Retro Remake Wish List

With remakes of Knight Rider and Beverly Hills: 90210 hitting the airwaves next fall, it seems the hottest trend in TV is revivals of classic series. I've combed through the best shows of the '70s and '80s, and found a few that I think should be brought back next.

To choose shows, I did give myself a couple of guidelines to follow. I tried to stay away from anything that was too sacred. Nobody wants to see their favorite classic show ruined by a crappy remake. Besides, why re-imagine something that was great the first time around? I also didn't pick anything that would be too difficult to recast (The A-Team just wouldn't be right without Mr T).

The Greatest American Hero

Super heroes are hot right now, but the creative doldrums Heroes was in last season have left the door open for something new. The original series was way beyond campy. By taking the bare-bones premise of a science teacher chosen by extraterrestrials to help humanity by means of some cool technology (not necessarily a funny-looking red suit), a talented writer could create a hip new show with a darker edge to it. Add a punk cover of the theme song, and I think we'd have a hit on our hands.

Hart to Hart

Well, there just aren't enough wealthy married couples fighting crime on TV these days. The key to success would be in the casting; I'm guessing Grant Show and Lana Parrilla are going to have some free time pretty soon, since it'll be a miracle if Swingtown gets a renewal.


The creepy '80s miniseries about fascist anthropomorphic lizards who enslave the human race is ripe for a Battlestar Galactica-style comeback. The original drew strong parallels between the Nazis and the alien invaders, the type of social commentary that would do well today. This one might actually be on the horizon; writer Kenneth Johnson's novel V: The Second Generation was released earlier this year, and Johnson is currently negotiating a TV deal.

The Facts of Life

The original was a 30-minute sitcom, but since Gossip Girl has made school uniforms sexy again (outside of strip clubs and Gwen Stefani videos, that is). I think this show could be brought back as a juicy teen drama about the ins and outs of a private girls' school in upstate New York. Just imagine the potential for backstabbing drama, and romantic intrigue with townies, and maybe a nearby boys' school too.

The Muppet Show

I know, I know, I'm breaking my own "nothing too sacred" rule, but I can't resist. Jason Segal is supposedly writing a new movie, but I think the time is right for Kermit, Piggy, and the gang to bring back their weekly television series. I don't know one person who doesn't like the Muppets. (I don't think anyone would admit to disliking the Muppets, do you? It's like saying you hate puppies and rainbows.) The original series was full of A-list guest stars, and I'm pretty sure a new series would have no problem drawing in good guests. Today's comedy landscape is full of humor relating to politics and current events. Most of it is hilarious, but it also can get exhausting. Democrats and Republicans can laugh at "Pigs in Space" together! It will be just the thing to heal the country after what is bound to be an ugly presidential election. (Besides, Sam the Eagle was poking fun at overzealous patriotism decades before Stephen Colbert.) One caveat: no one involved with the Muppets' Wizard of Oz should be allowed anywhere near this project.

If Rob Marshall's Cupid remake is a hit in 2009, the next big trend in TV could be bringing back shows that never should have been canceled in the first place. Freaks and Geeks, anyone?

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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.