Trends on television are nothing new. One season it may seem as though every show is covering the same topic and subject matter. When this happens it’s referred to as a “trend”. A TV trend tends to begin among series when Networks take notice of what shows are popular with audiences. The following year Networks will then roll on out new series on their respective channels. These new series from the Networks are usually more or less copycat like series trying to find that same level of success as that TV Show that became “Must Watch TV” for many. The trend of Networks producing shows that are similar to series that are “It Shows of the Moment” happen every year with television.
TV Trends can also come to be when a topic or genre has caught on with audiences. What happens next is that this topic or genre will become a trending topic for upcoming new series. The longevity of a trending topic can vary when it comes to how long one will last. The basis for whether a trend on TV is short term or long term is determined by what shows audiences are tuning into. On occasion there have been times when a topic or a genre on television has become more than just a trend of the moment, lasting several years on TV before losing the interest of viewers. Then there are times when a topic or genre that was once trending everywhere on TV lasts only a single year, while some trending topics will simply fade away from TV screens as fast as they had appeared.
The question may now be….. Why do some trends on TV last, while others don’t? Well, simply put, new series which include a similar premise to “a show that became a hit” more than not just don’t find success. Trends are trends at the end of the day. Meaning what’s popular for now, might not be popular a year later. What follows after a new series has premiered and found success are other new series that jump on the bandwagon for what has worked somewhere else, and audiences can see through that. And instead of watching a new show which is similar to a show a viewer is already watching and likes, many don’t want to waste their time watching a show that is basically the same show as to one they already watch. Don’t get me wrong, a new series that covers the same topic, along mirroring a similar tone and feel as an already established series, can be successful. But for every new series that becomes a success, there is always a new series that isn’t as lucky.
In 2017, a trend on TV throughout that year among many series was the element of “time travel”. Let me discuss a bit now how time travel came to be a trending topic for the year of 2017. In August of 2014, a new series premiered on the Starz Network called Outlander. Outlander (the TV Series) is based upon a series of novels about time travel. The show became a hit. A part of what made the show so appealing was the factor of time travel on it. Now Outlander isn’t the first series in all of television history to deal with time travel, but when the show became a hit among critics and audiences, that’s what made the series stand out to other Networks. Other Networks took notice of Outlander’s popularity, and went on to make their own series about time travel. And folks, that’s how a TV Trend is born. In the years following Outlander’s premiere on Starz, came many more series dealing with time travel. Two new series premiered in 2016, The Legends of Tomorrow on the CW and Timeless on NBC. The following year in 2017, came three more new series covering the topic, Travelers on Netflix, Making History on FOX, and Time After Time on ABC. While a few of these series were/have been successful, there were ones that weren’t, resulting in cancellation for those series.
At a certain point any topic or any genre gets played out eventually in time, with viewers wanting something new. Audiences feels this way when it starts to appear as though every show seems to be the same in one way or another. What was once popular, is no longer. And there goes that trend and on to the next one. Trends on television are recycled every few years depending on what’s popular at the moment. Some trends last, while others fade away, like I said it’s a cycle. And so forth and so on, you get the idea.
And then there is a trend which has managed to stick around consistently every single television season for well over the last decade. And what’s that trend, you may be wondering about now? Well, that trend would be TV Reboots and Revivals.
TV Reboots and Revivals have been popping up regularly on Networks and Streaming Services for quite a while now. It’s a trend that has stuck, and one that doesn’t seem as though it will be leaving anytime soon. For those of you who do not speak “TV Nerd” such as I, you might be wondering what a TV Reboot and Revival is. Don’t worry, this nerd has got you covered on the subject.
I’ll first start with what a “TV Reboot” is. A TV Reboot is basically more or less when a TV Show which was made “once upon a time ago” gets remade again for television, hence “reboot”. While a TV Reboot is when a series gets another go around on TV, it doesn’t always mean it will be the same show as viewers remember. While there are some elements of a reboot that may remain the same as its original series such as characters and setting, there will be changes made within a reboot of a series. New characters and new story lines, along with a new cast to now tell the show’s story, are examples of changes that will occur when a series is rebooted. There must changes made from an original series to its reboot because otherwise a reboot would just be a carbon copy of a show which was made already. And what would be the point of a reboot if it was literally just the exact same show as it was before? The reason for why change is a must for any TV Reboot is because the show needs to reflect the world now. The show needs to be relevant to today, and with some changes made the show will be updated making it have a more modern and fresh feel. The goal with any TV Reboot is to have the series feel new, while also at the same time still carrying some essence of the original series.
Now on to what a “TV Revival” is. A TV Revival is when a TV Series which was made “once upon a time ago” returns TV again to continue its story, hence “revival”. In most revivals, the story will pick up again from where the series had previously ended. In this type of reboot, original cast members return back to a series. Audiences will see familiar faces from their favorite show on TV again, bringing loads of nostalgia to viewers who watched the show when it was originally on television.
TV Reboots and Revivals are quite the hot topic when it comes to television. While there are many that will embrace the idea of a series being rebooted/revived, there are many that will simply not. TV Reboots seem to be the one out of the two that gets the most initial negative reaction, compared to that of TV Revivals. So why is this the case? The reason for that is because fans of a show are just not quite open to seeing their favorite show being redone.
