Thursday, April 05, 2018

The TV reboot I'd like to see

The VP of Development is meeting with the Network President. Let’s listen in.

VP: You wanted to see me?

PRES: Yes. These reboots are going through the roof. Have you seen ROSEANNE’S ratings?

VP: Yes. Very impressive.

PRES: What reboots do we have in development?

VP: Nothing yet. We’re talking about maybe bringing back BIG WAVE DAVE’S.

PRES: What the fuck is BIG WAVE DAVE’S?!

VP: It was a delightful show in 1993 that never got the respect it –

PRES: Who gives a shit?! It’s got to be a show that was a HIT, goddamn it. A show that people loved and remember to this day.

VP: Right.

PRES: Let’s do THE GOLDEN GIRLS again.

VP: Excuse me. What?

PRES: THE GOLDEN GIRLS. America loves those broads.

VP: But most of them are dead.

PRES: So get other actresses.

VP: But the reason people watched THE GOLDEN GIRLS is because of those marvelous actresses.

PRES: You don’t think it would work if we just hired new people? What’s Linda Hunt doing?

VP: Sir, this isn’t CBS. We can’t just do a show that will appeal to the 70,000,000 viewers no one gives a crap about anymore. The only way to do THE GOLDEN GIRLS is to use the real Golden Girls and getting them becomes a huge logistical problem.

PRES: They’re really dead?

VP: Yes, all except Betty White, God bless her.

PRES: It’s not that they’re just on a streaming service, right?

VP: No. Dead dead.

PRES: Shit.

VP: Let me work on BIG WAVE DAVE’S.

PRES: Wait. I’ve got an idea.

VP: Sir?

PRES: Let’s just show reruns of THE GOLDEN GIRLS.

VP: They’re already running twelve times a day on cable.

PRES: We don’t say they’re reruns. We say they’re new.

VP: What?

PRES: People will say, wow they look good. Everyone in ROSEANNE looks much older, but those old babes defy time.

VP: Isn’t that dishonest? And besides, won’t fans of THE GOLDEN GIRLS know? They’ve seen each episode ten times.

PRES: We colorize them.

VP: They ARE in color.

PRES: You’re just going to fight me tooth and nail on this, aren’t you?

VP: We can’t put on an old show and say it’s new with actors who everyone knows is dead.

PRES: Except on Friday.

VP: Well, that’s true. No one watches on Friday.

PRES: Start making the deals on GOLDEN GIRLS. And while you’re at it, let’s reboot MAUDE.

VP: What? I don’t think it’s fair to ask Bea Arthur to star in two shows.

PRES: How is she going to complain?

VP: Good point, sir. I’ll get right on it.

He starts to leave, then:

PRES: And later, let’s get ahead of the pack on rebooting reality shows. MATCH GAME 2018.

VP: MATCH GAME 2018 is already on.

PRES: Not with Gene Rayburn.

VP: Right. I guess I’m just not thinking clearly. I’ll make some calls… or get a shovel.

He exits.


E. Yarber said...

It reminded me of one evening at Hamburger Hamlet an hour before closing. Betty White and a table of chums had taken over the north corner that was largely out of sight of other customers and were downing one bottle of beer after another like longshoremen. I had just finished reading Beckett's Murphy and was scrawling on napkins trying to figure out the moves of the chess match that ends in a perpetual checkmate, when Corie the waitress came over to vent that Bea Arthur had just shown up and she'd had a devil of a time making sure the two former Golden Girls were seated as far apart from one another as possible, positioning pieces in her own way.

Another place that isn't there any more. I'd reboot it.

Steve Bailey said...

A reboot of MAUDE? With Adrienne Barbeau?? I'm in!

Terrence Moss said...

A neo-GGs would be awesome. Betty is the Sophia since she is the oldest. Cloris Leachman can be the Blanche. Angela Lansbury can be the Dorothy. And Charlotte Rae can be the Rose.

Peter said...


Michael said...

Ken, why are you giving those people ideas? Somebody is going to try it.

Kosmo13 said...

With the advent of "Inclusion Riders" wouldn't 2 of the new Golden Girls have to be males?

Rock Golf said...

Isn't Hot In Cleveland a defacto Golden Girls reboot already? They Aunt May'ed the women to be about 10-15 years younger, but c'mon!

John Mazur said...

