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3 Classic 80s TV Shows Screaming ‘Reboot’

September 16, 2010

With the hotly anticipated Hawaii Five-0 remake debuting Monday night on CBS and Fry Butt’s own recent discussions about the roster of new Network offerings – particularly NBC’s Undercovers (I swear, nobody’s paying us to talk about it!) – I can’t help but dream up other faded shows that might deserve another moment in the sun and who to cast.

1) Matt Houston

It’s not just you; I’m seeing Jeffrey Dean Morgan all over this bad boy too. If ever there were two great tastes screaming to taste great together it is these two. Granted, Morgan would have to jettison his trademark Denny Duquette thermal shirts in favor of cowboy flavored bidness attire, but he’d make it work. I can’t even remember what Matt Houston did, other than drive flashy cars, charm the ladies and antagonize his long suffering assistant played by Pamela Hensley. I think he was a private detective!

Remington Steele

Twenty years ago, female private detective Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) noted after hanging a shingle and attracting zero clients, “A female private investigator seems so feminine…” and quickly invented a male boss named “Mr. Steele”. As luck would have it a gorgeous, shadowy character – were there any other kind in the 80s – showed up at her door claiming to be Remington Steele. Sexism experienced by Ms. Holt isn’t dead; it isn’t even hibernating. Excellent vehicle to reunite Love Jones alums Nia Long and Larenz Tate.

The Facts of Life

Bring back the chunkerbutts! It’s been a long time since we had some smart, funny, chubby to fat teen girls on TV who nobody (except critics and haters) seemed to notice were chubby to fat. Let’s bring in Joan Chen in the long suffering Ms. Garrett role and whatever chunkerbutt teens are currently languishing in limiting roles as sidekicks and joke punchlines.

What 80s shows do you think would make for great updates.

150 Comments leave one →
  1. hsofia permalink
    September 17, 2010 12:16 am

    Watching those videos, I suddenly recall that I had a massive girl-crush on Nancy McKeon.

    Shows from the 80s that could be brought back?
    I would be interested in seeing a Benson remake. I used to watch Perfect Strangers, and I think some interesting things could be done with a remake if it were revamped with loads of cultural and political commentary – otherwise it would just be foolishly naive borderline insulting.

  2. September 17, 2010 12:23 am

    “Remington Steele” is another show that is being held for comparison to “Undercovers” and so I’m backing off on that one. Besides, who will write the theme song, since Henry Mancini is previously disengaged?

    Joan Chen as Mrs. Garrett?!

    I know you talked at length about the new “Dallas” reboot… and I do think “Lone Star” may have beaten them to the punch. And we’re all waiting to see “Hawaii Five-O” of course. From the sitcom side, the only series I can think of that might actually be groundbreaking is “Bosom Buddies,” only I’d like to see it done Drag King style, with two women dressing like men to fit into some sort of male hostel. You can tell I haven’t given this much thought.

    “Perfect Strangers” might be doable, though I hope we get someone with a good accent.

    But the one show I would love a reboot of is “Head of the Class,” (which was always the flip side of “Welcome Back, Kotter”). It’s time to start celebrating intelligence again, and what better way than to get a classroom full of brilliant, fresh faced and funny kids ready to do some learning in the course of life from a wizened but not terribly ancient instructor.

    I guess I’ll have to consider the casting, but I’m willing to listen to suggestions there!

  3. September 17, 2010 12:40 am

    I think Joan Chen would be fun. I was watching her on an ep of H:LOTS and I was once again reminded how criminally underused she is. I like to see her do something we haven’t seen her do before. Plus she has a great soothing voice, which is what those boisterous teenagers need.

    I don’t know about Bosom Buddies. It wasn’t even good the first time around.

    Ha. Head of the Class. I considered that one, but the key with that one is the teacher and I couldn’t think of someone interesting for the role.

  4. Alyx Vesey permalink
    September 17, 2010 1:36 am

    Prior to Dixie Carter’s passing, I would have been okay with Designing Women getting a reboot. RIP, Julia Sugarbaker.

  5. September 17, 2010 1:44 am

    And I didn’t say Joan Chen wouldn’t be fun, but I’m just wrapping my mind around her becoming Mrs. Garrett!

    But see, that’s the point… remake shows that weren’t good the first time! So Bosom Buddies could be ideal!

    But you’re right re: the teacher for “Head of the Class.” Jaleel White, anyone?

  6. September 17, 2010 2:39 am

    re: Head of the Class. I was leaning towards James Spader or maybe one of the younger Baldwins. But I’m not married to the idea of any of them. Maybe Kal Penn.

  7. September 17, 2010 8:07 am

    I LOVED facts of life! If they bring it back, it has to be with the same theme. I can still sing the whole thing beginning to end. 🙂

  8. September 17, 2010 8:12 am

    Great Post !These are really classic TV shows which ruled the air during their time.

  9. madmonq permalink
    September 17, 2010 8:44 am

    The Facts of Life was on NBC for 9 years. It doesn’t need a reboot. The show, while much beloved, rarely had enough substance to fill a 30 minute slot. But familiar archtypes and a good amount of cheese can go a long way. Ask George Lucas.