It seems as though every time a series is announced to be rebooted, there is much buzz surrounding that announcement. Although, the buzz isn’t usually positive. I could never quite understand the negativity towards TV Reboots, thinking to myself “What’s the big deal?”. I remember when Beverly Hills, 90210 got rebooted on the CW in the late 2000s (2008 to be exact, with the name of the series changing ever so slightly to just “90210”). I watched the original series here and there when it was on TV, but never was a loyal viewer of the show. Basically if I was home, I might or might not have turned on the TV to watch an episode of the soapy drama that was Beverly Hills, 90210. By the time the reboot premiered on the CW I was fully a TV Nerd, so of course I tuned in. I didn’t mind the reboot, I liked it. As someone who wasn’t a loyal viewer of the original series, I could look at the reboot with fresh eyes and not judge it as much as someone who tuned into the original series every week. Being the TV Nerd that I am, I only kept up with the reboot for about two seasons before falling behind on it. Although, years later I finished the reboot thanks to Netflix (the reboot has since been taken off Netflix). Overall, I enjoyed the show. Although, it’s completely possible that if I had tuned into the original 90210 more frequently, I might have felt differently. Like I said, I was never loyal to the original series.
Basically, when someone who was a fan of a series hears that a show they completely adored is being redone, most reactions are usually along the lines of “WHAT?!?!?! WHY?!?!?! THE ORIGINAL WAS PERFECT!!!!!”. That’s more or less the reaction many will have when hearing a favorite show of theirs is being “rebooted”. Will these fans tune into the reboot? Out of curiosity they’ll probably check out the pilot, but as far as continuing to tune in every week, that’s unlikely. Even if the reboot is fantastic and great, and still very much holds up, the reboot will probably never be able to live up to the original series for those fans.
Growing up I watched TV, just not as much as I do now. I grew up in the 90s, and a lot of shows that were originally made during that time have gotten the reboot treatment. Series such as Beverly Hills, 90210, Charmed, and Roswell. All three of these reboots came to be thanks to the Network of the CW. When these series were originally on TV, they were shows that I would check out here and there, but never was a loyal viewer.
As far as the reboots of these series go, I really like the shows. The reboot for 90210 ended back in the year of 2013 on the CW, after a five year run on the Network. The reboots of Charmed and Roswell (the reboot now going by Roswell New Mexico) completed their first seasons a few months ago in Spring of 2019. Both reboots were officially renewed for a Season 2. The second season of Charmed premiered just recently, while Roswell New Mexico will most likely start up again in Winter or Spring of 2020 (an official premiere date has not yet been announced). The reboots of these well known classic shows from the 90s are all great series on their own, and most definitely worth watching. Another TV Reboot that is also currently on the CW is the series Dynasty. While most of the reboots on the CW come from popular series that were made in the 90s, Dynasty is a series which had its moment in the 80s. I never watched the original Dynasty, but I am definitely a fan of the reboot. The reboot is excellent, and fits in quite nicely alongside the many other shows on the Network.
Another Network that has also made its fair share of TV Reboots is the Network of CBS. Hawaii Five-O currently stands as the Network’s most successful TV Reboot. In September of 2019, the reboot began its tenth season on the Network. Hawaii Five-O isn’t the only the TV Reboot on CBS though. TV Classics such as MacGyver, S.W.A.T, and Magnum PI are just a few other series that CBS has rebooted over the years on their channel.
There are also a few TV Reboots on the CBS Streaming Service “CBS All Access”, as well. CBS All Access features the TV Reboots of such TV Classics as Star Trek and The Twilight Zone. Both reboots have been quite successful on the Network’s Streaming Service. The reboot for Star Trek was recently renewed for a third season, while The Twilight Zone reboot has been announced for a second season.
As far as my thoughts on how the reboots from CBS have turned out, I can’t really comment. I checked out a few episodes of some of the reboots, but didn’t end up sticking with the shows at the end. It’s not that I think these series aren’t worth watching, it’s more a case of “So Much TV, So Little Time”. I tend to favor soapy, campy dramas over action type series, and most of the reboots on CBS would fall into the category of being action packed liked series. I did though watch the first season of the MacGyver reboot, and while I did like the show, at the end of the day it wasn’t a show that I felt I had to continue with. I mean there’s only so much space on the DVR, and when the television season picks up again in the Fall one must choose what shows are really their “Must Watch TV Shows”, you get what I’m saying TV Nerds. As far as the reboots on CBS All Access, I really want to watch those series, but don’t have CBS All Access. So I can’t really comment on how those series are as reboots either.
When it comes to TV Reboots the television platform for where most reboots have been made is on Basic Cable. Most notably on the Networks of CBS and the CW. As you can tell by the paragraphs up above these two Networks have made quite a few TV Reboots on their channels over the last several years. CBS and the CW have not only made several of the TV Reboots that are currently featured on TV right now, but the series that these two channels have gone on to make as reboots have all found success.
I think the main reason for why CBS and the CW have done well in the TV Reboot department is because the Networks know what shows will fit on their channels well. CBS is known for their action packed like series. And all of the TV Reboots that CBS have made are for TV Series that would fall under the category of being action series. While the CW is known for their soap opera like drama series. And all of the TV Reboots that the CW have made are for TV Series that would fall under the category of being soap operas. All of the TV Series that both CBS and the CW have rebooted have found success a second time on TV as a reboot. Despite many not being in favor of TV Reboots, these two Networks were able to garner viewers for their channels reboots, and have series that were made “once upon a time ago” be successful again in a new time on television.
Although, there was a TV Series that the CW made a reboot of that failed on the Network. In 2009, a year after relaunching the new 90210, the Network rebooted another series from the 90s. This series was Melrose Place. The TV Reboot of Melrose Place was more than just an average TV Reboot. The reboot was more a combination between a reboot and a revival, with many cast members from the original series returning back to their roles, alongside the new cast. Unlike with the original series though, the reboot failed to become the buzz worthy “Must See TV” that it had been in the 90s. And after only one season on the air, the CW officially cancelled the series. For those curious about the reboot/revival of Melrose Place, the first (and only) season is available on Amazon Prime.
