Friday, January 19, 2018

US TV series remade as UK TV series, Part 1

         It is well known that several UK shows had American adaptations (The Office, for example).  But there were also times that the United Kingdom also tried to adapt well known US shows for a British audience.  Here are three examples of a US TV series which was remade as a UK TV series.
        That 70's Show was a successful teen comedy about six high school friends who come of age in the late 1970s in fictional Point Place, Wisconsin.  Topher Grace played geeky Eric Forman, Mila Kunis played shallow Jackie, Ashton Kutcher played dumb Michael Kelso, Danny Masterson played lazy and sarcastic Stephen Hyde, Laura Prepon played smart and sharp Donna Pinciotti, and Wilmer Valderrama played horny foreign exchange student Fez.  Since the majority of the show took place in Eric's basement, Eric's parents, Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) were main characters, as well as Donna's father Bob (Don Stark), because the Pinciottis lived next door  The show lasted for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006.   In 1999, ITV aired the UK adaption Days Like These.  The show was moved to Luton, England and the main area was moved to Eric's garage.  In this show, Max Wrottesley played Eric Foreman, Rosie Marcel played Donna Palmer, Harry Peacock played Dylan Jones (Stephen Hyde), James Carlton played Michael McGuire (Kelso), Emma Pierson played Jackie Burget, Jamie Beck played Torbjorn Rasmussen (Fez), with Trevor Cooper and Ann Bryson playing Ron and Kitty, and Steve Steen and Sarah Stockbridge playing Bob and his wife Midge.  The show aired from February 12 to July 14, 1999, with three episodes left unaired.

        Who's the Boss? was a popular 1980's and early 90's TV show set in an upscale house in Fairfield, Connecticut.  Retired baseball star Tony Mincelli (Tony Danza) and his daughter Samantha (Alyssa Milano) move into the house of divorced Angela Bower (Judith Light) and her son Jonathan (Danny Pintauro), and her mother Mona (Katherine Helmond), so that Tony can take a job as the housekeeper.  The show lasted for eight seasons, from 1984 to 1992.  In 1990, The Upper Hand premiered on ITV, and was set in Henly-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.  In The Upper Hand, a former footballer named Charlie Burrows (Joe McGann) and his daughter Joanna (Kellie Bright) move into the house of single mother Caroline Wheatley (Diana Weston) her son Tom (William Puttock), and her mother Laura (Honor Blackman), so that Charlie can be the housekeeper.  The show lasted for seven series (seasons), from 1990 to 1996, and even took the final season's plot beyond the original series' ending.

        Married...with Children was one of Fox network's first big hits.  In the show, former high school football star Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) is reduced to selling women's shoes, living with his do-nothing, annoying wife Peggy (Katy Segal), promiscuous daughter Kelly (Christina Applegate), and girl-crazy, sarcastic son Bud (David Faustino).   Amanda Bearse played neighbor Marcy Rhodes and David Garrison played her husband Steve, for the first four seasons.  Bearse's character divorced and remarried to Jefferson D'Arcy (Ted McGinley) in season five.  The show lasted for eleven seasons, from 1987 to 1997.  In 1996, Married for Life aired on ITV.  In Married for Life, down on his luck Ted Butler (Russ Abbot) is married to Pam (Susan Kyd) with daughter Nikki (Lucy Blakely) and son Lee (Peter England).  Hugh Bonneville and Julie Dawn Cole played neighbors Steve and Judy Hollingsworth.  The show lasted for one series (season) with seven episodes aired, from March 5 to April 16, 1996.   

       Translating a US television show to the UK does not always result in UK audiences connecting with the show, as is the case with Days Like These and Married for Life.  However, the success of The Upper Hand shows that, if given the right premise (cast and crew as well), the translation of a US show to a UK series can become just a much a beloved and long-running show as the original.   Check out these UK shows adapted from US sitcoms.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Short-Lived Spin-offs of Matt LeBlanc

          Matt LeBlanc is currently on CBS, headlining his own show, Man with a Plan.  The show is currently in its second season, so time will tell if the show is successful enough for a long run.  He also just finished a successful run in Episodes, playing a fictional version of himself.  Here is a preview clip of Episodes where Matt auditions for playing himself:

