“Rambo” is heading to the small screen. According to a press release, independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) is teaming with Avi Lerner -- the producer behind “The Expendables” and the most recent “Rambo” film -- and Nu Image to create a television series based on the iconic action film character.
The press release says Sylvester Stallone is in negotiations to be involved in the project on a “creative level” -- possibly even reprising the role of John Rambo for the TV show.
"I'm happy to be partnering with a prolific company like Entertainment One who has a track record of creating high quality programming for their broadcast partners around the world," Lerner said. "And I'm excited by the prospect of collaborating again with my good friend Sly for an encore in this next phase of the Rambo legacy."
"The ability to fuse the big screen and the small screen through Avi’s feature film expertise and eOne’s domestic production capabilities and international distribution infrastructure makes for a highly complementary partnership," eOne Television CEO John Morayniss said.
The original Rambo film, “First Blood,” based on the novel by David Morrell, was released in 1982. Three more sequels followed, “Rambo: First Blood Part II” in 1985, “Rambo III” in 1988 and “Rambo” in 2008.
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The success rate of television shows adapted from famous films is spotty at best. Many are unable to recapture the magic on television. Below are examples of some famous attempts that flopped.
1.) Ferris Bueller (1990)
This long-forgotten series -- based on the 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” -- starred Charlie Schlatter in the title role and a pre-“Friends” Jennifer Aniston as Ferris’ sister, Jeannie. The show debuted on NBC in August 1990 and was promptly cancelled after 13 episodes.
2.) Baby Talk (1991-1992)
ABC was hoping to capitalize on the runaway success of “Look Who’s Talking” -- which raked in nearly $300M at the box office -- when “Baby Talk” premiered in March 1991. After decent first-season numbers due to curiosity, ratings quickly declined, and the show was cancelled in spring 1992.
3.) Serpico (1976-1977)
Filling Al Pacino’s shoes is a daunting proposition, but NBC figured it’d give it a try with a show based on the 1973 film of the same name, which focuses on an undercover cop battling corruption in the NYPD. Predictably, the results left something to be desired, and the show was canned after 15 episodes in January 1977.
4.) Uncle Buck (1990)
John Candy was a one-of-a-kind comic talent, and by all accounts, one of the most beloved figures in the business. Naturally, eyebrows were raised when CBS green-lit a TV series based on his iconic “Uncle Buck” character in 1990. Those fears were realized when the series proved to be a critical and ratings disaster. After 22 episodes, CBS gave it the pink slip.
5.) Delta House (1979)
Some things just shouldn’t be attempted. Case in point: a television adaptation of the legendary 1978 comedy, “Animal House.” Believe it or not, ABC attempted it in January 1979. Even the presence of some of the film’s cast -- including John Vernon as Dean Wormer, Stephen Furst as Flounder, Bruce McGill as D-Day and James Widdoes as Hoover -- couldn’t disguise the fact this show would never work on network television. It was cancelled in April 1979 after 13 episodes.
6.) My Big Fat Greek Life (2003)
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was a surprise breakout hit in the spring of 2002, establishing writer and actress Nia Vardalos as a star in the process. When CBS commissioned a television series based on the film in February 2003, hopes were high that audiences would tune in, and network even lured Vardalos back to star in the series. Something was lost in translation, however, and “My Big Fat Greek Life” was cancelled after just seven episodes.
7.) Fast Times (1986)
It’s tough adapting a movie into a TV show in general, but if the film in question (“Fast Times At Ridgemont High”) was a cultural touchstone that launched the careers of such stars as Sean Penn, Nichols Cage, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold and Phoebe Cates, the chances of a good television adaptation series are pretty slim. “Fast Times” wasn’t up to the task, and the show got canned after seven episodes in the spring of 1986.
8.) Dirty Dancing (1988-1989)
Instead of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, television audiences were treated to Patrick Cassidy and Melora Hardin. The chemistry wasn’t there, and “Dirty Dancing” lasted just 11 episodes before it got cancelled in January 1989.
9.) Clueless (1996-1999)
If there’s one film that defined the 90s, it’s “Clueless,” released in 1995. If there’s one television series that defined the 90s, it certainly isn’t “Clueless” the TV series, which premiered on ABC in 1996. The show lasted three seasons, one on ABC and two on UPN, but it never received anything close to the kind of acclaim the movie enjoyed.
10.) Working Girl (1990)
This ill-advised spinoff of the 1988 film starred a pre-fame Sandra Bullock as Tess McGill, a role made famous by Melanie Griffith in the film. The show debuted in April 1990 and was yanked off the air after just eight episodes.