There’s a reason for why Networks continue to make TV Reboots. In many ways, Networks might feel as though there’s less of a risk involved in making a TV Reboot than in making a completely new series. Networks are also very much aware that an announcement of any kind regarding a TV Reboot will get many talking. Whether the buzz is favorable or unfavorable, TV Reboots spark conversation. When hearing of an upcoming TV Reboot many may think to themselves “BUT WHY?! The reboot won’t live up to the original! The reboot will be a let down, because simply nothing will be able to live up to the original series!”. While the initial reaction from many regarding TV Reboots may be unfavorable, Networks know that those who do feel that way will still more than likely be curious about the reboot and check out the series.
Therefore, there is already going to be a built in audience for a reboot of a series. Even with those feeling feelings of annoyance towards TV Reboots, fans of the original series will more than likely out of sheer curiosity will check out the reboot. They may not stick with the series, but will probably at the very least watch the first episode. While fans of the original series might tune on in just to see what’s what, there will be a whole new generation of viewers tuning in for the first time with no expectations they’ve put on the series to “live up to what the show once was, once upon a time ago”.
While there is no guarantee that a reboot will do well, it does stand more of a chance against a brand new series because there already a possible built in audience for the show. Networks are aware that by making a TV Reboot there is the potential for a series to get viewers right away, rather than with an original series which may take some time to gain viewers. Usually the ratings for the first episode of any TV Reboot will be good because of that built in audience.
While there is that initial buzz surrounding a TV Reboot, once a show begins to air is when it will become clear to Networks if that buzz can turn a show into “Must Watch TV”. Curiosity can only take a series so far, and interest can fade. If that interest does fade it will reflect in a show’s ratings. While the ratings for a TV Reboot may be excellent at the very beginning of a show’s run, it’s never a guarantee that the show will do well long term. In many ways, a TV Reboot can be an easy and quick way to gain viewers and ratings, that’s why making reboots are so appealing to Networks. At the end of the day though, a TV Reboot is just as much of a risk for a Network to make as it is to make an original series.
These days it seems as though every other day a new series is announced to be rebooted. Remember how I said before of how I never could really understand why there are those who aren’t in favor of TV Reboots. Well, in 2019 came the announcement of yet another series to be rebooted, and I finally understood why some are like “WHAT?! WHY IS THIS BEING REBOOTED?!?!?!?! BUT WHY, OH WHY, OH WHY!!!!!!”, when hearing of an upcoming TV Reboot. Like I said before, when it came to TV Reboots I’ve enjoyed the ones that I’ve tuned into, but I was never a loyal viewer of the original series. So what upcoming series reboot announcement got me all like “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!”? It’s……. (I’ll let the suspense build up)
GOSSIP GIRL! Yes, you heard that right. Gossip Girl is being rebooted for WarnerMedia Entertainment’s upcoming Streaming Service “HBO Max”. It was upon hearing about this TV Reboot that finally made me really understand why some aren’t initially on board with TV Reboots. Like, I get it now.
As it’s been established by now, all of the TV Reboots that I have watched I was never a loyal viewer of the original series. I didn’t watch every episode. I didn’t watch every season. I was an occasional viewer, at best. So when it came to my feelings towards TV Reboots, I’d just think “Okay, cool”.
Although when it comes to a show in which one really liked and enjoyed, a show that one thought was simply perfection, is announced to be rebooted it makes one tilt their head to the side and say “WHAT?!”. Too dramatic? Well, I am talking about Gossip Girl, so some dramatics are just necessary. I fully now understand why TV Reboots do get that “NO!” reaction from many. Unless one was a true fan of the original, one will be probably not quite understand why some are just not for a series being rebooted. Like I’ve said, whenever a reboot would be announced I wouldn’t think that much of it. I would tune in, course duh TV Nerd, and I usually end up enjoying the show. But like I said, I was not a loyal viewer of the original series, so there was never any pressure for the reboot to live up to the original series for me. Although with the series Gossip Girl, I was that loyal viewer who tuned in every week to every episode of every season. It was a series in which I quickly became a fan of thanks to all of its “soap opera like goodness”.
These days everyone knows of the TV Series Gossip Girl. Over the course of the show’s six year run on TV, the series became “Must Watch TV” for many. Although, that wasn’t exactly the case for the show when it first started. When the show began its run on the CW in 2006, it pretty much went under the radar as “The Best Show Your Not Watching”. Thanks to Netflix, many others have since discovered this addicting series if they missed it the first time around when it was on TV. Either way, it was a show I that liked right away and never missed an episode of ever. As a TV Nerd (have I mentioned I’m a TV Nerd?), I like to watch as much as I possibly can, so to not fall behind or miss an episode of a show says a lot about how good it is. Never missing an episode of Gossip Girl pretty much is me saying “This is a show worth watching!”.
In early 2019, there was a rumor going around about a potential Gossip Girl reboot. When I heard of this rumor I didn’t think much of it because I never thought it would actually happen. After the reboot was officially confirmed, I knew I had to write something on the topic of TV Reboots (and Revivals). In the last few years especially, TV Reboots have been popping up every year. At a certain point I kind of assumed the trend would go away, as most trends do over time. With Networks focusing more and more on remaking more and more series, will an original series just be a thing of the past at some point? Well, I don’t think that will happen, but when it seems as though every series that’s ever been made has or is going to have a reboot, it does make one wonder if that’s the direction television is headed.
