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  • Generally speaking, The 100 feels a lot like what would've happened after the crew of the Battlestar Galactica initially settled on Earth, albeit with no Cylons, a bit more of a post-apocalyptic feel, and if they first sent down 100 juvenile delinquents to test the waters.
    • Other fans have pointed out that before the series starts to go Off the Rails, the first season makes for a pretty good co-ed version of Lord of the Flies (albeit given a science fiction twist).
  • Adam Ruins Everything is essentially Snopes as a TV show, albeit with a lot of Affectionate Parody (hence the show's title).
  • While The Craft already had an acknowledged Spiritual Adaptation in the form of Charmed (see below), one could make the case that American Horror Story: Coven captured the film's spirit more faithfully, albeit with the '90s gothic fashion sense and iconography swapped out for Southern Gothic and camp. Both are about the potent, ancient powers of witchcraft falling into the hands of teenage girls who, while skilled at wielding such for their own ends, have little idea of how to do so responsibly, and use their powers to turn their catty infighting up to the next level. Madison Montgomery can easily be seen as the show's analogue to Nancy Downs, both being ragingly narcissistic Alpha Bitches who see their powers solely as a means to satisfy their desires no matter who gets hurt along the way. They even both have subplots in which the heroine uses her powers to get revenge on a sexually-harassing Jerk Jock, only for it to go horribly wrong one way or another.
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  • Arrested Development is the world's first, best and only modern sitcom reimagining of Aeschylus' The Oresteia. Practically all of the tropes of Classical Greek tragedy are there: intergenerational conflict, random mutilation and disfiguration, a powerful Big, Screwed-Up Family's fall from grace, a complex web of backstabbings and infidelity, an ambitious scheming matriarch manipulating a clueless patriarch behind his back, an Only Sane Man son trying to right his parents' wrongs, boatloads of Incest Subtext, and a surreal courtroom trial at the climax—all set against the backdrop of a brutal war in Asia Minor (though one involving battle tanks instead of a big wooden horse). Naturally, though, it's all Played for Laughs.
  • Babylon 5: Has strong elements of The Lord of the Rings IN SPACE!! Word of God says it's supposed to be The Silmarillion IN SPACE!!
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  • The original '70s Battlestar Galactica was ABC's attempt to create a Star Wars TV series, with Show Runner Glen Larson even hiring that film's special effects lead John Dykstra to help craft the show's look. 20th Century Fox considered it similar enough that they tried to sue Universal (who produced the show) for plagiarism.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210:
    • A persistent rumor claims that Aaron Spelling tried to license Degrassi High for an American remake, and wound up creating this series after he was rebuffed by the Canadian show's producers.
    • A more concrete influence is the films of John Hughes, with series co-creator Darren Star stating in the DVD Commentary for the pilot episode that his intention was to create a TV version of a Hughes movie.
  • Black Mirror:
    • "San Junipero", upon The Reveal, can be said to be an unofficial TV adaptation of Ready Player One, with both works revolving around virtual worlds rooted in the iconography of The '80s. (In Ready Player One, it was '80s geek culture, while "San Junipero" is based more on the broader pop culture of the time.)
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    • The premise of "Hated In The Nation" sounds like it came right out of the Ghost in the Shell manga series - especially its anime adaptation Stand Alone Complex. Some fans would argue that this is more GitS than its 2017 live-action film adaptation.
  • The Syfy original series Blood Drive was created as a Genre Throwback to '70s exploitation films, but any gamers watching it are just as likely to be reminded of Twisted Metal. The Big Bad Julian Slink, a Repulsive Ringmaster running a high-octane, cross-country road race in which the losers are all killed, bears a strong resemblance to Calypso from the Twisted Metal games, right down to him working for a Mega-Corp (Calypso was the CEO of one in the 2013 reboot) and being implied to be demonic or otherwise supernatural. Likewise with the flamboyantly-characterized drivers and vehicles, even if there aren't any Weaponized Cars nor one-to-one comparisons with the competitors in Twisted Metal.
  • A lot of people consider Blue Bloods to be what Hill Street Blues or NYPD Blue would look like if they were remade in the post-9/11 world. They're not far off.
  • Blue Mountain State is considered the closest we've ever got to an actual Animal House series. There were in fact not one, but three Spiritual Adaptations of Animal House back when the film first came out, one on each of the Big Three American networks (Delta House on ABC, Brothers and Sisters on NBC, and Co-ed Fever on CBS, all of them short-lived), but it wasn't until the rise of pay TV that there was a place on television with standards relaxed enough to show an Animal House series in all its depraved glory.
