Time For A ‘Thirtysomething’ Reboot?

With a plethora of shows from the 80s and 90s being brought back via reboot including Will & Grace, Beverly Hills 90210, and The Connors, viewers are starting to get a yearning for some favorites that have not yet made it back to the small screen. One of those shows dealt with a group of baby boomers navigating through life’s issues including marriage, dating, parenting, and work. Does that description ring a nostalgic bell?

“Thirtysomething’s” Peter Horton, Patricia Wettig, Mel Harris, Ken Olin, Timothy Busfield, Melanie Mayron, and Polly Draper | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Think of a certain age group …

Thirtysomething hit the airwaves on September 29, 1987, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and won an Emmy for Best Drama Series within its first year. Created by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, the two came up with the idea due to the lack of material that covered people in their 30s. “In the course of 24 hours, we sketched out seven characters and wrote a manifesto based on the idea that adulthood presses upon you whether you’re ready or not,” Herskovitz said in the article. “We realized that this was something very personal to us and unlike anything that was on TV. So we went in to meet at ABC with a bunch of people who were also in their 30s and dealing with these same situations in their lives.”

During its run from 1987 to 1991, Thirtysomething won 13 Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes during its run on ABC, according to Variety.

Would the reboot be called ‘Sixtysomething?’

The main cast was comprised of Ken Olin, Patricia Wettig (Olin’s real-life wife), Mel Harris, Timothy Busfield, Peter Horton, Melanie Mayron, and Polly Draper, all of whom were in the title age range. The ensemble connected with audiences and the subject matter resonated with viewers. “It wasn’t written like a TV show,” Draper told Deadline. “It was different from what I have seen before. This bridged the gap [betwen film and TV] and changed the whole course of TV history.”

“Thirtysomething’s” Timothy Busfield, Melanie Mayron, and Ken Olin | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives

As for a reboot, cast members are enthusiastic but unsure how to structure the new age bracket they’ve grown into. Busfield, who played Elliott Weston, seemed all for it, with doubts. “I would do a Thirtysomething reboot in a minute!” he told Closer Weekly. “I don’t know who’d want to see it…It’d be sixtysomething.”

“There’s no way sixtysomething would be quite as interesting,” Olin agreed according to Closer Weekly. “But the plot could be about our children — they would all be thirtysomething now!”

As of now, there are reportedly no plans in the works, though fans are hoping to soon find Thirtysomething reruns on one today’s streaming services.

Comparisons to ‘This Is Us’

Some see the blockbuster series This Is Us as reminiscent of the 80s drama. Maybe that’s because Olin is an executive producer on the NBC show. He told Variety that there were some similarities between the two trailblazing dramas, mainly the unity and bond between cast members.

“The biggest thing that reminds me of Thirtysomething is the collective spirit of respect for the show, respect for each other, and just a great, great affection. And I just think that comes through, so the show itself, the entirety of the experience, is informed by that kind of love. And I think that’s really rare on a show,” Olin said in the article.

“There is always on the set a sense of real joy and real appreciation among all of us to be fortunate enough to be able to work on something like this. And that’s really reminiscent of how Thirtysomething was. No matter how tired people got – and people definitely get tired, because it’s hard, or they get a little cranky or whatever – there’s never a sense that the individual is entitled to behavior that other individuals are not entitled to. If there wasn’t that kind of collective spirit, I’m not sure that the show would succeed in the same way. It’s some sort of inexplicable chemistry that the medium picks up on.”