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Beloved 80s movies that became truly terrible TV series

Fatal Attraction is getting the small screen treatment, so we decided to bask in some glorious failures

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80s films that became terrible TV series

Paramount is turning Fatal Attraction into a TV series. The 1987 thriller opened the floodgates on a deluge of 'bunny boiler' exploitation flicks (a term famously coined by the film itself), including The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Single White Female and Basic Instinct, although the 'crazy female stalker' genre was arguably founded in 1971 with Clint Eastwood's directorial debut Play Misty for Me.

Described as an 'event TV series' (a peculiar new phrase recently attributed to returning shows including Twin Peaks and The X-Files), the new Fatal Attraction is based on a script by Mad Men producer/writing couple Maria and Andre Jacquemetton, featuring standalone one-hour episodes.

But not every film to TV adaptation turns out like Buffy, M*A*S*H* or Friday Night Lights. Here are a few examples of when it goes badly wrong …

Ferris Bueller

Based on the late John Hughes' classic truancy comedy, this single-season travesty presented itself as the real-life inspiration behind the film. Starring a man called Charlie Schlatter in the title role, it features another of Jennifer Aniston's seemingly-endless early career missteps (see also Mac and Me and Leprechaun). The show was cancelled during its debut season.

Working Girl

Mike Nichols' perky romantic comedy drama drew Oscar nominations for stars Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver and for the film itself. Two years later it was turned into a long-since forgotten vehicle for quirky young actress Sandra Bullock. The series was cancelled with its final four episodes unaired.

Dirty Dancing

The Dirty Dancing TV series was a remake of its filmic forebear, stretching the romance between Johnny and Baby over 11 excruciating episodes. The American Office's Melora Hardin played the corner-averse Baby, and Bridesmaids director Paul Feig showed up in a supporting role before the series was unceremoniously dumped.

Uncle Buck

The late John Candy left behind an impressive body of work over his short-lived career. While Uncle Buck is certainly one of his lesser films, it stands head-and-shoulders above its execrable TV spawn. Stand-up comedian Kevin Meaney (no, us neither) took over the title role as the fun-loving slob and created yet another bastard son which John Hughes had to publicly disown (see above). With Hughes and Candy long since passed, it's now up to their respective families to renounce the most recent Uncle Buck adaptation.


1. Noushin Kananian2 Jul 2015, 7:40pm Report

All the best Jen!

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