Beyond Fuller House: 9 Classic TV Shows That Could Come Back (and How We Imagine Them Happening)
Murphy Brown, Family Matters and other classic TV series that we'd like to see rebooted
“Hey, what other old shows could we bring back?”
That’s a question being asked all over Hollywood, now that Fuller House worked America up into a nostalgia frenzy. A little credit is due to the Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World, which proved that these old shows could benefit from being bumped into the modern era and given a new generation of kids who need to learn life lessons. It’s well into its reboot season, but right now Fuller House is the revival show that’s generated buzz, press and more than a few conversations about pop culture nostalgia.
If this is a trend that’s going to persist for a while – and Netflix’s forthcoming Gilmore Girls follow-up miniseries says it just might be – then we figured we’d toss out a few more ideas for yet-to-be revived series.
1. The Facts of Life
Working title: The New Facts of Life
The pitch: Divorced and with her kids moved out, Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel) ends up working as the housemother at Eastland School. She’s doing her best to impart to them everything she learned from Mrs. Garrett (Charlotte Rae) back in the day while trying to manage all the challenges of living in the present day. Come on – can you imagine uptight Blair trying to wrap her head around Snapchat? And say Whelchel is too busy to star, we’d be just as happy to see Tootie (Kim Fields), Natalie (Mindy Cohn) or Jo (Nancy McKeon) taking on the role. Rae could even be a special guest star. (Good luck getting George Clooney back, though.)
2. Murphy Brown
Working title: Murphy Brown Returns
The pitch: Can you imagine what a field day Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) would have with the current state of politics? A reunion series would be simple: Brown would get invited back to whip the new staff of FYI into shape – and take on the issues of the day. It’s not just current events that makes us think we could benefit from this sitcom’s sharp take on world events; it’s the fact that it’s not streaming anywhere and we could really benefit from jumping back into a world where everyone is so smart.
VIDEO: The Real Reason the Olsen Twins Passed on Fuller House
3. Step by Step
Working title: Step by Step Again
The pitch: The original show focused on the clash between the rowdy kids of Frank Lambert (Patrick Duffy) and the more genteel children of his new wife Carol (Suzanne Somers). All these years later, we find that Carol’s daughter Dana (Staci Keenan) is married and the mother of loud, boisterous kids. She ends up living next door to Al (Christine Lakin), Frank’s daughter, who’s married and the mother of a bunch of intellectual kids. All these years later, these stepsisters realize they need each other to help understand their own kids better. Everyone else from the original show makes a cameo. Bing bam boom – easy as pie.
Working title: 227: No Place Like Home
The pitch: All these years later, Mary (Marla Gibbs) and Sandra (Jackée Harry) are still living in their Washington, D.C., apartment building, but the neighborhood has changed; gentrification has pushed out a lot of their friends and neighbors. The core of the original show, however, is holding out and trying to keep things the way they always were. Can they maintain their extended family in a new environment? Is Sandra’s hair still big? (Fingers crossed for Regina King returning as daughter Brenda.
Working title: Sabrina the Fortysomething Witch
The pitch: Remember Bewitched? Well, Sabrina Spellman (Melissa Joan Hart) is old enough to be married and raising teenage witches of her own, as she’s trying to balance work, life and personal happiness without letting the mortal work in on the fact that she’s using magic to help her. Salem is still there. Salem still has opinions about everything. Salam may or may not have an extensive Twitter following at this point.
6. Remington Steele
Working title: The Steeles
The pitch: Long after the original series ended, Laura (Stephanie Zimbalist) and Remington (Pierce Brosnan) married, and now they have adult children who have spouses of their own, and all of them are in the family business of private investigation. Every episode features a different combination of parents, kids and in-laws, and they jet all over the world on all manner of cases. However, in this series, the family finally gets to the bottom of the mystery about Remington’s actual identity – and his real name.
7. Freaks and Geeks
Working title: Oh, just call it More Freaks and Geeks
The pitch: Yes, just about every member of the one-season wonder’s young cast has gone onto bigger and better things and probably wouldn’t be interested in doing another series. However, the themes of the show are eternal. Find some smart writers who get the thrill and the shame of living on the fringes of high school society, set the sequel series in a new decade and then go back to William McKinley High School for another round of the feels. Bonus point if Busy Philipps can be convinced to return as a mom to one of the new freaks and/or geeks.
Working title: The Mysteries of Laura Winslow
The pitch: OK, hear us out of this one. Laura Winslow (Kellie Shanygne Williams) is all grown up and working as a detective, a field she got into as to try and solve her family’s great mystery: What ever happened to her little sister, Judy? (Actress Jaimee Foxworth was cut from the show in the fourth season, and the remaining Winslows simply never mentioned her again.) Every week, Laura gets a little closer to Judy’s whereabouts by investigating other TV characters who vanished without explanation: Mandy from The West Wing, Seven from Married with Children, the oldest Cunningham chid from Happy Days, Coco the houseboy from Golden Girls Hey, it’s not actually any weirder than all the sci-fi stuff with the Stefan Urquelle clone, right?
9. Married with Children
Working title: Married with Grandchildren
The pitch: The show ran for 11 seasons and was one of Fox’s first successful TV shows. Then it was unceremoniously dumped, and though it scored a reunion special in 2003, we say it still deserves another chance. Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, Amanda Bearse, Christina Applegate, David Faustino and Ted McGinley are all still around in Hollywood today, and we’d love to see how Grandpa Al and Grandma Peg would have reacted to a new generation of Bundys.