On June 3, E, Turtle and other characters whose names connote the toxic aroma of Axe body spray make the jump from HBO to the big screen with the release of Entourage, the movie. But how did the crass cable comedy – which ended up alienating both critics and fans after eight (!) gruelling seasons – find its way to the multiplex, four years after the gang last hugged it out? Can we blame focus groups who confused drama, the genre, with Drama, the doofus? However it happened, here are five series that deserve to make the cinematic leap more than Jeremy Piven's band of bros.
David Milch's Shakespearean Western was one of the best HBO series ever – yet its ratings were low, and its period setting caused budgets to swell. After just three seasons of intricate world-building and ever-inventive swearing, the drama shut down, on a cliffhanger no less. Although Milch and cast members teased a series of TV-movies after the 2006 cancellation, the promises all came to naught. If everyone was still game, though, a creative producer could pick things up a decade later.
Rob Thomas's eccentric sitcom focusing on the lives of a Hollywood catering agency developed a devoted, if small, audience on Starz from 2009 to 2010. It also ushered in a new wave of alt-comedy superstars to the small screen, including the now familiar Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino and Martin Starr. Like Deadwood, a movie has been promised since 2011 – though the muted reception to Thomas's other cult-TV-to-film project, 2014's Veronica Mars, might have given producers pause.
Another HBO casualty, Mike White's beautiful dramedy was always too weird to survive for long, though its two-season run is still impressive. While the series didn't end on as big a cliffhanger as Deadwood, its cancellation left an Amy Jellicoe-sized hole in the hearts of its obsessive fans, and any chance for series star Laura Dern to revisit that complicated, beautifully shaded character would be a welcome opportunity.
Joss Whedon's vampire drama already enjoyed a second life of sorts thanks to a comic-book sequel. But the page can only hold so much of the writer's infinite wit, and, well, we just want to see David Boreanaz ride a dragon on the big screen, as teased in the show's final episode.
James Gandolfini is dead, but don't let that detail get in the way. Series creator David Chase has talked for years about making a spinoff focusing on Christopher (Michael Imperioli) and his misadventures making the metafictional horror film Cleaver, a subplot of The Sopranos's sixth season. Tony's presence could loom large, but no actual character cameo would be required. Don't stop believin'.
Editor's note: The creator of Party Down and Veronica Mars is Rob Thomas. Incorrect information appeared in the original version of this article.