Thirty years ago, a crack creative team developed a show about a commando unit sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. The A-Team, a high water mark for 1980s television, has remained a staple on screens to this very day. It is a show that presented the best and worst of its era with its blend of high octane action and campy aesthetic.
Today’s era, of course, is one where reboots and remakes reign supreme. If a formula worked once, it can absolutely work again. At least, that’s the hope of 20th Century Fox, who is reportedly developing a modern remake of the classic NBC series.
Deadline is reporting that the new A-Team series will closely follow the concept of the original, with a framed commando group doing all they can to clear their names while helping those in need. The new series is said to deliver the same brand of action, comedy, and thrills that the original had, albeit with a mix of both men and women (in contrast to the original’s all male main cast). Chris Morgan (the Fast & Furious series writer/producer) and TV director - as well as daughter of the original A-Team's creator Stephen J. Cannell - Tawnia McKiernan (Warehouse 13, Grimm) are set to produce the A-Team reboot, with Sleepy Hollow producer Albert Kim penning the pilot.
This isn’t the first time studios have tried to cash in on the success of the original A-Team series. In 2010, a big screen remake (starring Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper) was made by Joe Carnahan. The $110 million action film only managed to capture $177 million worldwide, in addition to under-performing critically. Its less than stellar splash at the box office had previously fomented some doubts about the viability of a new A-Team franchise.
Television, however, is a whole different ballgame. While the success of TV remakes is as hit or miss as it is for movies, The A-Team as a concept remains best suited for the medium, with its episodic, villain-of-the-week format and overarching whodunit plot, in regards to the team being framed. This formula has been-reused by ratings hits like The Blacklist, which owes a debt to the original The A-Team. With today’s production and quality standards - both vastly improved since the '80s - a new series could actually make for decent television.
Still, skepticism might be warranted. For every Battlestar Galactica there's at least one Knight Rider, and past success is by no means a metric to base future success. The A-Team was very much a product of its time, and part of its continued appeal is due to how unabashedly 80’s the show is. This could be a case where audience adoration of the original works against the new series.
We'll bring you more information on The A-Team reboot series as it becomes available.