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20 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About TV Shows Turned Into Movies

Hill and Tatum
Sony Pictures

What’s a summer movie season without the re-imagining of a few TV shows, a cop buddy movie or two and a slew of sequels? Oh look! Here comes ’22 Jump Street’ to fulfill all of those promises! When a TV show’s high concept is so high it can’t be contained in your living room, sometimes (far too often, actually) it ends up in cinemas. Here are some little-known facts about TV shows that attempted to leap to the big screen, even if most usually trip up and go crashing through it.


1

'Dark Shadows' is not the first movie based on the TV horror soap. Two movies, 'House of Dark Shadows' and 'Night of Dark Shadows' featured the TV cast and were released during the show's run.

 
 
 
2

'The Mod Squad' was nominated for a Razzie Award for worst screenplay of 1999, but lost to another TV-based movie released that year: 'Wild Wild West.'

 
 
 
3

No fewer than 16 writers worked on more than 30 drafts of a 'Charlie’s Angels' screenplay before producers were satisfied enough to finally shoot the damn thing.

 
 
 
4

Peter Cushing is the only Doctor not considered part of Who canon. Though a licensed adaptation of the series featuring the familiar robot villains, 1965's 'Dr. Who and the Daleks' starred Cushing's doctor as nothing more than an eccentric human time-machine inventor.

 
 
 
5

Will Smith will tell anyone who listens that turning down 'The Matrix' to star in 'Wild Wild West' was the worst decision of his career. Duh.

 
 
 
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
6

'Beavis & Butt-Head Do America' is Mike Judge's biggest theatrical hit and the only animated movie released by MTV Films, whose studio execs pushed hard for a live-action 'B&B.'

 
 
 
7

Joss Whedon's 'Serenity,' the feature follow-up to 'Firefly,' takes place after the events of the series's last episode -- a period bridged by a three-issue graphic novel, 'Serenity: Those Left Behind.'

 
 
 
YouTube
YouTube
8

No members of the big-screen 'Josie and the Pussycats' were musicians, so Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson and Tara Reid attended band camp to learn to fake it convincingly. Cook's vocals are dubbed by Letters to Cleo singer Kay Hanley.

 
 
 
9

'Thunderbirds,' though true to the premise of the TV series, lacked the entire concept the show was based on: a cast of marionettes.

 
 
 
10

In 'Strangers with Candy,' based on the Comedy Central series, ex-con bisexual junkie Jerri Blank has a girlie pinup on the inside of her locker door ... of Amy Sedaris, the show's creator and the actress playing Jerri.

 
 
 
YouTube
YouTube
11

'Land of the Lost' takes liberties with the Sid & Marty Kroft kids adventure show, but Will Ferrell pays goofy homage to the original series by riffing on its theme song in what's arguably the movie's best gag.

 
 
 
12

'Car 54, Where Are You?' was originally filmed with multiple high-energy musical numbers. Most were edited out, but a Ramones performance made the final cut.

 
 
 
13

Before starring in the 1993 adaptation, star Harrison Ford admitted he'd never seen a single episode of 'The Fugitive' TV series.

 
 
 
14

'Miami Vice' was supposed to be a parody of the TV show until it was revealed the show's creator, Michael Mann, was directing and had wanted to do a real 'Miami Vice' movie for years.

 
 
 
15

The one thing the 1998 movie version of 'Lost in Space' got right: hiring voice actor Dick Tufeld to reprise his role as the voice of the Robinson family's robot (even if the big-screen robot doesn't even look "inspired by" its TV predecessor).

 
 
 
16

A 'Dragnet' rap was written by Dan Aykroyd's kid brother, Peter, for the 1987 movie's soundtrack. Dan and co-star Tom Hanks do the rapping, and dance in the embarrassing music video.

 
 
 
17

'The Avengers' (no, not THOSE Avengers) and the equally reviled 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' are cited by Sean Connery (who plays 'The Avengers'' villain) as primary reasons for his retirement from movies.

 
 
 
18

'Police Squad!' was helmed by the makers of 'Airplane!' and 'The Kentucky Fried Movie.' It aired a mere six episodes but garnered a significant cult base. Most audiences had no idea 'The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!' was a spinoff of anything.

 
 
 
19

'The Green Hornet,' a very conventional action movie, was directed by Michel Gondry, a director of the very unconventional arthouse films. See 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,' 'The Science of Sleep' and 'Be Kind Rewind.'

 
 
 
Sony
Sony
20

All living cast members of TV's 'The Brady Bunch' shot cameos for the 1995 movie, but Mike Lookinland (Bobby), Susan Olsen (Cindy) and Maureen McCormick (Marcia) were edited from the final cut.

 
 
 

Next: 20 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Tom Cruise Movies

Photo by Aaron Savage
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