In one of the more impressive pieces of fan fiction, a bunch of LOTR nerds got together and produced a 40 minute short film about Aragorn's hunt for Gollum (events that take place before Fellowship). Despite the fact that it's a little shoddy in some areas and the acting is a bit hokey, I was floored by the production values. The cinematography almost looks like the real thing, and the make-up/prosthetics on the orcs and goblins are incredibly well made. I've embedded the movie below, and then go off on a little tangent.
So, it got me to thinking. With a budget smaller than $5,000, you could easily seeing this kind of thing being used as a television series. With a little polishing and a story that you could elaborate on, an LOTR show could make for great television. That got me thinking further. What other movie franchises did TV spinoffs? Cartoons do not count because, in most cases, main characters are drawn like the real life guys (Ex: TMNT, Ghostbusters). Indy started things off with the Young Indiana Jones adventures, the Sarah Connor Chronicles prolonged the Terminator series, and pretty soon we will be seeing a live-action Star Wars drama.
If you could pick any sort-of current film franchise to spinoff into a TV drama, what would you pick? The only rule is that it has to be original (sorry, Batman). My choice would be Die Hard. It would have to be on HBO to preserve "Yippee-Ki-Yay Motherfucker!" and it would be a mix of NYPD Blue police procedural and also a bit like 24 in that it deals with terrorists and has a main character constantly jumping from the frying pan to the fire. Unlike Bauer though, John McClane is a clumsy, normal hero that is able to crack as many jokes as he does skulls. Every season would start as McClane works the beat and busts bad guys, but slowly unravels a crime syndicate and culminates in a terror attack. You know you would watch this.