    If I may suggest use of language, the term reboot is usually reserved for poor performing or underused properties. While I didn’t like the Facts of Life, I wouldn’t say it for the network or fans sake that it underperformed (That’s more time thinking about the Facts of Life then I thought I’d ever do ;).

  10. September 17, 2010 8:48 am

    You left out The A-Team, muchacho.

  11. September 17, 2010 9:01 am

    omg, Head of the Class!!! I recently mentioned that show to someone, trying to get them to realize that they know who Holly Robinson is. Wait, maybe she should be the new teacher! My bad, I was thinking of Hanging with Mr. Cooper.

    I think Dean is onto something though, most reboots do better when the original show, while enjoyable, was pretty far from perfect in the first place.

    In three years, I predict a Full House reboot starring Gerard Butler.

  12. unclerave permalink
    September 17, 2010 9:20 am

    Bosom Buddies wasn’t good the first time around??? I beg to differ. I thought it was a hoot! Just because it was cancelled after only two seasons doesn’t mean anything. The network likely moved it’s time-slot to compete with something stronger, or a competitor had a success with a new show opposite it. I don’t know if a female version of it would even work today. What situation today – in a Western civilized culture – would be exclusively male?

  13. dennisfinocchiaro permalink
    September 17, 2010 9:57 am

    Love it! Facts of Life RULED. Also, remake Small Wonder, imagine what a family who creates a true-to-life robot daughter could do in 2010!

  14. bradenbost permalink
    September 17, 2010 9:59 am

    You can bring back any 80’s shows you want to–I just want to see more awesome mustaches. It’s high time the manliest facial hair ever gets its reputation repaired.

  15. September 17, 2010 10:11 am

    Sweet! I love these types of posts. Remington Steele is good. Reminded me of Moonlighting. I just wrote up a big article a week or so ago about all the remakes that are coming from the 80s. The list of stuff in the works blew my mind.

  16. September 17, 2010 10:59 am

    Oh my. I would love a FoL reboot/remake, but I’d be too afraid they’d nix they things that made me love the show, like Natalie and her chunkiness or Jo and her butchness. Plus, I would demand that they do a direct shot-for-shot remake of the “Twilight Zone” episode. That Rod Serling guy killed me every time he said “Tootie.”

    Also, it would probably be picked up by the Disney Channel, and then I would just have to destroy them.

    I miss the plethora of game shows more than anything, except for maybe the awesome kid’s shows. I’d love to see things like Carmen Sandiego brought back, and not with some skankily-dressed Carmen, either. Or maybe Zoobilee Zoo. Or The Elephant Show with Sharon, Lois, and Bram! Or Today’s Special!!!!!!

  17. September 17, 2010 11:05 am

    I love this post! Definitely need more 80s mustaches.

    They should do a Hogan’s Heroes, based at Guantanamo… oh wait, Harold and Kumar went there.

  18. September 17, 2010 11:12 am

    What about Magmun P.I. with some new hunk for us girls to drool over?

  19. September 17, 2010 11:16 am

    Magmun would rule, but how many roles can Denny Duquette play!

  20. sylviangirl permalink
    September 17, 2010 11:18 am

    Leave them all alone and stop messing with classics is what I say!

  21. September 17, 2010 11:20 am

    I’d nominate Eric Dane (Grey’s McSteamy) as Magnum, P.I. I think he has the roguish charm to pull it off.

  22. Helene permalink
    September 17, 2010 11:26 am

    Can we throw the late 80’s into the mix and bring back 21 Jump Street? (Holly Robinson started here, not HOTC…that was Robin Givens.)

    Pull some of the hotties off the gossip girl/one tree hill shows.

  23. September 17, 2010 11:43 am

    The Facts of Life rocked. Jo was my hero. Mom still loves Remington Steele.

    I’d love to see a reboot of The Equalizer. I was quite devoted to Quantum Leap back in the day but I’m of two minds whether it would be good reboot material.

  24. emperorbananaketchup permalink
    September 17, 2010 11:51 am

    HM – The A-Team was recently adapted for the big screen.

    Sure candidates among the ’80s TV bunch should be 21 Jump Street (which was essentially an ’80s update of The Mod Squad) and the above mentioned Moonlighting (with a Tyler Labine/Donal Logue type filling in for Bruce Willis’ David Addison character and an African-American Maddie Hayes)

  25. September 17, 2010 11:54 am

    @emperorbananaketchup, I had that thought as well about the A-Team… how do you reboot a series when it’s gone to movie? To which Snarky replied: “what about Star Trek?”

    I love your other suggestions!

  26. sayitinasong permalink
    September 17, 2010 11:57 am

    Oh I used to LOVE Facts of Life!!! Rather than re-making those great old series- they should just re-run them…

  27. September 17, 2010 12:01 pm

    I’d love to see a reboot of The Equalizer. I was quite devoted to Quantum Leap back in the day but I’m of two minds whether it would be good reboot material.

    Agree on The Equalizer. That was a great show!

  28. September 17, 2010 12:03 pm

    Of course I should toss in some beautiful love for Hunter. Fred Dryer’s hard to top, but maybe Adam Baldwin. He has the right proportions and that gorgeous face.

