TV reboots are here to stay. Following the success of last year’s “Hawaii-Five-O” update, repeat episodes sold to TNT for a reported $2-million plus per episode before the first season even finished airing. Was it any wonder more would follow?
This fall, all eyes are on an updated “Charlie’s Angels” remake for ABC; this one will be set in Miami.
But it’s the following bit of news that sent an audible gasp through fandom this week. “Bewitched” may be the next reboot.
CBS and Sony set the world atwitter with the news that a script was being developed for updating the classic. While I’m fairly certain that it won’t measure up to the original, we can only hope the effort will improve on the 2005 Nicole Kidman-Will Farrell movie version that was widely panned and a disappointment at the box office (cost $85 million; made less than $63 million).
But does this new version need to measure up? When I moved to Miami just over a decade ago, the original “Five O,” which ran 1968-1980 on CBS, was still in reruns on Fox affilate WSVN. For a certain age group — one that’s plentiful in Miami — Jack Lord was as good as it gets.
But the new series apparently found a substantial audience.
So why are reboots so easily dismissed in the development stages? TV holds a special place in our hearts; first loves are hard to compete with. When “Angels” debuts in September, there will be a generation comparing it to the 1976-81 ABC series; another generation will be comparing it to the 2000 Cameron Diaz-Drew Barrymore-Lucy Liu film version; and yet others will be discovering it for the first time.
Comparisons, although inevitable, are a waste of time. For any reboot to succeed, it just needs to be entertaining. Here’s the math: Built-in fan base (even if it is a less than happy one) + new younger audience = more eyeballs on the TV screen sampling the product.
When I first heard about the new “Wonder Woman,” I knew in my heart of hearts no one — and I mean no one — could do as good a job as Lynda Carter. (For fellow fans who can’t get over her, she’s at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts Feb. 9 and 10 with her vocal repertoire.)
I have rewatched the show as an adult. Yes, it’s a little corny and the special effects have not aged well. But my fond memories are that of a 12-year old boy who came home from school every afternoon and was glued to the TV watching this incredibly beautiful woman run around in a bikini and save humankind.
Fortunately for my memories, NBC passed on the pilot. But the math applies. I would have watched. A new audience would have discovered the super heroine and a lot of eyeballs would have been on the premiere.
And had it been entertaining, they would come back — even if they were complaining about how much better the original was.
So here are my questions for you? Would you watch an updated “Bewitched?” What show would you like to see updated? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congrats to WZVN’s John Patrick who now holds the title of chief meteorologist; replacing Jim Reif, who now works the midday shift for sister station WBBH.
Patrick has been with WZVN since 2005.
A couple of weeks ago we told you that Fox 4’s Amy Wegmann (wife of Fox radio’s Trey Radel) was expecting. We can now add 4’s Lisa Spooner and NBC-2’s Kellie Burns to the list.
Congrats to all.
One long news nose
You think we have a lot of local news. WSVN in Miami just announced that it’s adding a 9 a.m. newscast to its lineup on Aug. 22. That makes for five solid hours of local news in the a.m.
Add that to its noon hour, and early evening newscasts from 4 until 7 p.m., its news magazine show at 7:30 and an hour and a half of late local news, and WSVN holds the record for producing more hours of local news than any other station in the entire country.
WSVN is famous for inventing the “if it bleeds it leads” local newscast. And speaking as someone who watched it for more than a decade, I can only guess that Xanax prescriptions will be on the rise in the MIA.
Until next time, stay tuned.