Santa Monica, CA — I finally got around to watching Netflix’ reboot of Lost in Space, one of my all-time childhood favorite TV series. The pilot felt (and looked) a bit drab introducing me to the The Robinsons, putting them into immediate jeopardy, but hooking the audience that stayed with them to the end with the introduction of Parker Posey as someone posing as Dr. Smith!
Danger Will Robinson!
I was immediately reminded of SyFy’s reboot of Battlestar Galactica, which also looked kinda drab in its pilot, but under Ron Moore’s brilliant guidance, BSG quickly found its footing and mythology which far surpassed the ABC original series from the ’80s. BSG was so good, creatively-speaking, that it became an entertainment industry Influencer.
The successful re-boot of BSG influenced a generation of executives who saw for the first time that a re-boot can far surpass its original in both content and creativity and be financially successful for the studio that owns it. BSG, the movie, has been in development for several years now at Universal.
- Hawaii Five-O (CBS) is now in its 9th season, recovering from a public berating over losing Grace Park (BSG) and Daniel Dae-Kim (Lost). The S9 premiere is a re-imagining of the Original 1968 Pilot, “Cocoon”
- Fuller House (Netflix) Amazingly, this TGIF re-boot is in its 4th season. Picked up for a 5th and final season. This was an unqualified success.
- Will & Grace (NBC) renewed NBC’s faith in Comedy with its 2-season pickup. This re-boot has been a tremendous success for the Peacock Network. Now, NBC needs to pick up Trial & Error for S3, a worthy companion to Will & Grace.
- The X-Files (FOX) Mulder & Scully returned for two more seasons of government conspiracies and alien abductions. The audience returned, too, but ultimately left again by the end. Gillian Anderson says she’s done. Will The X-Files stay closed for good, though? Don’t bet on it.
- MacGyver (CBS) is now in its 3rd season, but I still have not seen it.
- Roseanne (ABC) is mutating into The Conners for S2 following the immediate firing of Roseanne Barr after one Tweet. Sara Gilbert, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf return to Lanford, but the show will be missing its star when it returns. Good ratings have continued, and ABC has ordered a S3.
- Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime) After 18 episodes, David Lynch appears to be finished with Agent Cooper & Co. No more pie for You. Some Emmy love might change that, though!
- Dynasty (The CW) somehow eked out a S2. There’s a new Cristal, too. Not for me. Nicolette Sheridan exits after one season as Alexis. The role is to be re-cast.
- Lost in Space (Netflix) The Jupiter 2 has been renewed for S2. Lots of twists and turns to resolve…Deadline’s Review Says This ReBoot Never Takes Off
- Charmed (The CW) Premiered to decent ratings last Fall on Sunday nights. Original star Holly Marie Combs has been pretty vocal with her non-support. The CW has ordered a second season.
- Murphy Brown (CBS) Candace Bergen and Diane English premiere their update Sept. 27th. Am not sure how well Murphy and the gang have aged and what they have to say about the current political climate. We shall see. Tyne Daly joins the cast replacing Phil the Bartender.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Netflix) Originally designed as a spinoff of The CW’s Riverdale, a darker more adult series was sold to Netflix as the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Series has definitely found an audience as Netflix recently ordered 16 more episodes to comprise S3 & S4. Am doubtful Melissa Joan Hart will be making a cameo in this latest incarnation of the Archie comic. Premieres October 26th And Stars Kiernan Shipka from Mad Men
- Roswell (The CW) The YA soap about aliens living amongst us gets a Latinx twist in this new incarnation. Just premiered to good reviews.
- Magnum P.I. (CBS) No Tom Selleck. He’s still on Blue Bloods. Picked up for a second season. Viva Hawaii! Variety Says New Version Has Plenty of Action But Fails to Soar.
Meanwhile, studios are raiding their libraries for Titles like crazy (looking at you Sony Pictures Television), and desperate Networks are buying these re-boots because they are terrified of original ideas and the challenge of marketing them to an audience that is now impossible to reach due to the glut of content.
Here are the latest Titles to be plucked from Studio Libraries in hopes of garnering a Sale at a broadcast network or streaming service:
- Orphan Black (AMC) The network is going back to the Clone Conspiracy well one more time. No writer or story yet, but they’re still going!
- Beverly Hills 90210 (FOX) Most of the original cast returns for a limited 6-episode series order where they play heightened versions of themselves (not their characters) pitching a re-boot of the show. Shannen Doherty and the late Luke Perry wisely did not sign on. Here’s a Preview…
- Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix) Shawn Levy EPs alongside original creators Cosgrove & Meurer on this true crime documentary series.
- Queer As Folk (Bravo) More revival than reboot, new series will focus on new characters in a new setting than the UK original and the Showtime re-make.
- Night Gallery (SyFy) The Rod Serling Anthology series about dark morality tales gets revived by the EPs of Teen Wolf and Midnight, Texas. Universal TV produces.
- New York Undercover (ABC) The Fox cop drama returns with Dick Wolf as EP but presumably, new undercover cops.
- Northern Exposure (CBS) Creators Brand and Falsey and series star Rob Morrow are in talks for a revival, so let’s all cheer on this return to quirky Cicely, Alaska.
- Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (Showtime) Now, this revival is one I fully support as I loved creator John Logan’s beautiful three seasons chronicling Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s period London adventures. So much Love and Loss. The new series is set in 1930s Los Angeles. Natalie Dormer, Nathan Lane and Daniel Zovatto set to star. Nerdist Reminds Us Why We Loved Penny Dreadful.
- The Real World (Facebook Watch) The groundbreaking MTV reality series about seven strangers picked to live in a house returns. Smart move, Facebook. However, fans get to choose one of the housemates, which is less smart. Good luck! Fond memories of the first few seasons, one of which was set on Venice Beach.
- NYPD Blue (ABC) Steven Bochco’s cop drama gets a sequel featuring the son of Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz). Here are the details via Entertainment Weekly.
- Alias (TBD) Presumably, this will land at ABC which aired the original series that starred Jennifer Garner and was produced by J.J. Abrams. Meanwhile, Garner stars in HBO’s Camping.
- Kung Fu (Fox). Uber producer Greg Berlanti EPs, and Albert Kim scripts this gender-flipped action procedural, Grasshopper. Variety Has The Details…
- The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access) Oscar-winner Jordan Peele (Get Out) EPs and hosts the newest incarnation of this anthology classic. Adam Scott and Ginnifer Goodwin are among the actors guest-starring in episodes, which bodes well. If memory serves, a writer by the name of George R. R. Martin once wrote for CBS’ reboot many years ago. Whatever happened to him? Here are the 13 Best Episodes of Twilight Zone, via Syfy Wire.
- Party of Five (Freeform) Creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman reimagine their series about orphans, herein, the parents of the kids are deported to Mexico. Topical. Pilot order. Rodrigo Garcia directs. Sony Pictures TV scores another reboot!
- Bewitched (ABC) Black-ish EP Kenya Barris and writer Yamara Taylor will bring an interracial spin to Samantha and Darrin Stevens. But who will play Gladys Kravitz??? I vote for Margo Martindale. Big pilot production commitment given to ABC Studios and to Sony TV (which owns the rights). Project has been rolled over to next year. Deadline Hollywood Has The Details …
- Veronica Mars (Hulu) This low-rated but beloved detective series starring Kristen Bell has never lost its fan base or appeal, apparently. Eight eps. ordered.
- Designing Women (ABC) Sony TV has been after creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason for years to re-boot Sugarbakers. Series star Dixie Carter (and the voice of Bloodworth-Thomason) passed away several years ago, I am sorry to report. This revival seems tailored for CBS, so we shall see. Here is Bloodworth-Thomason’s Now Famous OpEd About Les Moonves at CBS.
- Deadwood (HBO) Ian MacShane to topline a movie or limited series return to the foul-mouthed Western!
- Baywatch (TBD) Yes, it’s hard to keep those Los Angeles County Lifeguards off TV for long.
- The Facts of Life (TBD) Jessica Biel of all people is EPing the reboot. I suppose she must harbor a love for the original as she is the right age to have been influenced by its 9-year run. Original Mrs. Garrett, Charlotte Rae, just passed away.
- Alf (TBD) From the files of No Thank You, We’re Good.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TBD) Fox 21 Studios takes over from 20th Century Fox Television to produce the re-boot. The studio has struck a deal with Joss Whedon to EP, but not to write. He’s got his HBO series to write. Instead, Whedon will oversee Monica Breen (Midnight, Texas) who wants to kickstart a new generation of Slayers with a new ethnically diverse one. So far, this sounds like a continuation of the Buffy mythology, so I hope they use a different title then. Meanwhile, the studio is looking for the highest bidder. I would not be surprised if it goes to sister company, FX. SMG and David Boreanaz Give Their Blessing To The ReBoot, Per EW
- Frasier (TBD, but CBS is most likely) Star Kelsey Grammar is shopping the revival so expect a deal somewhere. Paramount owns the show, so sister company CBS is the likely winner. Also, it fits their white, older demo. Update: Grammar has recently stated that the reboot was not happening. More Update: Apparently, it’s back in play!
- Mad About You Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser are set to revive their roles from their ’90s NBC sitcom for Spectrum Originals. Hunt is set to direct Ep1. Ho hum.
- The Hills (MTV). Um, who cares? Not I. Lauren Conrad is not returning. Not that I care.
- The L Word (Showtime) The ladies are moving from West Hollywood to Silver Lake. Series order. EW Catches You Up Where The Series Left Off.
- Tales of the City (Netflix) Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are set to reprise their roles. Not sure I want to return, though.
- Xena: Warrior Princess (NBC) Seems frozen after the network passed on Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s script. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman is a cultural phenomenon. Wake up, NBC!
(*) Many Re-Boots fail, though: The Bionic Woman, Dark Shadows, The Bradys, Uncle Buck, Ironside, to name a few of recent memory.
Finally, this article is actually a Re-boot, of sorts. I wrote about this depressing Trend almost one year ago. How’s that for cyclical continuity in Television?
If you want to see which Re-boots didn’t go forward from last year, CLICK ON THIS COOL LINK TO SURFING HOLLYWOOD FROM AUGUST 2017
(Hint: That James Gunn-produced re-boot of Starsky & Hutch never happened. Darn it!)
N E X T U P: