As Seen on TV: Upcoming Films Based on Television Shows

Recycling is sometimes a good thing, because when you’re finished using a product, you can extend its life cycle by creating something that looks slightly newer. It’s like buying one and getting a second free. By buffing up an old dresser and slapping a coat of paint on it, you’re giving it a new lease of life.

This line of thinking can also work with television shows. You take a popular and beloved television series and revamp it into a film. You bring in new actors, a new director, an updated story line, and a nostalgic audience hungry for a cinematic time machine that can transport it back to a simpler time, and you ostensibly have a recipe for a slam-dunk.

Sometimes you do: See “The Muppet Movie,” “The Fugitive” and “The Brady Bunch Movie.” At other times you don’t, as was the case with “The Avengers” and “Land of the Lost,” for example. More often than not, however, films born out of television shows do not fare well at the box office, because they often fail to meet the expectations of their target audience. Sometimes the studios overestimate the public’s interest in seeing a particular television property resurrected. Nevertheless, for every nine “Bewitched” films produced homeland project free tv, there’s one “The Brady Bunch Movie,” and as long as Hollywood seems to believe that one out of ten isn’t so bad, television shows will continue to be remade into films for the foreseeable future. To underscore that point, following is a short list of upcoming movies that are based on television shows.

“Baywatch” (U.S. release date 2013, Paramount)

Even people who think that “Mitch Buchanan” is the name of an unknown sibling of a right-wing political commentator are familiar with the orange swimsuits and the images of toned, tanned bodies running in slow motion that defined this show. This television behemoth, starring David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson, ran for 10 years from 1989 to 1999. It was a huge, international success. The film based on the series has been in development since 2004, but it is finally showing real signs of life. The television series was an unintentionally funny drama, and the movie is being billed as a comedy, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out with audiences. Several television dramas such as “Starsky & Hutch” and “21 Jump Street” have been remade as comedies, often with lackluster results. “Night at the Museum” writer Robert Ben Garant is rumored to be helming the production. Justin Timberlake’s name has been tossed about as a possible member of the cast, and The Hoff has assured his fans that he will be reprising his original TV role in the upcoming film.

“CHiPs” (U.S. release date 2013, Warner Brothers)

Ever since Officers Jon and Ponch-and then Officers Steve and Jon, then Officers Bobby and Ponch, and finally, Probie Officer Bruce and Ponch-rode off into the California Highway Patrol sunset for the last time, fans of the low-key but popular cop show have wondered aloud among themselves and on television forums if a theatrical version of the TV show detailing the daily workings of the California Highway Patrol would ever be made. Their prayers-or fears-have been answered. The TV series, which ran from 1977 to 1983 and turned its original stars, Larry “Jon” Wilcox and Erik “Ponch” Estrada, into instant pinup boys, was pretty tame compared to other cop shows, even those airing at that time. None of the officers ever really pulled their guns, and struggles with suspects were pretty mild. The film is slated for a summer release, which means that we can most certainly expect spectacular chase scenes and explosive car crashes. Wilmer Valderrama is slated to play the role of Ponch. Veteran television showrunners Mark Torgove and Paul Kaplan (George Lopez, “Just Shoot Me,” “Spin City”) will be writing the script.

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