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The Best TV Shows Based on Movies

Updated November 10, 2020 57.6k votes 6.5k voters 164.6k views84 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.

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  • 1
    M*A*S*H
    1,606
    627

    ActorsAlan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

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

    Based on: MASH (1970)

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  • 2
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    ActorsSarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

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

    Based on: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

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  • 3
    Beetlejuice
    1,512
    761

    ActorsStephen Ouimette, Alyson Court, Tabitha St. Germain

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

    Based on: Beetlejuice (1988)

    More Beetlejuice 

    The Strangest Things About The 'Beetlejuice' Cartoon#80 of 347 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

  • 4
    The Real Ghostbusters

    ActorsMaurice LaMarche, Dave Coulier, Frank Welker

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

    Based on: Ghostbusters (1984)
  • 5
    Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
    1,399
    625

    Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

    1995

    ActorsMichael Daingerfield, Richard Binsley, Vince Corazza

    Genres (Tv)Animation

    Based on: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
  • 6
    Stargate SG-1
    1,063
    830

    ActorsRichard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

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

    Based on: Stargate (1994)

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    #90 of 334 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years#3 of 308 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time

  • 7
    RoboCop: The Animated Series

    ActorsLen Carlson, Susan Roman, Dan Hennessey, Ron James, Barbara Budd

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

    Based on: RoboCop (1987)
  • 8
    Police Academy: The Series

    ActorsJoe Flaherty, Michael Winslow, Tony Longo, Matt Borlenghi

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    Based on: Police Academy franchise (1984)
  • 9
    Muppet Babies
    403
    186

    ActorsGreg Berg, Katie Leigh, Laurie O'Brien

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

    Based on: The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

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    #156 of 486 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made#47 of 130 The Best TV Spinoffs

  • 10
    Highlander: The Series

    ActorsAdrian Paul, Stan Kirsch, Jim Byrnes

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action

    Based on: Highlander (1986)

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    #407 of 507 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time#32 of 43 The Best '90s TV Dramas

  • 11
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars

    ActorsTom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter

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

    Based on: Star Wars franchise (1977)

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  • 12
    Aladdin
    327
    197

    ActorsScott Weinger, Linda Larkin, Dan Castellaneta

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

    Based on: Aladdin (1992)

  • 13
    Westworld
    281
    189

    ActorsEvan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Drama, Western

    Based on: Westworld (1973)

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  • 14
    Back to the Future

    ActorsDavid Kaufman, Dan Castellaneta, Bill Nye

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

    Based on: Back to the Future (1985)
  • 15
    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    ActorsJewel Staite, Thomas Dekker, Peter Scolari, Barbara Alyn Woods, Hillary Tuck

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Drama, Comedy, Science Fiction

    Based on: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
  • 16
    Timon & Pumbaa
    776
    621

    ActorsErnie Sabella, Kevin Schon, Jim Cummings

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

    Based on: The Lion King (1994)
  • 17
    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures

    ActorsRick Overton, Don Lake, Lisa Wilcox, Evan Richards

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Based on: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
  • 18
    The Mask: The Animated Series

    ActorsRob 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... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Mr. Belvedere
    574
    625

    ActorsFergie, Kellie Martin, Bob Uecker, Christopher Hewett, Twink Caplan

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Based on: Sitting Pretty (1948)
  • 20
    The Odd Couple
    692
    793

    ActorsJack Klugman, Tony Randall, Penny Marshall

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Based on: The Odd Couple (1968)

    More The Odd Couple 

    #149 of 295 The Best Duos of All Time#59 of 299 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

  • 21
    The Little Mermaid

    ActorsJodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Edan Gross

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Animated cartoon, Animated series

    Based on: The Little Mermaid (1989)

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  • 22
    Clerks: The Animated Series

    ActorsBrian 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... more on Wikipedia

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    #118 of 303 The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season#365 of 537 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

  • 23
    In the Heat of the Night

    ActorsCarroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Anne-Marie Johnson, Lois Nettleton, Alan Autry

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Drama

    Based on: In the Heat of the Night (1967)

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    #146 of 160 Shows With The Best Freakin' Series Finales Of All Time#39 of 121 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

  • 24
    Lethal Weapon
    205
    233

    Lethal Weapon

    2016

    ActorsDamon Wayans, Clayne Crawford, Jordana Brewster, Keesha Sharp, Kevin Rahm

    Genres (Tv)Action, Comedy, Police procedural

    Lethal Weapon (Fox, 2016) is an American buddy cop action comedy-drama television series... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    DreamWorks Dragons

    ActorsJay 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)