        But before Man with a Plan, before Episodes, Matt LeBlanc headlined three different spin-offs which lasted only one or two seasons. Here are the three short-lived spin-offs of Matt LeBlanc.  (Note: the previews below contains content not meant for children).
         In 1991, Matt LeBlanc starred in two episodes of the successful sitcom Married...with Children as Vinnie Verducci, Kelly Bundy's boyfriend, with Joseph Bolonga starring as Charlie Verducci, Vinnie's father and Al Bundy's friend.  These two episodes were meant to set up the spin-off Top of the Heap, the first episode of which was a backdoor pilot which appeared as an episode of Married...with Children.  In the series itself, Charlie tried to get Vinnie to marry into a wealthy family, even though the both of them lived in a small apartment.  Vinnie got a job on a country club and becomes tries to win the affections of the manager (Rita Moreno).  Other characters include Mona Mullins (Joey Lauren Adams), a young girl in the apartment complex who has a crush on Vinnie, and Bobby Grazzo (Robert Torti), Vinnie's best friend.  Christina Applegate, David Faustino, and Ed O'Neill all made appearances in the series as their Bundy characters (though not all in the same episode).  The show lasted seven episodes, from April 7, 1991 to May 19, 1991.  

        Matt LeBlanc subsequently appeared in one more episode of Married...with Children in November 1991.   The following summer, Matt LeBlanc headlined a new sitcom starring the same Vinnie character, Vinnie and Bobby.  In this show, Vinnie had the same apartment but now he was a construction worker with his friend Bobby, who now shares the apartment with him.  Charlie does appear in this series.  Mona Mullins returns as the girl in the apartment complex who has an unrequited crush on Vinnie.   The cast was rounded out with construction workers Bill (John Pinette), Stanley (Ron Taylor) and Fred (Fred Stoller).  Vinnie and Bobby lasted seven episodes, from May 30, 1992 to July 11, 1992.
       LeBlanc rose in popularity and fame in the ensemble show Friends, which lasted for 10 seasons on NBC.  Matt played Joey Tribbiani, a slightly dumb struggling actor with a good heart, who lived in New York City with his friends Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross and Chandler.  After the show ended in 2004, LeBlanc was given the chance to headline his own show, titled Joey.  In the show, Joey moved from NYC to LA, moving in with his sister Gina (Drea de Matteo) and his nephew Michael (Paulo Constanzo), as he struggles find acting jobs.  Also appearing is Alex (Andrea Anders), the next door neighbor who starts an on-again, off-again relationship with Joey, and Joey's agent Bobbie (Jennifer Coolidge).  Joey premiered on September 9, 2004 with 18 million, but ultimately fell to 8 million when the season finale aired on May 12, 2005.  Joey was renewed for a second season, but only 14 of the 22 episodes filmed were aired in the US; the March 7 episode only received 4 million viewers.  The last eight episodes were ultimately aired in Ireland, Latin America and Norway.  The show lasted for two seasons from 2004 to 2006, and 46 episodes (38 in the US).  

        Despite the efforts of LeBlanc, the supporting cast, the writers and producers, these spin-offs lasted only one or two seasons.  It's interesting to think how the television landscape would be different if one of these shows went on to a successful run for many years, but these shows faded into obscurity. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Short-Lived Sitcoms of Bonnie Hunt

         Bonnie Hunt is a successful comedian and actress, with significant supporting roles in serious movies like Rain Man and The Green Mile to comedies like Beethoven and Cheaper by the Dozen. She voiced characters in seven of Pixar's movies, including A Bug's Life, Cars, and Toy Story 3. But she also attempted to headline her own sitcom, not once but three times. Unfortunately, none of those series lasted past one or two seasons, despite positive critical reviews for all three attempts.  Here are the three short-lived sitcoms of Bonnie Hunt.
        The first sitcom Bonnie Hunt starred in was in 1993, near the beginning of her professional and onscreen comedy career.  It was called The Building, and was co-produced by David Letterman.  In the series, Bonnie Hunt played Bonnie Kennedy, an actress in commercials, who is dumped by her fiance in the pilot episode (played by a pre-ER George Clooney).  Ms. Kennedy decides to move to Chicago, into apartment beside Wrigley Field (hence the title).  The Building, using many Second City members, features an improvisational style not seen in many sitcoms.  The series costarred Holly Wortell, Don Lake and Tom Virtue.  Six episodes were shot and aired in from August 20 to September 17, 1993, each featuring a different guest star, including David Letterman for the second episode, Richard Kind for the fifth episode and Jim Belushi for the sixth episode.  The show can be found in its entirety on YouTube; here's a clip where Bonnie auditions for a soap commercial and Richard Kind is the casting director (with a young Andy Dick as the cameraman):

