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The Best TV Shows Based on Movies

Updated May 4, 2021 55.9k votes 6.5k voters 165.2k views85 items

List RulesAny television adaptation of a film, live-action or animated

List of the best TV shows based on movies. Here are the rankings of the top television series that all began with a film. When a story is so never-ending and epic, it is often perfect for a franchise. Books, remakes, and cross-overs between film and television. "M*A*S*H" is one of those rare instances of the film and television show both being perfect -- although "The Odd Couple" might fit that description. Did you know "Friday Night Lights" was a movie before a hit TV show? And what about all the animated ones like "RoboCop" and "Clerks?" "Teen Wolf" is now MTV's number one scripted series and it evolved from a feature film. Many of your favorite Disney movies are now shows as well.

These are the greatest movies-turned-TV-shows in the history of entertainment. With "Parenthood" also on the air, it is time to look back at the best TV series that are based on movies that have ever graced both screens.

  • 1


    Based on: MASH (1970)
    M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970...  more

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  • 2
    Based on: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB, 1997) is an American supernatural drama television series...  more

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    All Of The Behind-The-Scenes Drama From 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' And 'Angel'#3 of 32 The Best UPN Shows

  • 3


    Based on: Beetlejuice (1988)
    Beetlejuice is an American-Canadian animated television series which ran from September 9,...  more

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    The Strangest Things About The 'Beetlejuice' Cartoon#38 of 242 The Best Saturday Morning Cartoons for Mid-'80s — '90s Kids

  • 4
    Based on: Ghostbusters (1984)
    The Real Ghostbusters is an American animated television series, a spinoff of the 1984 movie...  more

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    #8 of 25 The Best 80s Cartoon Theme Songs#131 of 312 The Best Shows of the 1980s, Ranked

  • 5

    Stargate SG-1

    Based on: Stargate (1994)
    Stargate SG-1 is an adventure and military science fiction television series and part of...  more

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    #4 of 84 The Best Syfy Original Shows#89 of 320 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

  • 6
    Based on: Highlander (1986)
    Highlander: The Series is a fantasy science fiction action-adventure television series...  more

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    #434 of 508 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time#33 of 43 The Best '90s TV Dramas

  • 7

    Based on: The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

    Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, commonly known by the shortened title Muppet Babies, is an...  more

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    #19 of 83 The Most Unforgettable '80s Cartoons#51 of 222 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

  • 8
    Based on: Star Wars franchise (1977)
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon Network, 2008) is an American animated action adventure...  more

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    20 Ahsoka Tano Memes For Old And New Fans Alike#414 of 534 The Best Animated Films Ever

  • 9

    Based on: Westworld (1973)

    Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series...  more

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    The Best Characters on Westworld, Ranked#1 of 45 New TV Shows of the Last Few Years with the Best Overall Acting

  • 10
    Based on: Back to the Future (1985)
    Back to the Future is an animated series for television based on the Back to the Future...  more
  • 11



    Based on: Aladdin (1992)

    Aladdin is an animated television series made by Walt Disney Television Animation which aired...  more

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    #66 of 191 The Greatest Shows of the 1990s, Ranked#24 of 96 The Best Disney Channel TV Shows

  • 12

    Timon & Pumbaa

    Based on: The Lion King (1994)
    The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, often simply referred to as Timon & Pumbaa, is an American...  more

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    #20 of 40 The Best Disney Channel Cartoons Ever Made#46 of 54 The Most Disappointing TV Shows Based on Movies

  • 13
    Based on: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures is a live action spin-off following the misadventures of two...  more
  • 14

    Mr. Belvedere

    Based on: Sitting Pretty (1948)
    Mr. Belvedere is an American sitcom that originally aired on ABC from March 15, 1985 to July...  more

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    #250 of 397 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch#12 of 26 The TGIF Shows You Wish Still Existed

  • 15
    The Mask aka The Mask: Animated Series is an American animated television series based on the...  more
  • 16

    The Odd Couple

    Based on: The Odd Couple (1968)
    The Odd Couple, formally titled onscreen Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, is an American...  more

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    #149 of 298 The Best Duos of All Time#15 of 80 The Best ABC Shows of All Time

  • 17
    Clerks is an American animated sitcom based on Kevin Smith's 1994 comedy of the same name. It...  more

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    #359 of 538 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time#109 of 312 The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season

  • 18
    Based on: The Little Mermaid (1989)
    Disney's The Little Mermaid is an American animated television series produced by Walt Disney...  more

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    #6 of 23 The Best Disney Shows of the '90s#17 of 207 The Best TV Shows You Can Watch On Disney+

  • 19
    Based on: In the Heat of the Night (1967)
    In the Heat of the Night is an American television series based on the film and the novel of...  more

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    #32 of 97 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time#146 of 158 Shows With The Best Freakin' Series Finales Of All Time

  • 20
    Based on: How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
    DreamWorks Dragons is an American computer-animated television series based on the 2010 film...  more

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  • 21

    Lethal Weapon

    Lethal Weapon (Fox, 2016) is an American buddy cop action comedy-drama television series...  more


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  • 22
    Lilo & Stitch: The Series is the animated television spinoff of the feature film, Lilo &...  more

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    #96 of 340 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time#100 of 636 The Best Cartoons of All Time

  • 23
    Based on: RoboCop (1987)
    RoboCop: The Animated Series is an American animated series produced in the 1980s by Marvel...  more

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    #245 of 412 The Best Children's Shows of All Time#62 of 102 The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future

  • 24

    Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

    Based on: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
    Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is an animated television series based on the film of the same...  more
  • 25


    Based on: La Femme Nikita (1990)
    Nikita (The CW, 2010) is an American crime drama television series and reboot of the Canadian...  more

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    #64 of 301 The Best Female-Led TV Shows#87 of 145 The Best High School TV Shows