At the end of the day, the purpose of any television Network is to make money. And Networks might view a TV Reboot as a easier way to gain viewers more quickly, whereas an original series might take some time to gain an audience. Although, one has to wonder with so many series being turned into reboots every year, will there even be any series left for Networks to reboot years from now that haven’t already been made into a reboot? Or will it simply just be Networks turning a series that been rebooted already into a yet another reboot?
Gossip Girl isn’t the show that opened up my eyes more to noticing exactly how many series have been rebooted in the last few years on TV. But it was the show that made me realize that maybe Networks need to take a pause on the whole TV Reboot thing for the moment. Was Gossip Girl a perfect show? Of course not. Did it jump the shark and have ridiculous story lines? Yup! But that was what made the series what it was. It was supposed to be ridiculous and outrageous, with over the top story lines. It was a soap opera, after all. The series doesn’t need a reboot. It was perfect as it was.
It’s been said that the reboot will in some way or another be a continuation of the original series. As of yet, there has been no announcement made of any members from the original cast taking part in the reboot. With that being said, I’m not sure how much of a continuation of the original series will occur on the reboot seeing as none of the original cast is set to be returning. I guess a “too be continued” on that one.
I’ll just leave my thoughts on the Gossip Girl reboot with this sentiment from Chace Crawford, who played Nate on the original series (currently on Amazon’s The Boys). While appearing on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live”, he was asked his feelings on the reboot. He said that hearing about the reboot made him feel old. That’s how I felt as well. The reboot makes me feel old. See what you did HBO Max, you’re making those of us in our 30s feel old, not okay!
And lastly, the time when the original series was still airing on TV wasn’t really that long ago. The series only ended in 2012 (well, okay that’s about seven years ago, but still not that long ago). If there was going to be a reboot made (which I know is very much happening, duh) I would have preferred that the original series would just have been given a little more time to just be its own series. And not be a series that’s been made into yet another TV Reboot. Because the original was perfect through and through in all of its ridiculousness. xo xo…. This TV Nerd to HBO Max.
As you can tell, TV Reboots are quite a hot topic. While a TV Reboot could turn out to be totally great and amazing, fans of the original series might not see the reboot as anything but bad because many don’t like the idea of their favorite show being remade. While there are many reboots that are TV Favorites of mine, I can understand the point of view for those not in favor. Now that I’ve discussed my fair share on TV Reboots, now for the next portion of my article where I will be discussing another form of a TV Reboot which is that of……………………………… (hold for dramatic effect yet again, because I’m dramatic!)
TV Revivals! When it comes to a series being rebooted or revived, many are more open to a series being revived. A TV Revival is like a TV Reboot, but with a twist. I’ll explain. Unlike with a reboot, a revival is one that features the original cast of a series. A TV Revival continues a series journey, as though the show had never ended. Sometimes there might be a time jump, while other times the revival might start where the original series had left off from.
Fans are more open to a revival of a series vs. a reboot of a series because a TV Revival will include the show’s original cast. That’s a big part as to why TV Revivals are more welcomed by fans. Many elements help make a show stand out. Good writing, good direction, along with good performances from a show’s cast are just a few key factors needed for a series to do well. In many ways the cast of a series is the face of a show, and usually when thinking of one’s favorite shows one will think of the performers before another thinking of another element from a series. You can have a great story, great writing and great direction, but if the performances aren’t there the show just won’t work. Viewers remember great performances, so having a great cast is key to making a show really work.
In TV Revivals original cast members return to play the same characters they have played before. In a TV Revival no one is taking the place of an original cast, whereas with a reboot new actors and actresses are hired. A TV Revival can feel nostalgic, as though the show had never left. Plus, it’s always interesting to see where our favorite characters ended up.
A TV Reboot or Revival of a series may not always mean a return back to television. Many series have returned back to audiences again in the form of a film, whether it be as a TV Movie or a Motion Picture on the big screen in movie theaters. Over the last several years many TV Shows have opted to return as a film, instead of a returning to television. Sex and the City, Entourage, Psych, and Deadwood are all just a few examples of shows that chose a film route instead of a television one when making their return back to screen.
When a TV Show returns back, whether it be as a film or a series on television, it might be referred to as a “sequel” or a “revival”. Whether you prefer to call a television series return a sequel or a revival, at the end of it it’s still either way a show continuing its story. And for purposes of this article, I will be referring to a television series return as a revival (instead of a sequel).
As far as TV Revivals go, one of the best of the last few years has got to be the Psych revival. Psych, to this day is still one of my all time favorite series (among the many series in which I completely adore).
For those of you unfamiliar with this TV gem, I’ll give you the 411 on this lovable series, and why it was simply one of the very best. The series had its run on the USA Network from the years of 2006 to 2014, lasting a whole eight seasons by the time it had ended. It was about a guy named Shawn in his 20s, who lived in San Francisco, California. Shawn was the type of person who lived day to day. He didn’t think much of his future or have any kind of goals for himself that he hoped he reach by a certain age. Although, he was someone who would notice and pick up on those small details on things that other might miss.
One night while watching the news a story comes on about a crime that had taken place, and on screen Shawn notices something. He calls what he notices to a police hotline, and gives his name. Soon afterwards Shawn gets called down to the police station. He goes down to the station where he assumes he will be given a reward for his help. The police on the other hand, think that Shawn is involved with this crime that has taken place. So Shawn goes and tells the police the reason for how he knew what he knew is because he’s a psychic. Shortly after all this, Shawn starts working as a psychic for the police. Shawn also manages to convince the police to hire his best friend Gus. And from there on out the series follows Shawn and Gus helping solve crime for the police.
Psych was an all around awesome series. It was goofy, but had heart. When thinking of only one adjective to describe this series it would be “fun”. It was a show with an incredible cast, fun story lines filled with quirk and charm, and a series that you could always count on for a laugh. The show also had a catchy theme song! And if you’ve read any of my past articles, you already know how I love me a good TV Show Theme Song.