  • The Borgias: This show is just close enough to being an adaptation of Assassin's Creed II that one half-expects Ezio and company to show up at any time.
  • The Brady Bunch: So close to being Yours, Mine and Ours: The Series that the filmmakers threatened to sue.
  • Ever wonder what They Live would look like as a TV political dramedy, with virtually all of the satire intact? Look no further than BrainDead (2016).
  • Joss Whedon was disappointed with a 1992 movie he wrote called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so he made it into a TV series in order to do it right. While the Buffy TV show retains the lead character of the film and some of its mythology, the actual meat of the show feels like it was adapting a different vampire movie: The Lost Boys. Both are horror-comedies about teenagers raised by single mothers who move to a small California beach town only to find it crawling with vampires, and team up with other local kids and an older mentor in order to fight back against them, all while wearing the style, music, and attitude of their respective decades on their sleeves and frequently making Genre Savvy comments about vampire stories. Whedon has acknowledged the influence, saying that the character of Spike, a bleached-blond vampire with flamboyant, Punk Rock-meets-Billy Idol mannerisms and fashion sense who was initially introduced as the Big Bad of Buffy's second season, was partly inspired by David, the villain of The Lost Boys, and that he took the idea of the vampires' Game Face on Buffy from that film.
  • Constance M. Burge has acknowledged that Charmed was partly inspired by the 1996 horror film The Craft, another story about a group of attractive young witches, though in this version, the witches are heroic rather than evil. Robin Tunney and Rachel True, two of the stars of The Craft, were less diplomatic, calling Charmed a flat-out ripoff. (Tunney even said that, in the past, she'd been mistakenly thought to have starred on Charmed.) The show's Real Song Theme Tune, Love Spit Love's cover of "How Soon Is Now?", was even originally recorded for the soundtrack to The Craft.
  • Choujin Sentai Jetman: This show is what Science Ninja Team Gatchaman would've been had it been remade into a live-action series.
  • Community is Saved by the Bell if it they were in college and were more meta-obsessed, clever, and audacious. (Although not to be confused with Saved By The Bell: The College Years.)
  • Dark Angel: This show was James Cameron's attempt to make an unofficial live-action version of Gunnm (aka Battle Angel Alita) after the official version he was scheduled to direct went into Development Hell.
  • The Defenders has nothing to do with the comic of the same name, and is actually much closer in tone and premise to the short-lived Marvel Knights team book from the 90's.
  • The Disney Channel's Descendants films, about the children of the villains and protagonists of fairy tales and Disney films past, are probably the closest thing that Ever After High has had to a Live-Action Adaptation.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard is one to the now-forgotten film Moonrunners (and, to a lesser extent, Smokey and the Bandit).
  • The Expanse is a downplayed case since it's already based off of a book series. That being said, some fans have favorably compared the series to the Honor Harrington novels, especially in regards to the main similarities in how their long-term world building, political maneuvering and progressive technological developments that dramatically alter the military and political landscape are utilized within the narrative.
  • Falling Water, a show about people who can enter and manipulate other people's dreams, has been outright described as "USA's take on Inception, but without the tricks."
  • Farscape:
    • More than a few have claimed that this show is what Blake's 7 would have been if remade in the 21st Century. They're not far off.
    • Farscape could also be considered how Tim Burton would make a Space Opera.
  • Firefly:
    • Some consider it to be a very well done live-action version of Outlaw Star.
    • Paul Darrow (Avon in Blake's 7) has explicitly said in a DVD extras interview that he considered Firefly to have been the 21st century remake.
    • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers fans sometimes joke that Joss Whedon must have been having a few beers with Robert Mandell and made a Galaxy Rangers series told from the criminals' point of view.
    • Firefly is also often compared to Traveller, and there has been speculation that the series was actually based on a campaign.
  • F Troop: This show is seen by some as a derivative of the Glenn Ford comedy film, Advance To The Rear.
  • The Fugitive shares several plot and thematic elements with the novel and film Dark Passage, to the point where the novel's author (unsuccessfully) sued the show's producers for copyright infringement.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Due to shared inspiration (specifically, the real life Wars of the Roses), fans have considered Game of Thrones the closest thing to a Darker and Edgier (as if that was necessary) live action adaptation of Final Fantasy Tactics they're ever likely to see.
