The CW is developing a reboot of USA Network's cult sci-fi drama series The 4400, which ran for 4 seasons and 44 episodes from 2004 to 2007. In the current age of TV reboots and revivals, it seems everything old is truly becoming new again, as long as said old thing had a loyal audience. Viewers have seen revivals of The X-Files, Roseanne, and Full House, as well as reboots of Magnum P.I., Charmed, and MacGyver, just to name a select few. Not all have been successful, but enough have to warrant the trend.
Still on the horizon are reboots of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Twilight Zone, Bewitched, Designing Women, and ALF, so it's going to be a long time before the flood of TV reboots and revivals abates. Just recently, Frasier star Kelsey Grammer was talking about the possibility of a revival, while Mad About You star Paul Reiser has been actively trying to get a revival of his sitcom made. While many viewers aren't exactly in love with the amount of retreads coming down the pike, at least in the era of "peak TV" there are so many options when it comes to shows that there are still plenty out there that aren't based on a past hit.
The latest series to get the reboot treatment is The 4400, as reported by Variety. For those in need of a refresher, The 4400 premiered as a five-episode miniseries in the summer of 2004, but proved so popular that it received three more seasons of 13 episodes each. While USA is well-known for the ratings success of many of their original programs now, back in the early 2000s, the network was just starting to see their first big hits emerge, such as The Dead Zone and Monk. The 4400 signed off for good in fall 2007, after an amusingly appropriate 44-episode run. However, USA is not involved with the reboot, as it's being developed by The CW.
That network hop might seem odd, if not for the fact that The 4400 is produced by CBS Television Studios, co-owner of The CW. The original series was created by the duo of René Echevarria and Scott Peters, although they don't look to be involved with the reboot. In fact, while Variety's report doesn't specify, one assumes that the project being a reboot will preclude any involvement from original 4400 cast members as well, unless they're hired to play new roles. The central premise of 4400 missing people suddenly reappearing with no explanation remains intact, although - likely do to The CW's younger demographic - this time all 4400 are specified as being "young adults in their reproductive prime." The people in question also reappear at their original abduction sites, not all in one place like on the original USA series.
The pilot for The 4400's CW reboot is being written by Taylor Elmore (Justified) and Craig Sweeny (a supervising producer and writer on the original show), with Elmore planned to serve as showrunner should the pilot get picked up to series, and Sweeny remaining onboard as an executive producer. Having at least one person on the reboot's creative team that worked on the USA show will hopefully allow The CW to craft a follow-up that fans of the original can enjoy, even if it's not connected.