Same Role, Different Actors

We highlight 10 movie/TV crossovers in which different thespians each tackled the same character.

by | November 14, 2013 | Comments

In the entertainment world, nothing succeeds like success. For decades, we’ve been treated to television spinoffs of popular movies, and blockbuster silver screen reboots of decades-old TV properties. Still, audiences have a natural curiosity about how their old favorites will be handled in a different format, and how a new actor or actress will perform in an already familiar role. (We’re limiting our list to TV-movie crossovers, so you won’t see James Bond here — and yes, we know about the 1954 made-for-TV version of Casino Royale.) With that in mind, we’ve compiled a brief list of roles that were occupied by different thespians when a franchise made the shift from movies to TV (or vice versa). We know there are plenty more examples out there, so be sure to tell us some of your favorites in the comments.


The A-Team (The A-Team)

If nothing else, the 2010 adaptation of The A-Team equaled — and in some cases, bested — its predecessor in terms of mindless action — if memory serves, no one attempted to fly a parachuting tank at any point during the series’ five seasons. And in a head-to-head battle of actor gravitas (George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz, and Mr. T versus Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), we’d have to give the edge to the latter four. Still, the 1980s wouldn’t have been quite the same without the original series, which mixed explosive action and goofy yuks with greater aplomb than its big-screen cousin.

Winners: The original A-Team. Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?


Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Joss Whedon wrote the script for the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was panned by critics abut did reasonably well at the box office. In 1997, the TV version of Buffy — which adhered more closely to Whedon’s original vision — hit the airwaves, and became one of the most cultishly adored shows of the decade. Nowadays, when someone mentions Buffy, most people think of Sarah Michelle Gellar, not Kristy Swanson.

Winner: Sarah Michelle Gellar, putting her slaying skills to good use.


Cher Horowitz (Clueless)

A clever, contemporary take on Jane Austin’s Emma, Clueless might not have worked without Alicia Silverstone’s deft comic performance as Cher, a fashion-obsessed rich girl who’s also sly and loveable. When Clueless became a sleeper hit at the box office and a cult favorite with teenagers, a TV spinoff was probably inevitable. With Rachel Blanchard taking over as Cher, and with a few key supporting players from the movie on board, Clueless ran for a respectable three seasons, though it failed to fully capture the wry wit of its source.

Winner: Alicia Silverstone. Some people are not lucky enough to be as naturally adorable as she is.


Bo, Luke, and Daisy Duke (The Dukes of Hazzard)

No one would ever mistake The Dukes of Hazzard for high art, but for seven seasons, the goofy, exhaust-spewing antics of Bo (John Schneider) and Luke Duke (Tom Wopat) — and of course, their cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach) — scored huge ratings for CBS. But while the 2005 The Dukes of Hazzard movie was a financial success, critics were far less enamored with the big-screen incarnations of Bo, Luke, and Daisy (Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, and Jessica Simpson, respectively).

Winner: The old-school Dukes, makin’ their way the only way they know how.


Richard Kimble (The Fugitive)

Harrison Ford’s frantic, feral energy helped to make The Fugitive one of the biggest critical and commercial smashes of 1993. So compelling was the film, in fact, that it practically erased its source material from the public consciousness, despite the fact that The Fugitive was a sizable hit in its day. Loosely based upon the Sam Sheppard murder case, The Fugitive starred David Janssen as Richard Kimble, a doctor who goes on the lam — and in search of a mysterious one-armed man — after being falsely accused of murdering his wife.

Winner: Harrison Ford, for the epic beard-shaving scene alone.


Maxwell Smart (Get Smart)

Steve Carell seems born to play Maxwell Smart: few contemporary actors are as good at personifying the mix of cluelessness and supreme self-confidence that Don Adams brought to the role in the original series. However, while Get Smart the show emphasized laughs over action, the 2008 film version took the opposite approach, and critics felt the end result, to borrow Maxwell’s famous catch phrase, missed it by that much.

Winner: Would you believe… it’s Don Adams?


Hawkeye Pierce (M*A*S*H)

Robert Altman was one of cinema’s greatest directors, and M*A*S*H is certainly a classic. However, the television version of M*A*S*H has far outpaced the film in the popular imagination. Donald Sutherland played Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the movie, but Alan Alda’s performance in the role on TV made him a star. The series finale, Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, remains one of the most-watched non-Super Bowl programs in American television history.