  29. evmaroon permalink
    September 17, 2010 12:05 pm

    I would love to watch a new version of Remington Steele! Really and truly. If anyone can make it happen, we can!

  30. September 17, 2010 12:11 pm

    I nominate 21 Jump Street for a reboot. Bring back Peter Deluis or the Asian Guy as the new Captain. Make is like a CSI/Law & Order for teens.

    I’d also like to see an update on The Greatest American Hero.

  31. September 17, 2010 12:13 pm

    Two off the top of my head that I would watch would be remakes of The Greatest American Hero (superheroes are currently all the rage) and The Fall Guy.

  32. hsofia permalink
    September 17, 2010 12:25 pm

    The Equalizer – haha, what happened to that guy? I used to love that show. And Hunter, too. And speaking of which, what about my favorite PI, Spencer for Hire? Bring back Avery Brooks, goddamit. I just want to see him in ANYTHING. I can’t think of who could replace Robert Urich. Physically, the actor who reminds me most of him is that Luka guy from ER (Goran Visnjic), but I haven’t seen the show in so long that I can’t recall if he’d be right in other ways. It was just an awesome show. And Hawk!

  33. September 17, 2010 12:26 pm

    I won’t fault you too much for leaving Perfect Strangers and The Fall Guy off the list. But don’t let it happen again

  34. hsofia permalink
    September 17, 2010 12:27 pm

    By the way, with the economy being the way it is, it is definitely time for a Full House redux. So many unemployed young people, and who can afford or needs daycare?

  35. September 17, 2010 12:44 pm

    I won’t fault you too much for leaving Perfect Strangers and The Fall Guy off the list. But don’t let it happen again

    The Fall Guy is sacred. I couldn’t think of anyone I’d like to see in that role. Do you have any thoughts?

  36. evankerry permalink
    September 17, 2010 12:47 pm

    Mr. Belvedere

  37. September 17, 2010 12:50 pm

    My top vote would be for a new KNOTS LANDING. The best prime-time soap ever was perfectly positioned with a new generation of cul-de-sac residents waiting to take up where their parents left off — Bobby and Betsy Ewing and Meg Sumner would all be young adults now and ready to indulge in the same scandals their folks did for 14 seasons.

    Other shows overdue for a revamp:

    REAL PEOPLE. With the Tea Party candidates alone, this show could fill an entire season.

    BOSOM BUDDIES. Because that premise never gets old to me.

  38. September 17, 2010 12:52 pm

    21 Jump Street, yes please – and STILL with Johnny Depp. (big giggle)

  39. September 17, 2010 12:53 pm

    Knots Landing might be inevitable given the Dallas update.

  40. September 17, 2010 12:54 pm

    YESSS to The Facts of Life!!!
    Er… I was only alive for a year and two months of the eighties, so my memories are kind of foggy.
    I know this isn’t a TV show, but Flight of the Navigator would be interesting if it were re-done, but not in a cheesy, kid-like way. The original had a kind of feel to it that wasn’t child-like at all, like there was a genuine mystery out there. I would want it to be like The Last Mimzy.

  41. September 17, 2010 12:59 pm

    The Fall Guy, Sledgehammer, Manimal, and Werewolf was my all times faves as a child. However I have for years though that a more comedic version of The Fall Guy with Patrick Warburton would be great. At least it plays well in my head.

  42. September 17, 2010 1:01 pm

    @isttimeoffender: a big YES to Patrick Warburton! Other than his voice work, I think he’s been woefully underused.

  43. September 17, 2010 1:08 pm

    @1sttime0ffender – I am FEELING Warburton on a Fall Guy reboot/remake, particularly if they let him sing the theme. Nice catch. He definitely has the chops for it. Even his brief role in MIIB demonstrates how criminally underused he is. We’re gonna have to keep YOU!

  44. September 17, 2010 1:17 pm

    He is a huge favorite in the 0ffender household. Me and 0ffender jr. love everything he is in. She even pointed out to me that he does voices in Kim Possible and The Big Bad Wolf in Hoodwinked. My daughter even chooses The Tick over Hannah Montana reruns.

  45. September 17, 2010 1:31 pm

    I second both Spenser For Hire and The Equalizer. Edward Woodward, rest in peace, died in 2009.

    How about rebooting Kate & Allie?

  46. September 17, 2010 1:34 pm

    Kate & Allie would be great, if they’d actually be GAY this time instead of pretending the weren’t. Who do you have in mind for the leads? I smell Sela Ward and Lynn Whitfield.

  47. September 17, 2010 1:34 pm

    Also, love love love Kim Possible!!!

  48. September 17, 2010 1:36 pm

    Out of this World!!!

    I loved this show so much. I know it was really cheesy and silly, but it was so much fun.

  49. September 17, 2010 1:47 pm

    OUT OF THIS WORLD! I can still sing that opening without playing the clip. But then I wouldn’t see Donna Pescow, who I had a crush on. And Burt REynolds as the voice of the dad in the crystal!!

    re: Kate and Allie, you know I would love Sela to lesbo it up, but she might need someone slightly more butch…..what’s Shari Belafonte up to these days?

  50. September 17, 2010 1:49 pm

    @1sttimeoffender: I love his role in Hoodwinked! Also Brock Samson (though I don’t watch much Venture Bros. anymore) and of course Cronk.

