These TV Reboots Represent the Best and the Worst
Reboots seem to be the new way TV stations are grabbing the attention of their viewers. With so many stations and the option of streaming services, getting an audience to tune in and stay is more challenging than ever for TV executives.
The latest hype for the reboot genre is "Roseanne." After being off the air since 1997, Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene on the show, had John Goodman (Dan Conner) on her show "The Talk."
They did a bit where they each played their "Rosanne" characters, and it was very well received.
Gilbert asked Goodman if he would ever consider doing a reboot of the show again. He said he'd do it in a heartbeat. After consulting other cast members, who were also on board, the reboot became reality.
Not all reboots can get the original cast members, nor are they as well received as "Rosanne." Let's take a look at a few that did and didn't work.
From 1976-81 "Charlie's Angels," a show about three beautiful detectives made huge stars out of Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Jacklyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd. Despite the lack of substance in the writing and acting, the show got huge ratings.
It wasn't until the multiple cast changes that the show lost its viewers. So, if we could write good scripts and find good actors, why not do a reboot? Well, it didn't work. The 2011 reboot didn't make huge stars out of Minka Kelly, Rachel Taylor or Annie Lionzeh.
In the early 1980s every kid wanted a car like KITT (which stood for Knight Industry Two Thousand). At the time, David Hasselhoff was a young, good looking, rising star. The series, which ran four seasons, was all about the action of the car and what it could do (voiced by William Daniels). Again, the stories weren't that great, and the acting was marginal at best. The 2008 reboot starred Justin Bruening and didn't quite have the pizazz that the '80s original had.
The special effects were stuck in the '80s and with lackluster action as well. Plus KITT had become a Ford Mustang and not the Pontiac Firebird that it originally was and Val Kilmer voiced the car. Sorry, if William Daniels isn't the voice of KITT, it's not KITT.
"Beverly Hills 90210"
Anybody who looks back at the early '90s will admit that this show was a huge success for Fox. This teen soap featured the lives of eight mostly well-to-do teenagers living in the lush California town of Beverly Hills. If you got nothing out of the show, you at least now remember the Beverly Hills zip code.
Viewers followed their lives from high school to college. The show ran 10 seasons and eventually lost its edge and was canceled. Although the 2008 version wasn't a total success, it did run for five years. It brought back several of the original cast members for the first two years including Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty and Tori Spelling. Eventually, the show just focused on the two main characters: Naomi and Annie.
CBS has a solid winner with this show, which originally ran from 1968-80. Its was once the longest-running police drama on TV ("Law & Order" took over the record with its 20-year run and "Law & Order SVU" is currently at 19).
In 2010, CBS thought it would try a reboot and it didn't disappoint. Alex O'Laughlin as McGarrett and Scott Caan (son of legendary actor James Caan) as Danny "Danno" Williams are both believeable. In 2017, the show lost Daniel Day Kim (Chin Ho Kelly) and Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua) due to a wage dispute, which caused a dip in ratings, but the show seems to be back on track and still going strong.
BONUS WISH IT WOULD GET REBOOTED
"Hill Street Blues"
The groundbreaking gritty TV show that treated the camera like a person (moving it behind walls and around people), seemed more like a documentary than a TV show. It would be fun to revisit the lives of Capt. Frank Furillo, Sgt. Mick "Maddog" Belker, Lt. Hunter and Officer Renko and see where their lives are now.