The ‘Facts of Life’ gals as ‘GG 2.0’ with
Jo’s Nancy McKeon, Tootie’s Kim Fields,
Blair’s Lisa Whelchel, Nat’s Mindy Cohn &
Cloris Leachman as Sophia & add a little George Clooney for a sweeps arc. That’s the ticket.

Jahn Ghalt said...

I'll second Steve Bailey on a "reboot" with Adrienne Barbeau. She could play the Maude character with lovely daughter(s) and granddaugther(s). All would have to be smart - and the writers would have to assume the audience is too.

Next dialog, Ken, would be you and Isaacs pitching to the same Network when the PRES walks in with a copy of this one.

Actually, has anyone done a show (cable, streaming, otherwise) that revolves around smart writers who somehow sell a smart show to such a network - making fun all the way of clueless suits?

Would AMC greenlight a show like that?

Cowboy Surfer said...

I would re-boot BJ and the Bear as an Uber driver.

OMG it's a real monkey. Come on dude it's a chimpanzee...

Mike Bloodworth said...

Here's the solution for THE GOLDEN GIRLS: C.G.I. characters. Just as they did with Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher in ROGUE ONE you could recreate the characters digitally. Then all they would have to do is hire a couple of voice actors. And if T.G.G. came back on pay-cable then you could have nudity and cursing, too. Imagine the expletives Sofia and the others could hurl at each other if they weren't censored. Speaking of animation, turn BIG WAVE DAVE'S into a Saturday morning cartoon. Either with a semi-traditional style a la THE SIMPSONS or the modern computer animation. Better yet, the retro Hanna-Barbara style like JOHNNY QUEST. Then put it on cable so you could have nudity and cursing.

VP81955 said...

How about "Almost Perfect" 2.9? With "Last Man Standing" no longer standing, Nancy Travis certainly could use the work.

BTW, I hate to throw cold water on all these reboots, but these TV execs need to remember "The New Monkees" and "The New WKRP in Cincinnati"...for the simple reason that hardly anyone else does.

VP81955 said...

There is a rebooted Hamburger Hamlet on Van Nuys just north of Ventura Boulevard. Haven't eaten there yet, but after not one, but two Du-par's have closed on the boulevard (a short-lived venue in Encino and one in Studio City just east of Laurel Canyon), the Valley is in need of good classic American cuisine.

Anne said...

Ditch the shovel. I know a Hollywood psychic who can get Gene Rayburn on the phone right now! Merv Griffin and Monty Hall, too. Start making the deals!

Dave Wrighteous said...

A possible Friday Question: "Do you think, in this era of network TV struggling to stay relevant with the rise of cable and premium channels like HBO, that it could/would be a good idea to rerun shows on prime time network stations? It's cheap (no actors, writers etc. to hire and the cheap to make reality shows have proven networks like cheap content!) Popular shows that have been done to death in syndication wouldn't fly, but maybe some shows that never found an audience and were cancelled may find a new life and Big Wave Dave's!"

Ben K. said...

Here's my modern take on "Big Wave Dave's": A recent news report said that unemployment in Hawaii is too low, and employers can't find enough people to fill open jobs. So let's say the guys' surf shop isn't doing that well, and they have to start taking a string of temp positions to stay afloat. Now, they've gone to all the trouble to move to this island paradise, but they're still spending most of the day stuck in boring offices. Irony! Meanwhile, their friends from back home, who kept their careers as lawyers and stockbrokers, are starting to retire -- and they're coming to Hawaii and living the fun lives the main characters thought they would be living. More irony! Also, all of these guest roles should be played by actors from "Lost," who are probably tired of their parts on the "Hawaii Five-O" reboot. (P.S. If this goes forward I want "executive producer" credit, since no one but Ken really knows what that means.)

VP81955 said...

Hey, Hugh Downs (from "Concentration," the first game show I regularly watched) is still with us.

VP81955 said...

Should be 2.0. Oopsie.

Peter said...

Ken, I hope you'll be seeing and reviewing Ready Player One. I've been to see it and I was relieved that, after occasional missteps like the last Indiana Jones film, he's back on form and has still very much got it. At the age of 71, he's made a truly fantastic piece of entertainment and shows he's still a master when it comes to shooting and editing action sequences.

DBenson said...

And "Get Smart" with Andy Dick ...

Alan C said...

How about "My Mother The Car" with the car from Knight Rider?

PhilInPhoenix said...

I thought about a Golden Girls reboot with Betty White reprising her Rose role with 3 new housemates: Cloris Leachman as Phyliss Lindstrom, Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morganstern, and Marion Ross as Marion Cunningham.

