Dateline Movies Countdown: Top 10 Best TV Shows Based on Movies (Part 1)

Every once in a while, a movie would be proven to be too successful to just leave those ideas in the big screen, while in some cases a movie could be deemed too lackluster that a small screen production could save it from obscurity. While most of the other shows out there that have been tied to their movie source material have been unsuccessful, there have actually been some pretty neat ones, and have received critical acclaim from critics and viewers alike. Before you tune-in to the new shows based on Lethal Weapon, Westworld and Mallrats (Man, those are a lot of movies taking a trip to prime time), revisit the best TV shows based on movies. Some of them you might have seen, some of them you haven't.

For this list, the show must qualify as basically a continuation or a prequel to the movies that they are based-on. Sometimes, they are made to fill-in some gaps. At the very least, it must have some form of connection with its big screen predecessors. Unfortunately, Marvel Shows such as the Netflix exclusives are excluded from this list, as they would very much takeover the entire list. So, what are we waiting for? Let's hop into Dateline Movies' countdown of the best shows based on movies!

10. Godzilla: The Series (1998-2001)

- Based on Roland Emmerich's Godzilla (1998)

Although Godzilla was very much alive before this film came out, the show was considered a follow-up to Emmerich's Godzilla. The 90s was an interesting decade. Aside from the rise of the Internet, we got a lot of very awesome and nostalgic animated shows, which are now considered classics nowadays. But did you know that in the 90s, we also had a fist full of animated shows based on movies? We had RoboCop, Jumanji, Men in Black (which we considered adding in this list, but did not make the cut), and The Mask. Although the latter two are based on comics, it was there respective films that helped them reached mainstream popularity. Among all of the adaptations however, Godzilla: The Series made it to this list as not only did it redeemed Godzilla's legacy, but was also much, much better than the theatrical version.

Godzilla: The Series chronicles the events that have transpired after Godzilla caused a ruckus in Manhattan, which occurred in the 1998 movie. From the same studios who gave us Men in Black and Extreme Ghostbusters,  we join Dr. Nick Tatopoulus, the protagonist for Godzilla of 1998, as he leads a research team known as HEAT, which stands for Humanitarian Environmental/Ecological Analysis Team. The team only has one objective, and that is to hunt down new monsters, that have been on the rise ever since.

While I slightly enjoy some parts of Emmerich's Godzilla, and while I really haven't watched this show yet, I would most definitely recommend this over the film which everyone loves to hate. The synopsis itself already piqued my interest, as this reminds of a little bit of Pacific Rim. The idea of introducing more monsters was a very great one. Besides, this show was much more reliable to the Godzilla franchise, more than the film it was based on.
9. Spider-Man: The New Animated Series / MTV Spider-Man (2003)

- Based on Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Films (2002-2007)

This short-lived and hugely underrated series, which was the best show MTV has made before focusing more on "music", has a special place in my inner child's heart. This show was exceptionally darker compared to the other Spider-Man show which aired at the same year, which was The Spectacular Spider-Man. The darkness of it all was very appealing, as it felt balanced. It was dark but at the same time very fun to watch. The animation is awesome, but not perfect. Hey, it was the early 2000s.

Originally pitched as an adaptation of the Ultimate Spider-Man series, the show shifted its focus to Sam Raimi's series because of its popularity. With the title character voiced by How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris, we focus on Spider-Man's life in and out of the costume as he makes his way through typical college life. Along the way, he gets to fight characters from the comics such as The Lizard and The Kingpin, and also new enemies such as The Talon and Turbo Jet.

I was heartbroken when I found-out not too long ago that the show was axed, especially since the show ended with a cliffhanger, and I really don't like unresolved cliffhangers. I decided to relive its former glory by binge-watching the episodes in YouTube about a year ago, and the quality doesn't seem to lose. The team's plans for Season 2 were also sadly passed-on, which would have had Peter trying to regain the city's trust in him. But then again, it might have been for the better as they just killed about two of the web-head's notable villains in the series. Furthermore, it would have contradicted Raimi's continuity, and we wouldn't want that. I'd still recommend it for those who have a burning hatred for Spider-Man 3.

8. The Real Ghostbusters (1986-1992) and Extreme Ghostbusters (1997)

- Based on The Original Ghostbusters Films (1984-1989)

I'm not much of a fan of Ghostubusters. I did enjoy watching the first movie of the series, and I would most certainly choose the previous two films over the reboot. I'm not being political or anything, but the first trailer didn't leave that much impression on my face. The jokes are pretty corny, by the way, but the music of the trailer was actually very good. These two distinctly toned follow-ups, one being campy and geared for children, and one being dark and geared for teens, did a great job at honoring the Ghostbusters' legacy.

