Opinion TV & Film

CAN GILLIGAN’S ISLAND BE FAR BEHIND?

Murphy Brown, Cagney and Lacy, Magnum P.I.  Mad About You, L.A. Law andThe Greatest American Hero… If you think this reads like the TV Guide listings from the 80’s and 90’s you’d be right… and you’d be wrong. There is a good chance that these reboots will soon be joiningLost In Space, Roseanne, The X- Files, Dynasty, S.W.A.T, Will and Grace, MacGyver and a host of other TV series from our past that are, or will be, vying for your attention in 2018.

CBS led the way in the current wave of drama series reboots with its successful 2010 reimagining of  Hawaii Five-0, and no doubt that the success of Fuller House, followed by One Day at a Time, on Netflix paved the way for the slew of sitcom reboots.

Between remakes and spin-offs (taking characters from one show and creating a new show around them) it would appear that there is a lack of original creative thinking going on with those in charge of  network programing… Or is there?

No doubt that the current wave of nostalgia combined with an arsenal of what the networks consider to be potent IP’s (intellectual properties) it makes good business sense for them to reach back into the past. When you factor in “branding” (simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer and tells them what they can expect from your product) which is the key component in selling anything today, it’s not hard to understand the tendency for the networks and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to sell a name that is familiar to the baby boomers who watched many of these classic shows when they were growing up then to try and convince them to sample something new.

Good for the networks, not so good for us. Sure, there are lots of series that present fresh and original ideas but, if this new wave of reboots catches the viewers fancy, where does that leave the creative process and other new ideas? There has always been a tendency to try and emulate successful trends in TV, “If one is good why not another and another?”


About the author

Stanley Isaacs

Stanley Isaacs

Stanley Isaacs is an award-winning filmmaker, preservationist and educator. He has written, produced and directed a wide range of film and television projects in a career that spans nearly four decades. He is the founder and CEO of 100% Entertainment, Inc. (www.100percentent.com), an independent production company and The Film History Preservation Project, (www.thefilmhistorypreservationproject.org), a multi-award-winning documentary series, whose Mission Statement is to preserve cinema history by enshrining a legacy of priceless stories and insights from legendary producers that can be studied and appreciated for generations, by film buffs, fans, students, preservationists and historians around the world.

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