  51. Carl permalink
    September 17, 2010 1:49 pm

    “Spencer for Hire”

  52. September 17, 2010 2:15 pm

    I second Kate & Allie! (What ever happened to those kids?)

  53. September 17, 2010 2:24 pm

    @Expressmom: Chip showed up on LOST for a few episodes in the last season and I freaked out!

  54. September 17, 2010 2:27 pm

    LOL Hotel, anyone?

    Actually, you could pretty much keep the same cast. Pensacola: Wings of Gold isn’t still in production is it?

  55. September 17, 2010 2:34 pm

    I see you, Connie Selleca.

  56. September 17, 2010 2:35 pm

    @RaymondJ – I bow down to your superior knowledge…I doubt I could recognize any of them now!

  57. September 17, 2010 2:59 pm

    Please, please bring back Remington Steele, and also Hill Street Blues, Cagney and Lacey, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Simon and Simon…..

  58. September 17, 2010 3:49 pm

    How could I forget Magnum PI and Simon and Simon! Wow, those actually could be good TV shows again with the right actors and creative teams on board those would be sure-fire hits.

  59. CultureChoc2010 permalink
    September 17, 2010 3:52 pm

    Good choices!

  60. Thomas Stazyk permalink
    September 17, 2010 3:59 pm

    Oh, I hope not!!

  61. September 17, 2010 8:19 pm

    I am quite dismayed that no one has suggested a reboot of Misfits of Science. It would totally blow Heroes out of the water.

  62. September 17, 2010 9:31 pm

    I love this post! Reboot 21 Jump Street? Yes, please!

  63. September 17, 2010 9:35 pm

    Can’t wait for Hawaii Five-O, especially the theme.

  64. September 17, 2010 9:58 pm

    Nice article. This show didn’t start in the 80’s but it lasted into the 80’s so I would vote for a Lou Grant reboot. I’m sick to death of cop shows and the newspaper format would be perfect for social commentary. It would certainly attract the audience that The West Wing had, and probably much of The Daily Show audience.

  65. September 17, 2010 10:01 pm

    I had SUCH a thing for Lee Horsley back in the day. (He was also Archie Goodwin in the contemporary version of Nero Wolfe — sorry, but Timothy Hutton’s got it all over him on that!)

  66. Wendy permalink
    September 17, 2010 10:14 pm

    I won’t lie. I stopped by only because I saw Alex O’Loughlin on your page. What a hottie. Long live Moonlight!

  67. September 17, 2010 10:18 pm

    TEC4 – Lee Horsley was so handsome and charming on Matt Houston. He’s had such an interesting and distinguished career.

  68. September 17, 2010 11:12 pm

    Kate and Allie, yes!!
    Sela Ward – love love her!
    What about Sela paired with Rosie O’Donnell or Whoppi…yes, let’s go there!

  69. Matt Fiorenza permalink
    September 18, 2010 12:59 am

    Why stop at Three?? There are many shows that deserve a reboot, more so in the cartoon variety. Many of which are being made into movies, like The Smurfs and Yogi Bear. Everything is a reboot or version of something else, so why build on the name the original show has made.

  70. evmaroon permalink
    September 18, 2010 1:06 am

    I’m greatly pleased that nobody yet has mentioned Beauty and the Beast.

  71. evmaroon permalink
    September 18, 2010 1:07 am

    Misfits of Science!!!! Nice call, Christo!!

  72. pajamamouth permalink
    September 18, 2010 1:11 am

    I’m still waiting for the reboot of that awesome show “Riptide”. I just loved that silly orange robot! And don’t forget, “The Greatest American Hero”! Any word on those? Gotta LOVE that theme song! I want it in my funeral pyre. Hmm, not really…i’m still going with Three Little Birds/One Love by Bob Marley.

  73. September 18, 2010 2:03 am

    An Equalizer remake? Hmmm…honestly, I’m racking my brain to find a contemporary English actor to fill Mr. Woodward’s shoes… after such brain-racking, so I’ve found one possible.

    Though he resembles Callan more than McCall, I’d dare say that- if he toughens up quite a bit, a gray-haired Cary Elwes would do the job. Can’t anyone see I’m having a really hard time with this?

    As much as I’d love to see the Equalizer (1985-1989) back, I regret to confess that I could see only our missed Mr. Edward Woodward in the role. Boy- that was some show. As an 80’s kid, as you watched it, you really felt there was someone who could stick up for you if someone ever wronged you. He always righted it, too!

  74. September 18, 2010 3:47 am

    Actually, I have you all beat. I wanted a reboot of “Quark,” a sci-fi parody about a no-nonsense captain of a spacecraft (okay, it was a garbage scow for other ships in the galaxy) and his wacked out crew! It was mostly a parody of “Star Trek,” but it brought in other concepts from other shows. With all of the self-important SF programs that have aired in the past several years, we’re overdue for a show like this! (I didn’t mention it sooner because it’s from the 1970s, but why not?)

  75. September 18, 2010 7:04 am

    If you loved Remington Steele (or Moonlighting), you’ll probably love Castle. And Chuck is probably your answer to Greatest American Hero.

