Sitcoms into Movies

In last week’s blog post, I wrote about sports in sitcoms and the difference between focusing on sports as the main topic in movies compared to TV shows. There are a significant amount more sports movies than sport sitcoms and not only are there more, but movies about sports are incredibly popular and loved.

Last weeks blog post then inspired me to look into what qualifies a sitcom to be turned into a movie. Why is Sex and the City able to make several movies out of their popular sitcom when Friends, an arguably more loved and popular sitcom, is not?


A potential reason behind this could be the cast and depend on the popularity of the characters, however, I feel as if  in this case, Friends’ cast crew is just as qualified as the actors in Sex and the City. 

The transfiguration of TV shows into movies and vice versa seems to happen much more frequently in cartoons. There are countless ‘mini-series’ or children’s cartoon shows that have been turned into movies. For example, Transformers, and The Ninja Turtles are two TV shows that originated as cartoons, but were then translated into a more adult, action-packed film.


This is also a prominent trend in Disney Channel movies and TV shows. It seems as if every Disney Channel TV show eventually comes out with a movie associated with the series. The Even Stevens Movie, The Hannah Montana Movie, and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie are just a few of  Disney Channel original movies that were directly created from a show.

I also feel as if the viewer/fan demand has a huge role to play in the decision to convert the TV show into a film. Perhaps the producers of Friends thought converting the much adored show into a movie would take away from the show’s fluidity and unique storyline.

I cannot seem to put my finger on exactly what is different from show to show in terms of desired movie qualities, or even why the transition is so much more popular and seemingly easier in children/teen shows and cartoons. All I know is I would definitely watch “Friends: The Movie” if they decided to make it.


Kendall Fischlein

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4 Responses to Sitcoms into Movies

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I feel as if some sitcoms are awkward if they were to be remade into a movie. Movies require enough conflict to create a problematic situation that takes up to two hours to resolve, which is counterintuitive to a sitcom. Sitcoms have small hiccups that the character can resolve in almost twenty minutes. There are no significant changes and everything reverts to normal at the end of the show. In contrast, movie typically end in completely different situations compared to when they started. – Andrew Guido

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I think that you raised some interesting points. I’m not sure why some shows are turned into movies and others aren’t, especially the most popular ones that raise enough revenue. I definitely feel that the viewer plays a role, but ultimately I think that it is up to the network. I would absolutely love to watch a Friends movie if it was created, also! -Allie Kleinman

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I agree that the Friends directors were probably wary of transforming the sitcom into a movie because they did not want to sacrifice the fluidity and shape of the sitcom. It is true that anyone who loves Friends would have immediately watched a movie based off of the sitcom, but then we begin to wonder if the movie would have been a disappointment to us if it was unable to match the humor and success each sitcom episode achieves. It is interesting to consider what dimensions of a sitcom allow it to be developed into a movie with more conflict/plot. -Lacey Worsham

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I believe some storylines are meant to be comprised of short episodes. I also feel as though there is not enough drama in Friends to create a story out of, unlike Sex in the City. Friends seems to pure to be made into a movie without taking away the essence of what makes it a sitcom. Friends: The Movie would be labeled a comedy, unless the writers could introduce some sort of major drama that needs resolution.

    – turner arrington

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