Beauty and the Beast has got to be one of the most iconic films in the pantheon of Disney movies, as well as a hugely popular and classic fairytale. But, we bet you weren’t aware that, aside from the original Disney flick, a 2012 TV series, and the recent live-action remake, there was also a Beauty and the Beast TV show created which aired in the late 1980s.
The show starred Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton and was a contemporary take on the classic tale we all know and love. The show was a moderate success and ran for three seasons on the CBS network. The show was one of the earliest to experiment with updated fairy tales, something that would be explored with more success in The 10th Kingdom, and Once Upon a Time. Here are some things you never knew about the 1987 show.
George R.R. Martin was a writer
Yes, it’s the same guy! Believe it or not, George R.R. Martin who wrote the Game of Thrones books, and also some episodes of the hit HBO show, was actually a writer on this show. As one of his first writing gigs in the world of film and TV, Martin actually scripted 15 episodes of the show. It helped him hone his craft as a writer, and understand how the format of serial TV writing worked. His words were obviously pretty good too, as Perlman won a Golden Globe Award for his performance on the show. Martin would go on to bigger and better things, of course, but this was only his second screenwriting gig, scooping a spot as a staff writer after a stint on The Twilight Zone.
It helped launch Ron Perlman’s career
Ron Perlman was not a well-known actor when he won the lead role on the show. In fact, as he himself put it “I had been in Hollywood a while, but hadn’t had any real success.” Well, the next thing Perlman knew, he’d scooped the lead on a primetime network show, with a time slot of 8pm on a Friday. Before the show, Perlman had only acted in a handful odd television episodes, but this was really the show that helped to launch his career. Following his role on the show, Perlman would begin working with Guillermo Del Toro, and, in recent years, he has had a large role on hit TV show Sons of Anarchy. He also, as mentioned earlier, won a Golden Globe for his role as Vincent on the show.
There’s a remake
We know there was a Disney movie, and a few other movies as well, but there was also a remake of this TV show as well. In 2012, the Beauty and the Beast TV show remake was released. The show was loosely based on this one, except the lead character was a detective with the NYPD, as opposed to a District Attorney. While the remake is slicker and was a little more successful, it owes a definite debt to this underrated 1980s show. The remake was canceled in 2016 after four seasons.
The Beauty and the Beast TV show was the first serial TV adaptation of the classic fairytale. We had already seen a few film versions, but the story had never been told as a TV show before, and this one actually did a really great job. Unfortunately, the show only lasted three seasons, thought there was a petition to get the show to run longer and be picked up for another season (though this ultimately proved unsuccessful). Still, it showed that there was certainly interest in the story, and led to further adaptations being made. Beauty and the Beast certainly is a tale as old as time!