The Top 20 Fox Searchlight Movies That the Studio’s New TV Division Should Consider for the Small Screen

Fox4Fox Searchlight

Fox Searchlight Pictures announced that the company is branching out into the TV business with the formation of Searchlight Television, which will use the studio’s brand as a tastemaker to produce prestige projects.

Fox Searchlight’s David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield have been promoted to Presidents of Production for Film and Television, adding Searchlight Television to their current responsibilities on the feature side. They have been senior executives at Fox Searchlight for eight and 11 years, respectively. The company’s projects are expected to debut on either Hulu or Disney’s new streaming platform, and it’s already staffing up.

What caught our eye in the announcement was the fact that in addition to producing original material, Searchlight Television will also mine the studio’s film library for scripted series, limited series, documentaries and more. With that in mind, we came up with 20 quick pitches off the top of our heads for TV series based on Fox Searchlight movies. Let us know if you have any ideas in the comments section below, and yes, this was written in less than 90 minutes and I’m willing to work as a development exec.

three billboards 2Fox Searchlight

1. Three Billboards I’m using the abbreviated though much-used version of the title for a reason. What about a Fargo-esque series set in a different city each season, centered around three billboards? Three Billboards Outside Queens, New York. Three Billboards Outside Tokyo, Japan. You see where I’m going with this. The possibilities are literally endless.

28 Days LaterFox Searchlight

2. 28 Days Later C’mon, this seems like a no-brainer. The Walking Dead is one of the biggest shows on TV, but it can’t go on forever. Wouldn’t it be smart to have a show ready to fill that void once it signs off (before an inevitable reboot, of course)? There’s a whole world left to explore that 28 Weeks Later didn’t quite to justice to. This is a cash cow just sitting there, waiting to be eaten up by genre-loving audiences.

Super TroopersFox Searchlight

3. Super Troopers Another no-brainer, though I’ll admit, we should wait to see how the sequel performs next weekend before putting together a writer’s room. How much longer do you think Brooklyn Nine-Nine can go on? Super Troopers would be a strong replacement for that comedic cop show. Just make sure Farva is involved.

thirteenFox Searchlight

4. Thirteen A gritty show about adolescent girls could make some real noise on a streaming platform like Hulu, which should be looking for something to rival 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I’m sure Nikki Reed has plenty of stories left, and with the rise of social media and all that can wrong there, I think this film offers fertile ground for the right writer to explore.

WaitressFox Searchlight

5. Waitress A TV series about a waitress. Who is pregnant. And single. And she falls in love with a married man. And then… someone dies. Maybe she’s the killer. Maybe she’s an amateur detective. Who knows? I just like the character and the title. Who would guess that the waitress serving them eggs and bacon has a wild private life involving X, Y and Z? Hell, bring back Keri Russell! Now that The Americans is ending, she’ll be looking for another show, and that movie may very well be why she got The Americans in the first place. Plus, Waitress made a solid Broadway show, or so I’m told, indicating an audience that might be a bit bigger than you’d expect for an indie movie from 2007.

SidewaysFox Searchlight

6. Sideways I say you wait until Paul Giamatti wraps up Billions and Thomas Haden Church’s Divorce ends on HBO, and you get these guys back together for a limited series catching up with Miles and Jack and their further adventures in Wine Country. If The Trip can get two sequels starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (God bless ’em!) then Sideways should at least get one follow-up.

Beverly Hills GardenFox Searchlight

7 & 8. Slums of Beverly Hills & Garden State To be honest, I just like these two titles. A show set in Jersey about a young man who comes home and falls for a girl with epilepsy who’s also a pathological liar. That sounds interesting, especially without Zach Braff starring, though he would obviously direct the pilot. As for Slums of Beverly Hills, you set it in the ’90s and bring back Natasha Lyonne, only now, she has three kids. Boom. Give me points on the backend.

