Is it a good idea to reboot the classic sitcoms of the past? It’s happening. The ball is just starting to roll, but you know it’s going to get bigger. Bringing back Full House didn’t seem like that big of a deal, it wasn’t that long ago and the actors are still around. It was more of a continuation than a reboot. But that was the first step.
On January 6th Netflix is going to premiere a Latino remake of One Day At A Time. CBS already has a new Odd Couple and is eyeing the Honeymooners.
Variety has an interview with Norman Lear where he says there has been talk of rebooting All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude and Good Times with today’s stars. The idea would be to redo select classic episodes in six-episode batches.
Well, I have something to say to the executives about this idea.
Seriously. Don’t do it.
Full House was a family sitcom about a single dad raising his kids with the help of two friends. When the story takes place is irrelevant to the story itself. But the other shows mentioned were very much products of their time and the social climate. There are similar issues in society today, but they’re not exactly the same. Which means you’ll need to take today’s stars and have them deal with today’s issues… thereby creating something new. Own that. Make it something new that stands on it’s own. Don’t send your new child out in someone else’s coat. The memories people have of these older shows will set unfair expectations going into the new series and who are you going to get to live up to Jackie Gleason, Carroll O’Connor, Sherman Hemsley, John Amos and Bea Arthur?
I know it’s tempting to try to tap into that already existing audience. But by doing so you are setting the bar for your new series based on the extremely high bar set by these shows originally when they aired. Take the today’s actors, tackle today’s issues and present it to today’s audience as something new and fresh… and let it stand on its own two feet.