9 Series Bosses on the Challenges of Rebooting Beloved Properties

This is worthwhile reading, even if you’re one of those (erm, kind of like this TVWriter™ minion), who’s anti-reboot. Because in this business you just might encounter a situation where you can make a shit ton of $$$ by doing something you don’t like. (Gasp!?)

by Craig Tomashoff

There’s no clear consensus about the origins of the phrase ‘Everything old is new again.’ But whoever coined it must surely have been working as a television programming executive at the time. This season’s schedule — filled with a wide variety of reboots, sequels, and spinoffs that have taken previously popular shows and updated them for a 2017 audience — is all the proof you need. Producers, showrunners, and stars share the challenges and changes they faced when it came to getting these born-again series on the air.


THE BEGINNING Dynasty (1981-89, ABC)

There are plenty of obvious differences. The new Krystle is actually Cristal and Latina. The new Sammy Jo is Sam and a gay man. The new Carringtons and Colbys battle it out in Atlanta, not Denver. However, according to executive producer Esther Shapiro, who has been a part of both Dynastys, “The show still appeals to females of all ages who want fantasy in their lives. We had to shop and cook and clean, but we didn’t participate in Wall Street or wars or the big stuff men do. We have been left to [our] own fantasies, so women enjoy seeing females who are strong and powerful.”

THINGS CHANGE You’d think that living in an era far more liberated than when Dynasty first premiered might be an advantage for a sexy series. Not so, believes Shapiro. “The sexual mores are a little different now, and I’d just as soon have all that be a little bit more off-camera. I like it when people yearn, when relationships are allowed to build more.”


THE BEGINNING: The Good Wife (2009-2016, CBS)

The main character – Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) – is the same although her circumstances –devastated by a Madoff-like scandal – are different. According to executive producer Robert King, this shift has helped Good Fight find its own voice despite a title that seems like a knock-off of the original’s. “It might seem cynically devised because it sounds like The Good Wife and we’re sticking with the brand. But the original series was always about what was happening in the world right now and took us through the Obama administration so when Trump got elected, the passion was there for The Good Fight to show how that has changed the world,”

THINGS CHANGE: It’s only been eight years since The Good Wife debuted but there’s been one innovation in that time that, says executive producer Michelle King, has altered a go-to writing gimmick for the better. “Uber and Lyft have made it easier for storytelling. In the past, we were loathe to have a character take a drink because you had to then explain how they got home. Now, there are no worries about drinking and driving so you can write scenes with people having great conversations in bars.”

Read it all at HollywoodReporter.Com

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