    • Arya's story in Seasons 5 and 6 of Game of Thrones actually makes for a pretty decent Assassin's Creed miniseries. It's even set in Braavos (a fictional counterpart of Venice, Italy) in a time period based loosely on the 15th century, making it surprisingly close to the look and feel of Assassin's Creed II.
    • The series is also considered The New '10s' equivalent of The Lord of the Rings, as both are epic-scale adaptations of doorstopper fantasy literature that are considered genre-definers in their respective media (TV and film). Both works also broke the Fantasy Ghetto in their respective media, and while the LOTR films were groundbreaking for being highly successful adult-oriented High Fantasy adaptations, GoT takes this even further by catering exclusively to mature audiences with its graphic content and intricate plot and characters. Many jokes were made about Sean Bean featuring in both franchises and getting killed off both times.
  • Glee:
    • The show frequently invites comparisons to Archie Comics, to the point that there was even an Archie Meets Glee comic-book crossover between the two, with Dilton explicitly naming several characters from Glee as analogues to his own friends in Riverdale and noting that music plays a major role in both works. Archie is Finn, Dilton is Artie, Kevin is Kurt, Reggie is Puck, Veronica is Rachel, and Betty is a nicer version of Quinn, and while Archie Comics isn't built around a musical group the way that Glee is, it does have the students performing in the bands Josie and the Pussycats and The Archies. Perhaps not coincidentally, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the current chief creative officer at Archie Comics and the Show Runner for its Live-Action Adaptation Riverdale, had previously been a writer on Glee.
    • When it first premiered, it was often described as "High School Musical: The Series", though this died down once it became clear that the show was more of a deconstructive Black Comedy take on the concept.
    • Ryan Murphy has said that Election was also a major inspiration, particularly with the interactions between Mr. Schuster and Rachel being based on those of that film's Mr. McAllister and Tracy Flick.
  • The Good Place
  • Tyler Perry's television drama The Haves and the Have Nots is pretty much the television series version of his film The Family That Preys.
  • Some fans and critics view Hannah Montana as being a more faithful Live-Action Adaptation of Jem and the Holograms than the 2015 film, though that's arguably just as much of an indictment of how much liberty the film took with its nominal source material. Similarly to the Jurassic Park/Godzilla '98 example, the 2015 film seems to owe more to Hannah Montana than its namesake show.
  • Happy Days owes a lot to American Graffiti - it's star, introductory theme song, setting and nostalgia, even if it took the bittersweet themes of American Graffiti and just made them sweet.
  • Heroes: There are those who consider this show a jazzier version of the X-Men. Others consider it the television version of D.P. 7.
  • The Holy Pearl: This Chinese Drama has been said to be an unofficial adaptation of Inuyasha.
  • Hot in Cleveland is a modernized version of earlier Sitcom The Golden Girls with younger women but a similar Four-Girl Ensemble (including Betty White in both shows' casts), the same kind of humor, and similar plots.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
    • It has been called an Irish-American adaptation of the Jewish-American Seinfeld. This wiki's page on the Irishman and a Jew trope even uses the two shows as counterparts in that regard and a meta example of such.
    • It's also been called a cynical, deconstructed version of Friends or Cheers.
  • "Rogue", a fifth season episode of JAG, works out to be the best Rogue Warrior work never made. The level of detail in both the basic plot and the characterization is incredible, to the point one can't help but think this would be what Donald P. Bellisario would love to work on if given half a chance.
  • When the Netflix series Jessica Jones (2015) premiered, many noted that the show felt like an adaptation of a famous non-Marvel (and non-comic book) superhero property: Unbreakable. Both are Capepunk psychological thrillers with an emphasis on the characters rather than their superpowers, a super-strong hero pitted against a purple-clad Magnificent Bastard, and even a Nigh Invulnerable hero who calls himself "unbreakable".
  • Though Knightmare never got an American adaptation (they tried, but it was apparently "too costly"), Nick Arcade and Masters Of The Maze both served as unofficial American versions. Arcade mainly took after Starcade in the main game, but took a Knightmare-esque approach in the endgame. Maze, meanwhile, centered more around mental challenges and the titular maze, which had contestants wearing VR Troopers-style armor, making it a bit more like Legends of the Hidden Temple with video game-style elements and a dash of Knightmare.
  • Lost:
    • It was frequently compared to a modern-day remake of Gilligan's Island when it first premiered, only as a Darker and Edgier drama instead of a sitcom.
