10 TV reboots that should never have happened
Seeing as nobody has any original ideas anymore, it’s no surprise that TV executives view previously successful shows as the perfect vehicles for some ratings piggybacking. Sometimes, the formula works: Fargo, Battlestar Galactica, The Flash… Other times, it’s a totally embarrassing shambles. Recounting success stories isn’t anywhere near as fun as bashing those which went horribly wrong, so we’re counting down 10 reboots which should never have happened. Surprise surprise, Joel McHale’s in two of them…
10. Charlie’s Angels
The 1970s crime series starring Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett as the original angels was more or less successfully made into two films (2000’s Charlie’s Angels and its 2003 sequel Charlies Angels: Full Throttle), but the subsequent TV reboot starring Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh stretched too far and was cancelled after eight episodes.
Much to everyone’s surprise, this reboot of the popular soap opera actually lasted three whole seasons. The show premiered in 2012 to impressive numbers, with some episodes gaining up to 7 million viewers, but failed to maintain public interest. Even the shocking finale of season three couldn’t do the trick, and TNT cancelled the series; again.
8. Minority Report
Receiving terrible ratings in its first season, FOX’s pale imitation of the Steven Spielberg blockbuster has already had its episode order reduced from 13 to 10 episodes. Cancellation is inevitable, asking us to ask yet again; why even bother messing with the original?!
7. Heroes Reborn
We actually had pretty high hopes for this one, considering how awesome the original Heroes was, but sadly those hopes have gone the same way as cheerleader Claire and died a horrible death. Basically an exact copy of the original but with worse actors, we’re actually relieved it didn’t live to see a second season.
No! You just can’t do Scream without Ghostface! When we heard MTV was adapting the ’90s teen horror franchise, we thought, ‘they’re probably the best people to do it’. But still, the resulting show was so poorly written and acted that the late great Wes Craven must be rolling in his grave.
5. The X-Files
This was probably the biggest letdown on our list, as, unlike the others, we did have a measure of optimism that it could be just like old times. Alas, even though it kept all the key players of the previous seasons on board (Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny et al.), the insane scope of the miniseries aimed too high and hit far too low for us to even be polite about it.
4. Skins U.S.
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. That is all.
3. The Inbetweeners U.S.
In 2011 the crude, distinctly British comedy’s original writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley worked as executive producers for an MTV reboot of the show, which lasted an unsuccessful 12-episode run. How they thought the antics and slang of Will, Simon, Jay and Neil would translate for an American audience is beyond our comprehension.
2. Payne (A.K.A. Fawlty Towers U.S.)
Americans taking on British slapstick humour. Just no. In 1999, John Larroquette of Night Court fame attempted to bring beloved John Cleese series Fawlty Towers across the pond, starring himself alongside Julie Benz, JoBeth Williams and Rick Batalla. It was actually the third attempt at doing an American remake of the show, following Chateau Snavely (1978) and Amanda’s (1983), but undoubtedly the most payneful to watch.
1. The I.T. Crowd U.S.
Thank the TV gods that this one didn’t make it any further than the pilot. Starring Joel McHale as Roy and Jessica St. Clair as Jen, with Richard Ayoade reprising his role as Moss, the 2006 pilot was never broadcast, although clips of the show did find their way onto the internet. “I was the only one [of the original British cast] dumb enough to do it. It was deeply weird”, confessed Ayoade when he finally broke his silence about the failed show. Luckily NBC had the sense to turn it off and not back on again.