The reboot of ‘Bewitched’ is the latest TV classic, including ‘The Hills,’ ‘Veronica Mars’ and ‘Daria,’ getting a new life.
These TV classics have cast such a spell on audiences that networks are bringing them back.
The latest is a revival of the beloved 60s sitcom “Bewitched,” which is in the works from ABC Studios and Sony Pictures TV, according to Deadline. “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and writer/producer Yamara Taylor are set to spin the new take on the supernatural comedy, which will now feature an interracial family.
The original series ran for eight seasons between 1964 and 1972, and centered around a witch named Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) who married a regular man and tried to live a normal, suburban life. The new series will follow a black single mother who also happens to be a witch, and marries a white man. The show will explore topics related to racial inequality and privilege in America; plus, hocus-pocus hijinx.
This is just the latest in a series of older movies and television shows that have returned to the screen. NBC recently brought back 90s comedy “WIll & Grace,” which has averaged 9.8 million viewers since its revival last fall. And Netflix rebooted the 80s family sitcom “Full House” in 2016 with most of the original cast, and is currently filming its fourth season.
The success of reboots like “Will and Grace” and ABC’s “Roseanne” (before it got canceled) is what’s driving the sudden surge of throwback projects, TV analyst Marc Berman told Moneyish, as more networks and movie studios jump on the revival bandwagon. ‘“Will and Grace’ worked, and so competing networks look at that and say, ‘If those ones are doing well, then we can do it too,’” said Berman, creator of the Programming Insider. “It’s become increasingly difficult to find an audience for shows, but if it’s a show (audiences) are familiar with, (they’re) more likely to see it.”
And reboots are safe bets because people are familiar with the original shows already. “They know the characters and are comfortable with them, so it’s easier for viewers to go back to something they know, than to get into a new show out of all the ones that are out there,” said Berman.
He noted that platforms like Netflix and Hulu make it even easier for people get back into their old favorite shows and movies, or to check out the originals before tuning into the reboots, which further boosts the audiences that the renewed versions can reel in.
Here are some more revival favorites that we’re excited to see come back:
A “Veronica Mars” reboot is currently in the works between Warner Bros. and Hulu, according to Variety. Although not much is known about the possible revival yet, Kristen Bell is set to return as the beloved sleuth, and the original series creator Rob Thomas will be the writer. The mid 2000’s teen mystery ran for three seasons originally on the now defunct channel UPN and then on the CW, and followed a California teen detective, Veronica Mars (Bell), who doubled as a private investigator and a high school student.
“Murphy Brown,” the 80s/90s sitcom about a female investigative journalist and single mother will join CBS’s fall lineup this year with 13 episodes for the show’s 30th anniversary. The reboot will be called “Murphy in the Morning,” on which Candice Bergen (the titular Murphy Brown) will tackle the world of fake news and social media.
MTV’s “The Hills,” the popular L.A-based reality show that ran from 2006 to 2010 will return next year. The original drama followed the lives of Lauren Conrad and her friends and frenemies over their journeys to success. The new show, “The Hills: New Beginnings,” will follow the original cast members — and now their children and new friends — in Los Angeles.
A new version of the adult animated sitcom, “Daria” is in the works on MTV, as well, according to Entertainment Weekly. The original “Beavis and Butt-Head” spinoff centered on cynical and antisocial 90s teen Daria, known for her dry humor, and ran from 1997 to 2002. Although when we last saw Daria, she had graduated from high school and was getting ready for college, the new “Daria and Jodie” series will be a remake of the original, and follow the two friends through high school as they tackle issues of race, gender and current pop culture.
Joss Whedon’s coming-of-age sci-fi dramedy “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is also coming back from the dead, this time with an African-American actress playing the infamous teen vampire hunter, Buffy Anne Summers (previously played by Sarah Michelle Gellar). The original series ran for seven seasons on UPN and CW between 1997 and 2003. “Like our world, it will be richly diverse,” producers told Deadline of the new reboot. “And like the original, some aspects of the series could be seen as metaphors for issues facing us all today.”
The hit 1980 workplace dramedy movie “9 to 5” is also moving forward with a sequel, almost 40 years later. Jane Fonda will be acting as the film’s executive producer, and will also reprise her role as Judy alongside Dolly Parton (Doralee) and Lily Tomlin (Violet). The new version will follow three new young women dealing with workplace harassment and misogyny by their male bosses and will look to the original “9 to 5” trio for help.
“She-Ra,” the 1980’s cult cartoon classic that starred He-Man’s long-lost sister will be rebooted by Netflix in November. The streaming service announced that it was teaming up with DreamWorks Animation Television to release six new animated series, which will include a modern take on this fantasy heroine.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved