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Arts & Entertainment

'Minority Report' and 'Limitless' aren’t the only movies being made into TV shows

"Ash vs Evil Dead" is a TV adaptation of the "Evil Dead" movie that is headed for the Starz cable network.
Matt Klitscher

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The new CBS series “Limitless,” which premieres Sept. 22 on CBS, is based on the Bradley Cooper movie of the same name from 2011. Cooper will have a small part in the show, but the new star is actor Jake McDorman.

The thriller about a man who becomes addicted to a drug that gives him superhuman powers isn’t the only film that’s being adapted for TV.

At the website Den of Geek, the editors have rounded up some 39 current and upcoming TV series that are set for the small screen.

Chris Longo is an entertainment journalist and a deputy editor at Den of Geek. He spoke with The Frame’s John Horn.

Interview Highlights

First off, this seems to be quite a phenomenon. Why do you think adapting movies into TV shows is so popular right now?

The word that comes to mind is familiarity. These networks want something that’s going to draw viewers and with so much TV out there, this is something for them to bring people into and [it's] an easy way to market these things.

Some of these shows seem like natural TV evolutions — I’m thinking of “Limitless” and “Minority Report.” But then I look at shows like “The Notebook,” which seems like a very odd mix. Let’s talk about another one that seems like a little bit of a reach. That is “Uncle Buck,” the classic comedy starring John Candy and Macaulay Culkin. You wrote that this was already adapted for TV in the '90s and it bombed. They’re trying again?

Yeah, and I think this one is just a total reboot on that idea. They’re going with Mike Epps, who is a fantastic standup comedian. ABC, they’ve been really consistent with comedy over the last few years. Their Wednesday block this year is all returning shows. It’s not been the most creative network for comedy, but it’s really been family-centered and I think “Uncle Buck” kind of fits in here. The trailer is fantastic, so that’s definitely going to be one we’re going to check out. I think it’s going to fit in as kind of a midseason replacement.

One adaptation I have to say I’m actually kind of excited about is “School of Rock.” This was a Richard Linklater movie with Jack Black. It was a great movie, seems like an absolutely smart premise for a television series. Is this one that might work?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen “School of Rock.” I’ve definitely lost count. I don’t have enough fingers for it. But millennials like me absolutely love this movie and I think it’s going to go well on Nickelodeon. I know they’re introducing a new block to bring back some of their ‘90s programming to appeal with some of the older crowd ... I think this is a smart idea. This one, of the 39 we talked about, is up there and I think is going to go on for a long time.

Halloween is coming up and we have an “Evil Dead” reboot for TV. Are you excited about this one?

This one is pretty close to us at Den of Geek because we’re doing an exclusive magazine for New York Comic-Con and Bruce Campbell is actually going to be on the cover of that. (Campbell played Ash in the original movie.) He will be back reviving that character. This is really going to be a show that’s for diehard gore-heads, but it’s also for the casual horror fan. Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless — can’t really go wrong with that.

What’s a movie-to-TV adaptation that you are looking forward to?

Absolutely number one on this list is “Westworld.” That’s coming to HBO. Michael Crichton wrote “Westworld” for film in 1973. We’ve got a great cast here — Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden. The original film followed androids within the confinement of an amusement park. And the backstory is that Michael Crichton went to Disneyworld and he was kind of terrified by the animatronics of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and other stuff that they had, [like] the Hall of the Presidents. So he came out with the idea for this film. This one should be interesting, especially [with] HBO going in the sci-fi direction, which we haven’t seen in a long time.

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