Ice StormFox Searchlight

9. The Ice Storm Could this be the next Mad Men, or maybe an edgy This Is Us? A show set in the ’70s about kinky suburbanites and their children. Maybe Tobey Maguire is playing a dad this time around, or Sigourney Weaver is the grandmother who still likes to have a little fun. I don’t know. All I do know is that I’d spend more time in that world. Maybe Ang Lee would even come back to direct an episode.

Napoleon DynamiteFox Searchlight

10. Napoleon Dynamite This film obviously got its own animated TV series, but I could see a live-action series finding a cult audience, but you’d have to bring back Jon Heder as the title character and Efren Ramirez as Pedro. I’m not sure you need anyone else besides those two. What else does Jared Hess have going on after Masterminds?

JunoFox Searchlight

11. Juno Ellen Page returns to play a Mom who still looks super young. I mean, that kid would be 11 years old now. But I might even age her up even further, and make the kid, like, 16 years old, so she’s having the same kind of issues about boys and stuff that we saw Juno having in the original film. Michael Cera is available too, ya know.

Street KingsFox Searchlight

12. Street Kings Hey, they can’t all be winners. Street Kings is just a bad-ass name for a TV show. I doubt you could get Keanu back to star, but he might be convinced to do a cameo, or at least lend the show his stamp of approval in exchange for an executive producer credit. Crooked cops are always going to have a place on TV.

BrooklynFox Searchlight

13. Brooklyn Set in that same world as the acclaimed Saoirse Ronan film, but with all new characters. It would be aimed at a female audience, and it could explore the Irish vs. Italian thing. Maybe a young immigrant is torn between a soft-spoken Irish singer and rugged Italian factory worker. Heck, each season could follow a different group of immigrants in a different time period in Brooklyn. Who knows? But there’s potential, right?

The EastFox Searchlight

14. The East Like Street Kings, this movie wasn’t very good, but there’s something interesting about its premise that might be better suited for the small screen. A private investigator infiltrates an underground group of activists turned anarchists. With an all-new cast, I could see this show finding an audience.

Birth of a NationFox Searchlight

15. The Birth of a Nation I know, I know. But hear me out. There’s a lot of black history that Hollywood has yet to explore, and a TV show could be the perfect home for, say, a docuseries or even a limited series. I don’t know what to do about the Nate Parker conundrum, but I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the potential in this “brand” simply because of that scandal. The title itself has a certain power to it that transcends any one person.

Dom HemingwayFox Searchlight

16. Dom Hemingway Honestly, I just like this character, and because he’s a bit more obscure than say, Don Logan in Sexy Beast, I think you could get away with a TV adaptation, even if it starred someone other than the great Jude Law. Like, there’s no competing with Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. Any TV show based on that film is going to lose the comparison game, so Dom Hemingway is a better bet if you want to do a show about a crazy violent British guy.

Marigold HotelFox Searchlight

17. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Another no-brainer. A bunch of old people get into trouble at a hotel each week, with guests (and guest stars) checking in and out. There are so many excellent older actors available out there who would kill for a TV show like this. I think Searchlight would find the talent community very receptive, and you might even get someone to do TV who you never thought possible…

Whip ItFox Searchlight

18. Whip It Quite frankly, this could be Searchlight’s answer to GLOW on Netflix. Given the demand for more female-driven content, the company would be wise to give this one a closer look even though the film didn’t perform well in theaters. I think you’d have to recast, though original director Drew Barrymore sure would look good in the Marc Maron role once she wraps up Santa Clarita Diet.

500 Days of SummerFox Searchlight

19. (500) Days of Summer Pick another hot young duo that can sing and dance, and make a TV musical out of this one. Bella Thorne and Harry Styles, or young stars like them. Each episode is a day or a few days or a week, etc. so that the series finale is Day #500, when we find out whether the couple is going to stay together or not. Presto! Done.

ShameFox Searchlight

20. Shame A super dark series about a sex addict sounds like the stuff Emmys are made of. There’s no way Fassbender will go there again, but if they can find the right actor, one who’s really willing to bare their soul, then I think you’re looking one of the most talked-about shows of the year, and a near-certain awards contender. They’d just have to mind that fine line between the ugly truth and pornography.

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Still quiet here.sas

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