TV land is full of reboots these days. Most recently, The X Files returned to our television screens with a stellar six-part miniseries that ended with an intense cliffhanger, and its return was welcomes by many millions of X-Philes across North America. Other shows that have either been rebooted, or have one in the works, include Full House (Fuller House), Arrested Development, Twin Peaks, Gilmore Girls, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Roots, Duck Tales, Heroes (Heroes Reborn), and the list goes on.
With all this rebooting going on, you might wonder what other shows we could dig out of the vault of vintage television and remake. Think about all the shows that you used to watch when you were a kid that are no more and it seems like there might be hundreds of possible contenders for rebooting. Whether it’s a continuation from the old show like what they did with Arrested Development, or a completely new take from the ground up like what they’re planning on doing with Star Trek, the possibilities are far reaching.
You could propose possible reboots all day, but we’ve narrowed it down to a list of 10 old shows that should have their own reboots. What show do you think should get a reboot? Let us know in the comments.
10. Tales from the Crypt
Hello boils and ghouls, do you remember this episodic horror show from the early 1990s? Many people who grew up in this time might well remember rushing to the television set whenever Tales from the Crypt came on because it was a rare mix of horror and comedy. The show was based on the comic book series of the same name, and it ran for seven seasons. Today you can find full episodes on You Tube.
Tales from the Crypt had a simple formula, and that was what made it great. Every episode started with the iconic Cryptkeeper, a reanimated corpse, introducing the story of the week with a smattering of cheesy jokes thrown in. Each episode stood on its own, so every week the show had an entirely new cast of characters. Episodes ended with a conclusion from the gatekeeper, usually capped off with another corny joke and his trademark wild cackle. Given the current popularity of American Horror Story, a Tales from the Crypt reboot might be welcomed by many.
Long before American Dad came to TV land with its alien character Roger, Alf was the original alien living with a human family. Alf, (an acronym for Alien Life Form. His real name is Gordon Shumway), is from planet Melmac and the show begins with him crashing his ship into the Tanner family garage. The Tanners are a friendly family in the American Midwest, and through the show’s four-season run Alf lives with them. His home planet was destroyed in a nuclear war, so he’s basically homeless, and since our lovely planet lacks the tools and materials to get his ship up and running again, he’s stuck here.
Alf was a puppet, so if we rebooted this show it would interesting to see what can be done with modern technologies. One thing that would have to be maintained, however, is his trademark sarcasm and cynicism.
8. Perfect Strangers
Perfect Strangers was a smash hit during its time and could easily lend itself to a reboot. It premiered in 1986 on NBC with a six episode first season, and quickly earned a spot on prime time television. Before long it kicked of the network’s TGIF lineup.
Perfect Strangers is a classic buddy comedy. Larry Appleton is an aspiring photographer living in Chicago and his distant cousin, Balki Bartokomous, comes to live with him. As you likely can tell by his name, Balki isn’t from around here. He hails from the eastern Mediterranean island of Mypos where he works as a shepherd and knows nothing of American life. The contrasting dynamics between Larry and Balki leads to some awkward and hilarious situations as Larry endeavors to help his cousin adjust to life in the US.
The show ran for eight seasons and its last episode aired on August 6, 1993, putting this well out of many people’s memories. A return of Perfect Strangers, maybe with two women or two non-white headlining actors, would be a breath of fresh air.
7. Night Court
Legal dramas have been a staple of prime time television seemingly forever, but Night Court wasn’t a drama. It was a comedy.
Running for nine seasons on NBC, Night Court was about the night shift at a municipal court in Manhattan. It started out with a real world setting, but as the show progressed it became more and more silly, eventually going into slapstick territory. The cases handled by the court always featured weird or inept defendants and complainants, and some of the cases were just downright ridiculous such as one where Wile E. Coyote was put on trial for constantly harassing the Road Runner.
With all the legal dramas on TV today, a Night Court reboot could be a great contrast to what’s already out there.