      The second Bonnie Hunt headliner premiered in 1995. The title was first The Bonnie Hunt Show, but later it was shortened to Bonnie. In this sitcom, Bonnie Hunt plays Bonnie Kelly, a television reporter who moves from Wisconsin to Chicago, with an eclectic group of coworkers. The show was made in the same style and with all of the same actors from Hunt's previous sitcom, including Wrotell, Lake and Virtue.  One of the unique things about the show was Bonnie Kelly interviewing real people, asking them crazy, unlikely questions.  There were 13 episodes produced but only eleven aired.  The first six aired from September 22 to October 27, 1995 and the next five aired from March 10 to April 7, 1996, before the show was taken off the air.  Clips of the interviews can be found on YouTube with under the title The Bonnie Hunt Show. In this clip, Bonnie Kelly interviews kids about their first day of school: 

      Life with Bonnie is Bonnie Hunt's third and probably most famous sitcom.  Premiering in 2002, Bonnie Hunt played Bonnie Malloy, a local television talk show host called Morning Chicago who also juggles being a wife and mother.  Mart Derwin played her husband, Mark, and Charlie Stewart and Samantha Browne-Walters played the children Charlie and Samantha, respectively (Samantha only for season 1).  Marianne Muellerliele played Gloria, the Malloy's live in housekeeper/nanny who does nothing around the house.  David Alan Grier Anthony Russell, Holly Wortell and Chris Barnes played her Morning Chicago crew.  Like Hunt's previous efforts, the show was largely improvised.  Life with Bonnie did last a full two seasons from 2002 to 2004, with a total of forty-four episodes, which is more than can be said for The Building or The Bonnie Hunt Show.  While the first season did good but not great on Tuesdays, the second season was moved to Fridays and struggled in the ratings.  This clip, from the second half of the third episode Dream, shows Bonnie, suffering from a cough, is given prescription cough syrup with a high alcoholic content...and well, see for yourself:
       Bonnie Hunt's show all featured her native Chicago, and all used her preference for improvisational comedy.  It's too bad none of them took off with viewers and became iconic, well-remembered sitcoms.  Nevertheless, here are Bonnie Hunt's three glorious but short-lived television sitcoms that showcase her unique style.  

Friday, December 29, 2017

Origins of Three Christmas Carols, Part 2

         A Christmas Carol is one of the most popular adaptions of all time, with dozens of direct adaptions and still many more alternate interpretations, such as set in present day or with a woman in the Scrooge role.   The simple story of one man's redemption set in the 1800s London continues to hold our fascination.  Here are the origin of three of those adaptions of A Christmas Carol.
        In 1938, Metro-Golden-Meyer (MGM) released A Christmas Carol, with Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge.  However, the Scrooge role was originally meant for Lionel Barrymore.  Barrymore, unfortunately, had to drop out due to arthritis.  Married couple Gene and Kathleen Lockhart played Bob and Mrs. Cratchit, would a young June Lockhart (known later for roles in Lassie, Lost in Space, and Petticoat Junction) made her debut as Belinda Crachit.  Some of the changes to the story, such as lessening the scarier aspects (for example, the appearance of the disturbing children "Want" and "Ignorance" do not appear in this version) made in this version continue onto other versions of A Christmas Carol.  These were made to keep the run-time down and to make the film more family friendly.  A Christmas Carol was released on December 16, 1938 and ran for 69 minutes.  

