TV shows go to the movies

By Colin Mahan

Jun 24, 2005

Hollywood's love affair with remaking television shows into motion pictures continues this summer with Bewitched, based on the '60s comedy, and The Dukes of Hazzard, based on the popular lowbrow car-chase show from the '80s.

Bewitched stars Nicole Kidman in the part made famous by Elizabeth Montgomery, as a pretty suburban housewife who happens to be a witch. Former SNL funnyman Will Ferrell costars. Classing up the joint will be Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine.

The Dukes of Hazzard, the post-Smokey and the Bandit action comedy about the Duke family's never-ending battle to defeat bumbling cops and the crooked Boss Hogg, is coming to the big screen, starring Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson, and Burt Reynolds. The casting alone appeals to the lowest-common denominator necessary to insure success.

In the past, television-to-movie conversions have met with varying degrees of success. Both Mission: Impossible films were huge summertime blockbusters. The Addams Family and Charlie's Angels proved that updates can be fun and profitable. Starsky & Hutch made $86 million, yet it's difficult to find someone who liked it. Universally panned Wild Wild West made more than $100 million, simultaneously benefiting from and nearly destroying the marquee value of Will Smith.

Regardless of the outcome, Hollywood bravely soldiers on with plans for reimaginings of Land of the Lost, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Wonder Woman.

So far, no studio has expressed interest in updating Manimal.

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  • Giant_Chicken Aug 11, 2005

    This is usually a disaster.

  • rsloane Jun 24, 2005

    i hope dukes flops. maybe that will be the end of jessica for a while! i'm tired of talentless "stars".

  • KarenHlly Jun 24, 2005

    I wrote a blog about this (http://www.tv.com/users/KarenHlly/profile.php?fpage=jnl_entry.php&board;=17487&topic;=24313). Next thing you know we'll be getting that dreaded My Mother the Car movie after all.

  • lhcjr Jun 24, 2005

    Hollywood goes to television, again. Starsky and Hutch was redone with a comedic angle, featuring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Although it made big money at the box office, making it a comedy turned off many fans of the original series. In The Wild, Wild West, the protrayals by Kevin Kline and Will Smith lacked the chemistry that Robert Conrad and Ross Martin had. The Lost in Space film (Matt LeBlanc as Major West?) didn't have Irwin Allen's style. As the article stated, there have been some instances where Hollywood got it right, Mission Impossible I and II, Charlie's Angels. Each of the successful television shows that have been made into films has its own uniqueness and appeal. Based on early promotional information, the tone of Dukes and Bewitched seems to reflect the spirit of the originals. If Hollywood studios want to borrow from tv, they need to retain the elements which made the series popular.

  • egon_05 Jun 24, 2005

    I think so far they all **** and bewitched will blow and so will DOH. We need originality in movies poeple. I hope an oscar winning screenwriter is reading this. We need more Garden States and Eternal Sunshines

  • ACNutz13 Jun 24, 2005

    Bewitched looks really cute... I really hope it makes it as a movie cause its got 2 great actors in it. Can't wait to see it!

  • actiontwinkle Jun 24, 2005

    i love manimal! let's start a 'save manimal' campaign!