beloved baddie Freddy Krueger, Freddy’s Nightmares featured horror shorts ala Tales From the Crypt, and did fairly well lasting 2 whole seasons.

  • Teen Wolf

    I forgot all about this one! Teen Wolf was an iconic 1980’s movie starring Michael J. Fox. It even got a sequel with the lead this time around being held down by Jason Bateman. Decades later MTV would reimagine the movie as a much darker, more serious, TV series. Teen Wolf premiered on MTV in 2011 and lasted all the way until 2017 when the series ended.

  • Army of Darkness

    A cult horror film in 1992, Army of Darkness was the third installment of the Evil Dead film franchise. It had/has a diehard fanbase so in 2015 it was adapted into the TV series Ash Vs. Evil Dead. The series was successful on Starz and lasted 3 seasons, wrapping up in 2018.

  • Clueless

    As if! No, seriously. Clueless had a TV show spinoff. The film is still in regular viewing in my household and if you go to Hot Topic you’ll still find the movie’s influence. Clueless the TV show premiered on ABC in 1996 and actually lasted for 3 seasons, 2 and a half more than I would have expected considering Cher was no longer played by Alicia Silverstone.

  • Psycho

    In the longest case of waiting between the film and the TV show spinoff we have Psycho. The movie was released in 1960 and is obviously a horror classic. It took 53 years for the TV spinoff when Bates Motel premiered on A&E in 2013. The show was a success and lasted 5 seasons and 50 episodes, a great run.

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