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TV Squad Ten: Shows I'd like to see come back as a TV movie - VIDEOS

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 27th 2009 2:55PM
When TV shows have made the leap to the big screen, the results have not always been great, except when they keep the same cast and come up with a good story that builds on the series, like Sex and the City and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. The same is true of some TV movies that have built on a show's lingering appeal even after it's been canceled. James Garner came back for a couple of Rockford Files movies, for instance, and The Return of The Man from UNCLE with David McCallum and Robert Vaughn was excellent. Of course, it doesn't always work -- the Rhoda and Mary reunion was painful to watch -- but I'm still a fan of the follow-up TV movie.

Here's my ideas for ten TV shows I'd like to see as TV movies.

1. Pushing Daisies
This one is really obvious because it's just happened. Bryan Fuller should have been given the chance to end this whimsical series, especially since the last episodes filmed are still sitting on the shelf at ABC and we've been told they do not resolve all the loose ends. A comic book won't suffice, and I don't want to wait years for big screen. A TV movie would be the perfect way to wrap up the series and give everyone closure.

2. Gilmore Girls
Here is a case where the show didn't end the way as intended by the creator. Amy Sherman-Palladino cooked up the Gilmore Girls and always had it in her mind how the show would resolve. A TV movie would give Amy a chance to show us that ending. Of course, she would have to deal with the changes from the last season, including Rory's first professional writing job as a reporter on the Obama Presidential campaign. Since Obama won, perhaps Rory Gilmore is now working in the White House press corps? Maybe she took a job for the administration? Back in Stars Hollow, has Lorelai and Luke resumed living together? I think it's likely that Amy's vision of the ending was to have Lorelai and Luke together in the diner, reading Rory's byline in the New York Times.

3. The West Wing

When the show ended in 2006, President Jed Barlett's second term came to an end and he returned to New Hampshire. The election was won by Congressman Matt Santos, the first Latino president. The similarities between President Santos and President Obama have been noted by others, as Barlett's presidency was also a reflection on the Clinton years -- without the Monica fiasco. In a TV movie based on this historic, fictional reality, we could find out how President Santos handled the financial meltdown, and also see how Jed Barlett chose to live after his White House years? Would he be like Clinton and Carter, active in philanthropy around the globe? Would he go the Al Gore route? A TV movie, written by Aaron Sorkin of course, would be fascinating.

4. The Sopranos

The black screen. The sudden stop. The unfinished Sopranos. It was brilliant the way David Chase chose to end the show and he knew exactly what he was doing by not resolving the HBO mafia drama. He left us wanting more and imagining how we might tie up the loose ends. Chase has hinted that he would someday entertain the thought of returning the show to HBO or even as a feature, maybe picking up with Tony and Carmela in the diner with Meadow and AJ as they were munching on onion rings. A TV movie is the answer for me, with HBO being the right venue. I never believed that the black screen meant Tony's was shot and killed, but only Chase knows for sure.

5. Friends
I'm not sure if I would be so gung-ho for a TV movie of Friends if the disaster of Joey wasn't so fresh in my mind. Fans of Friends would probably embrace a movie that returns Joey to New York where he could reunite with Monica and Chandler, Ross and Rachel and Phoebe. Of course with Monica and Chandler and their twins in the 'burbs, it's likely that Rachel and Ross and Emma are there, too. Would they all still be as close as when they were young city-dwellers? A TV movie based on Friends could go in so many different directions that it would be curious to see what co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman had in mind.

6. Party of Five

The special quality of Party of Five was that in the face of a great tragedy -- their parents death in a car wreck -- the Salinger children stuck together. It wasn't easy and it forced them all the grow up fast, but in the years since the show went off the air, did the Salingers remain intact? It would be an interesting idea to see the TV movie as told through the eyes of Owen, the youngest Salinger, who was still a tot when the series ended. His perspective on Charlie, Bailey, Julia and Claudia would be a way to catch up with how their lives progressed. Ultimately, though, I think they're still together, still honoring the wishes of their parents that they are each others support through good times and bad. ...Unless Charlie is lost.

7. Northern Exposure

I wasn't really happy with the way Northern Exposure came to a close. While the penultimate season saw Dr. Joel Fleischman achieve his heartfelt desire, a return to New York City, I always thought that Joel would eventually find his way back to Cicely. Imagine if there was a TV movie to play out that possibility? Joel would willfully return to Alaska and discover that just as he has changed, so have the people he left behind. Holling and Shelley would be raising a brood of kids; Chris and Maggie's relationship might be on the rocks; Maurice would be the henpecked spouse of Barbara Semanski. Would Ed and Marilyn have changed one iota? I'd like to know.

