The 2018 TV season is increasingly looking like a collection of the hottest shows of 1988.
CBS has just ordered pilots for reboots of primetime cop classics Magnum P.I. and Cagney and Lacey.
That’s in addition to the news earlier this week that ABC is rebooting The Greatest American Hero with a pilot order (and an Indian-American woman as the lead), CBS has ordered a 13-episode revival of Murphy Brown (with original series star Candice Bergen on board), and The CW is rebooting Charmed (with a feminist witches “tearing down the patriarchy” twist). Plus, there’s ABC’s revival of Roseanne coming March 27.
For Magnum P.I., the new version is described as “an update of the classic television series set in Hawaii [that] follows Thomas Magnum, a decorated ex-Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator.” The original Magnum starred Tom Selleck and ran from 1980-88. Hawaii Five-O vets Peter Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim are the showrunners on the update.
While the Cagney and Lacey reboot sounds pretty much like the original, except set in Los Angeles instead of New York: “In this reboot of the iconic series, two female police detectives and friends keep the streets of L.A. safe.” The original starred Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly and ran from 1981-88. Bridget Carpenter (Friday Night Lights) is the showrunner.
CBS has some success on the crime show reboot front in recent years with Hawaii Five-O, while NBC scored this season by bringing back Will & Grace. Still, while reboots bring some valuable built-in viewer awareness to a show amid an increasingly crowded marketplace, they’re by no means assured of success (see last season’s The CW’s Dynasty reboot, which bombed).
CBS ordered some other new pilots as well: Chiefs (“The professional and personal lives of three driven, successful, but very different women who are each Chiefs of Police of their own precincts in L.A. County”), the comedy Fam (“A woman’s dreams of an upstanding life with her new fiancé and his upstanding family are dashed when her younger train wreck half-sister comes to live with her to escape their train wreck of a father”), the comedy Here Comes the Neighborhood (“The nicest guy in the Midwest moves his family into a tough neighborhood in L.A. where not everyone appreciates his extreme neighborliness”), and the comedy Pandas in New York (“A family of Indian doctors with a successful group practice in New York City embark on a project to arrange their youngest son’s life, unaware he’s made plans of his own.”).