9 Best TV Revivals Of Movie Franchises, Ranked

Production companies often serialize a film that fans wanted more of and expand the universe within, and they become a great success.

Successful films getting a television adaptation is a time-honored tradition that goes back decades. There’s nothing big corporations love more than a surefire hit. So, when a film is a massive success, it’s easy for a production company to explore whether they can turn it into a television series.

Sometimes, the production studios are onto something. They find a film with a complete ending that fans wanted more of and serialize it. With that, the show can go on for several seasons and develop the universe within. The best series become a part of the tapestry of television that viewers will remember for decades after.

Black Dynamite Gained New Popularity When Adult Swim Made It A Cartoon

Black Dynamite was an incredible parody of blaxploitation films from the ‘70s, with Michael Jai White doing some of the best work of his career as the former CIA member, Black Dynamite. Black Dynamite was released in 2009 but had a fairly limited release.

Black Dynamite was more of an internet curiosity until Adult Swim gave the film an entire series to itself in 2012. The TV series saw the key actors return to lend their voice to their original roles and gave fans two seasons and twenty episodes of animated genius.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Was A Weak Horror Comedy Until It Became A TV Series

Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a forgettable movie from the early ‘90s that wasn’t particularly well-reviewed. Buffy was a light-hearted comedy about a cheerleader fighting the creatures of the night. Five years later, Joss Whedon created a supernatural teen drama series of the same name.

This television revival ran for six years and became one of the most popular series of the ‘90s, thanks in no small part to lead actor Sarah Michelle Gellar and other actors, like David Boreanaz and Nicholas Brendon. The Buffy TV series may also be why the fanfiction scene exploded in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

Fargo Was A Legendary Film That Got A Remake

In 1996, Joel and Ethan Coen released Fargo, a film about a car salesman who tries to ransom his wife and gets caught because of his bumbling partners and a Minnesota police chief. In 2014, FX released a series set within the same universe. The television series is unique in that every season is self-contained and set in a new area, with very little tying the seasons together.

So far, the Fargo series has run for four seasons. Each season features an all-star cast dealing with crimes and maintains the same black humor that made the original film work.

High Fidelity Was A Legendary Romantic Comedy Remade For Modern Audiences

High Fidelity was one of the better romantic comedies of the early 2000s. High Fidelity featured John Cusack as Rob Gordon, a music-obsessed man trying to figure out why his love life was such a mess. In 2020, Hulu decided to recreate the magic of the original by producing a television series of the film.

This series, also titled High Fidelity, stars Zoe Kravitz as Robyn “Rob” Brooks, who runs a record store and is trying to figure out how to fix her life. Unfortunately, even though the High Fidelity was well-received, it was canceled after one season.

In The Heat Of The Night Got A Sequel Television Series That Ran For Almost A Decade

Released in 1967, In The Heat Of The Night is a mystery film set in the South in the 1960s. It stars Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, a black detective attempting to solve a murder in Mississippi with the help of police chief Bill Gillespie.

In The Heat Of The Night is regarded as one of the greatest films to this day. Twenty years later, a sequel series was created. The TV series starred Carroll O’Connor as Bill Gillespie and Howard Rollins as Virgil Tibbs, and managed to run on the small screen for seven seasons from 1988 to 1995.

Weird Science Was A Cult Classic That Was Translated To A TV Series

Weird Science was a classic ‘80s cult film that followed a pair of social outcasts who use their intelligence and computer to create the “perfect” woman. Six years later, the USA Network created a television version of Weird Science.

The 1994 sitcom also saw the protagonists create the “perfect” woman in Lisa, who has magical powers. With her powers, she manages to get the boys in (and occasionally out) of trouble every episode, even though her goal is to help make things easier for them. Weird Science ran for almost ninety episodes and five seasons.

Lethal Weapon’s Television Series Captured The Blockbuster Buddy Cop Feel

The original Lethal Weapon is one of the most beloved buddy cop films of all time. The Lethal Weapon films were released over almost a decade, including a fourth installment where Riggs and Murtaugh wind up fighting against the legendary Jet Li. In 2016, Lethal Weapon was revived as a Fox television series that ran for three seasons.

This time, Riggs was played by Clayne Crawford while Murtaugh was played by Damon Wayans. The Lethal Weapon series managed to maintain the same feel as a blockbuster film in every episode, though behind-the-scenes drama caused the series to come to an end too soon.

Highlander Was Elevated By The Serial Storytelling Format

Highlander was one of the more popular sci-fi films of its era. It had a straightforward concept: there were a collection of immortals participating in a life or death game to be the last one standing. After six Highlander films, the concept was revived and retrofitted to work for television, with Highlander: The Series.

Highlander: The Series starred Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, and focused on Duncan’s adventures as an immortal. The show was popular enough to run for six seasons, developing the world of the Highlander in ways the films were never able to.

Cobra Kai Uses Some Original Characters From The Karate Kid Franchise

The Karate Kid film franchise was a hugely successful series of films throughout the ‘80s. The Karate Kid series of films focuses on Daniel LaRusso, a young kid who learns karate from his apartment superintendent to protect himself from bullies. The Karate Kid trilogy followed Daniel’s adventures.

Surprisingly enough, the Cobra Kai revival that began on YouTube Red (and was moved over to Netflix) became even more popular than Karate KidCobra Kai was meant to look at Karate Kid’s antagonist Johnny Lawrence and his life as an adult, but it’s managed to become so much more. Cobra Kai has turned into one of the most popular revivals of a franchise and one of Netflix’s most-watched titles.

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