      In 1990, talent agent Bill Hader convinced Brian Henson, Jim Henson's son to make an adaption of A Christmas Carol starring the Muppets, with Charles Dickens as an onscreen narrator.  When the idea was presented to Disney executives, they convinced Muppet studios to make the production a feature film, instead of as a television special as originally envisioned.  Gonzo was chosen because he was actually seen as the least likely choice.  The original idea was for established Muppets portray the Christmas ghosts, with Robin the Frog or Scooter considered for Christmas Past, Miss Piggy considered for Christmas Present, and Gonzo or Animal for Christmas Future.  However, with the intention that the ominous (meaning: serious) nature of the ghosts to be shown in the film, new Puppets were made more in keeping with the original vision of the Christmas ghosts.  Michael Cane, who portrayed Scrooge in this version, approached the role in utter seriousness, as if he was preforming with humans.  The Muppet Christmas Carol was released on December 11, 1992 and had a run-time of 86 minutes.  

    Before Robert Zemeckis started on his motion-capture version of A Christmas Carol, he previously stated that his one of his favorite time travel stories was...A Christmas Carol.  Zemeckis partnered with Disney studios and star Jim Carrey to create a big-budget ($175-200 million) version of the famous story.  The CGI model for Scrooge was previously used in The Polar Express (there he was seen as a puppet), also directed by Zemeckis.  Jim Carrey played four different roles in the movie, including Scrooge throughout his life and all three Christmas ghosts.  For the Ghost of Christmas past, he used an Irish accent, and for the Ghost of Christmas Present, he used a Northern English accent.  Gary Oldman also played three roles himself:  Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley and Tiny Tim.  In fact, many of the voice cast played multiple roles.  A Christmas Carol was released on November 3, 2009 in London and November 6 in the US, and ran for a total of 95 minutes.  

     These three adaptions, from the very traditional live-action, to the silly mixed with serious Muppet version, to CGI motion-capture of today, show the different possibilities of how A Christmas Carol can be put to the screen.  As long as the core story of A Christmas Carol will continue to hold the audience's interest, new film versions will continue to inspire for generations to come. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Origins of Three Christmas Carols, Part 1

               These beloved songs have stood the test of time, with modern artists giving their own interpretations.  Artists of all genres and many generations have covered these Christmas classics.  But where did they come from?  Here are the origins of three of the most famous Christmas Carols.
                Joy to the World has the distinction of being the most published Christmas hymn in North America.  English writer Isaac Watts wrote the words to the hymn in 1917, in his collection The Psalms of David: Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and applied to the Christian state and worship.  Watts based his lyrics on Psalm 98, 96:11-12 and Genesis 3:17-18.  The music origin, however, is disputed, with some scholars believing that George Fredric Handel wrote the music, citing similarities between Joy to the World and his other work, while others assert that Lowell Mason was the composer.  However, Handel was never confirmed as the composer and a version of Joy to the World was published three years before Mason’s version was published.  Thus, the origins of the composition of the music of Joy to the World will remain a mystery.

                Silent Night has been a popular cover song, so much so that Bing Crosby’s version is still the third best selling single of all time (So what’s number one? Crosby’s White Christmas).  A priest named Joseph Mohr wrote the lyrics to Stille Nacht (Silent Night) in Obendorf, Austria.  Mohr brought the lyrics to schoolmaster Franz Xaver Gruber, who lived in neighboring village Arnsdorf and also was an organist.  Mohr asked Gruber to compose a melody for the lyrics to be played for Christmas Eve mass.  Thus, the first recorded playing of Silent Night was on Christmas Eve, 1818 in Obendorf, at St. Nicolas parish church.  Karl Mauracher, an organ builder who also serviced the organ at Obendorf, loved the song he brought it back to the region where he lived, the Zillertal, and two traveling folk singer families spread the song throughout the world, including New York City and Russia. 

                The First Noel is a traditional Christmas Carol from England, with "Noel" being a synonym of Christmas from Early Modern English.  While the writer of the lyrics and the melody composer are unknown, what is known is that the song originated in the Cornwall region, in the South West section of England.  The first known publication of The First Noel was in 1823 in Carols Ancient and Modern, edited by William Sandys.  A 1933 version called Gilbert and Sandys Carols included new lyrics Davies Gilbert.  However, the version that is sung today is the four part arrangement by composer John Stainer, published in 1871, in Carols, New and Old. 

                Today, these three songs are sung throughout the world in churches at Christmastime, and are also found on many Christmas albums from many different artists.  From our house to yours, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.  

Friday, December 8, 2017

Four More PG-13 Movies with Animated Spin-Offs Aimed at Kids (It'll be Great on TV Too, Part 5!)

