Everything old is new again, with more TV and movie reboots and remakes announced every day. Why does Hollywood continue to revive preexisting properties — even ones that weren’t necessarily massive hits the first time around? ”With all the content on networks and cable and streaming, if something has built-in awareness, it helps with publicity and marketing,” explains Eric Tannenbaum, executive producer of CBS’ reboot of the iconic ’70s sitcom The Odd Couple. Here’s a look at the high-profile franchise revivals that are in the works…or just have hopeful fans buzzing.
Nine years after HBO axed its meta-mockumentary about a washed-up actress (Lisa Kudrow) clinging to fame, the series has continued to gain popularity online and on demand. So the network finally offered creators Kudrow and Michael Patrick King the chance to revisit Valerie Cherish. ”People started talking about The Comeback again, and all of a sudden we got a call from HBO that they missed Valerie,” explains King. Expect The Comeback‘s comeback this October with a six-episode limited series.
The Odd Couple
Last year two of the producers behind CBS’ odd-couple comedy Two and a Half Men decided the time was right to start working on an actual Odd Couple comedy. ”For a long time the source material has been sacred in this business,” Tannenbaum says of the original sitcom, which starred Jack Klugman and Tony Randall as slobby sportswriter Oscar Madison and finicky neatnik Felix Unger. (There was also a beloved 1968 film with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon; both were based on the classic 1965 Neil Simon play.) ”But we got word that Matthew Perry always had a thing about playing Oscar,” says Tannenbaum, who’s producing the series with his wife, Kim Tannenbaum. ”And [The Odd Couple] remains relevant. Every comedy pilot that was announced this year has a [similar] conceit.” On the CBS version, Perry will play a sports guy with a modern twist — he does podcasts! — while Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) will portray Felix.
Luc Besson’s action franchise will hightail it to the small screen this fall (sans Jason Statham) as Transporter: The Series, which was initially developed by Cinemax before it bounced to TNT. Chris Vance — last seen as Casey Jones on the net’s drama Rizzoli & Isles — plays professional transporter/mercenary Frank Martin in a retelling that promises plenty of gunplay and car chases.
Six seasons and a movie? That would be cool, coolcoolcool news for fans, who received a crushing blow last month when NBC canceled the unconventional community-college comedy after a highly praised (but low-rated) five-season run. There’s a chance Hulu could become the show’s savior: The streaming service is discussing the possibility of a sixth season with Sony Pictures TV, which produces Community. Now about that movie…
Wet Hot American Summer
Wet Hot American Summer — the 2001 camp-set cult classic starring Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, and a ton of other comedians — is reportedly heading to Netflix for a 10-episode prequel series. ”It’s too early to talk about anything yet,” director and co-writer David Wain tells EW. (In the meantime, fans jonesing for a taste of Summer can check out Wain’s rom-com spoof They Came Together, out June 27, starring a host of Wet Hot alumni.)
Syfy will bring on the crazy with its reboot of 12 Monkeys, the whacked-out 1995 flick starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. Aaron Stanford (from the second and third X-Men movies) assumes Willis’ part of James Cole, an ex-con from a very bleak future who goes back in time to wipe out a deadly plague that threatens to obliterate the human race. Amanda Schull (Pretty Little Liars) and Kirk Acevedo (Fringe) will also star on the limited series, which is expected to bow in January.
Forget everything you know about the expanded Stargate universe — including all those TV series, comics, and videogames. Think big screen! Director Roland Emmerich and screenwriter Dean Devlin are starting from scratch with a new sci-fi film trilogy based on their original 1994 pic, which starred a flat-topped Kurt Russell and James Spader. So, what, no Richard Dean Anderson?