    I love my classics, but I am really only missing the ones that ended too soon, like Call to Glory, My So-Called Life, Firefly, and Joan of Arcadia. (Yes, I know only one of them is as 80s show.)

  76. September 18, 2010 8:56 am

    I don’t know — Pierce Brosnan’s mugging didn’t drive me batty they way Nathan Fillion does in that show. I can’t even sit through an entire commercial for Castle without my skin crawling.

  77. September 18, 2010 8:59 am

    @evmaroon, you know for a minute I thought about posting this:

  78. September 18, 2010 9:19 am

    All I can say is… NOT MIAMI VICE: the movie was just…. TERRIBLE!

  79. September 18, 2010 9:34 am

    I recently read somewhere that a new movie is gonne be made of Hunter.

    Now that was a show i never missed.

    Reruns in my country only on pay per view 😦

  80. September 18, 2010 10:36 am

    I’m not really a fan of “reboots” to be honest. It’s sad that we can’t think up any original ideas anymore. But I’ll play this game…if I had to choose a show to reboot, it would be Airwolf! That was the best theme song ever.

  81. September 18, 2010 11:06 am

    @misterkonglish – Elwes could be a good choice to star in The Equalizer. How about Gary Oldman? Christopher Eccleston is also a possibility in my mind if he worked at it. In a completely different direction, it wouldn’t be implausible for the Equalizer to be a woman this time around.

    Somebody mentioned Castle. I’ve just realized that it is essentially an update of that ubiquitous 80’s series Murder, She Wrote. It explains why I don’t like it this time around either.

  82. paincreamcenter permalink
    September 18, 2010 11:13 am

    Remakes are never as good as the original. They tryed to bring back Night Rider back twice, after KIT as a Trans-Am, and before a Mustang. They had a Night Rider team.
    I believe Hawaii Five – O is going to go the same way.
    What wrong all these over paid writer running out of ideals.
    Hay I have one lest put on another reality show, so I can sit infront of my living room window instead of the TV.

  83. The Zen Assassin permalink
    September 18, 2010 11:45 am

    I kinda have to agree that recycling old ideas is not interesting (no matter who you cast). It’s sad that creativity is now limited to how much of a spin you can put on an old concept. So much for originality.

  84. September 18, 2010 11:49 am

    @Stephanie….Oldman was the close 2nd. Glad you read my mind. He was good and gritty in The Firm (1988) and an excellent choice as commissioner Gordon.

    Now take his toughness in The Firm and his morality in Dark Knight, with a good shave here and again

    ….and you’ve got a replacement!

  85. September 18, 2010 11:54 am

    @She.Is.Just.A.Rat : I almost suggested Airwolf too! But I never actually watched the show past the theme song and credits, since that was the best part.

  86. evmaroon permalink
    September 18, 2010 12:09 pm

    Well, isn’t there some saying that there are only 7 story ideas out there?
    * Overcoming the Monster
    * Rags to Riches
    * The Quest
    * Voyage and Return
    * Comedy
    * Tragedy
    * Rebirth
    So you know, we can call something “original,” but at some point the pink bow falls off the pig’s ear, to mix a metaphor. So I have no hate for redux.

  87. evmaroon permalink
    September 18, 2010 12:12 pm

    OMG Raymond!!!!! What a tribute! Who the hell sat down to make that? And what is Ron Perlman up to these days?

  88. September 18, 2010 12:17 pm

    @evmaroon: there were actually a lot of fan vids to choose from. a LOT.

    also, I went to a writing workshop with Amy Bloom who talked about the “only 7 stories” thing, but she reduced it further to two stories — A Hero’s Journey and A Stranger Comes to Town — which she then said is actually the same story, just from two different perspectives.

    Creativity is always about repeating the same ideas and stories again and again, refining them and making discoveries along the way. I find it uncreative to write off anything as uncreative simply because of (false) hang-ups about ‘originality’ and ‘authenticity’.

  89. September 18, 2010 12:27 pm

    Somebody mentioned Castle. I’ve just realized that it is essentially an update of that ubiquitous 80′s series Murder, She Wrote. It explains why I don’t like it this time around either.

    Castle only wishes it was 1/100th as good as Murder, She Wrote. Nobody can touch Angela Lansbury.

  90. evmaroon permalink
    September 18, 2010 12:28 pm

    Agreed, Raymond. Sometimes I remind myself that there are only 26 letters in the English language, and we just spend time moving them around in new combinations. But all of it is the same stuff. So what? I like my futuristic mummy story for this week’s flash fiction! I’m sure the story has already been told.

    Bring on the new Facts of Life!

  91. evmaroon permalink
    September 18, 2010 12:31 pm

    Thank you, Snarky. MSW is the bomb! I went back and watched the pilot episode recently, and you know what (I know you know this already)? It’s all about how she got into publishing, and what a send up they gave to the NY literary establishment! It was a hilarious take on the process in the 1980s, bordering on satire. People who say that show wasn’t interesting were just not getting it.

  92. September 18, 2010 12:56 pm

    Castle lacks the basic ingredient that made MSW so enjoyable – likability. People really underestimate how charm, even well crafted roguish charm, can elevate even the most sappiest material.

