People often utter a common quote on “insanity” – the repeating of the same thing over (and over) again and expecting a different result. Particular cases of insanity have been spiking as of late in television network dramas and comedies rehashed from movies. This is the failure of copycat TV shows.
TV powers that be have haphazardly hatched and canceled off a show before it reaches a drop of longevity potential. Therefore, this a summary describing the failure of recent big screen to small screen copycat shows.
Canceled shows from Network TV (2015-16)
“Minority Report,” a Fox sci-fi series based on the film starring Tom Cruise, premiered in the fall 2015 TV season. The plot of the show took off 10 years after the end of the theatrical film’s story. Similarly, there were only 10 episodes. Despite some critic acclaim and fanfare, Minority Report went off the air.
Faring only one season better was NBC’s “About a Boy.” The light-hearted drama, based on the 2002 Hugh Grant and Minnie Driver movie, lasted 33 episodes. Driver was also on the show. Ultimately, the cancellation came fall 2015 season.
In 2015, “Limitless” debut in CBS’ fall show lineup. The drama, based on the film starring Bradley Cooper, had a short life span of 22 episodes. However, “Limitless” did not pass the litmus test on TV and died in summer 2016.
Swiftly, buddy action show “Rush Hour” went off the CBS lineup. Based on the cinematic box office smash with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, the show lasted only 4 weeks. In total there were just 13 episodes.
Just as quickly, “Uncle Buck” got the ax from ABC. Then, debuting in summer 2016, the sitcom starred Mike Epps and Nia Long. Just 8 episodes in total were made. Serving as inspiration for the show was the 1989 movie starring the late John Candy.
Why didn’t these shows last?
Generally, low ratings and poor choices for reinterpretation explain the epic failure of these TV cancellations. For instance, viewers and critics could deem any of the aforementioned shows “bad” due to: (1) lack of interest; (2) no need to retell the story; (3) notion that original movie does not need retelling; and (4) lack of strong characters or plot lines compared to those of the original film.
Good copycat exceptions and the future of the genre
Bucking the trend of terrible rehashes from movies are MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” CBS’ “The Odd Couple” and FX Network’s “Fargo.” The latter two were approved for a 2016-17 season. Note: It was announced in mid 2016 that wildly popular drama “Teen Wolf,” inspired by the ’80s movie of the same title, would be no more on MTV in 2017. However, with a seven-season run, Teen Wolf can be deemed very successful.
In conclusion, TV just cannot help itself in putting big screen to small screen shows on air again and again – but why? Arguments to make of this are endless. As of mid-2016, there is no stopping the endless failure of copycat TV shows. This is a craze with the upcoming FOX rehashes of buddy action movie, “Lethal Weapon” and classic fright flick, “The Exorcist.”