    • JM McNab, writing for Cracked, has said that a then-announced TV adaptation of Myst would be redundant, because Lost was already the best adaptation of the game ever made. Both are about protagonists who wake up on an island filled with puzzles, mystery, dangers, and Mind Screw, with a startling number of similarities in some of the finer details. Lost's Show Runner Damon Lindelof even cited Myst as an inspiration.
  • Legends of Tomorrow could be as close to Doctor Who as a Superhero show can get.
  • McCloud is one of these to the film Coogan's Bluff.
  • Merlin has been compared to a fantasy version of Smallville.
  • Mutant X was an absolutely blatant attempt at making a live-action X-Men TV show without the X-Men; it even borrowed the name of an actual X-Men spinoff book. Funnily enough, it was made by Marvel Studios shortly after they sold X-Men's film and TV rights to 20th Century Fox. Fox wasn't fooled, and they ultimately sued Marvel for copyright infringement.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Set in a world where fairy tale characters live in the modern day, having been exiled from their real home after it was taken over by an evil conqueror, it is almost a TV adaptation of Fables, albeit starring the Disney versions of those characters.
    • Convoluted plots with plenty of memory tempering and world-hopping, a Massive Multiplayer Crossover with just about everything in the Disney catalog, and a naive kid caught in the center and trying to set things right. It's also the closest we get to a TV adaptation of Kingdom Hearts.
  • The Orville: Seth MacFarlane pitched a Star Trek series idea and was turned down. So he started his own with blackjack and hookers. Well, maybe not those, but he did recruit a "who's who" of Next Generation and Voyager alumni. It's very much a Star Trek series, just one with a rude sense of humor and a lot of loving deconstruction and reconstruction of Trek tropes.
  • Outcasts: This unsuccessful BBC SF series looked very much like a UK version of 21st-century Battlestar Galactica.
  • Parker Lewis Can't Lose: This show is sometimes called "Ferris Bueller's Day Off's real adaptation". An actual Ferris Bueller TV series fizzled out around the same time.
  • Penny Dreadful, a sprawling Victorian fantasy saga starring Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and an aging Great White Hunter, may as well be a TV spinoff of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In a rather uncanny coincidence, it even stars a former James Bond actor, Timothy Dalton, as Mina's father Malcolm Murray. note 
  • Power Rangers RPM: There's a reason why this show was dubbed Terminator: The Power Rangers Chronicles.
  • Pushing Daisies: Could be called the TV series Tim Burton never made.
  • Relic Hunter, a show about a sexy Action Girl treasure hunter, wears the influence of the Tomb Raider games on its sleeve, right down to its similar title.
  • Revolution:
    • Set in a world where all electricity has stopped working and humanity has gone back to the Dark Ages, this show is pretty much S.M. Stirling's Dies the Fire adapted to television.
    • The series is loaded with references to the work of Stephen King, especially The Stand and The Dark Tower. Particularly with with a man named Randall Flynn (Randall Flagg) and the Tower (Dark Tower). In case you're wondering, Stephen King is not involved with the show, but J. J. Abrams is a big fan of King's work.
  • Riverdale, as a Darker and Edgier reimagining of Archie Comics, has been compared by some people to a TV adaptation of Ed Brubaker's Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, though Riverdale doesn't get quite so deconstructive.
  • And on that note, Saved by the Bell (like the aforementioned Glee) is probably closer to the original-brand Archie Comics than Riverdale is, which draws most of its inspiration from the 2015 reboot.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The earliest episodes owe a hell of a lot to Forbidden Planet.
  • Stranger Things is a Genre Throwback and homage to countless pop sci-fi and horror stories, especially from The '80s, though a few in particular are likely to stick out to viewers.
    • The show's creators Matt and Ross Duffer were originally planning on doing a new adaptation of It, but they couldn't get the rights. The influence of both that miniseries and Stephen King's work in general shines through heavily, such that one fan mashed up the trailer for the 2017 adaptation of It with the theme to Stranger Things, the two going together almost perfectly. And to bring it full circle, said adaptation was noted by many critics as having been heavily influenced by Stranger Things, most notably with the Setting Update to The '80s and with Finn Wolfhard starring in both.
