TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

Over 90 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books
Voting Rules
Vote up the television series that are the latest adaptation of a property that has already been a book or short story and a film. No play adaptations.
Latest additions: Let the Right One In, Interview with the Vampire
Most divisive: The Firm

TV show adaptations of books often have an advantage over adapting books into movies. On the big screen, the material might feel rushed given the 90-120 minute format, actors with big names are cast over more suitable unknowns, and sometimes the format of book-to-film can feel a bit formulaic. Enter the world of television! Television adaptations of books that follow the release of films often learn several lessons from their predecessors as to what works and what absolutely does not work.

This list is a collection of the best TV shows based on books, that were first adapted into films, and then adapted into television shows.

Vote up the best of these shows below - whether because they nailed the adaptation or because they were top-notch, quality programming in their own right. If you see any movies that were turned into shows missing, make sure to add it below, but remember the list rules- no play adaptations! 

Ranked by
  • Sherlock
    40 votes

    Books: A Study in Scarlet (1887), The Sign of the Four (1890), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901-1902), The Valley of Fear (1914-1915) and 56 short stories collected in: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892), The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894), The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905), His Last Bow (1917) and The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    Films: Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

    The first film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes was released in 1900, titled Sherlock Holmes Baffled. Since then, the property has been adapted and and inspired countless forms of media. 

    Delving into the intricate world of crime-solving, Sherlock presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved detective stories. With its clever writing and masterful performances from Benedict Cumberbatch as the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as the loyal Dr. John Watson, this British television series has garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase. Amidst its four seasons, the show has earned numerous accolades, including BAFTA and Emmy awards. Each episode unravels a new mystery, keeping viewers on their toes with unexpected twists and turns, all while showcasing the undeniable chemistry between the lead characters.

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  • Books: Every novel featuring Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's canon.

    Films: Alibi (1931), Black Coffee (1931), Murder at the Gallop (1963), Murder Most Foul (1964), The Alphabet Murders (1965), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Death on the Nile (1978), Evil Under The Sun (1982), Dead Man's Folly (1986), Appointment with Death (1988).

    Agatha Christie's Poirot is a masterful adaptation of the classic detective novels, inviting viewers into a world of mystery and intrigue. The series shines with its meticulous attention to detail, transporting audiences to the 1930s with stunning period sets and costumes. David Suchet's portrayal of the iconic detective Hercule Poirot has been universally praised, earning him a BAFTA nomination for his performance. With its cleverly woven plots, the show has garnered numerous accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series. As each episode unfolds, viewers are treated to a subtle dance of intellect and intuition, making Agatha Christie's Poirot a timeless gem in the realm of television crime dramas.
  • M*A*S*H
    30 votes

    Book: MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker (1968)

    Film: M*A*S*H (1970)

    Set against the backdrop of the Korean War, MASH is a groundbreaking dramedy that masterfully blends humor and heartache to explore the complexities of wartime camaraderie. The show boasts an ensemble cast led by the wisecracking surgeon Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) and his colleagues, who navigate the harsh realities of war while finding solace in their shared experiences. Over its 11-season run, MASH garnered critical acclaim, earning numerous Emmy Awards and Golden Globe nominations. Its compelling storylines, memorable characters, and powerful commentary on the human condition continue to resonate with audiences, solidifying its status as a timeless classic in television history.

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  • Book: In the Heat of the Night by John Ball (1965)

    Film: In the Heat of the Night (1967)

    Investigators tackle difficult cases.

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  • Daredevil
    23 votes

    Book: Daredevil (1964-present)

    Film: Daredevil (2003)

    Daredevil, a riveting crime drama series, delves into the life of blind attorney Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) as he navigates the treacherous streets of Hell's Kitchen, New York. With his heightened senses, Murdock transforms into the fearless vigilante Daredevil, seeking justice beyond the confines of the courtroom. The show, praised for its gritty storytelling and exceptional fight choreography, has garnered multiple award nominations including a Saturn Award for Best New Media Television Series. As the narrative unfolds, viewers are introduced to an array of compelling characters, such as the enigmatic Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio), whose intricate storylines contribute to the show's gripping appeal.

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  • Sleepy Hollow

    Book: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (1820)

    Film: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

    In a modern-day retelling of Washington Irving's classic tale, Sleepy Hollow delivers an enthralling blend of mystery, horror, and fantasy. This critically acclaimed series has garnered numerous award nominations, showcasing the exceptional talents of its ensemble cast. The plot revolves around the resurrection of Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), who finds himself in contemporary times, tasked with preventing the apocalypse alongside Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie). With captivating storytelling and a richly layered mythology, Sleepy Hollow seamlessly weaves historical events and figures into its narrative, providing viewers with a thrilling adventure that keeps them on the edge of their seats.

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