Friday, February 7, 2014

Pop Quiz: Channeling More Movies

Though it may not seem like it from the lack of frequent posts here, I am still very busily preparing more upcoming treats and treasures from the world of vintage celebrities and their projects.  There are several pots boiling at once, but nothing fully cooked yet.  So in the meantime, I am going to throw down another Pop Quiz.  This one is a follow-up to the previous one, which was all about television series that were based on feature films.  Most of the earlier ones were obscure, and many of these are, too, but it's rather fun to discover their very existence!  See if you are surprised by not only some of the shows, but some of the people who starred in them. (Unless specified, the TV show title is the same as the movie that inspired it.) The photo above-left from In the Heat of the Night (1988 - 1995), based on the 1967 movie, is there to prevent the first answer's photo from popping up in capsule announcements for this site.

1.  The year 1982 brought to the screen a rustic one-hour drama based on a classic Hollywood musical from 1954.  The primary star of the show had made a splash on a TV soap opera from 1976 to 1981 before trying to get this series rolling.  It only lasted for one season (and in homage to its cinematic forefather, there was usually one song per episode.)  In 1985, he'd finally have a hit prime-time show that lasted until 1992.  A co-lead in this mystery show was making his on screen debut and in a reverse from the star of the show, would proceed to success on daytime, playing a primary role on Days of Our Lives for more than twenty-five years.  Other regulars included Peter Horton, who later found success on Thirtysomething from 1987 - 1991 and young River Phoenix, making his on screen debut.

2.  A far faster turnaround from movie to series came for our next program.  1987 had seen a smash hit comedy come from the premise of a successful, high-pressure careerwoman whose life is turned upside-down when a long-lost cousin suddenly passes away.  The series was on the air the next year, but wasn't able to gain a foothold, getting taken off after only seven episodes with one more airing six months later.  The series star had already headed the casts of two hit series, but floundered here.  In fact, it could be argued that her career has never been the same since.  The show also contained an outspoken female stand-up comic who later successfully broke into the talk show arena.

3.  A similarly swift transition from the screen to the tube happened with this next show.  A hit science-fiction movie from 1988 was on the air as a TV show in 1989.  Where the film had starred an established movie star, the series had to make due with a far lesser known personality in the lead (though it wound up with a pretty sprawling cast of characters.)  As with many sci-fi shows, a devout following sprang up, but it was cancelled after only one 22 episode season.  The irony was that the show was actually successful, but the fledgling Fox Network simply couldn't afford to continue making it. Later, a series of five TV-movies helped to resolve the storyline.

4.  A staggering comic hit in 1986, one that continues to have a strong following, including catchphrases, inspired a sitcom in 1990 that was only able to run for 13 episodes before being yanked.  The movie made a star out of its lead, who still works steadily today, while the TV series featured a young man named Charlie Schlatter who, while he has continued to enjoy continued work, never gained an ounce of his predecessor's fame.  A female costar (playing the lead's sister) later became a household name thanks to her part in a mega-hit ensemble sitcom.  The television series title was a shortened version of the cinematic one, which described the main character's circumstance at the time of the story.

5.  In 1989, Walt Disney put forth a family comedy that was an astonishing success, making back over twelve times its cost and inspiring two sequels.  After the third movie was produced (which was direct to video), the TV series was aired on The Disney Channel in 1997.  It ran for three seasons and starred Peter Scolari (who was Tom Hanks' costar on Bosom Buddies from 1980 - 1982) as the father who is constantly coming up with new inventions that puts his family in a variety of challenging scenarios.  The television version was called the same thing as the movie, but with ": The TV Show" added to the title.

6.  In 2002, the world was taken by storm thanks to one of the most profitable movies of all time.  The independent film, a romantic comedy made for $5 million saw a 6150% return!!  It raked in $368 million at the box office.  It's star, who'd previously been practically unknown, was suddenly everywhere and the very next year starred in a sitcom based on the extraordinary hit film (with a new, lesser-known, costar.)  Whereas people had flocked to see the movie in droves, the TV show was off the air within 7 episodes.  The series title was the same except for the last word being changed (the film's "event" was now in the past, making the title inappropriate for the series.)  Since this, the star has been seen scarcely, though with the money that was made, there is surely no fiscal need to work ever again!

