First, Steven Bochco went rehash-happy, adding a little T&A to Hill Street Blues to come up with NYPD Blue. Now Norman Lear is borrowing the very foundations of his classic sitcom, All in the Family, for his new series, 704 Hauser. Yes, lately TV’s habit of reheating old favorites is making prime time look like one giant rerun from the ’70s and ’80s. Here, some other shows that have been recovered for reuse:
Happy Days — Beverly Hills, 90210 Recycled Material: The travails of peppy pals from high school (including a brother and sister), with much of the action set in a diner. ’90s Twists: The parentless cool guy no longer lives in the garage; 90210’s female characters get equal time (but still sport tight sweaters).
Laverne and Shirley — Melrose Place Recycled Material: A spin-off of a hit teen show featuring older characters and more mature themes. ’90s Twist: On Melrose, neighbors Squiggy and Shirley would do it.
Sanford and Son — Frasier Recycled Material: Do-good son exasperated by his sedentary, judgmental live-in pop. ’90s Twist: Frasier’s Seattle aerie is more upscale than a junk pile.
Maude — Roseanne Recycled Material: The life and times of a cynical female powerhouse. ’90s Twist: The star is more controversial than her character.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show — Murphy Brown Recycled Material: She’s a journalist, gorgeous, smart, single, and over 30. ’90s Twists: Had a baby anyway; old-school tough guy Lou is now neurotic yuppie Miles.
Who’s the Boss? — The Nanny Recycled Material: The servant knows best. ’90s Twist: Actually, a ’50s twist-the woman’s back in the subservient role.
Knight Rider — Viper Recycled Material: A hot bod in a hot rod. ’90s Twist: Now it’s one long commercial-the Viper is a real car made by Dodge.
Candid Camera — America’s funniest home videos Recycled Material: People humiliate themselves. ’90s Twist: The victims volunteer.