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10 Stephen King TV Adaptations, Ranked According To IMDb

Stephen King has created a vast body of work and he still continues to churn out new horror stories every single year. Considering the number of books and tales he has written, his fans will probably never run out of content to read while filmmakers will never stop traversing his works to the big screen.

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Speaking of the big screen, the King of Horror's movie adaptations need no introduction. Despite having limited runtimes, most adaptations effectively capture the very essence of his horrors. Meanwhile, TV shows struggle to do the same. However, that does not mean that there aren't any promising Stephen King TV adaptations out there.

10 Bag Of Bones (5.8)

Starring Pierce Brosnan of James Bond fame, Bag of Bones ensues in Maine, which is often the quintessential setup for King's tales. The two-episode mini-series unfolds like a crime drama—with a paranormal twist—where a best-selling novelist returns to his lakeside cabin after his wife's sudden and tragic death.

Perhaps, for most viewers, the biggest pitfall of this adaptation is the extent to which it drifts away from the source. However, despite all the negative reviews, Bag of Bones does manage to make up for its flaws and find its feet as a standalone series with its intriguing premise and good performances.

9 The Shining (6.1)

Thanks to Stanley Kubrick's grandiose vision and Stephen King's forte with storytelling, The Shining now ranks among the best book-to-screen horror adaptations for many. Similarly to the film, the series closely follows the mental descent of a struggling author, who moves to a desolate hotel with his family.

RELATED: Why The Shining Is The Best Stephen King Adaptation (& 5 Alternatives)

For obvious reasons, many viewers have compared the series with the movie, and while some believe it pales out in contrast with Kubrick's version, others have appreciated it for all the details of the source it brings to the table. Without the comparison, the show does have its flaws but seems more relevant for those who expect a more loyal adaptation of the book. In fact, even Stephen King prefers the show over the film.

8 The Langoliers (6.1)

Based on King's eponymous novella, The Langoliers unravels in a flight from L.A to Boston. After making an emergency landing in Maine, ten passengers learn that not only has everyone else from their flight disappeared but so has every other person on the planet.

Like most Stephen King stories, The Langoliers, too, offers a promising storyline that shows a whole lot of book-to-screen potential. And although the mini-series seems a little dodgy from a production standpoint, it does deliver narratively. Considering how bizarre its premise is, it does demand a high suspension of disbelief from the viewer. But once that is out of the way, it's easy to sit through it in one sitting.

7 Under The Dome (6.6)

Under the Dome had a very strong start and its interesting plot easily garnered the attention of many viewers. However, towards the end of its first season, it became evident that the series was stretching its storyline beyond what it was capable of handling and that's what eventually led to its downfall.

RELATED: Stephen King: 10 Worst Changes Movies Made From The Books

Stephen King, too, was disappointed with the series' unrealistic setup and character developments. Still, in all of its shortcomings, the series does show immense potential, and if not all three of its seasons, at least the first season deserves a visit from fans of King's source material.

6 Salem's Lot (6.8)

The 1979 adaptation of Salem's Lot isn't bereft of the shortcomings of most TV adaptations; especially when it comes to its loyalty to the source. However, despite straying away from the original story, the series encapsulates everything from Stephen King's gripping yet terrifying atmosphere and the steadily growing sense of dread in his works.

The credit, for the most part, goes to Tobe Hopper as it's his simple yet effective camera work that makes this vampire chiller a lot more realistic and harrowing.

5 IT (6.8)

Long before the sewer-lurking clown, Pennywise, hit the big screen, his depiction in the 1990 miniseries was well-known. Because of the limited use of computer graphics back then, the series uses a whole lot of stop motion effects and puppetry to instill scares. And while these are often effective, they seem rather dull compared to the terrifying imagery of the movies.

RELATED: IT: 7 Scariest Things Pennywise Did In The Movies (& 8 They Should Have Included From The Book)

What's good about the series, though, is that it stays true to the spirit of the source and portrays Pennywise in such a way that he comes off as the perfect allegory for the perils of one's youth.

4 Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From The Stories Of Stephen King (6.9)

Terror is best served in small doses and the 8-episode anthology series Nightmares and Dreamscapes very well proves that. Similar to most other anthologies, the series has its share of ups and down where some episodes are a lot better than others.

However, even during its choppier bits, it's held together by the amazing performances of its cast and the treasure chest of plot lines that Stephen King brings in each of his stories

3 The Stand 1994 (7.2)

Despite being highly anticipated, the 2020 version of The Stand was forgotten a bit too soon because of how it failed to do justice to King's novel. The same, however, cannot be said about the 90s version of it. Even with a relatively lower budget, the 4-episode miniseries packs a punch with its strong performances and sophisticated direction.

Its depiction of Stephen King's magnum opus novel is a little muddled at times, but even during these moments, it keeps viewers on their toes and makes them wonder what'll happen next.

2 The Dead Zone (7.4)

Over the years, Stephen King's The Dead Zone has had many adaptations, among which the Christopher Walken-starring film is considered the best. Although comparatively obscure, the 2002 series also does a great job at exploring the political undertones and intense mystery drama that unfolds in the source material.

The show follows Johnny, who wakes up from a six-year coma with the ability to see a person's future just through one touch. Putting his abilities to good use, he joins forces with her ex-wife's husband, a sheriff named Walt, and helps him seek justice.

1 Haven (7.5)

Loosely adapted from Stephen King's The Colorado Kid, Haven starts slow and steadily builds up to a crescendo that reveals the supernatural underpinnings and mysterious secrets lurking under a seemingly ordinary titular town. With each season, the show finds refreshingly new ways to evoke the curiosity of viewers, and in turn, keeps them hooked throughout its runtime.

Being a long-running five-season series, it isn't always consistent with its quality. But by immaculately balancing its sci-fi elements with dark comedy and melodrama, the show stays strong throughout its first few seasons and leaves viewers asking for more.

NEXT: Stephen King: 10 Best 80's Adaptations, According To IMDb 

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