7.  This next show was based on a 1963 comedy focusing on romance and parental relationships.  The star was an established Hollywood leading man who, in the movie, romanced a series of knockout dames played by Shirley Jones, Stella Stevens and Dina Merrill, all observed by his child, a notable young actor who even then was costarring on a popular series.  The television rendition of this story came along in 1969, running for three seasons.  The star of it had already enjoyed on successful sci-fi sitcom (1963 - 1966) and would later star in a well-received sci-fi drama series (1978 - 1982.)

8.  1980 brought a comic smash to the big screen about a quirky female who finds herself in a major fish-out-of-water scenario.  The film's star wasn't about to return to TV after significant success in the cinema, but the next year in 1981 a series version came about with two of the movie's costars on hand to help bolster the presence of a relative newcomer in the lead.  The TV actress had figured into a hit film in 1980 as well, but not as a primary star.  The series was reasonably successful, lasting until 1983, when one of its Emmy-winning stars was severely injured and forced to leave.  Soon afterwards, it was cancelled.

9.  Another hit comedy (yes, there's a pattern here.  For a while, most any cinematic comedy success was reworked for TV!) that hit screens in 1995 became a television show.  The film starred a young lady who was previously unknown apart from having played an obsessed fourteen year-old two years prior.  She proceeded to a brief, but healthy, movie career.  In 1996, a child actress now grown named Rachel Blanchard took on the primary role in the series version.  ABC prematurely cancelled the series before burning off episodes on a different night where it suddenly became successful!  UPN then picked it up where it limped along until 1999.

10.  In 1976, a Walter Matthau hit comedy led to two sequels (in 1977 and 1978), each with a different male star, but all focusing on a collection of misfits.  In 1979, the concept was brought to television, this time starring Jack Warden.  The show ran for two abbreviated seasons, ending in 1980.  Among its cast were Meeno Peluce, who would later star in Voyagers! with Jon-Erik Hexum, Corey Feldman, who went on to movie success, and Kristoff St. John, who grew up to work successfully on The Young and the Restless.

11.  An early example of a buddy movie was this hit action comedy from 1974 about two San Francisco detectives going up against racketeers and hit men.  Later, in 1980, the concept was reworked into a series starring Tom Mason and Hector Elizondo.  The show was yanked after only 9 episodes never to be seen or heard from again for all practical purposes.

12.  This one should be quite a surprise, I should think.  In 1944, one of America's most revered singers won acclaim for his role in a movie (the highest grossing picture of that year, in fact.)  In 1962, one of America's most revered dancers starred in a series based upon that film.  The show only lasted for one season, ending in 1963 and its star never worked in television again except for two miniseries appearances and the obligatory (in this case, two-part) episode of The Love Boat.

13.  1973 brought a monster hit comedy, set about forty years in the past.  The very next year in 1974, a version was developed for television.  The star of the TV series had once played the brother of the actor who starred in the movie from 1964 to 1969 when they'd costarred on a prime-time series together.  The TV version of the smash film was unable to find an audience and was cancelled after just 13 episodes.  One of the stars, however, went on to considerable Oscar glory.

14.  Another buddy movie, this one from 1980 (and the second of four that the stars made together, all unrelated), had been a terrific success and spawned a television rendition.  The 1985 series was a flop almost from the start.  The pilot had included Polly Holliday (Flo of Alice), but she was fired and replaced with a younger, sexier actress after testing the pilot with audiences.  It was pulled after six episodes, then brought back briefly, barely lasting into 1986.  One star, Joe Guzaldo, kept working and still does, but remains unknown.  The other, Larry Riley, proceeded to a stint on Knots Landing from 1988 - 1992, but died from AIDS at only age thirty-nine.

15.  Our final TV series in this quiz was based on a modest hit comedy from 1986 about culture clashes in the automobile industry.  Beating a path to television airwaves, a series debuted that very same year!  The movie had starred a comic actor who scored several hits in the 1980s and maintained a leading man career into the 1990s, but the series starred a total newcomer.  The newcomer later scored two sci-fi TV success (one from 1989 - 1993 and another from 2001 - 2005) as well as several movies.  This show, however, was off the air after just nine episodes.

And now, here come the answers!  (Photographic was easier to come by for some of these shows than for others, hence a few of them only have one picture to represent them.)