Winners: Alan Alda. 125 million M*A*S*H fans can’t be wrong.


Crockett and Tubbs (Miami Vice)

When it debuted in 1984, Miami Vice was nothing short of a phenomenon — as Crockett and Tubbs, Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas were the coolest cops on prime time. Series executive producer Michael Mann adopted a darker tone for his Miami Vice film in 2006, but unfortunately, audiences and critics found the new adventures of Crockett and Tubbs (Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx) to be lacking the sleek, slick fun factor of the show.

Winners: Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. When in doubt, go with the dudes in pastels.


Karen Sisco (Out of Sight / Karen Sisco)

Jennifer Lopez lit up the screen as tough-but-sexy U.S. Marshall Karen Sisco in Steven Soderbergh’s noir-ish crime caper Out of Sight. Unfortunately, Sisco’s magnetism didn’t attract enough viewers on the small screen; starring Carla Gugino, Karen Sisco ran for seven episodes in 2003 before ABC pulled the plug.

Winner: Jenny from the block.


James West and Artemus Gordon (Wild Wild West)

On paper, a big-screen remake of the 1960s CBS series The Wild Wild West — described by creator Michael Garrison as “James Bond on horseback” — probably seemed pretty sound. The show’s proto-steampunk aesthetic could certainly benefit from modern advances in special effects, and the casting of Will Smith as James West (played in the original series by Robert Conrad) was practically money in the bank in 1999. (Kevin Kline played Artemus Gordon, who was portrayed by Ross Martin in the series.) In practice, however, Wild Wild West was a legendary bomb that “won” five Razzies and disappointed at the box office.

Winner: Draw. The movie was such a dud that it even deep-sixed a revival in its source material.

