A Day Of Dougie:
TV Shows That Should Be Brought Back
October 1, 2018
2018 has been the year of rebooting and bringing back old TV series from the past. Well, it actually started a couple of years ago when a bunch of TV executives were sitting around their board room, drinking Whiskey Sours and discussing how best to score with the hot new secretary down in R&D when one of them actually had a thought that was job related. “How best to get ratings back up and make TV interesting again.” And since not a single one had an original or actual creative thought in their minds that wasn’t related to sex, drugs or politics, they decided to just bring back what had worked in the past. Old series that had good ratings in the past, but with totally new stars and new casts. Try to capture that lightning twice if possible. What could go wrong, right? And so they first brought back old titles, such as Dynasty, Dallas, Hawaii 5-0, etc. And while ratings were okay, the shows were and are lacking a bit and weren’t quite the ratings blockbusters that everyone had hoped for.
So what’s next? How about old shows that did well, seemingly ended too soon and have all or most of the original cast still working. Bring back those shows, with the original cast, and just pick up where they left off. Will & Grace was the test show and guess what? It worked! The ratings are good and the show is hot. Well, it was at first, but has quickly lost it’s luster and become a propaganda machine for the extreme left and way too political for anyone with half a mind. But the first episodes were good and ABC saw this and said, “Let’s bring back Roseanne!”.
So they did and the show was a ratings boom the likes of which have not been seen in years. Everyone was happy, but then Roseanne pissed off some people and rather than let her explain or stand by their star, ABC dropped her quicker than Maxine Waters with an exclamation of “Impeach 45” at a press conference. Now ABC is going to be showing “The Conners”, which is the entire cast of Roseanne, but no Roseanne. Good luck with that, Sparky. And now, it’s everywhere. CBS brought back the show Murphy Brown. It debuted this past week… and bombed. It seems that only some shows are worth revisiting and seeing again.
So what shows haven’t been brought back, but could with the original cast, plus a little tweaking for the purpose of bringing things to 2018, and be big success stories for the Networks and television? I sat one afternoon while at work and started thinking about it and I came up with six shows that were big time successful in years gone by, where with a few adjustments here and there, could be brought back and be successful again with today’s television audience.
So here you go. It’s a “Day of Dougie” as we take a look at “Six TV Shows That Should Come Back”. These opinions and ideas are all mine, but if any television executive happens to read this and like my ideas, just give me a cameo in the show you bring back at some point, maybe as a clerk or social worker and I’ll be cool with it. Take my ideas, but make me a star. Let’s do this…
Married With Children…
I’ve spoken of this one before and the premise is so simple. Instead of Al and the Bundy family, the star would be David Faustino, reprising his role of “Bud Bundy”. He lives in the same Bundy house and his neighbors are still an older Marcy and Jefferson. Bud is now married and has a wife and two kids. Ed O’Neill (Al), when he wants to take a break from Modern Family & Katey Sagal (Peggy), when she’s not being a big bad niker chick, can make the occasional appearance as the loving grandparents and Christina Applegate (Kelly) could reprise her role as Bud’s loving sister with the occasional appearance as well. They couldn’t get away with nearly as much as they used to do, but it could still be good and still be fun to see.
WKRP In Cincinnati…
I recently saw an interview with Loni Anderson (Jennifer) and Howard Hesseman (Johnny Fever) and they spoke about how the time is right and they would love to do a reboot of the series, WKRP in Cincinatti which originally ran from 1978 to 1982. While the big guy, Mr. Carlson (Gordon Jump) has passed away, everyone else is still alive and kicking, albeit much older. So here’s how it would work. Years have passed by and WKRP is now owned by Jennifer. She loves the old station, but it’s failing and she may have to shut it down, but as a last ditch effort to save WKRP, she decides to bring back the people she knew and loved that worked so well in the past, Gary Sandy (Andy), DJ’s Johnny Fever (Hesseman) and Venus Fly Trap (Tim Reid), news personalities Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) and Bailey (Jan Smithers) and of course salesman Herb (Frank Bonner). They agree to help on a limited basis and new people could be brought in to be “mentored” by the older WKRP family as they attempt to save the station. Sounds like a hit to me.
All In The Family…
This one could be hard because the two biggest stars of the original series, Caroll O’Conner (Archie Bunker) and Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker) have both long since passed away, but there is a way that could be done, makes sense and could be really interesting and fun to do. We go back to the old house, the Bunker house at 704 Hauser Street in Queens, New York and living there now is Edith’s niece, Stephanie (Danielle Brisebois). She gets a phone call and it’s Joey, the son of Gloria (Sally Struthers) and Michael (Rob Reiner). Joey is moving back to New York and needs a place to stay so he moves in with Stephanie and just take it from there. Have the occasional cameo from Struthers and Reiner, reprising their roles as Gloria and Mike and there you go.
Sanford & Son…
WIth no Redd Foxx or Lawanda Page as Fred and Esther, it would be a hard sell, but there is still Lamont (Demond Wilson). The scenario is this. Fred passed away, but Lamont still has the junk yard. And he has a son. And they pick up where Fred and Lamont left off as Lamont finds himself missing and turning into his old man as he gets older. Nathanial Taylor (Rollo) is still alive as are Gregory Sierra who played Julio Fuentes, their Puerto Rican neighbor. Lynn Hamilton, who played Fred’s girlfriend and fiance Donna, is still alive and active too so she could reprise her role as Lamont’s step-mom. There is potential here for a big hit with the right casting and writers and it could be fun to see.
Welcome Back Kotter…
This show originally aired from 1976 to 1979 and was about a teacher, played by Gabe Kaplan going back to his old high school, James Buchanan High School, to help teach some very interesting and dysfunctional students, the Sweathogs, played by John Travolta (Barbarino), Ron Pallilo (Horshack), Lawrence Hilton Jacobs (Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington) and Robert Hegyes (Juan Epstein). It was a long time ago to be sure and two of the main stars have passed away (Pallilo and Hegyes), but here’s the premise for bringing it back.
Mr. Kotter is now the Principal of James Buchanan High School. And he’s got a group of kids that remind him so much of his former students, the Sweathogs. He’s not sure how to handle them though and reach them so he decides to reach out and bring in someone who can relate and work with these new kids. He brings in Wahington (Jacobs) as a teacher and Barbarino (Travolta) shows up as well. And there you go, instant TV classic.
And finally, I saved the best for last.
The Golden Girls…
I know that the majority of the original cast have passed away and I’m sure that you’re wondering how can this show be brought back without Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Sophia (Estelle Getty) and Blanche (Rue McClanahan)? Well, let’s give this a try. Rose (Betty White) is still living at the house in Miami along with her caretaker / nurse. (I’d like to see Nikki Blonsky in this role. She played Tracey Turnblad in the movie “Hairspray”.) And the bills are piling up and Rose realizes that she can’t keep up that house and live alone anymore. She misses her friends and is ready to move to a retirement home, but then she meets a woman at the grocery store. And they click. And then, after placing an ad in the paper, two more women show up. And there you go. For the other women to round out the cast and be the new “Golden Girls”, I was thinking Roseanne Barr, Marla Gibbs and Charo as the new roomies. Think about it. It’d work and you’d watch. You know you would. Choke on that, ABC!
And there you go. Six shows that I think should be brought back to network television as well as a brief outline on how to make the stories work and bring things together. So what do you think? What shows from days gone by would you like to see come back to the airwaves once more? What past stars would you like to see return to your TV screens? Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know. Thoughts and comments welcome.
And with that, I’m out of here. Have a great one and thank you for reading. Until the next time, take care and stay safe.