The CW is rebooting the vampire drama Dark Shadows. This announcement falls well in line with the network’s strategy of putting a modernized spin on recognizable titles, similarly to the more mysterious perspective of Riverdale.
The original series was on the air, at ABC, from 1966 to 1971. More of a soap opera in its format and presentation, with well over a thousand episodes to its name, the show featured a number of different creatures and storylines related to the supernatural. Werewolves, ghosts, man-made monsters, all populated the screen. Despite a rocky start, with initially lukewarm reviews, the show gained a cult following and garnered praise for everything from the performances of the actors to its penchant for surprising twists. It was ranked by TV Guide as one of the best cult shows of all time. Now, banking on its previous successes of reviving franchises like Dynasty with the intention of building new ones, the CW hopes to keep the successful trend going.
According to Deadline, the reboot will be titled Dark Shadows: Reincarnation. It is set to be a modern update on the saga of the Collins family. Stalwarts of the original series, the wealthy Collins clan avoided publicity in spite of their immense influence due to a deeply damaging secret. For the past 400 years, their bloodline has been cursed with every imaginable supernatural horror. The pilot will be written by Mark B. Perry, who has worked on One Tree Hill and Party of Five, among other dramas. Tracy and Cathy Curtis, daughters of the original series creator Dan Curtis, will be involved as executive producers.
Perry, who noted how he would often run home from school as a kid to watch the original, said in a statement that he intended to balance his reverence for the show’s history with the need to create something which would accessible to new fans. Tracy Curtis added her appreciation for how Perry opened up her father’s universe with storylines that will please devotees of the original and newer audiences alike.
With long-running hits on the CW soon ending, and others which have recently ended, the path forward could be to continue packaging familiar characters in innovative ways. Charmed, Roswell, and the planned Buffy reboot, if it ever gets off the ground, would be a natural fit. Reimaginations of Dark Shadows have been attempted in the past, on NBC and the WB, not to mention as a Tim Burton movie, but the network’s recent track record shows they might have better luck.