Freeform’s newest TV series Dead of Summer premieres Tuesday June 28th at 9pm. Created by Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, and Ian Goldberg of Once Upon a Time, Dead of Summer appears to follow Freeform’s traditional blueprint of putting young people in creepy situations (see also: Pretty Little Liars, Guilt, Shadowhunters, and Stitchers). In this instance, you guessed it, they’ll be trying to survive summer camp.
With the most recent news that Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel have signed on to revive their roles as Cory and Topanga on Disney’s new Girl Meets World pilot (a Boy Meets World sequel of sorts), I started thinking about other 90s shows that would lend themselves to a reboot or spinoff.
Now Disney isn’t the first network to attempt a sequel, reboot, spinoff, or whatever you want to call it. In 2008, The CW revived FOX’s Beverley Hills 90210, which is still on the air; however, any resemblance or connection to the original has been largely been lost. So I’m going to change things up a bit and turn to 90s Nickelodeon shows for inspiration. I’m sure there are plenty of other Nick kids who would love to revisit some of their favorite characters.
Network: ABC – The network is home to a whole slew of quirky comedies with heart so I would imagine this show would fit in well there.
Premise: Like the Boy Meets World reboot, the proposed Clarissa Explains It All series would include Clarissa’s teenage son or daughter, but like many other current series, the show would provide story lines for both adult and teen characters.
I can’t imagine Clarissa being settled down and all ‘domestic’, perhaps she’s even a single parent just doing her best to navigate adulthood; the show could really cash in on that popular life is perpetually like high school motif. In my mind the show would be tonally similar to Gilmore Girls. Also, thankfully talking directly to the camera is all the rage these days making it very easy to keep with the original show’s central storytelling device.
Network: CBS – This show was the closest thing to a procedural you could find on a kid’s network.
Premise: The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo might seem like an odd choice for a reboot but I’m also thinking what would be most successful and nothing says multiple seasons like a standard cop/crime/detective show on CBS. Shelby Woo was already an ‘intern’ with the local police department in the Nick series, fast forward a decade or two, and now she’s a full fledged detective. They can also throw some family elements into the mix, like on Blue Bloods or The Good Wife.
Network: MTV – I’m keeping Hey Dude in the Viacom family, gear it towards teens but remove the PG label.
Premise: In my mind this reboot would become an edgier workplace comedy. I’m only making a loose connection here, but if one of the original characters is back owning/running the ranch, then the show is still free to utilize an ever changing cast of teen characters who are perfect for drama and love triangles. Think Degrassi mixed with Grey’s Anatomy on a Dude Ranch.
What other 90s shows would you like to see get the reboot treatment? Do you think a beloved 90s show will translate to a ratings success today? Should TV networks continue to look back for ideas or should they take more creative chances?