Over the years, many readers have witnessed their favorite books get adapted for the screens, either as movies or TV shows. But, did you know there are stories that started out as movies & TV shows and continued in book format? They’re rare, but they exist.
In this article, I’ve curated some of them you should know about. Here is a list of 14 TV shows that lived on as texts after their small screen cancellation.
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This show centers around Buffy, a vampire hunter, who tries to live normally in high school while owning her responsibilities and destiny as a hunter of vampires and demons. After successfully running for seven seasons, the show ended, much to the displeasure of its loyal fans.
Soon after, comics began as extensions of the show and gave fans another exciting way to savor more vampire and demon butt-kicking. Joss Whedon, the creator, wrote the comics and essentially turned them into the show’s unaired eighth season.
2. Clarissa Explains it All
This 1990s sitcom was produced for Nickelodeon with a plot based on Clarissa, a teenager who directly engages the audience directly to explain the things that were going on in her life, mostly around typical adolescent issues while juggling school, parents, a pesky younger brother and a best friend who always invited himself over through her window.
Unlike certain shows, this show didn’t get canceled because of ratings or lack of fans. The central character, Clarissa, just got too old for their viewers. But in a creative spin, a YA sequel, “Things I Can’t Explain,” brings Clarissa back in her twenties as she tries to juggle unemployment, failed relationships, and life as an adult.
Angel is about a gloomy vampire cursed with a soul who paved the way for his spin-off show which ran after Buffy, making for crossover episodes. Angel’s fans were shocked at the show’s cancellation as it wasn’t expected.
Thankfully for fans, the creator, Angel, got to live on to continue its story with the comic series, “Angel: After the Fall,” which came to life after the series finale.
The show revolves around Veronica, a high school student, who tries to investigate her best friend’s murder and other mysterious events in her residential town, Neptune.
Much to the dismay of fans, this fantastic female-led show got canceled after successfully running for four seasons. This sad event was due to a network change. It continued as a movie, even after the studio passed after the show’s fans funded the film in less than a day on Kickstarter.
To further satisfy fans, Rob Thomas, the show’s creator, also decided to stretch the series with two novels, “Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line” and “Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell”.
5. Life on Mars
This US series was originally a BBC UK series centered around a detective who got into a car accident in the modern world and woke up in the 1970s. This mix of police procedure, sci-fi, drama, and great characters was a nice indulgence until ABC canceled it.
While British fans got a sequel show, Ashes to Ashes, many fans still weren’t pleased about the eight-year plot gap between the two shows. This reaction birthed a four-book series authored by Tom Graham which placated other fans of the show worldwide.
This unusual show is based on a former detective with a severe case of OCD who can solve any mystery while making everyone around him crazy in the process. Monk successfully ran for eight seasons.
At its series finale, it felt like fans couldn’t get enough of Mr. Monk. This reality led to the birth of a series of novels that began halfway through the show and continued with five more after the series ended.
Heroes is an American superhero drama television series that tells the stories of ordinary people who find out about their superhuman abilities and how they all use their powers to prevent a deadly future.
After a successful four-season run, this series ended and raked in several accolades. It also paved the way for a reboot, Heroes Reborn, and an entire eBook and audiobook series based on the reboot. This gives fans the unique opportunity to stay connected to Heroes Reborn during the show’s brief hiatus.
Set in the year 2517, Firefly follows the adventures of the renegade spaceship crew after the arrival of humans in a new star system.
The series had a short life span as it got canceled after airing 11 of the 14 produced episodes. Despite this, it stands as one of the significant cult hits of the last decade for its solid sales and large fan support campaigns.
Later on, Firefly fans got numerous comic books to satisfy their show cravings, and these books gave them plenty of consistent content to enjoy for years to come.
9. The X-Files
This series centers around conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully who go the extra mile as FBI special agents to investigate and decipher mysterious paranormal cases. It ran for 11 seasons and was known as one of the 1990s biggest television hits.
While fans got two feature films and a series reboot after the show ended in 2002, they also got covered from the late 2000s to the mid-2010s with several comic book series of different lengths.
10. Charmed (the original series)
The original series of Charmed followed the supernatural trend that started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This series centered around three witches who use their powers to protect innocent people from the wicked evils of reality.
Even after Charmed aired for eight seasons and 178 episodes, fans still wanted more stories. They got their wishes with comic book “seasons” 9 and 10, which centered around the progressing witchy stories of the Charmed sisters.
Another five-issue series titled, A Thousand Deaths in 2017 was published for anyone who still craved more from the Charmed realm.
Smallville took its fans down memory lane on the long roots of Clark Kent’s journey from a weird teenage kid from Kansas to an awkward adult man in Metropolis.
After airing for ten seasons, it had the reputation of a consistent performer with a loyal fanbase. But the show went on to “Season 11” as a comic book series set in the Smallville universe. If you are a Smallville fan, there are Smallville comics to savor.
12. Xena: Warrior Princess
The late ’90s or the early ’00s gave viewers shows like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and its spin-off show Xena: Warrior Princess. While Hercules had a good run, Xena had quite the impression in people’s minds.
Many Xena comic book adaptations came to life after the show came to an end. Even after 20 years, they still have fans engrossed. Fans have praised the most recent one as the best of the collection. It is pretty impressive to see a show this old live on in books years later.
13. The Good Place
This series centers around Eleanor, a deceased saleswoman who had a morally corrupt life and discovers herself in a heaven-like afterlife where she tries to hide her past to cope. It aired for four seasons and ended with different accolades.
The sitcom’s creator, Michael Schur, then expands the show into a book, “How to be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question,” which provides hilarious, wise, and sometimes provocative insights into what he learned from his research on philosophy for the series.
14. Batman Beyond
In this American superhero animated television series, a new Dark Knight protects the Gotham of the future. After running for three seasons, the show came to an end.
This show lived on as books, including two Batman Beyond books for young readers, “Batman Beyond: New Hero in Town “ and “Batman Beyond: No Place Like Home.” Fans also got two more, “Batman Beyond: Hear No Evil” and “Batman Beyond: Grounded.”