The Season Of The Movie

I’ve written a few things about different movie to TV sitcom adaptations, but I never quite appreciated one thing about them all:

They aired the same season.

In the autumn of 1990, US viewers could watch sitcoms based on Look Who’s Talking (ABC, 2 series of 35 episodes), Ferris Bueller (NBC, 13 episodes), and Uncle Buck.

This one was CBS, and lasted 16 episodes, with six still unaired. It was developed by Tim O’Donnell.

Interestingly, ABC revisited Uncle Buck in 2016, and that lasted eight episodes.

This version was developed by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, and I expect it was ABC’s attempt to follow up on the success of another of the 1990 alums … Parenthood.

Based on the movie written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, directed by Ron Howard, and starring Steve Martin, the NBC sitcom version was warmly recieved by critics (some calling it the best movie to TV cross since M*A*S*H), but less so by audiences.

It ran for just 12 episodes, but was a break for many people, including Leonardo DiCaprio, David Arquette, and Thora Birch. Joss Whedon wrote three of those 12 episodes.

NBC tried again though.

In 2010, Parenthood returned to our screens.

As you can see, it was expanded past the sitcom half hour, and more of a comedy drama by now, and this time it lasted for six seasons. Jason Katims ran the show, in much the same way that he ran Friday Night Lights, with three cameras, and no table reads.

The pilot featured the always brilliant Maura Tierney, but she had to pass on the full series for health reasons.

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