    With only 26 phonetic symbols and eons of storytelling already behind us, there’s bound to be some overlap. No reason to stop revisiting crowd pleasing stories.

  93. September 18, 2010 1:56 pm

    Bring back Amazing Stories!
    May we suggest cartoon-based movies here (He-Man being an animated show), too?
    If so, then re-boot the He-Man movie…casting

    Patrick Warburton…..Prince Adam/He-Man
    Tom Selleck….Duncan/Man-at-Arms
    Lucy Lawless….Teela
    Gwyneth Paltrow…..Sorceress
    Allan Oppenheimer or Hugo Weaving…voice of Cringor/Battle Cat
    Frank Welker….Orko (CGI)
    Kelsey Grammer….Keldor/Skeletor
    Vinnie Jones…Beastman

    Instead of Dolph Lundgren for the first one, they should have cast Sam J. Jones. He’s had the same kind of look and dry wit as the animated counterpart. I’ve always felt that way! (If you want to see what I mean, go to watch bodland’s You Tube page, find the clip titled ‘FLASH GORDONS FOOTBALL FIGHT’, and watch from 01:01)

    If they do re-boot, they ought to use the right cast- and stick to the story this time!

  94. CapitalSpirit permalink
    September 18, 2010 3:19 pm

    If these writers can’t think of anything decent, bring in the civilians and let’s bring back some unscripted stuff from before “The Real World.” To wit:

    Card Sharks. They did a syndicated re-hash of this years ago, and it totally ditched the survey questions which made the original so much fun. It tanked, and it deserved to. Jim Perry was excellent in the 70’s, Bob Eubanks did a good job with it in the 80’s, and the reruns still entertain on GSN. Raise the stakes, bring back the surveys, and you’ve got something here.

    Classic Concentration. Not that complicated of a concept, and not very demanding to produce: I have to wonder why no one’s tried it.

    Scrabble. The clues were a hoot, and Chuck Woolery is still one of the best in the business. Typical of the show: “A 7-letter word, the clue is: Miss Piggy does it in the tub.” Answer: HOGWASH. Wordplay is missing these days, and missed.

  95. September 18, 2010 3:24 pm

    Warburton, like CCH Pounder should be on every show. Perhaps we could get them together for a reboot of the short lived underrated Elliott Gould vehicle E/R. Flipping the script even more, Pounder could play Gould’s role and Warburton could play the Conchata Ferrell role. Pounder has a similar dry deliver as Gould and that would actually be a really inspired pairing and timely as males continue to enter the nursing profession.

    Perhaps they can even bring back the Lou Rawls theme song, which apparently google has never heard of!

  96. September 18, 2010 4:20 pm

    Remington Steele needs a slick British or Irish guy to fill in Pierce Brosnan’s shoes. Maybe Henry Ian Cusick? He’s pretty badass, plus he’s got that great Scottish accent that could read the phone book and still be fun to listen to.

  97. ecoquisitive permalink
    September 18, 2010 4:22 pm

    @Chriso, Misfits of Science, yes!!

    But just like with Land of the Lost, I just want the cheesy originals available on my TV, no redux necessary. Same with Barney Miller and Taxi. Or Soap.

    Darn it, all of those were hatched in the 70s.

  98. September 18, 2010 7:21 pm

    Bring back Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver (once he fully recovers) . Or re-cast David Krumholtz from Numb3rs.

  99. Eva permalink
    September 18, 2010 7:33 pm

    Magnum PI is my vote!!!

  100. September 18, 2010 8:09 pm

    @ She is a Rat

    There are no original ideas anymore. Thirty years ago when I first started writing as a hobby I created and predicted the concept of miniature fighter aircraft, destroyers and submarines being flown and controlled by remote control. I never published and years later the US military has developed that capability in the remote controlled drones being flown in the war against terrorism in the Middle East.

    Of all the shows produced for consumption by the masses of minds barely capable of producing a spark between their organic brain cells my vote is also for Air Wolf. But I’m not holding my breath since most of what comes out of tv land these days can’t hold a candle to the ground breaking television shows of the nineteen sixties.

  101. Christopher Bauerbach permalink
    September 18, 2010 10:17 pm

    I think a reboot of Airwolf could be pretty cool provided that they don’t let anyone involved in the reboot of Knight Rider touch the project.

  102. slic nic 5150 permalink
    September 19, 2010 3:21 am

    Matt Huston ROCKED!!!!!
    I used to have the BIGGEST CRUSH on Lee Horsley! Loved him in Paradise and The Gunns of Paradise. Any one of those shows could make a comeback with Horsely still in the lead rolls!

  103. September 19, 2010 10:08 am

    The 80’s had all the big hair and big shoulder pads fer sure.

    I’d like to see remakes of All in the Family to see how they’d tone it down for being too edgy.

    Maybe am update of MASH to the current conflict……

  104. September 19, 2010 10:09 am

    oooo from the 80’s

    Bring Them Back Alive


  105. September 19, 2010 11:47 am

    I totally agree with that suggestion of Henry Ian Cusick for a remake of Remington Steele! Though that McSteamy suggestion for Magnum P. I.? Lets just leave that one alone – no one else can fill Tom Selleck’s shoes, nor should they try.

