The first attempt to adapt the 1989 comedy into a TV show was in 1990. It was canceled after 12 episodes — and featured then-unknown stars Leonardo Di Caprio, Thora Birch, David Arquette and, in the writer’s room, Joss Whedon. Coming off his success with “Friday Night Lights,” producer Brian Grazer teamed up with Ron Howard in 2010 to try again, this time making it an hourlong drama on NBC. The new formula was significantly more successful, with stars Lauren Graham and Dax Shepard anchoring the acclaimed show for six seasons.
Based on the 1995 teen comedy based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel “Emma,” the sitcom “Clueless” returned fans to the shallow but mostly sweet world of wealthy high school student Cher, with Rachel Blanchard replacing Alicia Silverstone from the movie. The show made it three seasons, which is decent for a series based on high school students, and had crossovers with “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Moesha.”
The 1986 sci-fi fantasy film “Highlander” introduced the line, “There can be only one,” referring to the strange race of immortal people who are drawn to decapitating each other. Ignoring the idea in the second movie that they’re all aliens, “Highlander: The Series” continued the mystery with British hunk Adrian Paul becoming Duncan McCloud, a Highlander who works to help people in need (and to decapitate people).
A widowed single mother with dreams of being a singer winds up working at a greasy spoon diner after her car breaks down. That might not sound like a recipe for hilarity, but that premise made for a Martin Scorsese-directed, Oscar-winning movie (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”), followed by a CBS sitcom. “Alice” featured Linda Lavin in the title role and a host of memorable characters, including Polly Holliday’s Flo, who earned her own self-titled spinoff.