Last year I posted a quick list of animated television shows I thought would make nifty role-playing games. Well, there are a bunch of live-action TV shows that would also make my "I'd buy that" list. In no particular order...
Planet of the Apes
(I couldn't find a copy of the tv show introduction, but this will do for now.)
As long-time readers will doubtless remember, I'm a huge Planet of the Apes fan in general, but I think the short-lived TV show had a lot of potential for role-playing. There's the inherent conflict between apes and humans (and these humans have at least a semblance of intelligence and culture, as opposed to the first two films). There are ruined civilizations all around, internal politics within the ape society, and they set up some really neat ideas with the possibility of humans who hadn't lost their technology out there somewhere.
I'm a little surprised that no one has yet made a police procedural game in general (at least that I'm aware of), but Alien Nation gives the added depth of the Newcomers, and all the attendant alien technology, politics, the opportunity to deal with racial themes, etc.
Now here's a show that is tailor-made to be made into a one-on-one game. Plagued by not having a lot of players around? This could be the ticket. Or, imagine a whole team of Sam Beckets getting "leaped" each time. Priority #1: find the others...
I've gotta say, I'm a sucker for the music and vehicles in this show, which I remember from my childhood. The plots write themselves; the aliens have devised a new plot to try to infiltrate Earth. The players are sent in to stop them. This week, you're assigned to SkyDiver 1...
This one is almost too easy. Players are a Resistance cell, fighting off the latest depredation of the Visitors. With "Knock out Visitor security guard with your crotch" as a special "called shot", perhaps.
Well, that's my five, and I know there are at least a dozen more I could name. Heck, just from a licensing and marketing standpoint, you could build a horror game around Tales from the Crypt or Freddie's Nightmares, even if it didn't have anything to do with the TV show...
What? You were expecting something from the last 20 years?