With the exception of Alan Alda, few stars have been able to turn a hit film into a hit television show. But that has yet to stop TV execs from trying: Last week, ABC debuted the animated series Clerks, based on Kevin Smith’s 1994 indie film. In celebration of the nets’ inability to learn their lesson, let’s review some forgettable cinematic spin-offs — featuring some big names who’d likely want to keep it that way.
FAST TIMES (1986, CBS)
Marquee Name: Courtney Thorne-Smith as naive high schooler Stacey (Jennifer Jason Leigh in the flick).
Claim to Lame: Boasted a theme song by ’80s pop eccentrics Oingo Boingo.
Rating: Sorry, 13-year-olds. This show features none of the breasts that made Ridgemont High famous, so it gets an NB-13.
WORKING GIRL (1990, NBC)
Marquee Name: Sandra Bullock as a sassy secretary (Melanie Griffith in the movie) charming her way up the corporate ladder.
Claim to Lame: Facts of Life star Nancy McKeon was originally slated for the lead role.
Rating: Bullock’s really, really frightening bangs earn this Girl an R2.
PARENTHOOD (1990, NBC)
Marquee Names: Ed Begley Jr. assumes Steve Martin’s role as a dazed dad, and a pre-Growing Pains Leonardo DiCaprio does his best Joaquin Phoenix as a sullen teen.
Claim to Lame: Costar Thora Birch appeared under the Prince-esque credit ”Thora.”
Rating: For introducing the world to freakish AT&T pitchman David Arquette, we brand it F-ATT.
BABY TALK (spun off from Look Who’s Talking) (1991, ABC)
Marquee Names: George Clooney as a construction worker, Scott Baio as a songwriter, and the vocal stylings of Tony Danza as a wiseacre tot.
Claim to Lame: Voted ”Worst Series” on TV in a 1991 critics’ poll.
Rating: As no child over the age of 17 months will find this show palatable, Talk deserves an NC-17.
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (1993, CBS)
Marquee Names: Carey Lowell as lead swinger on an all-female baseball team (original actress: Geena Davis) and Jon Lovitz reprising his film role as a bumbling baseball scout.
Claim to Lame: Lasted five whole episodes.
Rating: There’s no crying in baseball, and no laughing in this baseball ”comedy,” therefore it scores an NLB.