With more and more networks bringing shows back from the dead, we looked at 10 that really deserve the reboot or revival treatment.
While Tina Fey’s original vision for a single-camera comedy about the inner workings of a late night sketch show was pretty perfect on its own, the television landscape has changed greatly in the few years since the show has been off the air. Behind-the-scenes of Hollywood tales will never get old, and it would be great to see someone take on what it’s like for writers today, just trying to make a splash in a world where the younger demographics get all of their content from YouTube.
– Danielle Turchiano
Aired: 2002-2003; Feature Film
Maybe I’m only suggesting “Firefly” because I know it’s likely an impossibility — Joss Whedon has a lucrative film career now, after all — but this one-season wonder would be a fascinating contender for a reboot, if only because fans have been clamoring for it for so long. The story of “Firefly” ends, sort of, with the film “Serenity” — but because that world was so rich, it would be totally possible to find a way to explore the ‘verse of “Firefly” with new characters in a different storyline. Ideally, of course, you’d get River Tam (Summer Glau) as the captain of her own ship, with her compatriots all scattered to the wind, living her renegade life the way Mal (Nathan Fillion) taught her how. But there’s plenty of other pirates in the black to tell stories about.
– Sonia Saraiya
This animated Disney series was way ahead of its time. Despite coming out around the same time as fellow Disney shows “Goof Troop,” “Darkwing Duck,” and “Bonkers,” “Gargoyles” delved into dark storylines of magic, betrayal, and love spanning a thousand years. There have long been rumors of a movie based on the show, though nothing has materialized. Given the advances in CGI, a live-action version of the show could be possible, though it would still be fun to revisit these characters in animated form.
– Joe Otterson
David Caspe’s single-camera comedy about six friends navigating career changes and complicated love lives in Chicago was often called a follow up to “Friends” — but unlike “Friends,” the Sony-produced series only lasted three seasons on ABC. Since it is only a few years from the third season finale that had to act as a series finale, enough time has passed that there would be changes to characters’ lives to create new story opportunities but not so much time has passed that it would be completely sad if Max (Adam Pally) still lived in that busted loft or Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) and Dave (Zachary Knighton) still weren’t seeing success with the store and food truck, respectively. Hopefully Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Jane (Eliza Coupe) would have finally purchased their lake house, though, so there could be an “on location” episode. And maybe we’d even get another duet between Penny (Casey Wilson) and her mom (Megan Mullally).
– Danielle Turchiano
I Dream of Jeannie
If there was ever a show that could use a good ol’ fashioned feminist reboot, “I Dream of Jeannie” might just be the perfect candidate. The original 1960s series starred Barbara Eden as a genie trapped in a bottle for 2,000 years until she is set free by astronaut Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman). Jeannie falls in love with Tony at first sight and spends the rest of the series completely devoted to him and fulfilling his every wish (literally). In a new version, it would be interesting to see Jeannie discover feminism after her multi-millennium incarceration and how it would affect her.
– Joe Otterson
“Jericho” always had a small yet rabid fanbase — enough to get the show un-canceled after the first season by sending nearly 40,000 pounds of nuts (a reference to the final scene of Season 1) to CBS. Thanks to streaming on Netflix, its fanbase has only grown, making it ripe for a revival.
There was so much unexplored potential hinted at through the show’s two seasons like the mysterious Jennings & Rall corporation, and the coming Second American Civil War between the governement in Cheyenne, WY and the Republic of Texas. With so many ways to go, “Jericho” is ripe for the right place to pick it and put it back on the air.
– Jacob Bryant
The Muppet Show
Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and company have been subject to countess TV iterations — most recently ABC’s disastrous “The Muppets” with its bawdy jokes and off-kilter takes on the classic characters. When Disney is finally ready to take another swing at a TV show starring Jim Henson’s characters it could do no better than a straightforward revival of the original “The Muppet Show,” a show-within-a-show in which the Muppets worked on a delightfully schlocky variety program.
– Dan Holloway
With how much people still talk about “The O.C.,” it’s crazy to think the show only ran for four seasons. A revival could give fans of the angsty, well-off teens a look into their lives as late twenty-somethings and their new problems… maybe even beginning families of their own.
– Jacob Bryant
This dark Fox drama that lasted four episodes in April 1996 was simply ahead of its time, by about 20 years. Adrian Pasdar played the amoral and viciously ambitious young executive Jim Profit who was determined to get ahead at a corporate behemoth by any means necessary. Created by two writers destined for long careers in TV – John McNamara and David Greenwalt – for Stephen J. Cannell Productions, the series anticipated the anti-hero phenomenon that has fueled so many cable dramas in the past decade. The serialized story was twisty and turny (as far as it went) and no one at Gracen & Gracen Corp. was quite what they seemed to be on the surface. “Profit’s” legend as a brilliant-but-canceled gem has grown steadily now that most of its episodes are widely available on YouTube. Fox owns the show, which means that it’s high time for somebody there to run the profit-and-loss numbers on a “Profit” reboot.
– Cynthia Littleton
If only “Square Pegs,” which ran for one glorious season in 1982-83 had premiered a few decades later — it would probably still be on the air. But this is actually the perfect time to bring it back: There are so many niche platforms that could (and should) nurture and support the comedic chronicles of a bunch of high school nerds and weirdos. The best thing — aside from creator Ann Beatts reviving it, which should totally be the case — would be if original stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Tracy Nelson, and Jami Gertz could guest on the show (I’m sure we can all picture Muffy Tepperman as the ultimate helicopter parent). But the core of any revival should be a cast of eclectic and talented up-and-comers, as was the case with the sparkling and much-loved original. Weemawee High School forever!