Also, the series was clever. Psych came out a few years before a series called The Mentalist. The Mentalist, a series which ran on the CBS Network, had a similar premise to that of Psych. Besides the difference of Psych being a comedy and The Mentalist being a drama, the series were somewhat similar otherwise. The writers of Psych couldn’t help but acknowledge this fact any time they could on the show. The writers never put down the series of The Mentalist, just poked a little fun at it here and there just to remind them they were there first.
As sad as I was when Psych ended, (in all honesty I fell behind on the series four seasons into its run, but thanks to Netflix and the show being in syndication finished the show eventually over time! TV Nerd Victory!) it still had a very much full run on TV. It had many seasons with many episodes. Not every series, no matter how great it may be, gets that chance to have such a journey. Series start and then they end, a cycle as old as time. So while I was bummed when finally tuning into the last episode, I was happy that the series got to end on their terms. And then one fateful day something amazing was announced……..
Psych was going to be revived! Revived as a film on the very same Network in which the series played on. In December of 2017, the show returned to viewers again as a TV Movie taking place where the original series left off. The revival was perfection! Shawn and Gus were back at it, being their goofy selves solving crime. Also, what made the revival even more awesome was that Zachary Levi played a villain on it. WHAT?! Amazing, I know!
The Psych revival was so wonderful because the revival embodied everything that made the original series what it was. It had laughs, goofiness, friendship, and heart. Seeing Shawn and Gus just being their ridiculous selves together again made my TV Nerd heart ever so happy, as well as seeing the rest of the amazing Psych crew. As a complete fan of the original series, the revival film did not disappoint.
It’s already been announced that another Psych film is in the works. The second film was originally set to air this December on the USA Network, as it had two years ago. Although, it’s since been announced that the film’s air date has now been pushed back to sometime in 2020, now set to air on NBCUniversal’s upcoming Streaming Service “Peacock”. And seeing how this new and upcoming streaming service isn’t set to premiere until April of 2020, it seems as though all us fans of Psych are going to have to wait just a little bit longer until the second film arrives back on the small screen.
I’m super bummed (as I’m sure many fans of Psych are) about the second film getting pushed back to who knows when exactly, especially since it was set to air just a few months from now. Anywho, in the meantime if I’ve managed to make any of you out there interested enough to tuning into this gem, it is currently available on that of Amazon Prime (the movie revival is also available on Amazon, but just included in Amazon Prime).
The Psych Revival, in my opinion, has been the absolute best TV Revival of the last decade. Psych is a prime example of a TV Revival where every element of it just hit all the right notes, resulting with both critics and fans cheering. Than on the other hand, there are some TV Revivals which don’t gather much praise upon their return, and are not quite able to find that success the second time around in which it had found before.
Murphy Brown was a massively popular show during its original time on the TV Airwaves. It was a show that was the talk of the town. It was a show that gathered attention for its bold story lines and willingness to push the boundaries. It was a show that received multiple awards for its performances and writing. Looking at a show like Murphy Brown, a show that received such acclaim and success, one might assume that if this series were to be revived that the show would once again be the success it had been before. Well, that would be what one might assume, at least.
After a twenty year absence from TV, Murphy Brown returned back to CBS in the Fall of 2018. In all honesty, I never watched the original series. Although I, of course, was still very much aware of the show and looking forward to its return. Even though I never watched the original series, I was still familiar enough with the show to be interested enough in wanting to check out the revival.
I liked the revival. Did I love it? Well, no. While I did enjoy the new season of the series, it did take some time before I really started to enjoy the show. The original series had been “Must Watch TV” for many. The revival though, never manged to be the groundbreaking television that it had once been, no longer being a show that everyone was talking about or tuning into. Despite that being the case, I did find myself hoping to see another new season.
The creator and star of the series both said they hoped to do another season. Ultimately though, the final decision for another season was up to the Network. Unfortunately, with show’s ratings never being there, CBS ended up cancelling the series officially in May of 2019. While I did come away liking the revival, I can’t say I found myself all that devastated when hearing of the series cancellation. I’ve already said how I never watched the original, but maybe if I had I would have thought more of the show’s revival.
Overall the new season of Murphy Brown was just simply okay, with a side of bland. The TV Revival wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what one might call thrilling television either. Either way, the revival was a good effort among its writers and returning cast.
As you can see, not all TV Revivals turn out perfectly. For every TV Revival that is perfection, there is a revival that isn’t. The magic that was once there in a series is now gone, despite having the creator and the original cast returning. That was the case with the revival of Murphy Brown. The revival turned out to be just okay, but for a show (revival or new) to make it to another season a series needs to stand out and be better than just okay. Was the Murphy Brown revival bad? No, but it wasn’t great either. While the revival of Murphy Brown ultimately resulted in being “just okay”, there have been revivals made on the other hand which have resulted in being completely and utterly disappointing. One TV Revival takes the cake (in my opinion) for being the worst TV Revival made thus far. If you know TV you might already know what series revival I’m referring to. Any guesses?
The answer is…… Twin Peaks! Now, I’m sure there will be many opinions on this. But for me, Twin Peaks was by far the most disappointing TV Revival that has ever been made that I have seen. It hurts my TV Nerd heart to say that, especially since I am a total fan of the original series.
In 2014, Showtime announced plans for a series revival of Twin Peaks. The revival would include series co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, along with many members of the original cast. At the time of this announcement, Twin Peaks was a show that I had never watched. Even though I had never watched the series, I was still very much aware of the show. After the series was announced to make its return to the small screen, I decided it was finally time to go on ahead and check out this very much talked about show. I watched the first two seasons of the show and the follow up movie that was made (didn’t really care for the the movie, it wasn’t as great as the series).
