After years of hearing talk about how TV is now better than film, the movie industry is finally getting its revenge—by taking over television.
In a flurry of development activity over the past month, each of the five U.S. broadcast networks announced plans to turn several feature films into potential series. Fox is reviving the Tom Hanks 1988 comedy Big, 2002 Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg sci-fi thriller Minority Report and the 2005 Jennifer Lopez/Jane Fonda comedy Monster-in-Law. CBS is prepping the 1998 Chris Tucker/Jackie Chan comedy Rush Hour and the 2004 Dennis Quaid/Topher Grace comedy-drama In Good Company. NBC is tackling the 1990 John Ritter comedy Problem Child and 1985 Val Kilmer cult comedy Real Genius. ABC is working on the 1989 John Candy comedy Uncle Buck, while CW is adapting the 2006 Edward Norton drama The Illusionist.
Hollywood apparently won’t stop until it turns every movie into a series. It’s the strongest indication yet that there are few original ideas left among the broadcast networks, which already packed this fall’s television lineup with comic-book adaptations and spinoffs.
“When you have 300 scripted shows on many different networks, to have a presold title helps so much for marketing,” Darryl Frank, co-president of Minority Report producer Amblin Entertainment, told The Hollywood Reporter, while co-president Justin Falvey added, “And in a risk-averse environment—for any of these networks—a title is a proven commodity.”