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Will These Cult Shows Return?

We asked, the creators answered

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The Comeback
Time of death Sept. 4, 2005, on HBO
Before there were Real Housewives, there was Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow), a faded sitcom star whose desperate attempts to recapture stardom were chronicled on a meta–reality show. “It was before anyone was really saying anything about reality TV,” says Michael Patrick King, who admits that he and co-creator Kudrow couldn’t bring themselves to “run around town begging” for a second season. Now, though, America’s epidemic of reality fame-whores has galvanized the duo to resume talks for a Comeback comeback, which King thinks could thrive as a binge-watch series: “It’s all raw footage, made to be seen uninterrupted.”

Firefly
Time of death Dec. 20, 2002, on Fox
There isn’t a canceled show that inspires more yowling than Joss Whedon’s neo-Western. But the prospect of “getting the band back together,” as exec producer Tim Minear puts it, remains daunting (just try persuading ABC to surrender Castle star Nathan Fillion to a rival). However, Minear points to TV’s new embrace of the miniseries as grounds for hope. “I would never foreclose the possibility,” he says. “A limited series would do very well, I bet.”

Chuck
Time of death Jan. 27, 2012, on NBC

With Veronica‘s revival and Marvel’s Netflix deal, co-creator Josh Schwartz has pondered a return to the Buy More. “Maybe we’d do it Avengers-style where you follow Sarah and Chuck on a mission, you’ve got Casey on a mission, you’ve got Jeffster! on tour, and then the final season is everyone together,” says Schwartz. Though he admits, “We did get five seasons and an opportunity to tell a lot of story.”

Party Down
Time of death June 25, 2010, on Starz
“We’ve been hired to write a screenplay for the Party Down movie,” co-creator Rob Thomas says of the superbly droll series about Hollywood wannabes. But he points to the busy schedules of his stars (see: Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan) and writer (John Enbom) as stumbling blocks. Still, Thomas says of his cast, “They all loved doing Party Down. I think they would want to dive back in.”

Rome
Time of death March 25, 2005, on HBO
Ratings were mixed, the cost was exorbitant ($100 million for the first season), and HBO’s first ambitious swords-and-shields drama was axed before season 2 premiered. HBO insiders later acknowledged that the cancellation was a mistake, but by then stars Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, and James Purefoy were committed to other roles. “We had more stories to tell,” laments creator Bruno Heller, who went on to launch CBS’ The Mentalist. “The [production] mistakes we made were the mistakes Game of Thrones learned from.” Heller says he could “envision circumstances” of a return and says key actors are willing. “It’s just a matter of enough people thinking it’s a good idea.”

Scrubs
Time of death March 17, 2010, on ABC
The beloved hospital sitcom just may find new life…on Broadway! “We always had a musical-theater flair in that show,” says creator Bill Lawrence, who has written an outline and is currently meeting with composers. “It’s all the same characters, and we’re combining two of our best stories with our best comedic moments and fantasies from nine years of the show.”

Pushing Daisies
Time of death June 13, 2009, on ABC
Bryan Fuller is up to his neck in blood these days with NBC’s Hannibal, but the exec producer remains hopeful that Daisies — about a pie maker (Lee Pace) who can touch dead things back to life — can be resurrected. “I’ve had conversations very recently with Barry Sonnenfeld about financing a film, and with [series star] Kristin Chenoweth and Warner Brothers about developing a stage musical,” Fuller divulges.