The craze to reboot old TV shows is nothing new. After the (short-lived) success of “Roseanne” on ABC and the revival of “Will & Grace” on NBC, there seems to be little incentive for the entertainment industry to come up with new concepts.
Joining the growing list of potential comebacks is Rob Thomas’s series about detective Veronica Mars. The show, which was originally on UPN and then CW, may get a revival over at Hulu, following the trend of streaming services picking up old favorites and making something new for fans. Variety reports that the company is in talks with Kristen Bell and a ”Veronica Mars” reboot would continue to follow her adventures.
This fall, the highly-anticipated reboot of "Charmed" will debut Oct. 14 on CW. This time, the show will follow a new set of sisters as they learn about their powers. It sounds like an homage to the show, using the basic concept of three sisters with different magical abilities, but with the ages, settings and dynamics different from the original. The show’s creators have said that the sister’s multiracial identities will play a part in the new story. At a preview of the show, executive producer Jessica O’Toole revealed one of the show’s staff writers was a witch who started a coven among friends.
Likewise, the comedy series about another girl growing into her powers, "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch,” is also getting a reboot with a horror-themed makeover. Now dubbed “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” Kiernan Shipka will play the new witch on the show, which is set to be released just in time for Halloween: Oct. 26.
The return of familiar names isn’t limited to only witches, either. Candice Bergen will reprise her role in the upcoming CBS revival of the comedy “Murphy Brown,” which Bergen told a crowd in May will take on the era of fake news. The show about a career-driven female reporter was controversial in its day, even drawing the condemnation of Dan Quayle for its storyline about Brown becoming a single mom. No doubt the writers have plenty of material to work with since the media landscape has so drastically changed since the ’90s. The revival premieres Sept. 27.
Another ’90s favorite, “Roswell,” is being brought back with the title “Roswell, New Mexico.” The show will follow a timely story about undocumented immigrants, ICE and actual out-of-this-world aliens. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the leading characters will be a Mexican American daughter of undocumented immigrants and a police officer who is an alien. Unlike the high school aged characters of the original, the reboot’s cast will be a little older. The show is slated for a mid-season premiere.
Not to be left out of the reboot and revival wave, MTV is bringing back its animated “Daria” series and calling it “Daria and Jodie.” According to CBS News, the show will make both Daria and Jodie equals in the classroom, but Jodie will be the more outgoing, popular opposite to Daria’s signature misanthropic loner. The cable channel also has plans to bring back some of its classic reality TV shows like “Real World” and “Made,” in addition to its current programming of new episodes of “Fear Factor” and “Jersey Shore.”
In the world of on-demand watching, streaming platforms and endless reruns, creators are counting on viewers to reliably return to the shows and characters they know well. Perhaps it’s a blessing (or curse, depending on who you ask) of nostalgia that keeps us tuning in, an assurance that this will give us something we can count on like a good story or a hearty laugh.