the Door to Yesterday vol. 4, No 8. alan Warner. 2019

 

 

 

Mixed Media. TV Shows that Became Movies. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019.

 Television was once the enemy of the movie industry. 


In the early 1950’s, movie theatre attendance was suffering from the growing popularity of TV 

which led to filmmakers inventing new ways of creating excitement in cinemas such as with the 

introduction of wide screen formats such as CinemaScope, Cinerama & VistaVision. 


Today however, the movie and TV industries work in concert with each other 

and many successful properties switch from the small screen to the big screen and vice versa. 


Indeed, two of this year’s box-office hits were derived directly from television concepts. 

With its vintage period setting,DOWNTON ABBEY came lock, stock and barrel from a British TV series 

of the same name which had premiered in 2010 and THE ADDAMS FAMILY is an animated film based on the

 similarly-titled 1960’s live-action TV spooky sitcom series which was subsequently extended into two earlier

 live-action theatrical films first in 1991 and again in ’93. 


In addition, Thanksgiving will see the premiere of 

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD,

 the biographical film of TV star Fred Rogers and also opening this month

 will be a third CHARLIE’S ANGELS movie based around the 1976 adventure series. 


RADIO, TV and FILM CHARACTERS...


Dragnet. The door To Yesrterday. Alan Warner. 2019.

 Looking back over the years, 

certain properties have stretched even back to radio days…

as in the case of the police drama DRAGNET 

which was a radio series that debuted in 1949 

and then its creator & star Jack Webb (pictured above) developed a parallel TV series beginning in 1951 and the format was revived in the 1987 movie DRAGNET 

starring Dan Aykroyd & Tom Hanks.

The Lone Ranger. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 Longtime masked man favorite THE LONE RANGER 

also made its debut on radio beginning in 1933; 

two movie serials took up the storyline in ’38 & ’39 

& then the character with his faithful Indian companion 

Tonto started its long TV run in ’49. 


Two big screen versions followed in the 50’s 

but the more recent revival left a lot to be desired. 

Here’s a YouTube link to the opening titles of the 

1950’s TV version complete with its famous use of an

 extract from Rossini’s WILLIAM TELL OVERTUREhttps://youtu.be/jbQfutzSJoc


Similarly, the sitcoms OUR MISS BROOKS 

and THE LIFE OF RILEY started on radio, 

became hit TV shows and were also developed 

into movie vehicles..

Batman’s Last Chance. the Door to Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 Certain comic book superheroes have long been giant favorites in various media. Both BATMAN and SUPERMAN

 had appeared in their own TV series prior to their contemporary box-office hit movies but both characters had earlier 

been heroic champions on radio and in movie serials. 


Another comic book favorite THE INCREDIBLE HULK was featured in a 1966 animated TV series 

and SPIDER-MAN had appeared in an cartoon TV series in ’67 and a live-action TV series ten years 

later titled THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.  

From Radio To Film. PC 49. The Door To Yesterday. alan Warner. 2019.

 A number of British home-grown characters 

also transitioned

 from radio into film such as in the case

 of DICK BARTON SPECIAL AGENT. 


Literary heroes BULLDOG DRUMMOND 

and SHERLOCK HOLMES have both been the subject 

of radio, film & TV properties. 


In addition, the BBC’s legendary wartime radio comedy show

 ITMA (IT’S THAT MAN AGAIN) was developed into a 

movie spinoff released there in 1943. 


Private detective PAUL TEMPLE was another very popular 

fictional British radio character beginning in the 30’s and 

was later featured in films and a TV series. 


British copper P.C. 49 was the hero of a radio series 

in the 40’s whose adventures were subsequently explored

 in two feature films beginning with the one pictured above

 from 1949.

image87

 Following the huge 1958 Christmas hit record 

THE CHIPMUNK SONG, David Seville’s characters 

Alvin, Simon & Theodore became the stars of the animated TV series THE ALVIN SHOW and full-scale movies in the 2000s.  


Other small-screen cartoon favorites who trekked 

into motion pictures included THE FLINTSTONES, 

GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE, THE JETSONS, MR. MAGOO, 

ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE and YOGI BEAR.

The Addams Family. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 Both the aforementioned THE ADDAMS FAMILY 

and CHARLIE’S ANGELS are examples of 

TV Shows from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s that were 

developed into film projects.

Mission Impossible. The Door To Yesrterday. Alan Warner. 2019.

 Most successful by far from those years were 

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and STAR TREK which both made their debut 

in 1966 and whose franchises still continue into contemporary projects.

The Beverly Hillbillies. The Door To Yesterday. alan warner. 2019

 Among the many other American

 small-screen successes that transitioned into 

full-length films were:

 

THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, BEWITCHED, 

THE BRADY BUNCH, CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU?, 

CHIPS, DARK SHADOWS, THE DUKES OF HAZZARD, 

THE FUGITIVE, GET SMART, THE HONEYMOONERS,

 H.F. PUFNSTUF, I SPY, 

LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, LOST IN SPACE, 

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E, MAVERICK, 

McHALE’S NAVY,  THE MOD SQUAD,

 THE MUNSTERS, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, 

PETER GUNN, THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW

 (the show was the basis for the 1996 movie SGT. BILKO)

SESAME STREET, STARSKY AND HUTCH, 

S.W.A.T., THE TWILIGHT ZONE 

and THE WILD WILD WEST.

the Avengers. Patrick MacNee and Diana rigg. Alan Warner. The Door To Yesterday. 2019.

 Among the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s British TV series which resulted in movie spin-offs were: 

ARE YOU BEING SERVED?, THE ARMY GAME (Its movie spinoff was titled I ONLY ASKED!)

THE AVENGERS (that’s the spy series starring Patrick Macnee & Honor Blackman, 

not the contemporary sci-fi adventure movies), BLESS THIS HOUSE, CALLAN, 

DAD’S ARMY, DOCTOR WHO, DOOMWATCH, FATHER DEAR FATHER, 

GEORGE AND MILDRED (which had started as a spin-off from MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE TV show),

 THE GROVE FAMILY (The 1955 Grove Family film was called IT’S A GREAT DAY!) , THE LIKELY LADS, 

LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR, MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE, MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS, THE MUPPET SHOW, 

ON THE BUSES, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, PLEASE SIR, PORRIDGE, THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT, 

RISING DAMP, 6-5 SPECIAL, STEPTOE AND SON, THE SWEENEY, THUNDERBIRDS, UP POMPEII 

and WHACKO (Its movie was called BOTTOMS UP).


 In addition, three episodes of the 1950’s British police series 

FABIAN OF THE YARD were combined into a single feature which was released theatrically.


I haven’t included the very popular British suspense series THE SAINT

 because its character Simon Templar had been the subject in American films

 in the 30’s & 40’s, long before his 1962 TV debut on British ITV.


To close out this blog, here is a YouTube clip of the opening titles of 

MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS

 featuring the theme tune THE LIBERTY BELL by John Philip Sousa

 played by the Band Of Grenadier Guards.

 https://youtu.be/2AxiATxLofk


The TV series listed above are selected titles and are in no way intended as definitive collections of the genre. 


Rock on.


Alan Warner


© Alan Warner, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission

 from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit 

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