Among the many new television shows generating buzz and garnering positive reviews this year is Fargo, a Coen brothers-produced series based on their Academy Award-winning film of the same name. Although Fargo features the same familiar snowbound Midwestern setting and gallows humor that made the 1996 movie a cult favorite with fans, the television show never feels like a rehash of the film.
“Neither prequel, sequel or remake, this ‘Fargo’ is instead a tonal accompaniment, a little more than kin, a little less than kind and a whole new breed of television,” wrote Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara. As seen in the trailer above, much of Fargo’s success comes from its eclectic cast of characters, played by stellar actors such as Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, and Allison Tolman. Fargo airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX.
While the popularity of Fargo may have more to do with its writers and actors than it does with its connection to a movie that was released 18 years ago, it should be noted that this is not the first time a movie has been transformed into a successful television show. Some of the best shows in the history of television were kicked off by movies, and several of these series even became more popular than their original source movies. Here are six successful television shows that were inspired by or based on films.