Watchworthy

The Best TV Shows Based on Movies 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated May 15, 2020 86.2k votes 6.4k voters 164k views 93 items

List Rules Any 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.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1972

Actors: Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Medical drama, Sitcom, Satire, Military, + more

Based on: MASH (1970) M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH. The series, which was produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ...more

More M*A*S*H 

#72 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #23 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciatelisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

2
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1997

Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Horror, Comedy-drama, Teen drama, Action, + more

Based on: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB, 1997) is an American supernatural drama television series created by Joss Whedon, based on the 1992 film. Destined to slay vampires, a young woman (Sarah ...more

More Buffy the Vampire Slayer 

All Of The Behind-The-Scenes Drama From 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' And 'Angel' #39 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #27 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

3
Highlander: The Series ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1992

Actors: Adrian Paul, Stan Kirsch, Jim Byrnes

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, + more

Based on: Highlander (1986) Highlander: The Series is a fantasy science fiction action-adventure television series featuring Duncan MacLeod of the Scottish Clan MacLeod, as the eponymous "Highlander". A slight ...more

More Highlander: The Series 

#38 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #89 of 147 The Greatest TV Title Sequences Ever #380 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

4
Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1989

Actors: Stephen Ouimette, Alyson Court, Tabitha St. Germain

Genres (Tv): Horror comedy, Black comedy, Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, + more

Based on: Beetlejuice (1988) Beetlejuice is an American-Canadian animated television series which ran from September 9, 1989 to October 26, 1991 on ABC and, on Fox from September 9, 1991 to December 6, 1991. Loosely based ...more

More Beetlejuice 

The Strangest Things About The 'Beetlejuice' Cartoon #63 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #146 of 727 The Best Cartoons of All Time

5
Stargate SG-1 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1997

Actors: Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

Genres (Tv): Military science fiction, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction, + more

Based on: Stargate (1994) Stargate SG-1 is an adventure and military science fiction television series and part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stargate franchise. The show, created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is ...more

More Stargate SG-1 

#145 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #3 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Timelisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

6
The Real Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1986

Actors: Maurice LaMarche, Dave Coulier, Frank Welker

Genres (Tv): Animation, Action/Adventure, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Mystery, + more

Based on: Ghostbusters (1984) The Real Ghostbusters is an American animated television series, a spinoff of the 1984 movie Ghostbusters. The series ran from 1986 to 1991, and was produced by Columbia Pictures Television, DiC ...more

More The Real Ghostbusters 

#53 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #116 of 727 The Best Cartoons of All Time #85 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

7
Star Wars: The Clone War... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
2008

Actors: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter

Genres (Tv): Computer Animation, Animation, Children's television series, Action, Science Fiction

Based on: Star Wars franchise (1977) This show is an American 3D CGI animated television series created by George Lucas and produced by Lucasfilm Animation with the division Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, Lucasfilm and CGCG Inc. ...more

More Star Wars: The Clone Wars 

Which 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Arcs To Watch Before Season 7 #510 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #207 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

8
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1991

Actors: David Kaufman, Dan Castellaneta, Bill Nye

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Live action, Adventure film, Science Fiction, + more

Based on: Back to the Future (1985) Back to the Future is an animated series for television based on the Back to the Future trilogy of feature films. The series lasted two seasons, each featuring 13 episodes, and ran on CBS from ...more

More Back to the Future 

#311 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #224 of 687 The Greatest Shows of the 1990s, Ranked #36 of 271 The Best Adventure TV Shows

9
Muppet Babies is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
Tom Islava added 1984

Actors: Greg Berg, Katie Leigh, Laurie O'Brien

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series

Based on: The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, commonly known by the shortened title Muppet Babies, is an American animated television series that aired from September 15, 1984 to November 2, 1991 on CBS. The show ...more

More Muppet Babies 

#38 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #134 of 727 The Best Cartoons of All Time #137 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

10
Timon & Pumbaa is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1995

Actors: Ernie Sabella, Kevin Schon, Jim Cummings

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Comedy, Animated series

Based on: The Lion King (1994) The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, often simply referred to as Timon & Pumbaa, is an American animated television series made by The Walt Disney Company. It centers on Timon the meerkat and ...more

More Timon & Pumbaa 

#84 of 727 The Best Cartoons of All Time #272 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #108 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

11
Bill & Ted's Excelle... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1992

Actors: Rick Overton, Don Lake, Lisa Wilcox, Evan Richards

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Based on: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures is a live action spin-off following the misadventures of two time-traveling slackers as they travel into the distant past and future. It was based on the ...more
12
Mr. Belvedere is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1985

Actors: Fergie, Kellie Martin, Bob Uecker, Christopher Hewett, Twink Caplan, + more

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Based on: Sitting Pretty (1948) Mr. Belvedere is an American sitcom that originally aired on ABC from March 15, 1985 to July 8, 1990. The series is based on the Lynn Aloysius Belvedere character created by Gwen Davenport for ...more

More Mr. Belvedere 

#123 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #377 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #155 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