                While not nearly as bad as animated spin-offs based on R-rated movies, there are quite a few animated series based on PG-13 movies (five were covered two weeks ago).  Again, while the movies have questionable content for the target age, Producers still think that an animated spin-off would be a good idea.  Here are four more PG-13 movies which led to Animated Spin-Offs
                Completing the Jim Carrey animated spin-off trilogy, Dumb and Dumber was a 1994 movie starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.  Carrey plays Lloyd and Daniels plays Harry, two incredibly stupid guys who go on a cross-country trip to return a briefcase of money.  The film was rated PG-13 for off-color humor.  This led to Dumb and Dumber: The Animated Series, and follows Harry and Lloyd as they go on adventures in a dog-shaped van named Otto with a talking pet purple beaver named Kitty.  The show lasted from 1995 to 1996 for 13 episodes. 

                Little Shop of Horrors was a horror-comedy musical 1986 which was based on the off-broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was based on the low-budget 1960 horror-comedy of the same name.  In the musical, geeky florist shop employee Seymour finds out his venus flytrap plant (Audrey II) can talk (and sing) to him.  The movie was rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including comic horror violence, substance abuse, language and sex references.  In the animated series Little Shop, Seymour is aged down to a teenager and Audrey II’s name is changed to Junior and featured a couple musical numbers in each episode.  Little Shop lasted for one season, from September 7 to November 30, for a total of 13 episodes.

                The next two shows technically had two origins, one as a violent arcade game, and one with a PG-13 level of violence movie.  Because the PG-13 live-action movie happened first, both animated television series, while of course borrowing elements of the video game, also borrowed elements of the movie:
Street Fighter was a 1994 movie based on the video game Street Fighter II.  In Street Fighter, Colonel William F. Gile and his band of “street fighters” team against the tyrannical General M. Bison in the Asian city of Shadaloo.  The movie was rated PG-13 for non-stop martial arts and action violence.  In the Street Fighter animated series, Gil and the Street Fighters face off again against Bison and his criminal empire.  The series lasted two seasons from 1995 to 1997, with 26 total episodes. 

                Mortal Kombat was a 1995 movie based on the video games Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II.  In Mortal Kombat, warrior monk Liu, actor Johnny and soldier Sonya (led by mythical god Raiden) all team up together to battle sorcerer Shang Tsung, in a martial arts tournament to save the world.  The movie was rated PG-13 for non-stop martial arts actions and some violence.  In the Mortal Kombat animated series (known as Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm), Liu, Johnny, and Sonya are joined by Jax, Kitana, Sub-Zero and Nightwolf to help defend Earthrealm from invaders from other dimensions.  The series lasted one season from September 21 to December 14, 1996, with 13 total episodes.

                Dumb and Dumber and Little Shop of Horrors featured inappropriate humor, while Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat had excessive martial arts violence.  Considering the cartoonish nature of the first two movies, and the video game origins of the second group of movies, is it any surprise there were some producers who thought they would make good animated shows for kids?  Here are four more PG-13 movies with animated shows aimed at kids.

It'll be Great on TV, Too Series
Part 4: Five R-rated Movies that Led to Animated Spin-offs Aimed at Kids:
Part 3: Five PG-13 Movies with Animated Spin-Offs Aimed at Kids:
Part 2: Four Disney Animated Television Series based on Animated Movies:
Part 1: Three TV Series Continuations of Movies:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Five R-rated Movies that Led to Animated Spin-offs Aimed at Kids (It’ll be Great on TV Too, Part 4!)

                You’d think it would be impossible, but these television series were actually made.  The R-rated movies that they were based on were box office successes in their day.  Their success led to sequel movies being made, plus the idea that some producers had, that this R-rated movie would be a fantastic addition to Saturday morning or weekday afternoons.   Let’s be clear, some of the original R-rated movies also led to movies not rated R and live-action television series aimed at a more general audience.  But the original idea that started the television series came from this R movie.
                Police Academy was released in 1984 and rated R.  It followed a bunch of misfit recruits to the police academy (anyone is allowed to join, due to a police shortage) and the inappropriate trouble they get into after joining the academy.  The band of misfits was led by Carey Mahoney, who joined the academy instead of going to jail.  The original was a success, and a sequel quickly followed the following year, and as the movie series progressed, the content ratings fell from R to PG-13 (for Police Academy 2) to PG (for Police Academy 3 and 4).  By this time, the movie franchise had been established, and the idea of an animated television series didn’t seem so far off.  Granted, making an animated television based on two PG movies seems a lot more reasonable than an R-rated one, but the fact remains that the original Police Academy should not be seen by the target audience for the animated series.  The television series recreated twelve of the main roles, including the main character of the group, Carey and chronologically happened after the Police Academy 4.  The television series lasted two seasons, from 1988 to 1989, in syndication, for 65 total episodes. 