8. Seinfeld
Nobody was truly happy with the way we left Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer. Having the Big Four imprisoned in a cell for violating the Good Samaritan law was a funny notion, and it reinforced the basic shallow, selfishness of the characters. However, for a show about nothing, that ending was too much of something. It was retribution. It was punishing their obtuse behavior. A TV movie would be the perfect way to redress that conclusion and pick up on the unchanging, nothingness of Seinfeld and his friends. Wouldn't it be great to find out that George is back working for the New York Yankees, only now it's Hank Steinbrenner pushing him around instead of his father? Or did he become a success on HBO in a series called Curb Your Enthusiasm?

9. thirtysomething

What did happen to Michael and Hope and Elliot and Nancy? Did Nancy eventually succumb to ovarian cancer, which -- sadly -- happens in real life? I could see Elliot definitely starting a new life with a new wife and another set of kids. I could also imagine his bratty son Ethan being even a worse adult child. Michael could look just like Ken Olin does now on Brothers & Sisters, but I'd like to think that he and Hope stuck together. The experience of working for Miles Drentell should have sent Michael into another business. The most interesting thing, of course, is that nobody is thirtysomething anymore. How has age defined these characters?

10. St. Elsewhere
Was everything that happened at St. Eligius in Boston the inner workings of Tommy Westphall's autistic brain? In the final scene of the series, the implication was that the hospital was simply a building in a snowglobe. Tommy was playing with it when he dad, a construction worker -- Dr. Westphall? -- returned home. It was was of the most stunning endings ever for a TV show, but was it the truth? A TV movie could answer the question. It might ruin the perfect irony of an entire medical drama being a vision from an autistic child, but I'd like to know.

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How about Moonlight

March 03 2009 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's happening thank God, but can't wait to sit back and relax for the Arrested Development movie. A show so littered with jokes that if the movie is only half as good, it will still be worth seeing twice. Thank God for the big screen.

March 01 2009 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Key Rick

Surface, Invasion and Journeyman would be my top three picks. Although, I did love, love, love Pushing Daisies, I'm happy to wait for the complete DVD set and hold out hope for a either a feature film OR premium cable channel finale a'la the alleged Deadwood wrap-up.

February 28 2009 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't believe you put things like "Party of Five" on that list and not something like Jericho. Who cares about the Party of Five brats? That was a show that rightfully should have been canceled after the first season. Jericho was an amazing show that should have been aloud to play out. We need at least a movie to find out what happened with the new States and Old States and Texas situation. Party of Five, what a joke.

February 28 2009 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jon thomas

Jericho and Journeyman .. Prison break once its done

February 28 2009 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd like to see a tv movie for the perhaps little remembered Showtime series "Huff", which starred Hank Azaria. Its been quite awhile but if I remember right in the second season/series finale, Huff and his wife were headed towards divorce, and the character of Huff's brother who was in the mental ward was always great to watch.

February 28 2009 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe in LA

Now and Again!

February 28 2009 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i love me some west wing but i think if they were to do a movie it should be documentary style like they did in the episode that was a profile on CJ. It should be after Bartlet is dead, and shows the characters as older individuals talking about what happened after the administration ended.

For friends I see the movie being the wedding of Ross and Rachel, if it was anything else fans would get pissed

A Gilmore Girls movie would be interesting but the show ended on a good note, everyone was at peace with each other and hope was in the air.

A Seinfeld movie would be about nothing and get panned i think, while still funny. i dunno if it would be worth it.

While Alias would make an AMAZING movie, the problem is JJ Abrams he has so many pots on the stove none of them finish as good they started.

One that I didn't see on the list was Fraiser, I wonder what Nile's and Daphnae's kid is like, does Fraiser become a hit TV star, has Roz finally found someone? Maybe Martin and his new bride adopt a kid whose a jock like he always wanted.

The Wire also I think could make a good movie if it was about the cops not the newspaper

February 27 2009 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree Pushing Daisies needs a movie. As for thirtysomething, when the series ended, the long-defunct Spy magazine ran an article consisting of very funny excerpts of scripts that continued the story, several featuring Gary's ghost.

There were actually more than a couple of Rockford Files movies: eight in all, according to IMDB, that aired between 1994 and 1999 (but apparently were filmed between 1994 and 1997). I saw the first one when it aired, and parts of others. They generally featured guest stars who'd appeared in the series more than once, such as Rita Moreno and Kathryn Harrold, and had many of the same producers and writers as the series.

I thought the last episode of Party of Five had the family going their separate ways, with Matthew Fox's character keeping the house, so the family would already not be intact.

February 27 2009 at 10:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A list that doesn't start with Deadwood ain't
much of a list you c**k s****r

February 27 2009 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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