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Old March 24 2012, 02:47 AM   #1
jefferiestubes8
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scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

Io9 had a good article today:

Science Fiction and Fantasy TV Shows That Were Ahead of Their Time

It reminded me of a thread we had a while ago
Scifi TV series ripe for a reboot
http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=121319
so i thought we should have a part 2 discussing these shows.

Dead Like Me (2003-2004)
Dark Angel (2000-2002)
Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)
Jericho (2006-2008)
Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)
Clone High (2002-2003) [animated tv show]
Brimstone (1998-1999)
Kindred: The Embraced (1996)
Werewolf (1987-1988)
The Flash (1990-1991)
The 10th Kingdom (2000)
American Gothic (1995-1996)
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (1993-1994)

For each show it discusses
Why It Failed Then:
Why It Could Work Now:*

Science Fiction and Fantasy TV Shows That Were Ahead of Their Time
http://m.io9.com/5895925/science-fic...-of-their-time

Ive only seen jericho. Ive also already written how i felt about what worked and what didn't.

Last edited by jefferiestubes8; March 24 2012 at 02:33 PM.
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Old March 24 2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

Today American Gothic would definitely be a success story. It is true that the show got moved around a lot and also the episode order was awful - it didn't make any sense. Too bad the production order was not restored for the DVD release and you have to do quite a lot of disc swapping, but it's definitely worth it because it's a great show.
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Old March 24 2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

10th Kingdom was great. Like they said, funnier, more interesting and weirder than Once Upon a Time. Scott Cohen was amazing, incredibly charming, funny and super-sexy as Wolf. I'm not sure what they're on about with the "ate the grandma" part. Either it's a joke or they are misremembering what happened.
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Old March 24 2012, 07:54 PM   #4
Harvey
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

The article fails to mention that after The X-Files ended, several of the writers and producers tried to do a remake of The Night Stalker, and it was cancelled after 13 episodes.

I've never actually seen that short-lived remake; was it any good?
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Old March 24 2012, 07:58 PM   #5
Temis the Vorta
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

In general, any of those shows would have better luck on cable than broadcast.

Any of the fantasy-horror shows could work better now, on the heels of American Horror Story's success. Any post-apocalyptic scenarios (Jericho) could benefit from the success of The Walking Dead. And guess what, both cable and broadcast are developing a slew of shows in both sub-genres.

But for both fantasy-horror and post-apocalyptic scenarios, there's still a big problem on broadcast, namely the FCC. There's some level of violence allowed on broadcast, but not to the insane degree we saw in AHS and TWD.

I don't think it's a coincidence that two shows with extreme violence (and in AHS' case, some pretty ferociously depraved sexual content) have been so successful. Broadcast fare is simply too bland to attract desensitized modern audiences.

I'm not 100% sure the FCC is to blame. It could simply be that broadcast has a tradition of not going over the edge, and they don't want to offend or confuse audiences by being more cable-esque. But whatever the cause, there's a big difference between what we see from broadcast genre shows vs. cable. (And not all cable, either - SyFy and TNT are broadcast-tame.)
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Old March 25 2012, 12:50 AM   #6
DWF
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

Harvey wrote: View Post
The article fails to mention that after The X-Files ended, several of the writers and producers tried to do a remake of The Night Stalker, and it was cancelled after 13 episodes.

I've never actually seen that short-lived remake; was it any good?
They produced only 10 eps. of the remake and only aired 6 of them, it was a fair show, rather creepy but not as good as the original. It's out on DVD though.
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Old March 25 2012, 12:54 AM   #7
the G-man
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

As I recall, part of the problem was that Kolchak went from being Darrin McGavin to some pretty boy Brit.
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Old March 25 2012, 01:10 AM   #8
Harvey
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

Yeah, it was a bit of a change to go from a character in his early 50s to a character in his early 30s. ABC was obviously trying to appeal to younger viewers, but it didn't seem to attract anybody.

It's a shame Frank Spotnitz (who co-created the remake) hasn't had much success since The X-Files ended.
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Old March 25 2012, 01:20 AM   #9
the G-man
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

Some people have one good show (or movie, or song, or comic book, or...) in them and that's it.

Personally, as far as casting goes, I'd like to see Paul Giamatti, JK Simmons or Steve Buscemi take a crack at the Night Stalker.
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Old March 25 2012, 02:40 AM   #10
Caliburn24
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

I watched seven or eight of the shows on that list. And I enjoyed most of them.

But I think rebooting any of them would be a mistake. There is no rabid fanbase crying out for them, and it would make getting a new audience to try out the show harder, not easier. Plus, it adds unneeded complexity to the mythology of whatever show you're rebooting.

Take NuBSG for example. I liked it very much. But I think it gained nothing from being a reboot. The show could have been a wholly original universe without any of the cachet or stigma of being linked with the original BSG, and been just as well recieved. Plus it would have had more creative freedom.