                First Blood (1982) was rated R and followed former Vietnam Vet John Rambo as he was hunted by a sheriff and deputies who believe he is a menace to their town, despite Rambo initially doing nothing wrong.  The sequel, Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) was also rated R and followed Rambo on a mission to rescue Vietnam POWs.  Following the success of Part II, Rambo made his crossover into an animated television series, called Rambo: The Force of Freedom, with Rambo the leader of the Force for Freedom and battling against the paramilitary terrorist group S.A.V.A.G.E. (Specialist Administrators of Vengeance, Anarchy, and Global Extortion).  The series was syndicated and lasted one season, between September 15 and December 26, 1986. 

                Robocop was released in 1987 and was rated R.  It followed police officer Alex Murphy in a crime-overrun Detroit, who is nearly killed and brought back as a powerful cyborg (part human, part machine) to fight crime.  In 1988, just one year after the release of the first movie, the animated Robocop was brought to the small screen and follows Robocop on fighting crime, many times against mechanical inventions by the evil Dr. McNamara.  The series lasted 12 episodes, from October 1 to December 17, 1988.  There was a second animated series, Robocop: Alpha Commando, and followed the movies Robocop 2 (1990, rated R) and Robocop 3 (1993, rated PG-13) and a Robocop live-action series (1994).  It was set in 2030 and had Robocop, with new gadgets, battled against DARC (Directorate for Anarchy, Revenge, and Chaos); Alpha Commando lasted for one season and 40 episodes, from 1998 to 1999. 

                Highlander was released in 1986, was rated R, and followed an immortal Scottish swordsman called Connor MacLeod and who battles other “Immortals,” including The Kurgan, who killed his mentor.  Highlander II: the Quickening was released in 1991 and was also rated R.  In 1992, the syndicated live-action Highlander series premiered and introduced Highlander (with a different protagonist, Duncan MacLeod) to a more general audience.  With the success of the live-action series, an animated series was produced.  This animated series followed a descendant of Connor, Quentin MacLeod, as he battled Kortan, an Immortal who established an empire on earth.  The show lasted two seasons and 40 episodes, from 1994 to 1996, one on the USA Network and one syndicated. 

                Starship Troopers was released in 1997 and rated R, and follows Johnny Rico as he joins the Mobile Infantry and eventually winds up fighting in the war between the humans and an insectoid race called the “Arachnids.”  In 1999, the CGI television series Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles (also known as Starship Troopers: the Series) premiered.  It followed the Alpha Team, nicknamed Razak’s Roughnecks, as they went on 5-episode campaigns on their mission to defeat the Arachnids.  While it was meant for the fans of the violent original movie, it was produced by the BKN (Bohbot Kids Network) and aired in syndication for 36 episodes, with four episodes left uncompleted (4 clip show episodes were created to fill the episode order). 

                For good or bad, these television series were produced and created.  Somewhere, producers thought it was a good idea to make an animated series aimed at kids, immediately following Rambo: First Blood Part 2, Robocop, and Starship Troopers.  Highlander and Police Academy had the buffer of a live action TV series and PG movies, respectively, and thus didn’t seem that unrealistic of an idea.  But nevertheless all six TV series (2 with Robocop) originated with an R-rated movie and became a weird interesting chapter in the life of each series’ franchise.

It'll be Great on TV Too, Part 1!: Three TV Series Continuations of Movies:
It'll be Great on TV Too, Part 2!: Four Disney Animated Television Series based on Animated Movies:
Five PG-13 Movies with Animated Spin-Offs Aimed at Kids (It'll be Great on TV, Too, Part 3!):