1.  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was based on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and starred Richard Dean Anderson (of General Hospital and, later, MacGuyver fame.)  Drake Hogestyn proceeded to play Roman Brady/John Black on Days of Our Lives.
2.  Baby Boom was based on Baby Boom and starred Kate Jackson of Charlie's Angels and The Scarecrow and Mrs. King.  The View's Joy Behar played her nanny in one of her earliest acting gigs.
3.  Alien Nation was based on Alien Nation.  The movie starred James Caan (and Mandy Patinkin) while the series starred Gary Graham.
4.  Ferris Beuller was based on Ferris Beuller's Day Off, which starred Matthew Broderick.  Costarring on the series with Schlatter was a young Jennifer Aniston (of Friends) in one of her earliest jobs.
5.  Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show was inspired by Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  Rick Moranis had played the lead in the original.
6.  My Big Fat Greek Life was based on Nia Vardalos' My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Film star John Corbett was replaced in the series due to his unavailability by Steven Eckholdt.
7.  The Courtship of Eddie's Father was based on The Courtship of Eddie's Father.  Glenn Ford starred in the movie with Ronny Howard, while Bill Bixby (of My Favorite Martian and The Incredible Hulk) and Brandon Cruz starred in the series.
8.  Private Benjamin was based on Private Benjamin, which starred Goldie Hawn.  Lorna Patterson of Airplane! starred in the TV version along with the film's costars Eileen Brennan and Hall Williams.  Brennan's accidental run-in with a moving car sadly put her life and career on hold for three years.
9.  Clueless was based on Clueless, which starred Alicia Silverstone.
10.  The Bad News Bears was based on The Bad News Bears.  The sequels had starred Tony Curtis and William Devane as the coaches of a little league baseball team.
11.  Freebie and the Bean was based on Freebie and the Bean, which starred James Caan and Alan Arkin in the title roles.
12.  Going My Way was based on Going My Way.  Bing Crosby won an Oscar for the movie while Gene Kelly played the part of Father O'Malley on the small screen.
13.  Paper Moon was based on Paper Moon.  The movie starred real-life father-daughter team Ryan O'Neal and Tatum O'Neal while the TV show starred Christopher Connelly and Jodie Foster.  Connelly and O'Neal had played brothers on Peyton Place.  Foster went on to win two Best Actress Oscars as an adult.
14.  Stir Crazy was based on Stir Crazy, a Gene Wilder-Richard Pryor comedy.
15.  Gung Ho was based on Gung Ho.  Michael Keaton starred in the movie while the series starred Scott Bakula (of Quantum Leap and Enterprise.)


A said...

Poseidon, before I even read this, I have to tell you what fun it is to go to your page and find a new posting. Entirely makes my day.

Poseidon3 said...

Thank you so very much, A. I really appreciate you taking the time to say that. I would post more often but there's this pesky little thing called work that's always in the way!

BloggerJoe said...

Hey Mr. Poseidon! I just ran into this interview about some of the stars from the early days of film and thought you'd like to see it, if you haven't already.

Poseidon3 said...

BloogerJoe, that was a fascinating article that I greatly enjoyed! I also liked the link within it to an interview with Richard Lamparski, whose "Whatever Became of...?" books I adore. (I spent 30 minutes trying to somehow dig up the married, male "straight" star, born in October of 1932 and still alive in 2010, who made a pass at him! No luck.) Thanks...

barcelence said...

Oh my God Oh my God OMG: Baby Booooooooom!!!!!! I remember watching it as a kid. ( not sure of when it aired here in little Portugal ). After all those years I thought I had completely forgotten about it. A few years ago, as a friend of mine was telling me about a parents reunion she attended at her kids school, and how she observed the kindness other moms had towards a single father's busy life while acting judgemental to other single moms, it suddenly hit me "wait a minute, there was a TV show back in the day where this super busy mom was being constantly criticized by other moms, untill one day somehow through a fantasy or a dream she got to spend a day as a single father and all or the sudden every single woman found adorable how he got to attend the meetings ( late, or course and that was an achievement as opposed to clumsy mommy who should have been there on time ). Anyhow, I suddenly remembered that episode ( couldn't even remember the actress who played it - lovely Kate Jackson! ) searched, searched, searched, "Manhatan single mother 80's show" etc... never with a satisfying result, untill I saddly gave up... And then came you!!! I was looking for something as silly as - ready?- ( Shark Tank ) Arlene Dickinson earrings, then saw pretty lady Faye Dunway, then met your blog and then became hooked. And now this treasure falls in my lap. Again, thank you :) :)

Poseidon3 said...

Barcelence, I'm really glad you stumbled into The Underworld and like it so much! I'm happy too that you found the answer to that pesky memory of a long-gone show. I've been through things like that before and it can drive you crazy. Anyway, welcome and I hope you continue to enjoy wading through the old posts here. :-)