It was only a few months before the revival was to set air on Showtime, was when I finally got around to checking out the show and the follow up movie. Thankfully though, I managed to finish watching the first two seasons and the movie right before the revival was set to air.
And then in May of 2017, Twin Peaks made its return back to television. With so many returning back to the series, it would seem as though the revival would be a slam dunk for perfection and out of the park amazing. Seeing how so many of those who were involved in the creation of the show had returned, I thought (as I’m sure many others did as well) what could go wrong. I grabbed my remote with excitement in my TV Nerd heart to finally watch the new season of Twin Peaks. I loved the original series, and thought I would feel no different about the revival. And then I watched the revival.
And…….Well…….. it was……..not what I was expecting. I was expecting myself to just love the new season of this eerie and unique series. The original series was full of quirk, charm, camp, intrigue and mystery that kept your mind guessing what the heck was really going on in this small town. Everything that had made the original series so good and so charming had completely vanished. Twin Peaks was a series that stood out when it originally aired because it was a show that was completely unique. It was a series that never followed a conventional style of storytelling. It had charm, while at the same time having a darkness to it. It was a show that had many layers, where it would be quirky one moment and then extremely dark the next. Twin Peaks was one of a kind. Despite the praise that the show received for its originality, the series only lasted two seasons. To this day, Twin Peaks remains a talked about series. One that has inspired many other series, which strive to emulate that same unique tone that Twin Peaks had originated.
While a TV Revival is a new season of a series, there is still some kind of resemblance of the original series in the new season. Sure, the cast is the same, but also the feel and the tone of the series is still there in some way within a revival. Of course, it won’t be exactly the same show as it was before, but viewers will still be able recognize the show and remember why they liked it. That’s usually the case when a series gets revived. Usually. Although in the case of Twin Peaks, it slowly started to become more and more clear as episodes started to air week after week that the revival was never in any way, shape, or form ever going to emulate the same series that it had been in the 90s.
The revival just felt odd, but not in a charming quirky way. Just plain odd. The cast was filled with such amazing talent, with many from the original cast returning alongside those of the new cast. Such talent in the revival, and yet it came across was as though nobody in the cast had ever acted before. The performances were over the top (but not in a good way), and just awkward.
As far as the story, I kept thinking that possibly by the finale everything would come together and make sense. I was sorely mistaken. Episode after episode the show just got weirder and weirder. Twin Peaks was a series that was always a bit out there, but not so out there that it didn’t make some sort of sense when you took a minute to think about it.
With the revival, it was so out there that it was either completely genius and just simply went over my head, or it was just pure nonsense and was never suppose to make any sense once so ever. If one were to make the argument for the revival being complete nonsense, episode eight of the revival is where one could very much make that argument.
Episode 8 of the revival sparked much debate. Some thought it was pure genius, while others thought it was complete nonsense (I know I’ve said the word “nonsense” like every other word now, but it’s the exact adjective to use when describing this TV Revival, especially this particular episode). This episode might be perhaps the most bizarre and out there episode of any series of all time. I DVR-ed the episode, and I’m sure glad I did that then watching it live. After a few minutes of trying to understand what the purpose of the episode was, I gave up on trying to understand and started to fast forward through the episode. Normally for most series watching episodes in order and watching the whole episode of a show is necessary to understanding where a show’s story is going or going to go. Episode 8 of the Twin Peaks revival is the one and only time (at least that I can recall) that I didn’t watch a full episode of a show. The episode failed in any way to make any kind of sense, and watching it in fast forward was literally the same as if one were to watch it live. Basically the whole episode just featured things happening that failed to make any sense (at least to me).
Nothing, absolutely nothing in revival of this series ever made sense. There wasn’t a satisfying conclusion when the finale came around where every question was fully answered and tied up in a bow. That never happened, leaving many viewers feeling annoyed at having watched the revival at all.
As it’s obvious by now, I was disappointed in the revival of Twin Peaks. Despite the original creators and most of the cast returning, the show was never able to live up to what it once was. That was basically because it felt like an entirely different show. Although, not everyone feels that way about the revival. Many think David Lynch is a storytelling genius, one who doesn’t really care if everything makes sense and all questions are answered. Some think there’s the possibility the revival was bad on purpose. Who knows, it’s possible. Going into watching the revival I should have realized that not everything might make sense, it is Twin Peaks after all. My bad on that one. The show was never officially cancelled by Showtime, so there’s very much still the chance that the Network could at some point give the series another season. If a new season does in fact happen, I definitely won’t have any expectations. I’m sure it may surprise some of you reading this to hear that I would tune into a new season if one were to happen. But are you really surprised though? I am a TV Nerd, so yeah of course I’d tune in (I know, sounding like a broken record over here)!
TV Revivals, as you can see (i.e. Twin Peaks) don’t always mean when a series returns it will be the return audiences were hoping for. TV Revivals can be just as much a hit or miss as a TV Reboot can be. Sometimes a show’s revival will or won’t work. Either way, these types of shows are not going away anytime soon. Case in point, this past Summer viewers were welcomed back to the series of Veronica Mars. A critics favorite, the series was always a hit among its fans. Despite being a series that was very much adored by its fans, the show never managed to deliver in the ratings, always being on the verge of cancellation. After two seasons on the UPN Network, the series then transferred to the CW. The reason for the series moving to the CW was not because UPN cancelled the show, but because UPN as a channel on TV called it quits. Then after three seasons on the TV Airwaves, Veronica Mars officially got cancelled by the CW.