Tag Cloud

Amazon Prime Video IFC Films crime drama thriller Disney streaming service independent Photos 20th Century Fox ghosts wonder woman MSNBC films American Society of Cinematographers ESPN comic book movies renewed TV shows green book halloween cancelled TV shows rt labs breaking bad Universal Pictures SXSW hispanic heritage month razzies HBO Max discovery streaming movies rt labs critics edition Musical 2021 Grammys Pop TV scary movies BET Awards golden globes emmy awards Heroines deadpool TCA social media DC Universe universal monsters IFC aliens 2016 psycho Film Festival Universal adaptation Western comics Vudu Wes Anderson anthology ITV superman war revenge FX TV lord of the rings Fall TV singing competition movies romantic comedy Rocketman video on demand National Geographic harry potter reviews cancelled television El Rey DGA blaxploitation VICE USA dark jurassic park japanese AMC Plus television CW Seed cancelled high school Sundance Holiday Schedule telelvision TCA Winter 2020 football NYCC Drama FXX marvel comics 2015 Women's History Month cartoon Martial Arts parents Election Reality Competition franchise Tomatazos slasher festival crime thriller vs. dexter E3 MTV Mary Poppins Returns book adaptation based on movie Nat Geo cancelled TV series facebook all-time superhero Marvel Studios First Look documentary See It Skip It Comic-Con@Home 2021 2018 CNN YA art house screen actors guild Tumblr game of thrones Mystery cops CBS All Access Turner Classic Movies Kids & Family video doctor who basketball ViacomCBS rom-coms serial killer Exclusive Video Film saw FX on Hulu BBC America true crime Comedy best Britbox news psychological thriller LGBT Creative Arts Emmys 99% Funimation Ellie Kemper Cannes nature APB blockbusters sitcom Pixar critic resources Premiere Dates Star Wars popular President cats series aapi Black History Month A&E BET french worst movies Christmas Comic Book Ghostbusters versus Disney+ Disney Plus space Trailer CBS Classic Film unscripted asian-american natural history Polls and Games Peacock Animation cars Year in Review Television Academy technology directors Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 90s YouTube Premium DC streaming service witnail 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards adventure slashers Lionsgate cults AMC elevated horror Neflix Marvel Television classics biography San Diego Comic-Con Emmys spider-verse 73rd Emmy Awards twilight Opinion Pop foreign Musicals VH1 fast and furious Sci-Fi Adult Swim Rocky anime south america ratings blockbuster canceled kaiju Broadway The Academy Writers Guild of America TV Land olympics Fantasy posters Logo legend Cosplay spinoff diversity reboot Esquire TruTV Apple TV Plus Toys hollywood TCM TNT nfl YouTube Red Bravo sopranos mission: impossible Chernobyl PlayStation Best and Worst Epix ABC Signature comic books Certified Fresh historical drama GIFs PBS Character Guide Sundance Now japan sequel period drama ID indie criterion comiccon Netflix Christmas movies Endgame RT History sports BBC HBO Mudbound Pride Month dogs Crackle Disney mutant satire zombies theme song medical drama 1990s Country documentaries sag awards name the review richard e. Grant Awards Tour spy thriller nbcuniversal CMT Disney Plus FOX dragons Avengers Mary poppins ABC Family godzilla marvel cinematic universe Instagram Live Stephen King robots justice league Oscars Superheroes Turner children's TV remakes travel dceu latino romance festivals game show black comedy DirecTV 24 frames finale ABC child's play boxoffice Action TBS spanish DC Comics mob venice miniseries animated NBA Countdown Brie Larson hist vampires Star Trek Summer rotten screenings hispanic Travel Channel Apple Showtime The Arrangement RT21 stand-up comedy Emmy Nominations docuseries mcc A24 Infographic Apple TV+ young adult NBC The Purge Interview WGN Arrowverse a nightmare on elm street X-Men WarnerMedia indiana jones royal family docudrama Music debate stop motion king kong 21st Century Fox Image Comics Biopics SundanceTV Starz TIFF Trophy Talk Video Games obituary Hear Us Out The Walt Disney Company HBO Go dreamworks Tubi Hallmark Christmas movies zero dark thirty Hallmark 72 Emmy Awards MCU new zealand rotten movies we love Sundance TV crime The Walking Dead stoner Columbia Pictures VOD rt archives kids Teen comic batman quibi pirates of the caribbean Legendary halloween tv critics 71st Emmy Awards black Reality movie archives Lifetime Christmas movies 93rd Oscars cinemax OWN disaster Rock police drama zombie politics streaming science fiction genre Quiz Set visit Comedy Central Paramount Plus Masterpiece Winners Food Network sequels Pirates Anna Paquin live event Walt Disney Pictures Winter TV Baby Yoda Captain marvel Awards fresh Box Office First Reviews transformers spider-man scene in color SDCC Disney Channel binge Acorn TV Amazon Prime PaleyFest boxing Dark Horse Comics australia Binge Guide Alien dc Super Bowl award winner New York Comic Con casting what to watch Warner Bros. Tarantino christmas movies spanish language Academy Awards TCA 2017 Shudder gangster Fox Searchlight Shondaland cooking Syfy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt adenture Pacific Islander GoT Elton John joker LGBTQ Podcast mockumentary Amazon target hidden camera Spectrum Originals golden globe awards Ovation Comics on TV supernatural TCA Awards Song of Ice and Fire canceled TV shows OneApp Tokyo Olympics new york Sony Pictures toronto prank talk show feel good concert action-comedy Extras werewolf spain History Hulu Valentine's Day Sneak Peek Family Spike 007 book Mary Tyler Moore Paramount Network tv talk live action monster movies strong female leads Black Mirror Fox News YouTube 2019 Crunchyroll The CW Red Carpet Pet Sematary 2020 Freeform suspense worst Lifetime italian E! Lucasfilm know your critic Amazon Studios Television Critics Association dramedy trailers Paramount composers king arthur Trivia comic book movie chucky IMDb TV new star wars movies free movies Horror political drama teaser kong BBC One women Cartoon Network TLC Netflix Calendar biopic Watching Series Spring TV 4/20 Rom-Com GLAAD international Superheroe laika Discovery Channel Mindy Kaling 45 jamie lee curtis USA Network TV One scorecard heist movie 2017 Marathons Holidays crossover die hard The Witch Nickelodeon TV movies scary TV renewals toy story Marvel BAFTA Nominations comedies Thanksgiving james bond