13
The Mask: The Animated S... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
AndrewWilkerson added 1995

Actors: Rob Paulsen, Tim Curry, Jim Cummings

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Action, Animated series

The Mask aka The Mask: Animated Series is an American animated television series based on the film of the same name. The show ran for three seasons, from August 12, 1995 to August 30, 1997 on ...more
14
The Odd Couple is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1970

Actors: Jack Klugman, Tony Randall, Penny Marshall

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Based on: The Odd Couple (1968) The Odd Couple, formally titled onscreen Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, is an American television situation comedy broadcast from September 24, 1970, to March 7, 1975, on ABC. It stars Tony ...more

More The Odd Couple 

#317 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #152 of 457 The Best Duos of All Time #48 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms

15
Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
Tom Islava added 1994

Actors: Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin, Dan Castellaneta

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Adventure film, Comedy-drama, + more

Based on: Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin is an animated television series made by Walt Disney Television Animation which aired from 1994 to 1995, based on the original 1992 Disney film of the same name. It was animated at the ...more

More Aladdin 

#182 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #66 of 727 The Best Cartoons of All Time #69 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

16
Clerks: The Animated Ser... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
AndrewWilkerson added 2000

Actors: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes

Genres (Tv): Animation, Sitcom, Comedy

Clerks is an American animated sitcom based on Kevin Smith's 1994 comedy of the same name. It was developed for television by Smith, Smith's producing partner Scott Mosier and former Seinfeld ...more

More Clerks: The Animated Series 

#539 of 727 The Best Cartoons of All Time #351 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #138 of 291 The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season

17
In the Heat of the Night... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1988

Actors: Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Anne-Marie Johnson, Lois Nettleton, Alan Autry, + more

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama

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 the same title. It starred Carroll O'Connor as the white police chief William Gillespie, and Howard ...more

More In the Heat of the Night 

#129 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time #33 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #27 of 57 TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

18
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
HotMusic Chart added 2016

Actors: Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, + more

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Drama, Western

Based on: Westworld (1973)

Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and based on the 1973 film. In a technologically advanced Wild ...more

More Westworld 

Everything That Happened In 'Westworld' Season 3, Episode 1, 'Parce Domine' #24 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #28 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time

19
Lethal Weapon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
Ryan Campbell added Lethal Weapon

Actors: Damon Wayans, Clayne Crawford, Jordana Brewster, Keesha Sharp, Kevin Rahm, + more

Genres (Tv): Action, Comedy, Police procedural

Lethal Weapon (Fox, 2016) is an American buddy cop action comedy-drama television series developed by Matt Miller and based on the film series. A slightly unhinged cop (Clayne Crawford) is ...more

More Lethal Weapon 

#101 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #41 of 104 The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time #18 of 94 The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made

20
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1992

Actors: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Edan Gross

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Animated series

Based on: The Little Mermaid (1989) Disney's The Little Mermaid is an American animated television series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation based on the 1989 Disney film of the same name. It features the adventures of ...more

More The Little Mermaid 

'The Little Mermaid' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True #111 of 727 The Best Cartoons of All Time #143 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

21
Ace Ventura: Pet Detecti... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 1995

Actors: Michael Daingerfield, Richard Binsley, Vince Corazza

Genres (Tv): Animation

Based on: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is an animated television series based on the film of the same name. The series was produced by Morgan Creek Productions and Nelvana for Warner Bros. Television. It ...more
22
Terminator: The Sarah Co... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
2008

Actors: Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction, + more

Based on: The Terminator franchise (1984) Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is an American science fiction television series that aired on Fox. The show was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros. Television, and C2 ...more

More Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 

#356 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #35 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #28 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

23
DreamWorks Dragons is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
SlashLover added 2012

Actors: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, T.J. Miller

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Adventure film, Action, Fantasy

Based on: How to Train Your Dragon (2010) DreamWorks Dragons is an American computer-animated television series based on the 2010 film How to Train Your Dragon. The series serves as a bridge between the first film and its 2014 sequel. A ...more

More DreamWorks Dragons 

#175 of 727 The Best Cartoons of All Time #118 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #792 of 1,318 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows

24
RoboCop: The Animated Se... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
1988

Actors: Len Carlson, Susan Roman, Dan Hennessey, Ron James, Barbara Budd, + more

Genres (Tv): Animation, Action/Adventure, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Adventure film, + more

Based on: RoboCop (1987) RoboCop: The Animated Series is an American animated series produced in the 1980s by Marvel Productions, and is based on the character and events of the movie RoboCop. The show made a number of ...more

More RoboCop: The Animated Series 

#309 of 510 The Best Shows of the 1980s, Ranked #228 of 379 The Best Children's Shows of All Time #43 of 100 The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future

25
Nikita is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Movies
2010

Actors: Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Adventure film, Action, + more

Based on: La Femme Nikita (1990) Nikita (The CW, 2010) is an American crime drama television series and reboot of the Canadian series La Femme Nikita. The series focuses on Nikita, a woman who escaped from a secret ...more

More Nikita 

#288 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #148 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #222 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years