When you’re adapting existing source material into a television show, you’re bound to make changes. Those changes can be small and unnoticeable or they can be so big that it angers and upsets fans. Regardless of what the source material is - a film, a book, a comic, or even another television show - there will be fans that will hope for a true portrayal and will be disappointed with the finished product if it strays too far from the original.
Television producers will do anything to boost ratings, even if it means taking liberties with the original material on which their show is based. They just hope that fans will understand when they need to stray from the original source material, because sometimes these changes make a television show better. Although, sometimes the changes don’t pay off and the show heads into a completely different direction that fans just can't wrap their heads around.
Producers want to make a show better but they also don’t want to lose the fan base that allowed for the creation of the show in the first place. Most television shows that we watch today are based on some other material, and some stick to it while others don’t. Listed below are 10 TV shows that are nothing like the source material.
10 12 Monkeys
2015’s new series 12 Monkeys is based on an admired movie of the same name. The film came out in 1995 and starred Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. Pitt actually won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a motion picture. The television series utilizes the film as inspiration, a jumping off point, instead of sticking to its plot line. There are very few similarities between the two. The story itself differs greatly, and there are many more characters involved. As for the characters that remain the same, now played by Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull, they have different characteristics and personalities than their film counterparts.
9 Sleepy Hollow
Fox’s television series Sleepy Hollow is derived from the short story by Washington Irving titled The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The series differs from the short story on several levels, most notably the time period and the main character. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is set sometime in the 1790s, while Sleepy Hollow is set in the present day. Ichabod Crane, the main character, is made out to be more frightening looking in the short story. While Tom Mison, the actor that plays Ichabod Crane in the TV show is a good-looking guy. The main character is also married in the series, unlike in the short story.
The comic iZombie was recently adapted into a television series by the CW network, but fans of the comic are not too thrilled about the source material being completely disregarded. It’s a story of a young zombie who solves crimes and eats the brains of the corpses from the morgue she works at. But, all of the character names have changed, including the name of the leading woman. Gwen from the comics is now called Liv in the television show. There’s also the introduction of many new characters that were never a part of the comics. Hopefully the show is able to rake in viewers, seeing as how its original fan base is upset about the changes.
7 Bates Motel
Alfred Hitchcock’s terrifying 1960 film Psycho was remade in 1998 starring Vince Vaughn. In 2013, A&E decided to take the well-known thriller and make a prequel to it, the television series Bates Motel focuses on a young Norman Bates and his mother. This alone showcases how different the television show is from the films. Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga star in the newest take on the classic story, and their twisted relationship is something we haven’t really gotten to see before in the Psycho movies. The one thing that doesn’t make sense is that even though the show is supposed to be set years before either of the films, it’s taking place in a modern world, with cell phones and the typical high school drama of today.
6 Prime Suspect
Prime Suspect was a television series in Britain, starring Helen Mirren, about a detective who has to deal with discrimination while also attempting to solve murders. The American TV show, Prime Suspect, loosely based on the British version, has a similar premise but that’s pretty much where the similarities stop. The female lead of America’s Prime Suspect, played by Maria Bello, is very different than Helen Mirren’s character, something fan’s of the original probably won’t be able to get behind. It may be a hit show, but it’s commonly thought to not be as good as its British counterpart.
ABC’s hit series Revenge, starring Emily VanCamp, gets its source material from The Count of Monte Cristo, a 1844 novel that was made into a movie in 2002. It may come as a surprise to know that The Count of Monte Cristo is the inspiration for Revenge. But if you think about it, the novel-turned-film is a story about getting revenge. Although, we don’t think we’ll be seeing many sword-fights in the television series. The basic plot line of vengeance is the only thing that Revenge and The Count of Monte Cristo have in common.
4 Game Of Thrones
The extremely popular television show Game Of Thrones is based on George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. While the first season of Game Of Thrones stuck to the source material, the following seasons have shown more and more of a disconnect with the books. Fans of the novels are very vocal when it comes to talking about their disdain for the liberties the show has taken with some of the characters' plot lines and personality traits. There are many things that happen in the show that never took place in the books and there are many things from the books that never made it to the screen.
3 True Blood
Charlaine Harris’s book series The Southern Vampire Mysteries is the inspiration behind HBO’s True Blood. The leading lady, Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin in the television series, narrates the stories in the books. The show isn’t only about her perspective, which allows greater character development for the others involved in the show. Characters that are killed off immediately in the books stick around for longer in the show, the show has new characters that are even more interesting than some of the original characters, and the big love story, Bill and Sookie’s, is more intense on the show. Everything is more extreme and passionate on True Blood than it is in The Southern Vampire Mysteries.
2 The Walking Dead
AMC’s The Walking Dead takes a lot of liberties in its adaptation of the comic series of the same name. What really bugs fans of the comic books is how different the characters are in the television show. Most of them have polar opposite personalities. The show also has characters dying at altered times and various ways than in the comics. Something that fans can get behind though, is the fact that a lot of new characters are introduced as well, including Daryl. We have to admit, The Walking Dead wouldn’t be the same, and wouldn’t be as good, without him.
1 Gossip Girl
There are so many differences between the gone but not forgotten TV show Gossip Girl and the book series it was based upon, it’s hard to keep track. It’s easier to claim that the two were not the same thing whatsoever. In the books, Serena and Dan don’t end up together, Dan smokes, Nate has a drug problem, Blair goes to Yale, Serena’s parents are still together, Blair has younger brother named Tyler, Vanessa is a goth, and that’s just to name a few differences. Regardless of all the changes, fans still watched, religiously or ironically, and it was a huge sensation the six years it played for.