  106. pajamamouth permalink
    September 19, 2010 11:49 am

    speaking of the 80s…..MSU football team head coach Mark Dantonio just suffered a heart attack!! Right after the game of his life!

  107. September 19, 2010 11:58 am

    Oh my god! I loved Paradise. I didn’t think anyone else remembered it besides my mom!

  108. September 19, 2010 12:44 pm

    I suppose that “Quincy, M.E.” has already been redone, in spirit if not in name, in the various “C.S.I.” series and all the other forensics shows. There was a show that ran for only a few episodes called “Probe,” about a scientist and his secretary who solved crimes. Naturally, it disappeared.

    Given the popularity of “Mythbusters,” I wonder if “MacGyver” could return. I don’t have any suggestions for the title role, other than to demand that the mullet stay in retirement.

    Perhaps another show whose time has come again is “M.A.S.H.” This time, it could be set in Afghanistan. Alan Alda would make a good Colonel Potter.

  109. Modern Funk permalink
    September 19, 2010 2:52 pm

    Great trip down memory lane! 🙂

  110. September 19, 2010 3:50 pm

    I think Cris Meloni would make a great MacGyver, or if you wanted a tongue in cheek Macgyver for a one off movie then I would pick Danny Mc Bride. But thats just me.

  111. September 19, 2010 4:07 pm

    I have to admit the retro station is a fav. and trying to redo the old just seems wrong…


  112. BigLittleWolf permalink
    September 19, 2010 7:52 pm

    This brought back memories! Can’t say I want to see Facts of Life a second time around. (Didn’t love it the first time.) Now a little more LA Law, that might be interesting. (What’s Jimmy Smits up to these days anyway?)

  113. September 19, 2010 9:23 pm

    I think Cris Meloni would make a great MacGyver, or if you wanted a tongue in cheek Macgyver for a one off movie then I would pick Danny Mc Bride. But thats just me.

    I think he would be exceptional in this role. I think it might be a better fit for his skills than his current gig.

  114. September 19, 2010 9:24 pm

    I suppose that “Quincy, M.E.” has already been redone, in spirit if not in name, in the various “C.S.I.” series and all the other forensics shows. There was a show that ran for only a few episodes called “Probe,” about a scientist and his secretary who solved crimes. Naturally, it disappeared.

    I think Quincy would be a great for a reboot. Particularly if the update kept its cheeky tone.

  115. September 19, 2010 10:17 pm

    This post is fun! I liked seeing the old videos. Retreads don’t always work for me. I liked the remake of Battlestar Galactica enough to watch it (though that was originally a 70s series). I liked the original Knight Rider when I was a teen, but the remake fell flat for me. So these are my tentative suggestions:

    Family Ties

    The Cosby Show (or some equivalent)

    Whiz Kids

    The Twilight Zone

    and Stingray (from 1986 with Nick Mancuso, NOT 1964!)

  116. September 19, 2010 10:17 pm

    I like those video specially when they were at the probe think

  117. September 19, 2010 11:55 pm

    I’m going out on a limb here. I dare suggest Trapper John, M.D. When just a wee tot, I remember watching the show in nursery school (that’s what the babysitters were watching- go figure!). I liked Bonanza as a kid, and thought Lorne Green and Pernell Roberts made the show. It was that Percy Roberts showing his compassion for both victims and perpetrators that made this worth watching. I found it interesting to watch grown-ups interacting the ways they did. I wonder who might cast well for these roles today. Any suggestions?

    Though there are a bevy of Hospital shows still about, I still nominate Hill Street and Blues St. Elsewhere re-dux.

  118. September 20, 2010 12:33 am

    misterkonglish – you better work! So much YES for Trapper John M.D. and Pernell Roberts (RIP). I would be curious to see Tom Fontana revisit St. Elsewhere, though there are some obvious issues like, uh, Dr. Roxanna Hart being all up under the jail, courtesy of Frank Pemblton and Tim Bayliss. And Erlich seems to be practicing in Baltimore, because when Bayliss got back problems during season 3/4ish of H:LOTS he mentioned going to see him. Be fun to see David Morse play a nice guy again. My favorite episode of St. Elsewhere is the one where Judith Light pulls out a piece and takes the O.R. hostage.

  119. September 20, 2010 12:37 am

    Re: casting. It’s so difficult. Madge Sinclair and Pernell Roberts are kind of irreplaceable. Mitch Pileggi is the closest we’ve got, but he’s on Grey’s Anatomy playing the board chair! CCH Pounder would be the obvious choice, though April Grace could rock Madge’s part too.

  120. Crystal Warren permalink
    September 20, 2010 3:29 am

    Re Spencer for hire – I also loved that show. The perfect person to replace Robert Ulrich would be his son, Skeet Ulrich.

  121. September 20, 2010 10:07 am

    What about Cagney and Lacey?

  122. September 21, 2010 2:09 am

    Cagney was Daly, and Lacey was Gless, correct? Then I see Nancy McKeon (Facts of Life’s Jo Polniaczek) as Cagney, and Lacey played by Charlize Theron (I doubt the producers could afford her, but I can’t think of anyone else who could portray the range Theron has.