The Real Ghostbusters focused on the familiar roster of ghost-hunting gentlemen in their typical missions, and of course, shenanigans. This show didn't have that much story to go around, thus being granted the eighth place in this list. However, Extreme Ghostbusters takes the same spot for delivering a unique entry to the franchise. Here, the Ghostbusters are long retired after the lack of ghost activity put them out of business. Egon Spengler decided to recruit his trusty students to restart their team after new ghosts begin appearing.

The reason why there are two shows for this spot is because, well, they are both based on one film series. In addition, each were able to offer something great. I only watched The Real Ghostbusters with my younger cousin, who is a fan, and I sometimes laugh because it reminds more of the Scooby-Doo cartoons I regularly watch. Despite being unbearably campy, the show did maintain the same funny side, albeit toned down, of the films. Extreme Ghostbusters was basically the Batman Beyond of the films, and while I also haven't watched this one yet, there is no question that this could have been a great basis for a now scrapped Ghostbusters 3. Speaking of which, did anybody read the leak script pages for the proposed sequel, and how it focused on a new generation of Ghostbusters? I personally think that that would have been a great story. Also, I might as well find the complete script to make a new entry for our cancelled movie posts.

7. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009)

- Based on The Terminator Franchise (1984-Present)

I believe we can all agree that the recent Terminator films are subpar at best compared to the two James Cameron-made installments. Sure, we get to see Arnold Schwarzenegger kick Terminator butt again and again, with a couple of one-liners of curse, but none can capture the sci-fi dread that the original films made. Nowadays, the Terminator films are sacrificing coherent storytelling for non-stop CGI bonanza. However, before the Terminator series is reviled by fans for what it is today, one short-lived television program managed to leave a lasting impression for followers of the franchise, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

This series retells basically the formula of all Terminator films, as Sarah Connor, who was played by pre-Game of Thrones Lena Headey, with her son John Connor, make their way to endless hordes of Terminators sent by the malevolent Skynet. They are assisted by a new Terminator reprogrammed by the future John Connor named Cameron, which is a nice nod to the first two films' director.

I haven't watched this show, just like about half of the other series in this list (I used IMDb as a guide for this list), but I have heard a lot of great things about this show. It was totally expected that Lena Headey would make a great Sarah Connor, which is weird considering that Emilia Clarke recently played Sarah Connor in the hated Terminator: Genisys. But it wasn't only Headey who stood-out, Summer Glau, the  lead Terminator of the series, and Thomas Dekker's John Connor were all great in their roles. The only negative aspect that I heard was that the show would tend to get predictable, especially since the core formula is about running away from crazed Terminators. On the bright side, people say that this really was better than Terminator: Salvation and Genisys.

6. Tron: Uprising (2012-2013)

- Based on the Tron Series (1982-2010)

Disney's Tron was one of the classics that pushed the boundaries for technical brilliance in filming industry. While the story boggled a lot of minds, as said by many other critics, Tron was a major influence nonetheless. When Tron: Legacy came-out, with the project headed by Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski and the film's score made by none other than electronic duo Daft Punk, fans were confused as this one was much more complicated and less interesting than the original one. I watched the second one, and the story was nowhere near as crystal clear. But Disney knew better than just to discard a vast world of possibilities for Tron, and as such, another short-lived series was made in the form of Tron: Uprising.

In the animated Tron: Uprising, a computer programmer named Beck, voiced by post-Lord of The Rings fame Elijah Wood, is dragged into the world of the Grid, a cybernetic reality, where he is trained by the Grid's original protector, Tron. Now that the original Tron is hiding in the shadows, Beck must unlock his full potential and save the Grid from the clutches of its maniacal rulers.

Like Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles, I haven't watched this yet (I'm too occupied to watch these shows), but I've heard a lot of positive responses for this show. While I don't necessarily find the animation unique, judging by the images I've seen in the Internet, various Internet reviewers say that this show deserves a fighting chance. The good aspects of the show include the storyline, the voice-acting, and the overall experience. If the overarching story of the show is considered great, then you know that this is a good one.

My oh my, will you look at the huge word count! This post is super lengthy, and it would be very bad for a reader to just keep reading a long post. In the meantime, we'll have to continue this countdown some other time. Before you leave, take a look at some at the new trailers for Westworld and Lethal Weapon, which I mentioned that they are getting the TV do-over. Seriously, this doesn't seem necessary, except for Westworld, because HBO knows how to make a television program. As an added bonus, take a look at this adaptation of, Rush Hour? Really? What's next? The Exorcist, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Training Day, Frequency? Nevermind, these are now confirmed too. By the end of this countdown, we might as well make the Worst TV Shows Based On Movies, especially now that these kinds of shows are currently trending.

Also, this week, we lost Antony Yelchin. He was one of the best up-and-coming actors I have known, and his talents were put too good use in the Star Trek reboot films. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.



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