Remakes Of Old TV Shows Are Unnessessary

For the past few years, it seems that every new television season brings at least four remakes of older television series. While the practice of remaking shows may have made sense in an era where no one could re-watch the old version, nowadays, it doesn’t make sense. Do you really want someone to reinterpret an old favorite when you could easily watch the original in reruns, on DVD, on Netflix, or through less legitimate services on the internet? Probably not.

To be fair, there are a few successful remakes. The most unlikely was Hawaii 5-0. No one, except CBS saw it being successful, yet it averages around 10 million viewers. Dallas is successful because it is just the Ewing clan 20 years later, so it’s more like a continuation than a remake. Out of all the remakes in the last 10 years, Battlestar Gallactica, which took the original concept and made it darker, was probably the most successful. However, the success of all three shows is the exception to the failure of most modern remakes.

It’s easy to keep track of popular remakes and reboots of old shows because you can count them on one hand. The failures not so much, even if we discard those that didn’t make it past the idea stage. Rebooting The Munsters as an hour long drama called Mockingbird Lane was a costly misstep for NBC. The original was a goofy family sitcom from the 60s, which had a moderately successful sequel in The Munsters Today from 1988-1991. Mockingbird Lane‘s one episode that aired was supposed to be a pilot, but there were so many problems with the story and too much focus on “spectacular visuals” that NBC had to settle for calling it a Halloween special.

Other failed remakes include: NBC’s Ironside remake with Blair Underwood, the 2011Charlie’s Angels remake, the updated 2007 Bionic Woman, and NBC’s 2008 attempt to make Knight Rider about Michael Knight’s estranged son. Those are just the ones I can list off the top of my head. You would think that a long list of remake failures would deter network executives from raiding television’s past for old ideas, but it hasn’t and shows no signs of stopping.

Last week, NBC and CBS announced that they would be remaking Murder She Wrote and Charmed, respectively. Both shows are readily available to watch in reruns and on DVD. Even, the original cast of Charmed feels that the show doesn’t need to be remade and that talk of remaking it demonstrates Hollywood’s inability to come up with new ideas. In the past networks waited 15-20 years before remaking a show, Charmed went off the air in 2006, so it hasn’t even been off the air 10 years. Are the networks really that desperate that they will eventually be remaking shows that end their runs last year? It seems like we’re slowly walking down that path. No one’s looking forward to it because we can watch the original shows whenever we want.

About Allison Lips

I am the Toastmasters District 83 Public Relations manager and President of Freehold Phrasers.

Posted on November 1, 2013, in American Television, CBS, Classic Television, NBC, Network Television, Remakes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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