The release of the flop WALKING TALL TV series on DVD got me wondering about something…maybe you can help me.
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of an instance where a theatrical franchise (ie a series of films) that has played itself out on the big screen has successful re-invigorated itself on TV. PLANET OF THE APES, SHAFT, WALKING TALL, GIDGET, and POLICE ACADEMY, for example, all failed as TV series, lasting a season or less (SHAFT and WALKING TALL even had the stars of the movies in the series). Even TV series based on busted franchises in name only, like NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and FRIDAY THE 13th, also tanked. Can you think of a movie franchise that successfully made the transition to TV and found a second life?
The only one that comes to mind is INDIANA JONES, but even that doesn’t count. The INDIANA JONES franchise hadn’t played itself out and wasn’t going to TV for one, last-gasp chance at resurrection. THE SAINT, TARZAN, LASSIE and THE LONE RANGER were all a series of movies before jumping to TV, yet I don’t think they were really direct continuations of the theatrical franchises…though I could be wrong.