Back in 1991, Touchstone Pictures and Frank Oz had the brilliant idea to team Hollywood legends Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss as a crazed psychiatric patient and his harried shrink in a dark comedy. The result was What About Bob?, a hilarious movie that grossed $68 million at the box office and became an enduring cult favorite.
Fast forward to 2017 and What About Bob? is ready to return but with a couple of twists. The new incarnation will reportedly be on the small-screen, and there will be a gender switch. Stranger Things fans will want to take note of the proposed title for the new sitcom.
Variety reports that NBC has ordered a pilot for their What About Bob? reboot to star two women and be called What About Barb? Writer Joe Port is attached to the single-camera series as is executive producer Joe Wiseman. A brief synopsis is offered:
The pilot follows a psychotherapist who tries to cut ties with her most overbearing patient, but is unsuccessful and gains an annoying family member in the process.
Port and Wiseman have already delivered 1600 Penn to NBC, and have worked together on a handful of other sitcoms, including New Girl, Last Man Standing, The Crazy Ones and The Odd Couple. Port was also a consulting producer on five episodes of NBC’s The Office, so the network has a good feel for what he brings to the table.
What About Bob? might not be the most well-known movie out there, but the premise is certainly one that lends itself to the sitcom treatment, so you can understand why NBC would order a pilot. Casting of course will be key to whether the show takes off. It will be interesting to see what female stars are chosen to take on the roles Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss brought to life so memorably back in 1991 (Stranger Things fans will no doubt push for Shannon Purser to play Barb, and frankly that might not be a terrible idea). It will also be intriguing to see what tweaks will be made to the relationship between Barb and her shrink now that they will both be female.
The psychiatrist in What About Bob? is a bit of an egomaniac, and no doubt that trait will be carried forward to the new series. Bob in that movie was played by Bill Murray so you know that character was incredibly eccentric and hilarious. Of course Bill Murray has experience with his comedies being made into gender-switched reboots, after 2016’s Ghostbusters. We’ll see if Murray agrees to make a cameo appearance in this one like he did in Ghostbusters (though we shouldn’t hold our breath).
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