Yet Another TV Show Goes Big Screen

While movie stars are flocking to primetime…

…primetime shows are flooding the theatres. Variety Reports that the 70s sitcom GOOD TIMES is heading to a multiplex near you.

Management-production company Creative Production Group has secured featurefeature rights to "Good Times," the 1970s Norman Lear sitcom that captured the life of an African-American family living in a Chicago housing project. The rights were secured by CPG’s Rodney Omanoff and Graham Kaye, both of whom will produce.

With the film "Speedway Junky""Speedway Junky" atop its resume, CPG didn’t have a track record comparable to those of the other suitors who tried to win the rights over the past decade, from Wesley Snipes to Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Earvin "Magic" Johnson and the Wayans clan.

But Omanoff did have one advantage: He ran a collection agency, which enabled him to track down series co-creator Mike Evans. Best remembered for playing Lionel on "The Jeffersons," Evans long ago retired to live in the California desert. While series co-creator Eric Monte put together several possible deals, Evans objected to being an afterthought and declined to sign off on them. Omanoff was the first suitor to visit him, and Evans was persuaded to make the deal.


Gee, I can remember when it used to be the other way around… and they tried to make TV shows based on movies. I must be getting old.

7 thoughts on “Yet Another TV Show Goes Big Screen”

  1. Gee, I can remember when it used to be the other way around… and they tried to make TV shows based on movies.
    What’s even worse is if you can remember the actual shows on which they’re basing the movies. Would it be asking too much for the people involved to have at least a passing familiarity with the original series? As they so obviously don’t, then why the heck do they want to do a movie version?????
    I should have learned my lesson after the movie version of THE FUGITIVE, but of course I didn’t. As bad as that was, it couldn’t hold a candle to the horror that was the movie version of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.
    It’s a sad commentary when the movie that best captures the spirit of the TV series is THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.

  2. I thought THE FUGITIVE was one of the better ones. THE BRADY BUNCH, STAR TREK: WRATH OF KHAN, ADDAMS FAMILY and MAVERICK also captured the spirits of their respective TV shows very well. I have to confess to enjoying STARSKY AND HUTCH as well.
    Personally, I think WILD WILD WEST, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, AVENGERS, THUNDERBIRDS, and I SPY are among the biggest disappointments…

  3. Hmmm…interesting. I think Maverick and The Fugitive are awful big-screen adaptations of their original series. And while Mission: Impossible had little to do with the TV series (save the theme), I think it was a really great action flick. The Brady Bunch flicks were good because they lampooned the original.
    Here’s the thing that bothers me about TV shows going to the big screen: most of the TV shows that they pick were popular because of the original cast and/or they were a product of their time. I mean, really, most of the TV shows don’t have plots that naturally make you think “that would be a great big screen movie!” They were good (or good-bad in that way that is entertaining) because of that PARTICULAR cast and that PARTICULAR time. Who the hell wants to watch a big screen Charlie’s Angels (a terrible, terrible movie)? It was it’s time (the 70s) and the whole Farrah Fawcett/Cheryl Tiegs thing that was great about it.
    And the less said about I Spy and The Wild, Wild West the better. They not only soiled the memory of two of my favorite all-time shows, they raped it.

  4. I didn’t bother with I Spy. It just looked stupid, and Eddie Murphy was in his PLUTO NASH phase anyway.
    What’s bad about WILD, WILD WEST was that it had all the ingredients to work: The cast, Kevin Kline pulling double duty as US Grant, a brilliantly reimagined Loveless, Barry Sonnenfeld directing. But, and this is the frightening part, they had to rewrite the script from the original (which would have made Peter Jackson cringe at the effects budget, not to mention making LOTR look like film noir). So we got the IMPROVED version. As I told my wife, it was a script shy of a good movie, usually the case with an adaptation. If they had a decent script, I’d have forgotten the original. (And I can’t stand Robert Conrad in that skimpy cowboy outfit anyway. Maybe I’m just not as endeared to the original as some people.)
    Plus the Jules Verne motif of the show doesn’t work in this day and age. It also ruined THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (not that Sean Connery’s meddling helped.) No one’s willing to by Captain Nemo these days.

  5. You’re right, WILD WILD WEST was well cast… Will Smith would have made a fine James T. West and Kevin Kline was inspired as Artemus Gordon… but the script was way, way over the top and too overblown. I mean, c’mon, a Godzilla-sized mechanical spider?
    And where the hell was the WILD WILD WEST theme? One of the things Tom Cruise shrewdly really gets right about MISSION IMPOSSIBLE is using Lalo Schifrin’s score all over the movies (something STAR TREK, ADDAMS FAMILY, BRADY BUNCH and even CHARLIES ANGELS & SWAT got right). The theme strikes an immediate emotional chord with the audience… and is a important part of the franchise.
    You just have to hear a few notes of HAWAII 5-0 or DRAGNET and you evoke everything that’s positive about the franchise. It’s something the James Bond folks have always realized…they know the emotive power of the Bond theme. Dick Wolf certainly understands it…which is why he uses variations on the original LAW AND ORDER theme for each of his spin-off series.
    Since BATTLESTAR GALACTICA has been a subject of debate here, I’ll say the one thing that really worked about the original series, and that has endured, was the theme… I think Ron Moore made a mistake not using it more effectively in the mini-series “re-imagining.”

  6. BG. Now that was almost exactly how I would have done it, though I agree that theme could have been used more. Maybe it will be, but Moore said he was going for a 2001 feel for the movie. (I’m sorry. A 2-part, 4-hour program is NOT a miniseries. NORTH AND SOUTH was a miniseries. This was a long movie with a 24 hour intermission.) When it goes weekly, though, it wouldn’t hurt to use the theme.
    I’m also glad to see Richard Hatch has relented somewhat and decided to play along. I always thought he hurt his own cause by being so vocal against the SciFi project. It’s back. What more could you ask for, esp. when it took so long to do it?


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