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From TV Show to Video Game: 10 Shows That Should Make the Leap

by Ryan McGee, posted Dec 11th 2010 2:00PM
The television industry isn't exactly hurting these days, but the era of the super-sized, mega blockbuster program is all but over. That trend stems less from a lack of quality programming and more from an ever-increasing variety of it. It's hard to get everyone watching the same channel when a typical cable package these days comes with hundreds of options.

So where should television networks look to make up some of the loss in advertising profit? To an arena in which the mega blockbuster still exists: the world of video games. Recently, Activison Blizzard's newest release 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' made $360 million. In ONE day. That's a one-day record for any entertainment release in any genre. Think a few studio heads might have seen that number and then thoughtfully scratched their chins, wondering how they could get in on that action? Absolutely.

Luckily, such chin scratching isn't necessary. We've already done the work for them. Below are 10 ready-to-be-made television to video game properties. Certain shows like 'Lost,' 'Glee,' 'CSI,' and 'Prison Break' have already gotten such treatments, to be sure. And other action-based properties such as 'Human Target' already seem tailor-made for such a transition. But these options below? They're far less obvious, but still stand as possible properties for translation.

Show: 'Community'
Type of Game: Simulation
Real Life Example: 'The Sims'
Description: Control every aspect of your favorite student's life at Greendale Community College. Attend a class! Join the study group! Listen to Abed continually talk about the fact that you're playing a video game! Unlockables include the ability to customize your sideburns and the chance to own your very own kleptomaniac monkey.

Show: 'Sons of Anarchy'
Type of Game: Action sandbox
Real Life Example: 'Grand Theft Auto'
Description: 'GTA' actually already did the majority of the work on this one, with its expansion pack 'The Lost and the Damned.' So all FX has to do is reskin the characters, add some SAMCRO-specific missions, and this game will be good to go. Important note: this game will not be released for PC. Why? Because Clay Morrow doesn't recognize your #$%& PC, that's why.

Show: 'Boardwalk Empire'
Type of Game: Strategy
Real Life Example: 'Civilization'
Description: Think you have what it takes to run Atlantic City better than Nucky Thompson? Then take control over the entire empire: Shipping, schmoozing and boozing your way to the top. Fend off attacks from Chicago- and New York City-based factions and be the best bootlegger you can be!

Show: 'The Big Bang Theory'
Type of Game: Massively multiplayer online (MMO)
Real Life Example: 'World of Warcraft'
Description: One of the most geektastic shows gets one of the more geektastic genres of games. Go on raids with Sheldon as he wipes out those less intelligent than him. So, yes, you'll be helping to destroy every living creature on the planet.

Show: 'Terriers'
Type of Game: Puzzle
Real Life Example: 'Tetris'
Description: Try to solve television's most perplexing problem: Why more people didn't tune into this stunning, singular piece of television.

Show: 'Mad Men'
Type of Game: Real-time simulation
Real Life Example: 'Farmville'
Description: Build up your very own Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce office from the ground up. Obtain clients, pick out the perfect conference room table, and help Roger find the perfect voice recorder to compose "Sterling's Gold." Work with friends to build the strongest company you can. Just be sure not to add Ted Chaough as a Facebook friend while playing.

Show: 'One Tree Hill'
Type of Game: Horror
Real Life Example: 'Resident Evil'
Description: Go ahead. Try and kill this show. You can't. Experience that same feeling of helplessness as you try to mow down these seemingly eternal characters, only to watch your bullets bounce harmlessly off of them.

'Cougar Town'
Type of Game: Mini games
Real Life Example: 'Wii Party'
Description: Hang out with Jules and Company and play the Cul de Sac Olympics with your favorite Floridians. Play Penny Can With Bobby! Slap out of it with Laurie! And, in the final round? Drinking games, naturally.

Show: 'Friday Night Lights'
Type of Game: Real Time Strategy/Sports
Real Life Example: "StarCraft II"/"Madden '10"
Description: A hybrid game, separated into two parts. In the first, you juggle school budget cuts, overzealous fans, and redistricting in order to field the best team. Then, you play each game in full. Full hearts, clear eyes, cheat codes, can't lose!

Show: 'Jersey Shore'
Type of Game: First person shooter
Real Life Example: 'Halo'
Description: For everyone who wanted to throw an actual grenade each time that word is used on this show. You're welcome.

Which of these games would you play? And which shows are missing from this list? Leave your suggestions below!

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Richard Ott

Jersey Shore: The Video Game? What are you thinking?
Beyond a Street Fighter concept, that will never sell.
I would like to see Airwolf & The A Team try again
with their own video game on the Playstation 3, Wii
or X-Box 360. The 2600 A-Team was nothing more than
a fraud, so a new console version would work, today.
Airwolf for the NES was a Top Gun rip-off, so that
game can be remade into a bigger smash hit, too.
Your above list of suggestions for TV games are bogus!

December 11 2010 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard Ott's comment

"Your above list of suggestions for TV games are bogus!"

Yeah, I think that was kind of the point. It's called humor?

December 14 2010 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Walking Dead seems like a very good candidate.

December 11 2010 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Call of Duty: Black Ops made $360 million because it was a highly anticipated game in a popular franchise. Just developing a game with a popular title doesn't make it a money maker.

The one thing you failed to mention is that the games based off of Lost, CSI, Glee and Prison Break is that they all underperformed and were disliked by critics as well as fans.

Typically, licensed games (i.e. games based on already existing properties like TV shows and movies) and never any good and don't sell very well.

Also, I hope your suggestions were jokes.

December 11 2010 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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