6. Family Matters
Here’s a show that every 90s kid knows about. Family Matters was a spinoff of Perfect Strangers and ran for 9 seasons from 1989 to 1998. It was as show about a black family in Chicago, IL, and its 215 episode run made one of the second longest running shows to feature a mostly black cast. The number one spot for that claim to fame belongs to The Jeffersons.
The most memorable thing about Family Matters was its breakout character, the absurdly nerdy Steve Urkel. Originally, Urkel was supposed to be a one-off character but fans loved him so much that he became a regular, and eventually the star of the show. If Family Matters came back, a successful reboot would depend on casting the right person to play the new Urkel.
If you ask sci-fi fans what show they want to see again, it’s a safe bet that a lot of them will say Sliders. It wasn’t a smash hit during its time, but the show has a tremendous cult following that has not diminished since it was canceled after five seasons in 2000.
Sliders is about a young scientific genius, Quinn Mallory, who creates a device that makes an interdimensional portal. After stepping through the portal into another world, he has a specific amount of time until the device creates another portal and he has to jump to the next world. Quinn and his group of comrades called “sliders” travel to a parallel world only to find that they can’t get back to their original “Earth Prime,” so in each episode they visit another alternate version of Earth hoping that the next slide will bring them home.
A show like this has potential to go on forever. It is only limited by the writers’ imaginations to come up with new alternate worlds, so Sliders could be a fairly easy show to reboot.
4. Murder She Wrote
A reboot of Murder, She Wrote was attempted by NBC already but the network abandoned the idea in 2014. Even still, they were on to something. The show was one of the most successful prime time programs to ever air on television and won multiple awards. It was even syndicated and run in many countries across the world from Latin America to East Europe.
Maybe NBC gave up too soon with the idea of a reboot. It wouldn’t have to take place in Cabot Cove, and in fact it probably shouldn’t. After all, given the number of murders that took place on the show and Cabot Cove’s low population, it has a higher murder rate than even El Salvador, the murder capital of the world, so it’s safe to say that this sleepy little town has seen enough bloodshed. Maybe “she” could “write murder” somewhere else instead?
3. In Living Colour
Racial diversity is a big issue in television and movies today, and that’s why In Living Colour should come back. Airing from 1990-1994, In Living Colour was a Saturday Night Live-style comedy skit show, but with mostly black actors. It was created by Keenan and Damon Wayans, and many celebs that we know and love today got their start. Jim Carrey, one of the few white people on the show, was Fire Marshall Bill. And Jennifer Lopez was one of the Fly Girls, a dance troupe that performed some impressive hip hop routines.
In Living Colour was edgy, self aware, and hilarious. It brought black actors into the spotlight in a time long before minority representation was such a hot button issue. Rebooting this show would go a long way in giving black actors, and other minority actors, a place to shine on our television screens. And besides, who wouldn’t want to see Homey the Clown whack people over the head and shout “Homey don’t play dat!” again?
2. The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls was a classic sitcom that still has a big following today. Running for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992 it was about four older women who are divorcees or widows living together in Miami, Florida. The writing was smart, the jokes were sharp, and the cast was brilliant. Diehard fans all have their favorite Golden Girl, and it’s easy to find ways to relate to the deeply human characters that brought the show to life.
Golden Girls was highly addictive, and it would definitely be given a warm welcome if it returned to our television screens. Sadly though, only one member of the original cast is still alive today. You’ve probably heard of her: it’s the eternally spunky Betty White! If Golden Girls came back in a reboot, we’d love to see Mrs. White involved somehow.
1. Freaks and Geeks
Before Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jason Segal practically became household names, they got their start in Freaks and Geeks. It’s a show that obtained a cult following, but it was cancelled after just 18 episodes in 2000. Produced by Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, Freaks and Geeks was arguably some of their best work.
The outcry against this awesome show’s cancellation was so fervent it makes one wonder why it hasn’t been brought back already. In 2007, Time Magazine included it on its list of the 100 Best TV Shows of All Time, and in 2013 TV Guide placed it on its list of the 60 shows that were cancelled too soon. NBC’s decision to axe Freaks and Geeks will forever live in infamy. The people have spoken. Bring back Freaks and Geeks!