Now that we’ve talked about movie franchises we’d like to see rebooted (or not), let’s bring the discussion to the small screen. Because whether we like it or not, TV keeps going back to the rerun graveyard to remake old shows; this season, we’ll see new takes on 90210, Knight Rider, Cupid, and maybe The Streets of San Francisco. Such remakes have a poor track record, notes TV Week columnist Josef Adalian, citing such second-time’s-not-the-charm flops as Bionic Woman, Night Stalker, Family Affair, and Fantasy Island. Still, hope must spring eternal in the heart of every TV exec whose seen the rapturous fan response to the reinvented Battlestar Galactica (pictured), so as long as they’re going to keep trying, Adalian offers his list of shows actually ripe for a revival, including Married With Children, Quantum Leap, Eight Is Enough, and Good Times.
I find it hard to add to Adalian’s list because it’s difficult to imagine contemporary actors improving on the iconic roles we associate with earlier stars’ indelible performances. (How could you watch, say, a new M*A*S*H without constantly comparing the new stars unfavorably to Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, and Gary Burghoff?) The way to do it, I think, is to do what Galactica‘s creators did: take a second-tier show to which viewers have much less of an emotional attachment, add first-tier writers, and reimagine it radically. A show like Buck Rogers in the 25th Century might benefit from this approach. Or One Day at a Time; let Valerie Bertinelli play Barbara Cooper again, now all grown up, only now, she’s the one who’s a divorced mother of two teenage girls.
Your turn, PopWatchers: Which shows are ripe for reinvention as new TV series? And which should the networks keep their grubby paws off of?
addCredit(“Battlestar Galactica: Frank Ockenfels”)