By Brian Ives
This week, the bros of HBO series Entourage make the jump from premium cable to movie theaters with the release of the Entourage film. Will the movie have enough room to give Vincent, Johnny Drama, Turtle, Ari Gold et al their proper shine?
Even the best TV shows have a logical ending. Sometimes it’s because the principal cast members want to move on to other projects. Sometimes it’s because the storyline has come to an end, with the loose ends wrapped up, and there’s nothing more to say.
But even after a show leaves the airwaves, the beloved characters may resurface from time to time in feature films, offering the actors, writers and directors (potentially) more money for less work. Other times, movies can be stopgaps between seasons.
For this list, we compile TV shows, whether live-action or animated, that made a reasonably respectable move to the silver screen and did so with same cast that made the original characters famous. So in other words, no rebooted versions of Charlie’s Angels, Scooby-Doo, The Flintsontes, Mission: Impossible or Get Smart.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
The gold standard. When Star Trek hit theaters, it returned the franchise to the zeitgeist and led to five more films starring the original cast. Arguably, it also brought enough interest back to Trek to justify revamping the series for television via Star Trek: The Next Generation (which, interestingly, was much less successful when it made its own transition to feature films).
Related: 5 Lessons Republicans (and Democrats) Can Learn From Klingons