TV show reboots: ’80s and ’90s kids will get a nostalgia fix in 2018
In 2017 we witnessed the comeback of cult ’90s era classics like Twin Peaks and Will & Grace.
One network even produced not one, but two, throwback shows with Riverdale, a dark take on the Archie Comics, and Dynasty, a modern interpretation of the early ’90s primetime soap opera. It’s safe to say that the nostalgia trend is here to stay and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact, 2018 will bring a new round of reboots and spin-offs to the small screen for a whole new generation to appreciate. From tales of witches to cop dramas, here’s your guide to all of the iconic shows and characters set a to make a return this year.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Before Hermione Granger came along, Sabrina Spellman was the world’s most beloved teenage witch. Melissa Joan Hart played the magical teenager, based on the character from Archie Comics, for seven seasons from 1996 to 2003. The fantasy sitcom chronicled the everyday life of Sabrina Spellman, a teenage girl who must learn how to control her magical powers with the help of her two kooky aunts.
The new Sabrina reboot, slated for release later this year, pays homage to Sabrina’s roots. The show will be loosely based on the original comic book character, but with a dark twist. It will follow The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a comic book series in the horror division of the Archie Comics.
The coming-of-age story will follow Sabrina as she navigates through high school, keeping her powers a secret from the rest of the world, while “standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit,” according to a Netflix description of the show.
Kiernan Shipka, known as sassy Sally on Mad Men, will play the titular role, with Disney Channel alum Ross Lynch playing her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle. Wonder Woman star Lucy Davis has been cast as the comedic Aunt Hilda and Miranda Otto, of Lord of the Rings fame, will play the stern Aunt Zelda. The show will take place in Greendale, the town across the pond from Riverdale, and will be spearheaded by the same writer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
The classic American sitcom about a working-class family and their struggles, starring comedian Rosanne Barr, became the most-watched TV show of all time in the United States from 1989 to 1990. The show ran for 9 seasons and was renowned for its realistic depiction of blue-collar Americans.
This time around, we’re supposed to ignore the original finale and start fresh. So beloved dad Dan Conner (John Goodman) isn’t dead, and there will be two Beckys, sort of — both original Becky (Lecy Goranson) and replacement Becky (Canadian Sarah Chalke) will be featured on the show. Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and D.J. (Michael Fishman) are reprising their roles.
The reboot takes place 20 years later with the majority of the original cast (including your favourite guest stars!) returning for a special nine-episode season. And it’s coming back soon! Season 10 is set to premiere on March 27.
The character responsible for making moustaches and flower shirts a trend is returning to the small screen.
The all-American classic, Magnum P.I, which launched the career of Tom Selleck, is going back into production. The Honolulu-set crime drama about a Navy SEAL-turned-private investigator ran from 1980 to 1988, and was consistently placed among the top 20 television programs in the U.S at the time. The series was renowned for its emphasis on post-Vietnam war America and the difficulty soldiers had readjusting back into civilian life.
Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad, Scandal) has been cast as the new Magnum. According to Deadline, the reboot will have a modern twist with Magnum returning to America after being stationed in Afghanistan for a number of years.
Cagney & Lacey
Attention Caggers and Laggers: Your favourite female detectives are back! CBS’s iconic cop drama about two female police partners is currently in the works for a modern reboot.
The show depicted the lives of two very different women. Kind of like an odd couple, Cagney (Sharon Gless) is a quieter, more reserved single detective, and Lacey (Tyne Daly) is more talkative, out-there and vivacious. At the time, the duo were renowned for being feminist role models and the show often featured plotlines that tackled issues like sexism in the workplace. The original show, which lasted from 1981 to 1986, was nominated for a number of awards, with Daly taking home four Emmys and Gless winning two. Grey’s Anatomy star Sarah Drew has been selected to play Cagney, and Blindspot actor, Michelle Hurd, is set to play Lacey.
