You can hardly blame the powers that be for wanting to capitalize on the success of an unusually popular movie by creating a television spin-off. Undoubtedly they will expect it to be met with open arms and, more importantly, open wallets. They try to say that it will tie up loose ends from the original film and expand upon the story lines. The problem is, you see, that for the most part films don't lend themselves to the episodic nature of television. They are very much self-contained units that function perfectly well on their own, and stretching them out is often detrimental. Then consider the fact that film stars, until very recently, didn't do television, and therefore would be unlikely to reprise their role. It's a recipe for disaster, and unsurprisingly a lot of these TV spin-offs were met with derision and swift cancellation, this restoring balance to the universe. Sure, every once in a while, there's a television adaptation that's genuinely good, but that's the exception rather than the rule. For every Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Odd Couple, there are dozens of awful programs that really should have left well enough alone.
10. Dirty Dancing
Dirty Dancing is yet another example that most of the time, that ineffable quality that makes a film a hit is often down to the magic of the specific actors cast in the project. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey brought a tremendous amount of chemistry to Dirty Dancing (despite their off-screen adversarial relationship), and producers would find it difficult to replicate without them. In the television version, Baby was played by Melora Hardin who, instead of being the daughter of a vacationing doctor, was Max Kellerman's kid put in charge of the entertainment staff. Patrick Cassidy had the unenviable task of taking over the role of Johnny Castle from Patrick Swayze, a character which was largely unchanged. The story still took place at a sleepy mountain resort in the early 1960s, and everything was pretty much the same except significantly less good. CBS ended up pulling the plug on the series due to low ratings after only eleven episodes.
Audrey Fox is an ex-film student, which means that she prefers to spend her days in the dark, watching movies and pondering the director's use of diegetic sound. She currently works as an entertainment writer, joyfully rambling about all things film and television related. Add her on Twitter at @audonamission and check out her film blog at 1001moviesandbeyond.com.