  123. September 21, 2010 7:59 am

    @misterkonglish Chris Cagney was Sharon Gless. Mary Beth Lacey was Tyne Daly. I haven’t seen Nancy McKeon in a while! I think the last time I saw her, she was playing Demi Lovato’s mom on Disney Channel, a role that only required her to be around temporarily and be badly overacted for the amusement of the kid viewers of that network! I wonder if McKeon would feel out of her depth having to deal with an Oscar winner as her partner!

  124. September 21, 2010 12:01 pm

    @NYC: Right you are, I mixed their names up. I watched it again, on You Tube this time, to see it with grown-up eyes. It seems not even 28 years affected my enjoyment of the show. In my opinion, Sela Ward (Thirty Something) might also be well-suited as the married Lacey.

    Yes, another ‘Cagney’ actress or two came to me- what about Tea Leoni, (I don’t think Ellen deGeneres would be willing to play a [no pun intended-]straight role– but I think she’d be great for it!), and Mary Stuart Masterson (whom many may best know for her role as tomboy Watts, from Some Kind of Wonderful). Ultimately, were studio execs drawn to pitch the series again, the role may just go to Mariska Hargitay or Angie Harmon.

  125. Yada permalink
    September 22, 2010 5:00 pm

    I am with those who mentioned The Equalizer; that was my fave show of the 80’s. The only problem is, like many others said, I cannot imagine Robert McCall being played by someone other than the wonderful Edward Woodward (RIP). His character was a modern day human almost super-hero.

    Also, I do not care what the show but I sure would love to see 80’s bad guy James Spader back on TV in anything.

  126. September 22, 2010 5:50 pm

    I want Taxi complete with Danny DeVito!!!

  127. September 22, 2010 8:56 pm

    @crazymom: yes, agreed. But you’ve gotta put Rhea Perlman back in. Those two complement each other so well.

    Remington Steele suggestion:
    Callum Blue as eponymous.
    Mila Kunis as Laura Holt.

  128. September 22, 2010 10:47 pm

    I think we’ve found our new Cagney and Lacey anyhow… Jeri Ryan (notable as 7 of 9 from “Star Trek: Voyager” but more recently on the series “Boston Public” and “Shark”) and Dana Delany (“China Beach,” but more recently “Desperate Housewives”) are paired as Philadelphian Phorensics in “Body (accent on that first word!) of Proof” on ABC, Fridays at 9pm (which doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that the alphabet has much faith in this show… this after I spent half of the “Detroit 187” premiere rolling my eyes)!

  129. September 23, 2010 1:19 am

    I wanna see some casting ideas for a reboot of It’s A Living, stat!

  130. September 23, 2010 2:14 am

    Ha. Penpusher. D187 turned out to be a watered down H:LOTS with an even less attractive cast.

  131. September 23, 2010 9:13 am

    @misterkonglish: I would watch that version of Remington Steele!

    @Chriso: agreed. Life’s not the French Riviera, believe me.

  132. September 26, 2010 4:04 pm

    For all the talk of the shows that required a reboot, no one has said anything about the one we got… maybe because no one asked for this show to be rebooted!

    The original: “Who’s The Boss,” starring Tony Danza and Judith Light.

    And the new: “Melissa & Joey”

    Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart. Yeah. I didn’t ask for it, either.

  133. October 9, 2010 12:13 am

    @ anyone out there: Did we just move on from this thread?

    Together We stand: Should it get another chance?
    Family Ties: Who can fill the void? (Frankie Muniz as Alex P. Keaton?)

  134. October 9, 2010 3:27 am

    @misterkonglish threads are as lively as you make ’em! So, no, we’re still around.

    I think you’re stretching with “Together We Stand,” as I had to actually look that title up to figure out anything about it. I’m not in favor of generic sitcoms as a rule, but maybe you remember more about this program than I do! Should we give it another chance?

    Family Ties: we’d have to start with the theme song, sung by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams. Who would sing the theme? But the real trouble with Family Ties is that it was clearly a “Reagan Era” sitcom… about a family that was well-to-do. Not that we want to reverse it and try to do a “Roseanne” with the Keatons, but as a sitcom, that would be a tough sell.

  135. October 25, 2010 11:16 am

    @ nycpenpusher: Give Together We Stand a chance? Maybe you ought to pass. I liked the show as a 12 year old hot on the heels of watching The Goonies, in which Jonathan Le Quan starred.

    I’d say go back to Charles in Charge. Feature Freddie Prinze Jr. as the title character and one-time guest star Paul Walker as Buddy Lembeck.

    Out of this World: Chloe Moretz as Evie, Burt Reynolds reprises his role as her father, and Laura Linney, as her mother.

  136. Meryl permalink
    November 18, 2010 2:50 am

    I would love to see a Remington Steele remake, you could definitely still have Laura holt invent Remington Steele but change the reason why like she didn’t want to apprentice or she didn’t like her other bosses and she invented Remington Steele so she could go right into the action and make her own decisions without having to deal with a boss. Benedict Cumberbatch as Remington Steele check him out in Sherlock on BBc and To the Ends of the Earth (2005). He is such a good actor he could pull it off. Oh, for Laura, Bridget Regan. She proved herself in Legend of the Seeker as a badass chick.


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