Jeff Franklin created “Full House” in 1987 when he was in his 30s. The show ran for eight seasons and 192 episodes. Nearly three decades later, now in his early 60s, Franklin is still in awe of the “Full House” legacy — and he can’t believe he’s finally bringing the show back.
“There’s probably not a lot of 61-year-olds running TV comedies, if I had to guess. I’m very fortunate to be still around and still at it,” Franklin says.
With the huge syndication success and nostalgic fandom “Full House” has created, it seems that a revival was inevitable. So why is Franklin feeling so fortunate? Well, because a new show almost didn’t happen, he says.
“I started back in 2007 with this idea and I’ve been trying to get it set up, off and on — it took six or seven years for me to get this going,” Franklin admits, telling Variety that he sat in numerous unsuccessful pitch meetings for a “Full House” reboot.
“I knew that this kind of excitement was going to be there, but nobody else seemed to get it,” he continues. “I was pitching to networks that ‘Full House’ reruns were beating every night — we were airing 40 times a week and getting millions and millions of viewers. For some reason, a whole bunch of networks didn’t understand the hunger that was out there for this show. It was baffling me. Netflix finally stepped up, and that’s why it’s happening now. It could have happened seven years or eight years ago, but it didn’t.”
Reflecting on the announcement that broke the Internet (when news of “Fuller House” leaked this past April, the show was trending on Twitter and Facebook for days) with a laugh, the creator says: “I hate to say, ‘I told you so,’ but at every single pitch meeting I’ve had over the years, I’ve tried to explain to the buyers how much excitement there would be for this show. This was the biggest no-brainer of all time, and they didn’t get it. I’m sure they’re looking back thinking, ‘Wow, maybe we should have thought about that a little more closely.'”
Now that the show is off the ground and debuting Friday on the streaming giant, Franklin is excited to give fans the gift of more “Full House.”
“I worked really hard to design this show to appeal to ‘Full House’ viewers. Those are the people who are going to be the most excited. That’s our main audience,” he says. “I think people that don’t know the show will enjoy it too, but really this is a show for the fans — this is ‘Full House’ 2.0.”
As for landing at Netflix, Franklin has the everything-happens-for-a-reason mindset.
“Somehow Netflix makes it more exciting. I love that it’s on Netflix now because I don’t think there would be the same kind of excitement if it were just going on some cable channel every week,” he says. “Initially, I had sort of mixed feelings about it. I come from a different time where we’re used to putting on one show per week and seeing ratings and hyping what’s going on in the show this week. This is completely different, but it’s exactly what the audience is used to today. The only thing I’m going to miss is knowing exactly how many people are watching this thing — cause Netflix isn’t going to tell me.”
(Don’t feel bad, Jeff. They won’t tell us either!)