    • The Upside Down is a Dark World filled with monsters, fog, and crackling radio transmissions that has begun leaking into a small, ordinary American town. Among the players are a well-meaning police officer, a parent searching for their child who's starting to doubt their own sanity, a young girl with Psychic Powers who opened the portal between this world and our own, and The Conspiracy searching for this girl. It should be no surprise that the Duffers described it as having been heavily inspired by the Otherworld from the Silent Hill games. It makes for a damn good translation of the Otherworld to television (even if it was the product of science rather than the occult), the comparisons growing even more apparent with the second season portraying it as downright Lovecraftian (that author having been a major influence on the games, along with King).
    • Eleven's arc in the first season is probably the closest we're ever going to come to a live-action adaptation of Elfen Lied (albeit with interdimensional monsters instead of gorn), right down to calling Dr. Brenner "Papa", with the Duffers citing the show as an influence.
    • Eleven's background, as a young girl subjected to experiments by the government in order to turn her into a weapon, also shares a number of similarities with X-23, the main difference being their power sets and what the government planned to use them for (X-23 has Wolverine Claws and a Healing Factor and was created as a Super Soldier, while Eleven has telepathy and telekinesis and was intended to serve as a super-spy). Millie Bobby Brown, Eleven's actress, even auditioned for the role of Laura/X-23 in Logan shortly before getting this one instead.
    • A Government Conspiracy rating high on the Scale of Scientific Sins is looking for a Psychic Child who's been subjected to brutal experiments all her life and is key in stopping a potentially world-ending disaster caused by said conspiracy, who continue to study the disaster long after the fact. Sounds like something out of the SCP Foundation. The working title for the series was even Montauk!note  The Demogorgon is also basically a slightly less malicious version of SCP-106, albeit only in the sense that it produces less Body Horror.
    • The above-described plot can also be described as an adaptation of Beyond: Two Souls, though Eleven remains a child throughout.
  • Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad can be seen as a live-action version of Transformers, before Michael Bay's film adaptation arrives. Given the source material being a collaboration between Tsuburaya Productions (Ultra Series) and Takara (one of the co-shareholders of Transformers with Hasbro), this isn't a coincidence.
  • Super Robot Red Baron:
    • (And, by extension, its follow-up successor series Super Robot Mach Baron) can be pretty much considered a live-action version of Mazinger Z.
    • To the point that, in Spain, footage from Mach Baron was made into a theatrical movie and retitled "Mazinger Z, el Robot de las estrellas" (Mazinger Z, The Robot from the Stars) to benefit from Mazinger popularity. There was even a comic-book adaptation made by an Spanish artist that lasted some forty issues, and was known to a generation of spanish children as "El Mazinger Rojo" (Red Mazinger).
  • BBC Three drama Tatau (first broadcast April 2015) has elements in common with Far Cry 3: Young Western travellers in trouble in the South Pacific, tattoos, hallucinatory visions ...
  • Threshold is quite possibly the closest television has ever gotten to an adaptation of X-COM. This licensing appears to be recursive, with The Bureau: XCOM Declassified taking quite a few cues from the series: fighting a covert war with aliens, alien substances infecting people, actively suppressing information from the public, reverse-engineering alien tech and using it against them all crop in the show.
  • Total Recall 2070: Despite its name has more to do with Blade Runner than Total Recall (1990). The Word of God says the show is based on the original Philip K. Dick stories which were the source material for the aforementioned films.
  • The miniseries V (1983) is, for all intents and purposes, a Science Fiction adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here. The similarities were originally even more overt; Kenneth Johnson's initial idea, titled Storm Warnings, lacked the sci-fi elements and had the villains be a homegrown fascist movement, and later became V when the network suggested that Americans would be more likely to be scared by the specter of Soviet Russia taking over (as was portrayed in the later miniseries Amerika). Johnson felt this would destroy the entire point of the source material, and instead chose to make the oppressors aliens, with heavy focus given to their human collaborators.
  • Veronica Mars is the best Nancy Drew TV series ever made, albeit updated for the 2000s with a Darker and Edgier tone. Its creator Rob Thomas even explicitly compared the two. The influence appears to be recursive, as more modern adaptations of Nancy Drew (such as the Dynamite comic book and The CW's 2019 TV series) have been noted as drawing inspiration from Veronica Mars.
  • Warehouse 13 has been referred to by many as SCP Foundation: The Series.
  • Westworld can be watched not only as a TV remake of the original film, but also as a modern day update of Karel Čapek's R.U.R., given its highly organic robots and themes related to bioethics and corporate short-sightedness.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: To the film FM.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess is the best live-action Wonder Woman show since the Lynda Carter series.

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