4 TV Show Reboots That Proved Successful
When Fox announced that it’s planning to reboot The X-Files, fans were elated — and with good reason. Whether they’re hoping to recruit new generations of fans, or trying to give a series that originally struggled a second chance at glory, it’s not uncommon for networks to resurrect old series. Not every reboot is a win (remember Charlie’s Angels?), but there have been many that went on to match or surpass the success of a series during its original run. Here are four TV shows that viewers happily gave a second chance.
1. Family Guy
Cancelled: 2002; Rebooted: 2005
It’s hard to believe it, but this uber-popular animated series got off to a rocky start. After three seasons of low ratings and being shuffled from one time slot to another, Fox cancelled Family Guy. Syndication and word of mouth led to a surge in DVD sales, which gave Fox a reason to bring Peter, Lois, Stewie and the rest of Seth McFarland’s memorable Quahogians back from the dead. Since its reboot in 2005, Family Guy has enjoyed 13 seasons, endless merchandising, and a spin-off.
2. Doctor Who
Cancelled: 1989; Rebooted: 2005
This British sci-fi classic first aired in 1963 — decades before some of today’s key players were even born. It’s enjoyed cult status and lifelong fans, but with the 2005 revival of the Time Lord, his companions, and their adventures in the TARDIS, it’s reached millions of new viewers. One of the key factors in Doctor Who’s continued success is that it relies on occasional rebooting — as the main character, The Doctor, regenerated with a new face and personality. This fast-paced and fun series has enough steam and loyal fans behind it to stick around until the end of time. Doctor Who, which currently stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, will air its ninth season since the reboot this fall.
3. Hawaii Five-0
Cancelled: 1980; Rebooted: 2010
When CBS announced it was rebooting this police procedural drama, few critics expected much. But Hawaii Five-0 has proved its worth the second time around, churning out four exciting seasons and gaining a dedicated group of loyal fans. Critics and fans point to its smart script, tight plots, likeable cast, and picturesque tropical setting as reasons for the reboot’s success. Hawaii Five-0, which stars Alex O’Laughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, was recently renewed for a fifth season.
4. Arrested Development
Cancelled: 2006; Rebooted: 2013
This is one of the few series to be picked up and resurrected by a different network than the one it originally aired on. Arrested Development was a critical hit when it first aired on Fox in 2003. Despite a small group of dedicated fans, the show never gained a widespread following, and it was cancelled after three seasons. Over the next few years, word of mouth led to a growing interest in the series. Then, in 2011, Netflix announced it would develop new episodes for the series. The entire cast — including Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman, Portia De Rossi and Will Arnett — returned for the fourth season, which was released in its entirety on May 23, 2013. Netflix has since indicated it’s looking into producing a fifth season.