Downton Abbey The Movie: Five TV Series That Have Turned Into Films

The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 18/01/2012 13:08 GMT Updated: 18/01/2012 13:08 GMT

Downton Abbey could be on its way to the silver screen, if a report in The Sun is to be believed.

The paper claims the ITV1 period-drama's writer Julian Fellowes was "virtually mobbed" during a Golden Globes after-party in Hollywood.

Downton Abbey continued its transatlantic sweep on Sunday, with a Golden Globe for Best TV Drama, Mini-Series or Motion Picture, at the Awards, and afterwards all anyone wanted to talk about was reportedly the prospect of bringing the series to Hollywood for a film.

A source told the paper: "They were all chatting about how much of a success the film version would be.

"Julian was explaining he would have to give the idea a lot of thought and that lots of people have already asked him about film rights."

Whether Downton's British charm could translate successfully into a Hollywood hit is surely beyond doubt. Fellowes has already proven his ability to write a feature film with the Oscar-winning screenplay of Gosford Park, and watching a feature-length version of Downton would make a nice break from being interrupted by all the ads on TV.

But before Fellowes signs any deals with his golden pen, he might like to remember these popular TV shows that were turned into films - with varying levels of success:

Sex and the City

The stiletto-heeled New York adventures of Carrie Bradshaw and co. were a far cry from the TV chickflick tat women are often subjected to. It was about four smart women, three of whom had no interest in getting married, and over the years it continued to build funny, warm and wise stories based around their enduring friendship. However, when Hollywood attempted to bring it to the silver screen, the films were unable to avoid the cliches the TV series had so cleverly managed to steer between, and they ended up confirming all the worst assumptions made about the show and its audience. That's not to say it didn't storm the Box Office, loyal fans helped make the first film Box Office number one in both the US and the UK and it ended pulling in a lifetime UK total of £26.5m in ticket sales. The sequel did not fare as well, with either critics or cinema-goers, being derided for classism, bizarrely racism and,worst of all, cliche.

The lesson: Stick to the formula that made your show successful in the first place.

The Inbetweeners

The unpredicted tally of cinema receipts for The Inbetweeners Movie was one of last year's great film success stories. The story was a crude, simple tale of what happened when the stars of E4 sitcom The Inbetweeners, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Simon Bird prepared for adult life, by going on a lads' holiday. It should have been swamped and drowned by big summer Hollywood blockbusters, instead, it spent four lucrative weeks at the top of the summer charts, earning itself the title of 'the most successful British comedy in cinema history'.

The lesson: If fans are loyal and the script good, a film can transcend its simple budget and premise with surprising results

Charlie's Angels

Since the seventies it was Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith who were known as Charlie's Angels, with a dutiful nod to Farrah Fawcett and her red swimsuit. But when the story of three beautiful female detectives, defending truth, justice and the American way, was remade for cinema in 2000, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu became Charlie's new girls. The big-screen reinterpretation surpassed the original show to become one of the great popcorn films of the last decade.

The lesson: Adaptations can work without the original cast

Are You Being Served

The misadventures of the staff of a department store retail floor was so popular that in 1977 the quintessentially British sitcom was given its own movie. Young Mr. Grace sent the staff - Mrs Slocombe and her don't-leave-home-without Pussy included - on holiday to Costa Plonka, while Grace Brothers closed for redecoration. Unfortunately it was no Inbetweeners success.

The lesson: Don't stray from the original and much-loved location (for which, read SATC2)

Miami Vice

The 1984 TV series starring Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas and Saundra Santiago about the adventures of the vice squad detectives of the Miami Police Department won two Golden Globes. When Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx and Li Gong revisited Vice in film form in 2006 it failed to garner similar critical praise, but fans took it to Box Office number one on its opening weekend.

The lesson: Jamie Foxx can spice anything up, and rolled-up suit sleeves deserve as big a screen as they can get

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