vote on everything
Watchworthy
62 voters

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

Updated October 9, 2020 781 votes 62 voters60 items

List RulesVote 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.

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! 

...more
  • 1
    Agatha Christie's Poirot is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    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).

    amazon_watch buy button

    More Agatha Christie's Poirot 

    #2 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked#186 of 390 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

  • 2
    The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood (1985)

    Film: The Handmaid's Tale (1990)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More The Handmaid's Tale 

    The Best Characters On 'The Handmaid's Tale'Ranking the Best Seasons of 'The Handmaid's Tale'

  • 3
    M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

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

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

    amazon_watch buy button

    More M*A*S*H 

    #11 of 72 The Longest Running US Sitcoms#8 of 335 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

  • 4
    The Witcher is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Books: The book series collected under the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, containing both novels and short stories.

    Film: The Hexer (2001)

    Netflix's The Witcher is actually the second television adaptation of Sapkowski's work. A single season Polish television series also aired in 2002.

    amazon_watch buy button

    More The Witcher 

    Wardrobe Secrets From Behind The Scenes Of 'The Witcher'Tumblr Writes How 'Witcher' Characters Would Act In Everyday Life, And It's Hilariously Accurate

  • 5
    Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    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. 

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 6
    Watchmen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books
    27
    14

    Watchmen

    Book: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons with John Higgins (1987)

    Film: Watchmen (2009)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More 

    The Best And Worst Characters On HBO's 'Watchmen'Subtle Details About HBO's 'Watchmen' You Wouldn't Know From Just Watching The Show

  • 7
    Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: Psycho by Robert Bloch (1959)

    Films: Psycho (1960)

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 8
    The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Books: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolken (1954)

    Films: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King (2003)

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 9
    Poldark is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books
    25
    17

    Poldark

    Books: A series of novels subtitled A Novel of Cornwall that take place between 1783 and 1820, written by Winston Graham (released between 1945-2002)

    Film: Poldark (1996)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More 

    The Best Episodes of 'Poldark'Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Poldark'

  • 10
    Treadstone is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books
    18
    8

    Treadstone

    Books: The Bourne Identity (1980), The Bourne Supremacy (1986), The Bourne Ultimatum (1990) by Robert Ludlum.

    Films: The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Bourne Legacy (2012), Jason Bourne (2016)

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 11
    Conan the Adventurer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Books: Conan (1967), Conan of Cimmeria (1969), Conan the Freebooter (1968), Conan the Wanderer (1968), Conan the Adventurer (1966), Conan the Buccaneer (1971), Conan the Warrior (1967), Conan the Usurper (1967), Conan the Conqueror  (1967), Conan the Avenger (1968),  Conan of Aquilonia (1977),  Conan of the Isles (1968), by Robert E. Howard et al. 

    Films: Conan the Barbarian (1982), Conan the Destroyer (1984)

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 12
    Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H. G. Bissinger (1990)

    Film: Friday Night Lights (2004)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More Friday Night Lights 

    20 Fun Facts to Know About Friday Night Lights#93 of 639 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch

  • 13
    The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books
    20
    15

    The Exorcist

    Book: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (1971)

    Film: The Exorcist (1973)

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 14
    Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: Daredevil (1964-present)

    Film: Daredevil (2003)

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 15
    In the Heat of the Night is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

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

    Film: In the Heat of the Night (1967)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More In the Heat of the Night 

    #23 of 82 The Best TV Shows Based on Movies#39 of 120 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

  • 16
    Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)

    Film: Catch-22 (1970)

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 17
    Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick (1956)
    Film: Minority Report (2002)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More Minority Report 

    #214 of 308 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time#80 of 83 The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made

  • 18
    Nancy Drew is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Books: 175 Nancy Drew novels, created by Edward Stratemeyer and ghostwritten by a number of authors, published under the collective pseudonym "Carolyn Keen" (1930-2003)

    Films: Nancy Drew (2002), Nancy Drew (2007)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More Nancy Drew 

    #100 of 144 The TV Shows Most Loved by Hipsters#116 of 278 The Best TV Shows You Can Watch On HBO Max

  • 19
    A Series of Unfortunate Events is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Books: A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket.

    Film: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More A Series of Unfortunate Events 

    Dark Scenes Left Out Of Netflix's 'A Series Of Unfortunate Events' (Plus A Few Vile Additions)The Best Episodes of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'

  • 20
    Jack Ryan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Books: Ryanverse series by Tom Clancy and various authors (1984-present)

    Films: The Hunt for Red October (1990), Patriot Games (1992), Clear and Present Danger (1994), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More Jack Ryan 

    The Best Episodes of 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan'#4 of 88 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

  • 21
    Limitless is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: The Dark Fields (later republished as Limitless) by Alan Glynn (2001)

    Film: Limitless (2011)

    amazon_watch buy button
  • 22
    The Little Drummer Girl is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré (1983)

    Film: The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More The Little Drummer Girl 

    #38 of 162 The Best New Shows That Premiered in 2018#51 of 59 2019 Golden Globes: Biggest Snubs

  • 23
    Dracula is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

    Film: Dracula (1931)
     

    Dracula has inspired or has been adapted for film upwards of 50-plus times since the 1920's and nine times for television since the 1960's.

    amazon_watch buy button

    More Dracula 

    #38 of 49 The Best Vampire TV Shows of All Time, Ranked#21 of 24 The Best Fantasy Shows Based On Books

  • 24
    High Fidelity is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (1995)

    Film: High Fidelity (2000)

    amazon_watch buy button

    More High Fidelity 

    #127 of 300 The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season#297 of 312 The Best Female-Led TV Shows

  • 25
    Logan's Run is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

    Book: Logan's Run by William F. Nolan (1967)

    Film: Logan's Run (1976)

    amazon_watch buy button
TV ProgramsFilmTVEntertainmenttop 50Adaptations