65% of new television shows are cancelled within their first year. With a failure rate that high, it can be dangerous for viewers to get attached to new programming. Genre television series are no exception; there were multiple horror and sci-fi themed shows cancelled this year alone. For every success story like American Horror Story, there are countless series that aren’t given a fair chance because their ratings debut is too low, or the show isn’t resonating with the target advertising demographic.
Even shows that do enjoy a longer lifespan don’t always get to answer all of our questions, or explore all of the story arcs that the writers would like. A great recourse in those situations is to create a film version of the series. Sometimes the movie version works in tandem with the series broadcast schedule, while other times it gives the show’s creators a way to provide closure to viewers. This process has proved very popular with fans of the cult classics Twin Peaks and Firefly, and in many other instances as well. Below, we bring you some of our picks for genre television series that we think should be given the big-screen treatment.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Anyone who grew up in the '90s likely has vivid memories of being scared to death by Are You Afraid of the Dark? The anthology format is perfect for a film version of the show, and a big screen bow would allow for the series to go a little edgier than its run on Nickelodeon. Since the show’s original audience is now grown, making the film version a little more gruesome likely wouldn’t be an issue. A group of three to four vignettes that share the campfire narration wraparound would be perfect.
American Horror Story
American Horror Story is still going strong, and we are not suggesting that a film be made immediately. But after the series wraps up, the premise could make for a very entertaining film. Since the show visits a different location each season, a film would be easy to pull off; it wouldn’t have to follow the storylines of any of the previous seasons, but it would give the creative team behind AHS a chance to bring viewers an unedited look at what lurks inside their twisted minds. In fact, we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a series of films with Ryan Murphy staying on as executive producer, and a talented writer and director at the helm. It would be fascinating to see a film version examine a murderous cult, or maybe delve in to a storyline that follows a family of serial killers.
As you well know, The X-Files has already spanwned two feature films, but diehard fans of the show are still interested in seeing another installment. When the series was cancelled, the original plan was to make a succession of films, like in the case of Star Trek, but very little has happened since the release of the second film. David Duchovny recently said that he was very open to the idea of a third installment, and we are right there with him. Viewers would jump at the chance to see what's up with Scully and Mulder these days, both personally and professionally. In fact, a Kickstarter campaign would undoubtedly fund the project if studios aren't interested in providing financing.
666 Park Avenue
While it wasn’t the best horror-themed series to hit the airwaves in recent years, 666 Park Avenue wasn’t half bad, either. The concept of an apartment building that is tied to great evil was an interesting one. The show was generally well cast, and some of the story arcs were quite entertaining. However, since the show was cancelled and only produced thirteen episodes, a lot of questions were left up in the air and viewers didn’t get any type of closure. A film version would allow the show’s writers to give fans some of the answers that were not provided during the series’ run on ABC. A film based on the book of the same title, picking up where the TV version left off, would be a nice conclusion to what once seemed to be a promising series. There were so many things that we didn’t know about The Drake and its proprietors; for example, exactly what gives the mysterious red box its power?
In almost the exact same situation as 666 Park Avenue, the series Cult ended with more questions than answers. Perhaps a made-for-television movie would be a better avenue to explore than an actual theatrical production of the Cult series. The series didn’t have a very large fanbase (even by the CW’s loose standards), and it wasn’t a terribly gripping show. However, those viewers that invested their time in Cult deserve answers, and a TV movie would give them the opportunity to sort things out without producing a costly second season. I was curious as to how Skye’s father played into the cult, and was left wondering exactly who Stephen Rae really was...
This cult favorite aired between 1995 and 1996. It still has a rabid fan following and is widely regarded as a show that died before its time. A film version would give viewers one last chance to voyeuristically look in on the town of Trinity, South Carolina and provide the closure that fans of any cancelled series are after. It would be interesting to see what has changed in Trinity over the past 17 years.
I was really frustrated that The River was cancelled after one short season. It’s not the type of show that I would have stuck with if I weren’t reviewing it for another outlet, but I ended up getting in to it eventually. Of course the series is no more, and has little to no chance of being picked up by another network, so it would be great to see what the writers would do with a film version. There were still some loose ends pertaining to the good doctor and his family when the series went off the air, so there is plenty of territory to explore.