With shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones ruling the cable universe, it is obvious why the broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and to a lesser extent the CW) are scrambling to find shows that work. However, not every show can be as impactful as The Blacklist has for NBC.
The Peacock network hit big with The Blacklist, but faltered hugely with the remake of Ironside, which saw Blair Underwood playing the titular wheelchair bound cop. The failure of this poorly made remake should have clearly stopped NBC from trying this again, right?
Wrong! NBC announced just a few weeks ago that they are planning on remaking Murder, She Wrote, which originally starred Angela Lansbury and lasted 12 seasons. The network is trying to reboot the show with Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, with the plot Spencer playing a “hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who self-publishes her first mystery novel.”
Then, if you didn’t think Hollywood ran of ideas yet, CBS announced a few days later that they planned on rebooting Charmed, a show that ended only seven years ago. With witches being a popular theme on shows like Witches of East End and American Horror Story: Coven, it seems like the network wants to cash back into the witch game.
While some remakes and reboots have worked in recent years (see: Hawaii Five-0, Dallas), many have faltered and fallen hard (see: Charlie’s Angels, Melrose Place), while others have been criticized by not staying true to the original (90210).
No matter the case, a reboot/remake doesn’t seem like it would be the smart choice for broadcast television to try and create something unique that audiences will watch. The reasons why Breaking Bad and American Horror Story work is the originality that the shows bring. We all know broadcast television has stricter guidelines they have to follow, but take a page out of The Blacklist’s book and create something fun and different that people want to watch.
With other new shows this year like Sean Saves the World, Betrayal, and many other veteran shows falling in ratings, it still looks like broadcast television has a long way to go to catch up to cable.