Sorry Alyssa Milano, but there’s a new halter-top wearing sister in town.
Charmed, which follows the lives of sisters Piper, Phoebe and Prue, is getting a modern feminist makeover. According to TVLine, the CW-produced series will revolve around the lives of “three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches.” Madeline Mantock, Melonie Diaz and Sarah Jeffery have been cast as the new bewitched trio. The reboot will be written by the same team as Jane the Virgin and is set in present day.
Sweet Valley High
Your favourite California-kissed, blue-eyed, blonde-haired twins are making a comeback and no, we’re not talking about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are returning to the small screen! Loosely based on the highly successful book series by Francine Pascal and a TV series that ran from 1994 to 1997, Sweet Valley High is set to make a comeback. While an official release date has not been confirmed, Deadline states that the YA adaptation of the series will be spearheaded by writers Harper Dill (The Mick) and Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You).
Clarissa Explains It All
WATCH: Melissa Joan Hart as Clarissa
Before Melissa Joan Hart was Sabrina Spellman, she was Clarissa Darling, a sarcastic and funny teenager who broke the fourth wall by addressing the audience in her show as she dealt with everyday life.
Clarissa Explains It All was the first Nickelodeon show to feature a female lead, and its success inspired the children’s network to produce an array of female-centric shows including The Secret World of Alex Mack and The Amanda Show. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Melissa Joan Hart will reprise her role as Clarissa in the reboot and the show will take a time-jump, focusing on Clarissa’s family and her life as a mother. The project is in early development and Hart is slated to produce the show along with Nickelodeon.
This mean girl cult-classic revival has already come out and it has received its fair share of criticism.
Based on the original dark comedy film about a group of rich mean girls who share the same name and get caught up in a homicide, the reboot has a similar premise, featuring a diverse new cast. The new Heathers are no longer petite and white; they choose to bully people through Twitter and they play social-justice warriors to the extreme. The show has been put on hold by Paramount Pictures after the pilot received backlash for its mockery of teenagers involved in politics, particularly after the events following the Parkland shooting.
WATCH: The official trailer for the HEATHERS reboot
The Greatest American Hero
The 2018 version of The Greatest American Hero is going to look very different from the 1981 version.
For starters, the new superhero will be played by Canadian actress Hannah Simone of New Girl fame. According to Deadline, the female-led reboot will be produced by ABC Studios, and will revolve around the titular character Meera, “a 30-year-old woman who loves tequila and karaoke and [who] has spent her life searching and failing to find meaning, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian-American family.”
Writer Nahntachka Khan (Fresh off the Boat, Don’t Trust The B**** in Apartment 23) is set to produce the new series.
Party of Five
Party of Five, the drama-filled show about a family of teenage orphans, is getting its own spinoff series. The new show will have a similar premise, except it will revolve around a family of immigrants.
According to a press release by Freeform, the reboot will ” follow five siblings, the Buendias, who struggle to keep their family together after their parents are deported back to Mexico.” Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, creators of the original show, will return as writers and executive producers on the reboot.
Nickelodeon is reviving another one of its beloved classics. Blue’s Clues, the show about an animated puppy that had millions of toddlers all around the world chanting “Where’s Blue?’” has been picked up again by Nickelodeon. The classic ’90s children’s show lasted from 1996 to 2004 and was popular because of the way it involved its audience with Blue’s adventures.
“Early viewers of Blue’s Clues are in their 20s now and may have kids of their own,” says producer Angela Santemero in an interview for Variety. According to producers, Blue’s look for the show will change as well, and she’ll appear “furrier and more huggable.”
Not only is the show coming back, but Nickelodeon producers are looking for a new host to play Blue’s human companion. Think you have what it takes to play Blue’s best friend? There’s an open casting call that’s taking place on April 14 in Burbank, Calif.
Steve Burns, who played the original host for six years, wants to revive his role and says he’s willing to fight John Cena for it.
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