Streaming services are finding that, while people like to watch their old favorite TV shows over and over again, there’s a lot of interest in seeing those old shows reimaged for present times. Services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and Hulu are putting significant resources into bringing back some of our favorite shows, many of which have become cult favorites that makes an evening of TV viewing feel like a jackpot casino win. Other shows simply bring back memories of a simpler time.
The shows planned for reboots include comedies, dramas, reality series, and talk shows. Fans old and new will be excited to see how the reboots play out.
Some upcoming reboots include:
Walker, Texas Ranger was inspired by the Chuck Norris Lone Wolf McQuade in which Norris starred as a Teaxas Ranger from 1993 to 2001. The series tried to set a moral tone where members of law enforcement acted ethically and reached out to the community while maintaining law and order. One of the most popular aspects of the show was the prominence of martial arts which the rangers used frequently as a way of avoiding violence.
Sergeant Cordell Walker (Norris), a native American, is a Vietnam vet who brings an atmosphere of Wild West law enforcement to the Texas Rangers. His partner is a college graduate, an ex-football player who brings computers and modern technology into his work to solve crimes. Other characters include the Assistant District Attorney (and Walker’s love interest), rookies and Ranger veterans.
Walker went off the air in 2001 but it is now returning on The CW with a storyline that explains Walker’s absence as having been working undercover for years. Walker now has a new partner (female) and is a widower and a father of two.
It’s almost impossible to have grown up in the age of TV and not know Loony Toons. Characters including Bugs Bunny, Granny, Sylvester, Tweety, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Tasmanian Devil, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Marvin the Martian, Pepe Le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn, Speedy Gonzales, and others were a major part of the childhood of almost any youngsters who grew up since 1930 when Loony Tunes debuted.
The wacky adventures of the Loony Toons crew meant that anything could go – much of it physical and intense. In addition to the Loony Toons TV series, there are Loony Toons feature films, music albums, video games, comic books, and even amusement park rides.
Starting this year HBO Max will be filming a new series of Loony Toons shorts in the old-style – children’s cartoons with adult humor.
Animaniacs is an animated comedy series that was originally on Fox Kids WB afternoon programming block. The show features short skits with different types of characters. Every episode had three short mini-episodes with music, humor, and character catchphrases.
One of the skits featured Warner Brothers Yakko and Wakko with their sister Dot, small, mischievous characters who putter through life with Dr. Otto Scratchansniff, Hello Nurse, and Ralph T. Guard. Another revolves around the adventures of Pinky and the Brain, two white lab mice who, along with cohorts Billie and Phar Fignewton, try different plans to conquer the world. Additional popular skits focused on Slappy Squirrel, the Godfeathers, Rita and the Runt, Minerva Mink, and more.
Hulu announced that it would revive the series in collaboration with Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment. Many of the main voice actors will be returning to reprise their characters. The rebooted Animaniacs is set to premiere in November 2020 and will be available for viewing on Hulu and Amazon.
The last time that Punky Brewster aired was in 1988 but Peacock is preparing to bring back the popular show about a spunky foster child being raised by a foster parent. The show, which was broadcast from 1984 till 1988, dealt with real-life issues of being a foster child through the experiences of the unique, verbal, and high-spirited Punky. An animated spin-off, It’s Punky Brewster!, ran for 2 years.
Peacock is planning to reboot the series with the original Punky, Soleil Moom Frye, starring as a single mother of three who takes on raising a young girl who is similar to herself as a girl. Freddie Prinze Jr. will also be starring as Punky’s ex-husband.
Gossip Girl ran from 2007 to 2012 and followed the blogging “gossip girl” through her life as a privileged upper-class adolescent living on the East Side of Manhattan. Kristen Bell was the unknown blogger who narrated the series which chronicled the lives of teen girls as they navigated the perils of adolescence.
HBO Max is rebooting Gossip Girl as a sequel series. The original executive producers will oversee the project which now focuses on a new group of characters living in the same setting but now dealing with the influence of the Internet, social media, and other 2020 issues.
Amazing Stories hasn’t been aired since 1987 but the Steven Spielberg production, which showcased amazing, funny, odd, sometimes sad and scary, fantastical, and endearing stories is still remembered. Numerous famous actors and actresses made guest appearances, portraying the stories’ protagonists. Critics called the series “interesting and memorable” and although it was unsustainable in the ‘80s, it is being brought back as a reboot on Apple TV+.
Even though most young TV viewers have never seen Perry Mason, the show, based on books by Eric Stanley Gardner, about a criminal defense lawyer who investigates his cases and brings the truth out in the court of law, continues to occupy an almost mythical place of fame in TV history. Perry Mason was a true whodunit without any drama or moral uncertainties that are generally a part of today’s TV mysteries.
Perry Mason was last aired in 1966 but HBO is now creating new Perry Mason episodes with actors Matthew Rhys, John Lithgow, and Tatiana Maslany to fit in with the 2020 legal system.