Topper And Nearly Departed

Yesterday, in a piqure of idle thought, I asked a question on the socmeds. “Can you name some sitcoms that are based on movies?” I added a list of the ones from the top of my head, and loads of people reminded me of others, and informed me of ones I wasn’t aware of.

One of those was the movie Topper.

Starring Cary Grant and Constance Bennett, this 1937 film follows a couple who die in a car crash, who then head home to haunt the new occupants of their home.

This spawned the 1953 sitcom of the same name.

It ran for 78 episodes on CBS over just two seasons. Those are long seasons.

The concept kept being reworked through the years, in various guises (think My Mother The Car), but another direct adaptation appeared in 1989 on NBC. Nearly Departed was cancelled after only four episodes, and starred Caroline McWilliams, and someone called Eric Idle.

As you can see from the globe at the start, it even aired in the UK on BBC One. This included the extra two episodes that had been filmed but not aired in the US.

In 1992 So Haunt Me hit British screens. Written by Paul A Mendelson, it explored this now familiar premise, but here the whole family can see the ghost.

It’s an interesting companion piece to Mulberry. I wonder if that was deliberate.

More recently BBC’s Ghosts has expanded the concept further to good effect.

So, I wonder, is Topper the earliest example of a film being directly adpated into a sitcom?

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