• Danny Trejo as The Regulator in From Dusk Till Dawn. (SBS)Source: SBS
The history of adapting films into TV series is a rich one, full of glorious artistic wonders - except for these.
Jeremy Cassar

23 Aug 2016 - 3:05 PM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2016 - 3:12 PM

This week, two television shows based on two classic mid-'90s flicks - the Terry Gilliam head-tangler 12 Monkeys, and the Robert Rodriguez vampire-fest in From Dusk Till Dawn - begin their second series on SBS 2.

Both are admirable in their own ways. Dusk retains Rodriguez behind the camera, and he hasn’t veered too far from the source material. Monkeys presents the same story-world as the original but focuses on an ongoing conspiracy.

The following adaptations, however, were much less successful. Take a look...


Lock, Stock... (2000)

While the spin-off to Guy Richie’s frenetic crime feature attracted a small but vocal fan-base, the thing only lasted seven episodes, and was generally reduced to an ambitious mess of confusing accents.


Friday...The Animated Series (2007)

What motivated Ice Cube to turn his highly quotable stoner trilogy - Friday (1995), Next Friday (2000), Friday After Next (2002) - into an animated show is anyone’s guess. The show lasted for eight episodes, which probably had to do with the fact that veteran voice actors replaced the roles made iconic by Cube and Chris Tucker.


Dangerous Minds (1996)

The best thing about the original Michelle Pfeiffer-starring film (based on a real-life ex-marine teacher whose unconventional methods inspired the seemingly unreachable) was the fact it gave us Coolio’s "Gangster’s Paradise". Lasting less than a full network season (17 episodes), one of the show's plots was criticised for being borderline racist.


Dirty Dancing (1988)

Nobody puts Baby in the corner, because Baby is played by an actress (it's Melora Hardin, Jan from the American The Office) whose name isn’t Jennifer Grey. This may have worked if Patrick Swayze had reprised his role as Johnny Castle, but he was too busy working his ass off to deliver us Roadhouse. The show lasted 11 episodes.


My Big Fat Greek Life (2003)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) was the highest grossing independent feature of all time until Mel came along with Passion of the Christ (2004), and writer/performer Nia Vardalos’s comic voice seemed perfectly suited to a network sitcom. Viewers had high hopes, but the initial 22 million who tuned into the pilot had more than halved by the next episode, which saw CBS pulling the plug after seven instalments.


Ferris Bueller (1990)

Matthew Broderick IS Ferris Bueller. Alan Ruck IS Cameron Frye. The fact that neither signed up for the John Hughes-less spin-off should have been enough reason not to take it any further. 

Alas, it wasn’t, and they did. The reviews were scathing, the ratings were weak, and the final episode didn’t air until the following year, buried in August.


Serpico (1976)

I’m guessing whomever thought Sidney Lumet’s near-perfect police-corruption epic would translate to the small screen never worked in television again - especially considering Al Pacino, the man inseparable from the classic character, wasn’t on board. NBC aired 15 episodes before it was pulled.


Also, you should know that every other '80s movie was made into an animated series


Season 2 of From Dusk Till Dawn starts Wednesday, 24 August at 8:25pm (AEST) on SBS 2.

Season 2 of 12 Monkeys starts Saturday, 27 August at 9:30pm (AEST) on SBS 2.

After they air, episodes will be available on SBS On Demand.

For now, get your vampire fix with Lesbian Vampire Killers right here: