TV Surf Report: Networks Rely On Re-Boots To Get Noticed In Increasingly Crowded Marketplace


Santa Monica, CA —  (Update 15 January 2015)

In today’s crowded television landscape, when there is more content than ever, one way to stand out is re-booting a beloved series hoping audiences will come clambering for something familiar.  Kind of like Thanksgiving dinner.

Networks, Digital Platforms, Streaming Services spend millions of dollars in original development, however, this season, the big trend is The Re-Boot. Expect younger, more female-driven versions of your favorite shows, though.

Hawaii Five-0, now in its 5th season on CBS, proves this theory to be true, however, the successful revival is the exception to the rule.  The jury is still out on NBC’s re-awakening of Heroes: Reborn and ABC’s new version of The Muppets.  ABC has Uncle Buck waiting to premiere, as well.

Anyone remember the recent revivals of Ironside or Bionic Woman?  The networks keep looking to the uber-success of Battlestar Galactica which transcended the original and created a valuable property for NBC/Universal.

Studios own these well-trod properties and revive them at will, knowing there’s an audience out there curious to see what Mulder & Scully have been up to for the last 10 years.


Here are the Old Chestnuts being prepped for re-toasting for your viewing pleasure:

  • One Day at a Time at Netflix.  This time around, the Norman Lear chestnut gets a Cuban-American flavor.
  • Anne of Green Gables at CBC returns with a re-telling of the coming-of-age story.
  • Tales from the Crypt at TNT returns courtesy of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan who loves Anthology.
  • Lost in Space at Netflix.  The Robinson Family is set to re-board the Jupiter 2 in this straight-to-series order for Legendary TV’s re-boot.
  • The Greatest American Hero isn’t set up at a network yet, but that’s not stopping producer Phil Lord (Last Man On Earth) and 20th Century Fox from developing a re-boot of the fondly recalled series that starred William Katt and Connie Selleca
  • Star Trek on CBS.  Intriguing premise here of continuing the franchise, CBS reportedly will explore new characters, premiere the pilot on broadcast, and them stream the series order on CBS All Access.  Fascinating.
  • Gilmore Girls on Netflix.  Amy Sherman-Palladino and Warner Bros. TV have sold four 90-minute episodes with original stars Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.  Road trip to Stars Hollow, anyone?!
  • Xena: Warrior Princess on NBC.  Still looking for a writer.  No word yet if original star Lucy Lawless, currently featured on Starz’ Ash vs Evil Dead, is attached to reprise.  Fans are carefully watching/tracking this one!
  • The X-Files on Fox.  Chris Carter revives Mulder & Scully for six episodes premiering in January 2016.  Social Media buzz is strong and bodes well.
  • Twin Peaks on Showtime.  David Lynch and Mark Frost write and direct all 18 episodes which should go down like a rich cup of coffee.  Kyle MacLachlan returns as Agent Dale Cooper.
  • Electra Woman & Dyna Girl stars social media stars Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart in this reboot of the ’70s kitchy Sid & Marty Kroft series which will stream online.
  • The A-Team isn’t set up at a network yet, but that’s not stopping 20th TV from developing a script.

GILMORE GIRLS    fantasy island roarke and tatoo

  • Fantasy Island at ABC.  Mr. Roarke is now a Lady in Sony’s new version which has a script order.
  • Nancy Drew at CBS gets re-imagined as an NYPD detective in her 30s.  Will Pamela Sue Martin play her mother?  Ouch!
  • MacGyver at CBS is revived with Mac now in his 20s.  CBS really wants that younger demo that Big Bang Theory and Super Girl are delivering.
  • Prison Break at Fox.  The weblet has ordered 10 episodes in this limited series with original stars Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller.
  • Hart to Hart at NBC. This time around, Jonathan & Jennifer Hart are now a gay couple.  No word yet on Freeway the dog’s orientation in this new version from Carol Mendolsohn.
  • 24 at Fox.  Again, the new version goes younger with a new agent.


  • Fuller House at Netflix.  John Stamos headlines this 13-episode order set to premiere in 2016.  Get ready to binge, Uncle Jessie!
  • The Saint at ITV.  Britain’s most stylish crimefighter, Simon Templar, returns.
  • Tennison at ITV is actually a prequel to Prime Suspect which features (shock) a young Jane Tennison in the ’70s.  Six episodes have been ordered.
  • Roots at History Channel.  The ground-breaking miniseries adaptation of Alex Haley’s novel gets re-made.
  • Law & Order at NBC.  Dick Wolf wants to keep the franchise going!
  • H.R. Pufnstuf at Nickelodeon.  A beloved character returns for a new audience.


Up Next:  Pre-Sold Titles (Movies/Songs You Loved!) Get The TV Treatment

About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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