Since the series cancellation in 2007, many have since discovered the show, thanks in part to DVDs and Streaming Services. Even though the series ended back in the year of 2007, the show itself has still remained visible in some way over the years. In 2014, the show’s story continued in the form of a film. When studios declined in making the film, series creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell set up a Kickstarter campaign for the film. The campaign quickly received its goal, and a movie was able to happen thanks to the fans.
Following the film in 2014 and 2015, were a series of two novels continuing the show’s story. Along with the film and novels, there was also a web series on CW Seed (CW’s free Streaming Service) which premiered in 2014. The web series went by the name of “Play It Again, Dick”, centering around the actor Ryan Hansen, who played Dick Casablancas on Veronica Mars. In the web series, Hansen played a fictional version of himself trying to make a spin-off series of Veronica Mars where his character was a detective.
In doing my research on the projects made since the series cancellation, I knew of the film and the first novel. Although, wasn’t at all aware that a second novel existed, as well as having completely forgotten about the web series. As far as the web series, I remember hearing about it, but as someone who prefers to watch TV on a TV, I never checked out the series when it premiered online (CW Seed these days around is available to stream on Roku for TV, as well as online). After being reminding of the web series, and how I never tuned in to watching it at all, I thought “TV Nerd Fail”! With Veronica Mars back on TV again, I found myself in the mood to watch the web series that I missed in 2014. I thought “Hey, I’ll check the CW Seed! It might still be up there, even though 2014 was a little while ago. There’s a chance!” Long story short, it wasn’t. I then thought “Hey, I should check Amazon!”. And TV Miracle, for the web series is on Amazon! So for those of you who also missed the spin-off web series when it was on CW Seed, it’s available on Amazon!
The TV Series Veronica Mars ended in 2007. A movie of the series was made in 2014. A series of novels inspired by the show were made in 2014 and 2015. A spin-off web series was made in 2014. And then after a 12 year absence from TV, Veronica Mars returned back to the small screen in early July of 2019 when the revival dropped on Hulu.
From the time of Veronica Mars cancellation in 2007 to now, the landscape of television has changed quite a lot. The DVR and TiVo were still fairly new, and Streaming Services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. were still in the early stages of development. These days when a show gets cancelled there’s a fifty-fifty chance that it will be picked up by another Network. Back when Veronica Mars got cancelled though, Networks saving other Networks shows from cancellation wasn’t quite what it is today. Back then when a show got cancelled it got cancelled, there wasn’t really the possibility of another Network saving the series.
These days Networks are able to see how much of a fan base a show has, much more than they were able to years ago. For example, a show might not be doing well in the ratings. Although, the show has a loyal fan base. Thanks to Social Media, Networks are able to see how a series can have a loyal fan base, despite not delivering in the ratings. Based on that a Network might hold on to a series longer because they can see that there is an audience for the show there. Whereas years ago, when a show wasn’t delivering in the ratings a Network would quickly give just go ahead to cancelled the series. These days though when a show gets cancelled that does have a loyal fan base, it’s immediately clear to other Networks that maybe it is a show worth saving.
Had the landscape of television been back in the late 2000s what it is today, there is huge chance that a series like Veronica Mars would have gone on to have many more seasons possibly. Networks are seeing how many are nostalgic for TV Revivals, and see how there can be an audience for a series from before in a new time on TV. In the last few years especially, so many series have been revived. With that being the case, many series now are getting the chance to continue their story. And seeing how the crew from Veronica Mars never gave up on the show, many felt a revival was a major possibility to actually happening at some point. And in 2018, Marshmallows (the phrase coined when one is a fan of the series Veronica Mars) cheered when hearing a Season 4 of the series was a reality.
There are many factors that come into making a TV Revival possible. One, a Network believes in a show. Thanks to Hulu believing in this little series that went under the radar in the mid- 2000s on TV, a Season 4 of Veronica Mars was finally happening. The second (and main factor) for this TV Revival happening comes from the loyalty that Veronica Mars crew had for the series. The dedication of never giving up on the show from the creator, the show’s star and cast, made Veronica Mars a show where one could tell that every person involved in its creation was very proud to be apart of it, and more than happy to return back to further continue the show’s story. To say the least, fans knew the revival was in good hands with this crew.
Okay, so before I talked anymore about this fantastic series return back to TV, I must mention a little something, something first. I actually haven’t watched the revival yet. I know, I know, shocking! I’ll explain the reasoning behind that delay. And cue another pointless (but hopefully interesting to TV Nerds) story of mine…..
I watched Veronica Mars when it was actually on TV, way back when. As I’ve already mentioned, Veronica Mars first started airing on TV back in 2004 and three years later in 2007 concluded its run. I watched every episode (as far as I can recall) from all three seasons of the series. Although, it’s been quite awhile since that time now, and as much as I loved the show I have forgotten a whole lot. Sure, I remember characters and a few story lines, but not a whole lot else. Like I said, it’s been awhile since the show was on TV. Also as a TV Nerd, movies these days around are not my go-to for entertainment. Watching a movie instead of a TV Show just means that I will be further behind in catching up on that said TV Show, TV Nerds you get what I’m saying. On a side note, I have started to watch more movies in the last year, here and there when I need a break from TV. So when the Veronica Mars film came out in 2014, I, as you can probably already guess by now, didn’t get around to watching it. Although, thankfully the film was on HBO recently, and I quickly went and DVR-ed it. When it comes to the novels, I also haven’t read the book series yet either. I only really started to get into reading again within these last few years, so when the book series came out I hadn’t yet put my bookworm hat back on. So much Pop Culture Nerd Fails here, I know, I know.
