Silver screen spin-offs

Sunday night, the Emmys honored the best of television. Unfortunately, not all television has award-winning quality, especially when it comes to reworking movies into TV shows.

The Oracle looks at several spin-off series that were or still are less than impressive despite their big-screen inspirations.

The Penguins of Madagascar

Up to their usual scheming, the penguins of Madagascar have landed their own show on Nickelodeon in a spinoff from the children’s movie “Madagascar.”

Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico are back at the zoo and plotting to take over. Unfortunately, these antics were funny only in the movie.

Giving the penguins an entire show creates a redundant plot that kills the original humor that gave the movie its charm.

“Penguins of Madagascar” airs Saturdays at 10 a.m. on the Nickelodeon network.

Brittney Bagiardi

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It seems like Hollywood tries to squeeze every penny out of its hits by making successful movies into TV shows or vice versa. Turning a bad movie into a TV show isn’t a common approach.

However, that did not stop Joss Whedon from taking his 1992 movie, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and turning it into a cult classic. The TV show continued the trials and tribulations of Buffy as she survived high school and was the world’s only girl chosen to fight vampires and demons.

Unlike most movie-inspired television, “Buffy,” which aired for seven seasons, was a critical darling and is included on lists like Time magazine’s The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME and TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

Candace Kaw

My Big Fat Greek Life

Nia Vardalos charmed moviegoers as Toula Portokalos in the hilarious comedy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

Later, the Portokalos family tried life in a series aptly named “My Big Fat Greek Life.” As charming and funny as the Greek family dynamics are in the film, the series was a big flop.

Although most of the movie’s cast helped create the series, it only lasted one season. The show lacked the movie budget, comedic one-liners and plot that made the movie a hit.

The expectations for the series were a little too high, and the show was canceled almost as soon as it aired.

Brittney Bagiardi

10 Things I Hate About You

Since Shakespearean plays have been remade countless times on the silver screen, ABC is trying the formula. Its new show “10 Things I Hate About You” has been renewed for another season. Apparently, the formula is working well.

The show and the 1999 motion picture pay homage to Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” but they were tailored to fit a younger audience.

While the show is quirky and fun like the movie, it lost some of the chemistry that existed between costars Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Larisa Oleynik.

The TV show screenplay is similar to the plot of the movie, only drawn out over a matter of episodes. A new season begins in 2010.

Evan Tokarz

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Satisfying – this show is not.

The television series “The Clone Wars” follows characters from three prequel “Star Wars” films as they battle evil across the universe.

The show picks up between “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.”

George Lucas regards the time and events between the films as “the Star Wars expanded universe.” Despite receiving mixed reviews from the “Star Wars” community, the pilot season was successful. Cartoon Network ordered a second season that premieres Oct. 2.

Bottom line: this show is for those seeking quality animated light saber duels and space action. People who want the magic of “Star Wars” captured outside of the films should look elsewhere.

Joe Polito


Many might know “Clueless” from the late ’90s and not remember the TV adaptation.

While most actors from the original film reprised their roles, Alicia Silverstone did not return as Cher. Due to the multiple inconsistencies between the movie and the series, the show only lasted three seasons. In the show, Cher, the main character, said she had never met Mr. Hall’s wife, Ms. Geist, but she was their matchmaker in the movie.

Additionally, the Cher that most remember from the film was more selfish and less optimistic, while she is more caring and pleasant in the TV version.

The last episode aired in 1999 and every so often can be found on Teen Nick.

– Issa Luckett

The Mummy

“The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” are the first two movies in a trilogy involving mummies, adventure and Brendan Fraser.

After the release of the second movie in 2001, the WB Network aired an animated version the same year.

Even though the characters and plot are derived from the film, the poor animation contributed to bad quality. However, a second season was made called “The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai” in hopes of regaining an audience.

It was canceled in 2003.

Surprisingly, five years later, the entire series was made into a three-volume DVD set. Reruns can be seen on Toon Disney.

– Issa Luckett