Rebooting a property is a lazy marketing tool to get us to feel nostalgia while watching some regurgitated content. It is stifling to the creative people producing that content, and it is stifling to those of us consuming it, even if we can't stop indulging ourselves.
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Old March 25 2012, 03:29 PM   #11
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

the G-man wrote: View Post
As I recall, part of the problem was that Kolchak went from being Darrin McGavin to some pretty boy Brit.
That would be pretty boy Irishman. Stuart Townsend.

Caliburn24 wrote: View Post
I watched seven or eight of the shows on that list. And I enjoyed most of them.

But I think rebooting any of them would be a mistake. There is no rabid fanbase crying out for them, and it would make getting a new audience to try out the show harder, not easier.
Jericho has a very rabid fanbase crying out for it. There have been petitions to bring back The 10th Kingdom, too. It may be the case with some others on the list, too (isn't Pushing Daisies something of a cult show?).

But people who are crying out for them want sequels, not reboots.
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Old March 25 2012, 07:05 PM   #12
Temis the Vorta
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

Caliburn24 wrote: View Post
Take NuBSG for example. I liked it very much. But I think it gained nothing from being a reboot. The show could have been a wholly original universe without any of the cachet or stigma of being linked with the original BSG, and been just as well recieved. Plus it would have had more creative freedom.

Rebooting a property is a lazy marketing tool to get us to feel nostalgia while watching some regurgitated content. It is stifling to the creative people producing that content, and it is stifling to those of us consuming it, even if we can't stop indulging ourselves.
The sole reason nuBSG had a known brand name slapped on it was so that the SyFy execs would feel comfortable greenlighting it as a known quantity, on the questionable but persistent assumption that it will make success more likely. The fact that what was left of the BSG fanbase was so rabidly against it argues otherwise - no doubt, the viewers were mainly new fans.

But this notion persists, and explains the constant parade of remakes of American and foreign shows regardless of whether there's any fanbase left, or even if the fanbase is against the remake. (Judging from the hilariously savage online commentary, CBS' Sherlock Holmes series in development, Elementary, seems to be about as popular among Holmes aficionados as RDM's remake was among the BSG faithful.)

So I wouldn't say that reusing an old brand name is much of a marketing tool per se. More often, it's a corporate-ass-covering tool. If the show tanks, the execs can hide behind the fact that it was a known quantity, so they did what they could to preserve shareholder value. I'm sure they know very well that reusing a known brand name is no guarantee of anything, but they're in an extremely hazardous business where nobody really knows what will work and what won't, and will cling to any cover they can get to avoid getting fired.

As a marketing tool, the name may have hurt the show. For every person who remembered the old show and wasn't rabidly against RDM's remake on principle, there must have been a few who saw "Battlestar Galactica" and thought, "what is that, some kind of kiddie cartoon?" Objectively speaking, it's a silly name and certainly not one anyone would have chosen on its own merits to convey "gritty, grownup drama."

I doubt any of this had any impact on the creation of the series itself, which other than the name, some character names and the basic premise, had nothing to do with the original (thank God). What problems nuBSG had, they were new problems.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; March 25 2012 at 07:17 PM.
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Old March 25 2012, 08:34 PM   #13
Mr. Adventure
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

I think they should separate "ripe for reboot" from "ahead of their time". Most of those properties listed seem to be very much of their time. Some of the logic is a bit suspicious as well, Pushing Daisies failed because America hadn't fallen in love with Zooey Deschanel yet?


the G-man wrote: View Post
Some people have one good show (or movie, or song, or comic book, or...) in them and that's it.

Personally, as far as casting goes, I'd like to see Paul Giamatti, JK Simmons or Steve Buscemi take a crack at the Night Stalker.
I could actually picture each of those working in their own way.
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Old March 25 2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
Kindred: The Embraced (1996)

For each show it discusses
Why It Failed Then:
Wasn't it because the main actor got killed in a motorcycle accident? Or was the show already loosing ground?
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Old March 25 2012, 09:03 PM   #15
Temis the Vorta
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Re: scifi TV series ripe for a reboot pt.2 (shows ahead of their time)

I like Paul Giamatti as The Night Stalker.

It's funny, people here have seen a lot of those shows, but I've only seen two:

Jericho
- Failed because it was too CBSy and dull the first year and by the time they shaped up in S2, it was too late. This concept could be great revived for cable. I think I read about an ABC pilot along the same lines, in which America is divided after some devastated plague - the pilot isn't for this coming fall, but the fall after that.

Pushing Daisies - Just too weird and unique to ever catch on. Maybe they could have saved it with a more intense what's-at-stake at the heart of the show, something to do with Ned's dangerous powers, because the romance angle was too lightweight to create enough grabby tension.
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