When I heard the show was going to be revived on Hulu, I was so excited and happy for its return. And then it hit me. I realized if I were to watch the new season with having forgotten most from the original series (cause so much time has passed by and all), along with not having watched the film, along with not having read the book series, how I wouldn’t fully be able to really appreciate the new season as a fan of the show. So I did something that I rarely do. I am re-watching the series from the very beginning again before tuning into the new season. And thanks to Hulu, the first three seasons are available. After that I’ll finally check out the film, and after that I’ll finally read the book series, and then after that I’ll go on ahead and check out the new season on Hulu. So taking all that into play, I have no idea how long it will be before I get to the revival.
I know it probably will seem silly to some, to not just go ahead and watch the new season. Although, when going to check out the new season I found myself not being able to click the remote to start the episodes. As a fan of the original series, I found myself not being able to just go to the new stuff, when there was so much from the series that I had either forgotten or never tuned into at all. To really appreciate the new season, I knew I had to go back to the beginning again. I mean I had forgotten what the whole thing was with marshmallows and this show. And thanks to having re-watched the show from the start again, I quickly learned what the connection was. FYI, the connection for that comes from the end of the pilot episode. Veronica’s friend Wallace, says how Veronica isn’t as tough as she appears, she’s a marshmallow. You see, if I didn’t watch the show again I never would have remembered why marshmallows and Veronica Mars was a thing. Awesome TV Factoids, you see!
I’m sure the revival is beyond good because as you all know by now I haven’t yet watched it, so…… can’t really comment on the new season in this article. Although, from seeing most of the trailer for the new season, I can tell that the essence of the series is still there (because of spoilers I have actually only ended up watching about half of the official trailer for Season 4, but even from only half the trailer it’s clear that the spirit of the series is still intact). And at the end of the day that’s all fans want in a TV Revival. The fans just want to see a little of the original in the new form, to remind them as to why it was a favorite series of theirs to begin with. What makes Veronica Mars such a great show is that all the people involved in its creation really truly love being apart of it. The fact that after all these years the series creator and star, along with the rest of the cast, never stopped believing in the show’s potential is something that is truly wonderful to see.
Usually once a series is over, it’s over (well, not always now because TV Revivals are a hot trend, but you get what I mean). A series creator will move on to new projects, along with the writers and its cast. They enjoyed their time on the project, but have moved on. A lot of times when a show has ended those who were involved don’t want to return back because they don’t want to tarnish the show, they want to leave it as is. Then there are times when those involved are more than happy to return to continue telling a show’s story. Veronica Mars is an example of a TV Revival where you can tell everyone is happy to be returning back to a place that they never wanted to leave. And it shows (well, I can only imagine at this point anyway that it’s a great revival, and how the great work that the team behind this series has done time and time again will once again show in the revival).
Veronica Mars wasn’t the only gem that returned back to audiences this past Summer. The Hills returned to MTV, now being called “The Hills: New Beginnings”. While on FOX viewers were reintroduced to Beverly Hills, 90210 in a reboot/revival series titled “BH90210”. There are even more reboots and revivals up ahead on the TV horizon. In October of 2019, the 90s classic “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”made its return to Nickelodoen in a reboot. Also set to mark its return to TV is the Disney series “Lizzie McGuire”, which will be revived on Disney’s new Streaming Service. And the list goes on and on for upcoming TV Reboot and Revival projects in the works.
As far as recent TV Revivals as films, there are a few series that have returned. In September of 2019, Downtown Abbey returned to audiences as a Motion Picture. The film was a success. And seeing how audiences were eager to return back to that world, I wouldn’t be surprised if another film occurs at some point. Also, making its return back to audiences again was Breaking Bad in October of 2019 on Netflix. Fans of Breaking Bad finally learned the fate of Jesse Pickman. The series finale for Breaking Bad goes down as one of the best finales of all time for some folks. When a finale is so beloved, many might feel that reviving the series in any way could perhaps ruin the show. Have no fear for this TV Revival though. I haven’t seen the film yet, but everyone involved in the series creation is back once again, so no worries here for this TV Nerd. Yes, I know that doesn’t always mean a slam dunk for a project just because the same creative team is back, Twin Peaks is a perfect example of that. Although, seeing the amazing work this creative team has done with Better Call Saul (Breaking Bad’s Spin-Off Series), I truly believe that Breaking Bad’s return will most likely be a stellar one.
The trend of TV Reboots and Revivals is one that has outlasted many other trends on television. Why has this trend outlasted others? The answer is simply. When a television show returns, whether it be a return as a reboot, a revival, a film or a television series, it brings nostalgia. At the end of the day, it’s nice to see the return of something as simply as a TV Show to make one remember a time from before. Whether or not the show lives up to what it once was, is as Sandra from Superstore had once said several times in an episode “TBD” (to be determined). Have Networks been focusing too much on remaking series than making new ones? Are Networks making too many TV Reboots and Revivals? Has the trend of Networks making TV Reboots and TV Revivals gotten just a bit out of hand? Yes! Absolutely! Either way, I will be tuning in regardless, because that’s what a TV Nerd does.
Now that you’ve heard my thoughts on the popular TV Trend of Reboots and Revivals, I’d love to hear yours!
-Do you think Networks are relying too much these days on reboots/revivals to gain viewers? Or do you think reboots/revivals are a nice addition alongside original programs?
-Is there a reboot/revival of a series that you enjoyed?
-Is there a reboot/revival of a series that you found to be disappointing?
-Are there any reboots/revivals that you’re looking forward to?
Well, that’s all from this TV Nerd! If you’ve reached this part of my article, my many thanks for reading what I had to say on the trend of TV Reboots and Revivals. Until next time TV Nerds!