JERUSALEM — With reboots and revivals dominating the television landscape, it’s only natural that studios are scouring their archives for the titles worth dusting off. So it comes as little surprise that Fox has looked at bringing back cult favorite “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
“I think if you look in our library, ‘Buffy’ is probably the most ripe show we have for bringing back,” said Fox TV group chair Gary Newman at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem. But he acknowledged that he “wouldn’t get out of the building alive” if he actually announced it.
“It’s something we talk about frequently, and Joss Whedon is really one of the greatest creators we ever worked with,” he said. “When Joss decides it’s time, we’ll do it. And until Joss decides it’s time, it won’t happen.”
Despite the network’s recent revivals of “The X-Files,” “24” and “Prison Break” — along with the pilot “Greatest American Hero,” in development for ABC — Newman said that such efforts “aren’t actually a focus” for the studio.
“Most times when we brought things back, it started with the creator coming into us and saying I’ve got another story I want to tell,” he said. “It seems to me that if there isn’t a real sense of nostalgia, a passionate fan base demonstrating they still want it then I don’t really buy bringing these shows back.”
Newman acknowledged, though, that revivals do have a built-in advantage when it comes to breaking through a noisy landscape. “I think more than anything it’s a marketing opportunity,” he said. “People are aware of the show, you don’t have to build awareness. If the show’s beloved, you get a great deal of intent to view right from the get go.”
But it has to be done with a legitimate sense of purpose. “Greatest American Hero,” he said, is being cast with a young Indian-American woman in the lead role. “If you do it cynically, if you don’t have a great creative reason to do it, I don’t think it’s going to work.”