After MANIMAL, What TV Show Could Be Next?

Starsky And Hutch. The A-Team. S.W.A.T.. The Dukes of Hazzard. Miami Vice. The Brady Bunch. The list goes on and on. Hollywood has brought many a television show to the big screen. And with last week’s announcement that a Manimal film was in development, we now know that there is no TV show too cheesy, too obscure that producers won’t try to make cinematic gold with.

So what TV show is the next to make the leap to the big screen? Well, we here at FilmBuffOnline are picking our choices of the shows we’d wish they’d adapt–be they long-forgotten campy favorites or smash hits deserving of second life on screen.

 Automan

Aired: 12 episodes, December 15, 1983-April 2,1984, ABC

Premise:

Police computer expert Walter Nebicher creates an artificial intelligence he could use help the L.A.P.D. fight crime. The program constructs a tangible hologram so it can take a more physical approach to crime fighting. Aided by Cursor, a blinking ball of light that could create any vehicle by tracing its outline, the hologram dubs itself Automan and becomes the world’s first computer generated superhero.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Why? Because it’s awesome, that’s why! Or. at least I thought it was when I was twelve. Seeing that intro below as an adult, now I’m not so sure.

Anyway, the concept certainly is cool. Granted, it aired back in the day when computers were magical machines that had the ability to do just about anything. But modern technology can make the bleeding edge for 1983 special effects even better. And we have already had a Tupac hologram, why not one that fights crime?–William Gatevackes

Misfits of Science

Aired: 16 episodes, October 4,1985-February 21, 1986, NBC

Premise:

A group of superpowered individuals–a scientist with the ability to shrink, a rock star with electrical powers, and a teenage telekinetic–are led by a non-powered scientist to fight odd and unusual crimes in the Los Angeles area.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

While it is mainly known today as starring a pre-Friends Courtney Cox (and, to a lesser extent, a pre-Predator Kevin Peter Hall and a pre-Alf Max Wright), an argument could be made for the show being ahead of its time. Although, it’s quick demise might have less to do with it airing three years before Batman hit movie theaters and more with the fact that it was going up against Dallas.

But with the popularity of superheroes in today’s film landscape, it might be time for a reboot. As most of the licensed comic book films are getting darker and grittier, a quirky, oddball superhero concept could be a breathe of fresh air.–WG

We Got It Made

Aired: 46 episodes, September 8, 1983 – March 10, 1984/ September 11, 1987 – March 30, 1988. NBC/Syndication

Premise:

Two guys hire a smoking’ sexy girl in the curvaceous form of Terri Copley to be their maid much to the disapproval of their girlfriends. Much leering and hilarity ensue. At least, that was the intention. In reality, the show received terrible reviews and only lasted one season, though it was revived for an additional season in syndication.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

The show’s basic premise has enough room for broad (pardon the pun) appeal. For the guys, there’s potential for some slapstick and raunchy hijinks. For the ladies, the maid can be portrayed as smarter than the guys, putting up with their nonsense and eventually teaching them how to be better men. Sounds like the perfect date-night comedy. – Rich Drees

Riptide

Aired: 56 episodes, December 3, 1983-April 22, 1986, NBC

Premise:

Two Army buddies who run a private investigation agency out of their houseboat decide to move into the modern era and invite a robotist/computer expert they knew from Vietnam to join the team. Together, the trio use all their skills to make their clients happy, all the while rubbing the police the wrong way.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Let’s see. They are detectives whose office is A HOUSEBOAT. They invite a computer whiz to join the agency, and he brings with him his VERY OWN ROBOT. Some of the vehicles they have at their disposal are A CORVETTE, A “WOODY” STATION WAGON, A SPEEDBOAT, and, as the pièce de résistance, A HUMONGOUS PINK SIKORSKY HELICOPTER WITH A MOUTH PAINTED ON ITS NOSE THAT THEY NAMED “THE SCREAMING MIMI.” Does that answer your question?–WG

Simon and Simon

Aired: 157 episodes, November 24, 1981-January 21, 1989, CBS

Premise:

Rick Simon is a rough hewn Army vet who loves pick-up trucks, beer and the simple things in life. His brother A.J. is his polar opposite, a cultured, college-educated man who likes sports cars, fine wines, and the finer things in life. Together, the brothers own a detective agency in San Diego and solve their cases despite bickering all the time.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Part of what made the TV show so much fun was the fact that if they didn’t share  the same DNA, they’d have absolutely no reason to have anything to do with each other. It’s your classic buddy movie scenario–two guys who dislike each other yet forced to work together.But with the twist that they are related. Seems like that would make an entertaining movie.–WG

Max Headroom

Aired: 14 episodes, March 31, 1987 – May 5, 1988, ABC

Premise:

