The remake bug has made its transition from the big screen to the small screen. This infectious virus, which the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has categorized as the most aggressive ever, has been mutated and become a full-fledged epidemic among the major television networks. It started a couple of years ago when NBC tried to remake two classic shows from the 70’s and 80’s, Bionic Woman and Knight Rider.
ABC has already showed symptoms of the bug with its most recent remakes of V and Melrose Place. Now, according to Variety, ABC’s next attempt will be the 70’s female spy show Charlie’s Angels. Josh Friedman, who helped adapt Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for Fox, Leonard Goldberg who was a producer for the original Charlie’s Angels, Steve McPherson, and Drew Barrymore (who was in the movie version of the show in 2000 and its 2003 sequel) are all attached to the project.
Sony Pictures, also involved with the project, are dipping their toes in remake pool with Mark Burnett (Survivor) for reality game show version of Fantasy Island (groan) that will most likely have Vern "Mini Me" Troyer spouting the famous line “De Plane boss! De Plane!”
OK, so the Troyer part is speculation on my part... but tell me in the back of your mind you don’t see that eventually happening...
This isn’t the first time a Charlie’s Angels remake has been attempted. Back in 2004, Carlton Cuse and John Wirth (Lost) wrote a spec script for Sony and ABC but the project never got the green light. Things should be different this time around and a pilot is expected to be ordered with Friedman, Goldberg, Barrymore and Nancy Juvoneu (Whip It!) all set to produce.
What is it about TV show remakes of late that make these network studios think they are a good investment? You know what, let’s look at all of these recent remake attempts and see which of them have been around longer than one season:
90210 - The CW was infected with the virus last year with its remake of the 90’s teen drama, and while reviews have not been favorable, ratings have been high enough to get the show halfway through a 2nd season.
Knight Rider, Bionic Woman – NBC really dropped the ball with both of these shows that tried too hard at being spy dramas and neither connected well with viewers. BW never even finished out its season after the writer’s strike.
V – The show had a great opening week and then dropped severely in its second week and had already been chopped up by the network for airing; it’s not looking so hot for a second season.
Melrose Place - The show is still on the air but if it’s ratings continue going the way of the dodo, then expect to see a new show in its time slot next year.
So television fans, if you thought that you were safe from the ravenous, nostalgic-killing remake bug because you don’t go to movies - surprise! You’re in for a world of hurt. I wonder what might be up next on the TV show remake chopping block: Fall Guy, Simon and Simon, Automan, Air Wolf, Street Hawk, Mork and Mindy, Three’s Company, MASH, Perfect Strangers, Cheers? The list could go on and on. If next year’s A-Team movie is successful, I suspect a remake of that show won’t be too far away.
The original Charlie’s Angels starred the beautiful Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd and the late Farrah Fawcett. I’m sure this will be a great opportunity to see three or four new “Angels” but audiences will most likely just see women off of other canceled shows. I’m thinking Eliza Dushku, Alyssa Milano, Summer Glau or Emilie Ullerup (Ashley from Sanctuary) would make be the most obvious choices.
What do you think about this latest trend to remake shows from the past 30 years? Are you excited to see a new set of Charlie’s Angels kicking butt on your TV and what shows would you like to see remade, if any?
There is no expected date for the Charlie’s Angels pilot to air.