Maybe the twist is Rose can only find male housemates: Bob Newhart as Dr. Robert Hartley, John Ratzenberer as Cliff Claven, and Henry Winkler as Arthur Fonzarelli.

Or something a little riskier, with a combination of original casting and recasting: Kent McCord as Officer Jim Reed patrolling the streets of Los Angeles with his partner, Harvey Fierstein as Officer Gunther Toody in "One Adam 12, Where Are You?"

Dr Loser said...

How about just reworking The Golden Girls with a foursome of young, attractive young ladies in a Florida apartment? Edgy ... edgy toward Friends ... you could even include a gay pool boy as a side character.
I can't believe nobody in the Networks have thought of this.

John H said...

I met Adrienne Barbeau at a convention several months ago (she was overwhelmingly pleasant). I told Ms. Barbeau that she hadn't aged a day since Maude to which she paused and said "In the right light I guess." Made my day.

YEKIMI said...

@ Alan C: Show it on cable and you could call it "My Motherfucker The Car".

Ken, you'll need a vacuum or Dustbuster, not a shovel, to get Gene Raybun back. He was cremated and his ashes were spread over his daughter's garden. If you can pull it off there might be some free roses in it for you.

Terrence Moss said...


James said...

When is TAXI coming back? Most of the cast is still alive, and it would fulfill Louie's oft-repeated pronouncement that nobody ever makes it out of the Sunshine Cab company*.

* except DeNiro--and he'll be back.

tavm said...

But James, who will replace Latka? And would widow Simka become a cabbie? And would Jim be unrecognizably clean?

Cap'n Bob said...

They can reboot TGG for all I care. I didn't watch it the first time and I'm ready to not watch it again.

Diane D. said...

BIG WAVE DAVE’S—-how could anyone not have seen how beloved it would have become, if given the chance. I always think of CHEERS and the ratings it got the first year.
Loved this post—so funny and charming! Thank you!

MikeN said...

It's a joke, but I think it would work to show reruns in primetime.
Lion King made almost a hundred million on rerelease, which was something Disney did regularly before VCR.

Anonymous said...

For total reboot: I vote for Perfect Strangers. "Don't be ridiculous." It would be interesting to see how they would recast the characters, especially Balki. Would Balki be considered disrespectful to immigrants? Modern attitudes to such things could play a big part in the new show.

For a continuation of an old series, I'd go with Mork and Mindy. Now, you might say, wait a minute, you can't continue Mork and Mindy when Robin Williams is dead. Well, I grant that you can't use the Mork character, but you can still use Mindy. "But nobody wants to watch a Mindy show!" Well, Mork and Mindy had a son named Mearth played by Johnathan Winters. "But he's dead too!" But Mearth aged backwards, as all Orkians do, so you can get a much younger actor to play his role and it would make sense. So, instead of "Mork and Mindy," it would be "Mearth and Mindy".

Steve Bailey said...

MikeN: Back in the early 1990's when Norman Lear had a short-lived sitcom titled SUNDAY DINNER on CBS, the network ran the new show back to back with reruns of ALL IN THE FAMILY. Sadly, the 20-year-old show was still funnier than the new one.

Anonymous said...

Combine Golden Girls with The Walking Dead - problem solved!

Or, do a prequel of the Golden Girls back when they were in high school - fighting vampires...

Tom Galloway said...

Hate to say, but I think it actually is possible, or getting very close to possible, to do new Golden Girls with the original actresses. We've reached the point where software can be trained on much less voice recordings than exist for Golden Girls to be able to generate any words you want in a person's voice. So you could take an existing episode and redub it with new dialogue. Video training to generate new video with someone's appearance isn't far in the future, and being able to edit faces so the lip motions match the new dialogue is probably there all ready.

Grizzly Paul said...

I think you have a winning idea, Ken.

It reminds of a story.

When my son was around 14, he quoted what he said was a joke from an episode of the Golden Girls. According to him, Sophia says in this episode "I'm so old... I'm from Oldabama." Something about the way he said it (and the fact that it's complete nonsensical) made me laugh, and he would repeat that line over the years, knowing it amused me. It became a running joke. Only last year, when I asked him about it, did he tell me he had made the whole thing up. It was just his absurdist riff on all the "old" jokes in the show.

Maybe when they revive the series, they can use it.

attmay said...

Disney produced it via Touchstone; why not make animatronic versions of them? Just like the Pirates of the Caribbean!