Set “20 minutes in the future,” investigative journalist Edison Carter (Matt Frewer) has his consciousness downloaded into a computer, with the result being the sarcastic and wisecracking AI known as Max Headroom, who helps Edison uncover political and corporate corruption.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Although Max Headroom is primarily remembered as a kitschy soda pitchperson, the show itself often presented stories that satirically commented on consumer culture. Although its Blade Runner-esque, dystopic-future setting may feel a bit dated, it could be modified for modern audiences fairly easily. With audiences now much more familiar with some of the cyberpunk conventions that the original show utilized, it seems that the premise would be an easier sell to potential ticket buyers than it was in the 1980s. And with technology becoming increasingly interconnected, thematically there isn’t a better time to bring Max back. – RD

Airwolf

Aired: 79 episodes, January 22, 1984-August 7, 1987, CBS/USA Network.

Premise:

A antisocial loner named Stringfellow Hawke is called upon by the CIA to rescue an experimental Airwolf helicopter that had fallen into the wrong hands. Hawke succeeds in his task, but keeps Airwolf for himself, using it as collateral so the CIA could find his long lost brother. As a sign of good faith, Hawke flies missions for the CIA when needed.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Of all the “super vehicle” shows that appeared after the success of Knight Rider, this one, which was that TV show by way of the 1983 film/1984 TV spin-off Blue Thunder, was one of the better ones. Well, at least in the first season it was. It was still good in the kid-friendly season 2 and 3. The less said about the basic cable aired season 4 the better. But, regardless, the plot would make an excellent film in the right hands with the right actors.–WG

Get Christie Love

Aired: 22 episodes, September 11, 1974 – April 4, 1975, ABC

Premise:

Originally a 1974 made-for-tv movie that was spun off to a shortlived series, Get Christie Love starred Teresa Graves as an undercover police narcotics detective who punctuated her arrests with the catchphrase “You’re under arrest, sugah!” The movie was adapted from a novel which featured a white heroine, though changes were made in part to cash in on the then-current popularity of Blaxploitation stars Pam Greer (Coffey) and Tamara Dobson (Cleopatra Jones).

Why It Should Be Made into A Film:

Why should white guys have all the fun when it comes to being badass, catchphrase-spouting supercops? Given his penchant for reinventing various exploitation genres in his films, if Quentin Tarantino were to ever decide to bring a television show to the big screen, Get Christie Love seems like it would be a natural. (He’s already referenced the series in Reservoir Dogs.) Cast his Kill Bill co-star Vivica A. Fox in the lead and let him let loose. Who knows, it could be the first TV-to-film adaptation that could be a serious awards contender. – RD

Bosom Buddies

Aired: 38 episodes, November 27, 1980 – March 25, 1982, ABC

Premise:

Two mid-20s (Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari) trying to make their way in New York’s advertising world suddenly find themselves apartment-less when their building is condemned. Their friend Amy says that there is a great apartment available at her place, but it’s a hotel for women. OK, so they make one adjustment…

Why It Should Be Made into A Film:

Bosom Buddies obviously draws its inspiration from Billy Wilder’s 1959 classic Some Like It Hot, which coincidentally, is the last time a drag comedy was a big success. The economy is still moribund enough that the premise that the two are looking for affordable housing could resonate. Drop a couple of up-and-coming comic actors into the lead roles, and maybe cameo Hanks and Scolari as their fathers, and you have yourself the potential for a fun farce.-RD

Street Hawk

Aired: 13 episodes, January 4, 1985-May 16, 1985, ABC

Premise:

Jesse Mach, a motorcycle cop injured in the line of duty, is tapped by the federal government to pilot an experimental urban assault motorcycle. He uses the bike to fight crime as the vigilante known as Street Hawk, much to the chagrin of his bosses on the police department.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Another a “super vehicle” show, but this one a bit less plausible (computers, machine guns, and bulletproofing, on a motorcycle? Okay.) But if I recall correctly, the show pulled the concept off. If film audiences can believe a century old vampire fighting a pack of werewolves for the affections of a teenage girl, then they could believe a man on a motorbike that has a “hyperthrust” setting.–WG

Magnum, P.I.

Aired: 162 episodes, December 11,1980-May 8,1988, CBS

Premise:

Thomas Magnum leads an ideal life in the paradise that is  Hawaii. He lives rent free on the palatial estate of a noted author named Robin Masters with the understanding that he will provide the manor with security. He also works as a private eye, typically convincing his friends T.J. and Rick to help him out in investigations.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

It’s the show that made Tom Selleck famous (and famously kept him from starring as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark) but it was far more iconic than that. It was a detective show that could trace its lineage in everything from the gumshoes of the film noir period to the Thin Man films to deconstructions of the genre such as The Rockford Files. It was definitely a hit TV show, and it would be hard to find an actor that could match Selleck’s charisma, but it could work out to a very good film adaptation.–WG

 

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