7 TV Shows That Couldn’t Stay Off the Air
There’s no denying that this is an age for remakes and spinoffs in television, with many beloved series getting a second life on a different channel or with a slightly reworked cast. While making a TV show revival succeed is no easy feat, the act of bringing a once-adored series back to the small screen after years off the air seems to be more popular than ever these days.
Just this week, it was revealed that Warner Bros. is reportedly working a revival of the ’90s hit sitcom Full House. While the project is in the early stages of development, Variety reports that former cast member John Stamos and original series creator Jeff Franklin and executive producer Bob Boyett have apparently already signed on. If the project moves forward, Full House would only be the latest in a line of long-adored shows to be given a second (and sometimes third) chance on the small screen. Here’s a look at 7 other memorable TV show revivals.
The original series was a defining moment in television in the ’80s, with initial stars Barbara Bel Geddes, Jim Davis, Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal, Larry Hagman, and Charle Tilton leading the cast. The show, which ran from 1978 to 1991, spurred a spinoff series, Knots Landing, and a prequel made-for-TV movie, Dallas: The Early Years. But the first successful revival came in 2012, with TNT’s continuation of the Dallas series starring Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe. The show, which had its midseason return on August 18, has also featured Duffy, Gray, and Hagman reprising their original roles. The network has yet to renew or cancel it for a fourth season.
2. Arrested Development
The series first gained its cult following with its three seasons on Fox from 2003 to 2006. After it was canceled, rumors of a potential movie started flying, but nothing was confirmed until 2011, when Netflix announced that it was picking up the series. The entire original cast, including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross, returned for the 10-episode fourth season, which was released this past May. Though the new season garnered a lot of buzz, some fans and critics were disappointed with the end result. Still, show creator Mitch Hurwitz told Rolling Stone that he is reportedly still working on writing a movie, although nothing has been green-lit by 20th Century Fox just yet.
3. The Game
The original show, a spinoff of the long-running CW sitcom Girlfriends, debuted in 2006. After three seasons, the network canceled the series in 2009 due to rapidly decreasing ratings. But in 2010, BET struck a deal with parent company CBS to develop new episodes of the series and moved its shooting location to Atlanta. The fourth season aired in January 2011 with a record-breaking 7.7 million viewers. Though it’s since undergone some cast changes, with the departure of Tia Mowry and the addition of Lauren London, the show has continued to succeed, premiering its seventh season in March and getting renewed for an eighth season in April.
Call this show the master of revivals. The adult animated sci-fi comedy followup to The Simpsons debuted in 1999 and ended in 2003 due to scheduling conflicts with Fox. After acquiring the syndication rights to the show in 2005, Comedy Central released four straight-to-DVD films in 2006 and later split it into 16 episodes, comprising a fifth season of the show. In 2009, the show was picked up again for 26 new half-hour episodes, with the original voice cast again on board. The show was then renewed for a seventh season, scheduled to begin airing in 2012. Comedy Central announced that the final episode of the show would air on September 4, 2013.
5. Family Guy
It may be hard to believe that the animated sitcom was ever not as well received by viewers as it is now, but after its debut in 1999, it got switched around to a bunch of different time slots before it was ultimately canceled in 2002. It got brought back on Cartoon Network in 2005 thanks to soaring DVD sales and high syndication ratings. Since then, the show has only increased in popularity and helped catapult its creator, Seth MacFarlane, into a new level of fame — and a blossoming film career.
The now-famous franchise kicked off in 1979 with The Kids of Degrassi Street, spread out over three half-hour short films. It then underwent several transformations over the years (1987’s Degrassi Junior High, 1989’s Degrassi High, etc.), all starring the same core cast. It was canceled in 1992 after School’s Out, a TV movie based on the show, aired that same year. The series was brought back to TV in 2001 as Degrassi: The Next Generation with previous, now-adult cast members making appearances in earlier seasons. A Degrassi Goes Hollywood film was also released in 2009. The show, which has since been renamed Degrassi, is still airing, primarily on Teen Nick and MTV Canada.
Kiefer Sutherland reprised his role as Jack Bauer in this year’s miniseries, 24: Live Another Day. The original 24 ran from 2001 to 2010, winning high critical acclaim and many awards — including a Best Drama Golden Globe and an Outstanding Drama Emmy — along the way. The revival consisted of 12 episodes set four years after the events of Season 8 and aired from May to July on Fox. Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver, and William Devane all reprised their roles, as well. The miniseries received widely positive reviews, with particular praise for Sutherland’s performance.