Sunday, June 26, 2016
BRINING BACK THE HITS (TELEVISION STYLE)
It was recently announced that the films BIG, UNCLE BUCK are being made into episodic television.
UNCLE BUCK (just recently premiered)
With this recent trend of studios attempting to make more and more hot films into television shows. Particularly seeming to pick 80's hit movies at this go round. To make into hopefully hit series.
It truly proves that the predictions at this time seem to be right as television seems to be the next frontier for Filmmakers and writers. As you can explore more of the hidden depths of the story and Characters beyond the 90 minute to 2 hour format we know them from.
Now this isn't a necessarily new formula as in the past it seemed like in the 80's there were plenty of examples of hit movies being turned into television shows FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, WEIRD SCIENCE. Now while not entirely successful on ratings or quality. It seemed like a natural way to tap into the popularity of the shows while not having to come up with a sequel thy could seem expensive and not entirely making any sense. These titles might not have particularly lent themselves to be sequelized there are some attempts in the graveyard that never saw the light of day THE BREAKFAST CLUB: The series, CLERKS: The series. -
What I am trying to say is thy whole this is popular now it’s always been around. It's just now with shows like ABOUT A BOY, THE DEAD ZONE, TEEN WOLF and PARENTHOOD. Doing it successfully ratings wise and critically. It seems like a natural way and cost effective way to go about things. As it seems of you remake or re-imagine popular films no matter what the quality. There will be some audiences who hate it or will complain about it not being as good. Making a television show is just a popular way of doing it and Saving money. The success of these shows more recently also erases the negative stigma of seeming like a cash-in and recasting as actors are older and have moved on. Thy shows such as FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, COMING TO AMERICA, BUSTIN LOOSE and even UNCLE BUCK. Incidentally One of the shows being shopped around again. as a television series also these shows mentioned earlier have already fought the battle that lied ahead when they were first aired.
There are also recent examples such as CLUELESS and ARE WE THERE YET! That were show run by the makers an sold more into syndication to run rather than compete in ratings and weekly regular television. Just like Tyler Perry who has made television shows based on some of his films or at least characters from his films. Franchising them and his creativity to a degree, but that is a whole article altogether. Though he did set up the modern example For syndication, by creating 10 episodes seeing how they do in syndication and if it goes well. A deal is signed for a channel such as TNT OR TBS to fund 90 more episodes.
It also cuts down the show runners work of having to introduce a totally new character and make then lovable for an audience. Of course there is a reintroduction needed, but more to familiarize audiences and get them to be open for not only a new version of the role but a reintroduction of the character and their dynamics as they are more there dimensional. All from a simple log line or sentences of characterization. It also let's the show runner explore the films universe and world create more dynamics.
Usually the creators of these films have no interest, not are really part of the show-running. In fact recently a television series based on SAY ANYTHING was considered but quickly terminated as writer-Director Cameron Crowe voiced his disapproval of it. Even though the movie studio 20th Century fox owned the rights and could legally go forward. they respects his wishes as well as the backlash that would have come from him personally of they find as well as messing up any business relations between them. I am sure public backlash played a role.
Each year there is no shortage of original pitches if the studios want to try warmed over ideas go for it though don't be surprised if it doesn't work as there is no proven formula quality television shows get cancelled all the time as rather simplistic c ones love in forever. Even sure one hits bomb time to time. As some times shows and their stars have fans either just not enough to keep the show on air or people are watching other shows that they like more then the show. Though of it was on at a different time it would have the ratings also some viewers go against critics as a rule so if they acclaim a show they refuse to watch it wanting to decide for themselves.
It also let's the show runners of not part of the Making of the original production of the films, they get to remake it in their own way and version. Sort of like a critic taking everything they loved about it and correcting what they see as the mistakes of the original.
The showrunners can expand universe of these characters and films. Reminding the audience of whatever happened to questions and answering them. Especially with even cancelled shows coming back for more seasons after years of being off the air (THE COMEBACK, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT) showing that nothin really ends necessarily after final credits. Especially if they are left open ended.
As not only is this an influence, I try but also with so many new shows failing to find an audience. It isn't necessarily easy to find the next big hit. Even with original material.
Right now these shows are in the experimental phase as it's not promised to make it past the pilot phase. They could easily end up In The graveyard as many pilots do they might have favor over other original shows bit they still have to compete.
In their favor they have the nostalgia factor as fans of those films are in the market as parents and if you can influence their kids to watch it. They will as well even of forced doing family time. The adults will also be curios to revisit their teenage and childhood favorites. Similar to how kids entertainment. Rebounded into popular reboots of cartoon series for a whole new generation to enjoy with modern twists and technology. ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, YOGI BEAR, THE SMURFS, MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. The kids will watch it and the parents want to take them as they get to share and revisit. (My only personal complaint is that I would love to see those original series released on DVD, though as it is being reinvented they seem to want To hide and destroy any remanents of the past, unlike remakes of films which seem to why to want you to see the originals an re-release them. I am guessing to see how far they have come technology and story wise also to resell the originals to those who want and prefer the classic version.
This trend is also happening in the theater as in the broadway stage (as well as English stage) half of the broadway shows are from the movies. Just with added songs (mostly though some like THE GRADUATE are plays) and working the story to be more presentable for the stage. There are quite a few hits and tony winners. KINKY BOOTS, SUNSET BOULEVARD, THE PRODUCERS, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, HAIRSPRAY, CRY-BABY
As well as off broadway cult titles EVIL DEAD, THE TOXIC AVENGER, HEATHERS
I should know I own a few of these theatrical soundtracks myself
As television seems to be the next frontier to Create (other then animation, graphic novels and video games) why not attempt something that has already been proven successful? Just update it. The same thinking that goes into remakes.
There is no shortage of shows and pilots. Though it's built in popularity might give It a slight edge plus some shows seem perfect fodder for television series, just as some more recent series seem more like fodder as films rather then episodic weekly television (SELFIE)
Don't forget the 80's and 90's also produced many animated series continuations of films THE TOXIC CRUSADERS, BACK TO THE FUTURE, BILL AND TED's EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, TEEN WOLF, THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS.
Can't really say if this is good or bad, We will just have to see the product and it's presentation.
It just seems like a fad at least to me at this time or at least as we are hearing about it all at the same time. Maybe these were all In Gestation and now just got the official greenlight.
I am sure some word update that innocent simpler charm and be able to survive hopefully modern snark and extreme situations.
Not a new idea or gesture
It's strange as some of those films are time capsules of their requisite time periods universal in appeal And are hallmarks of a time that doesn't exist anymore
Every once In awhile they stumble upon a hit