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October 3, 2015

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Television Networks… Living In The Past!

by Reggie's Take

I’ve never been a huge fan of Hollywood’s reboot and remakes when it comes to the movies and now it seems it’s becoming a popular idea when it comes to television as well.

A couple of weeks ago 20th Century Fox announced an updated, modern take on the 1980’s classic TV series The A-Team. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but decided to let it go for the time being. Then on Friday FOX and CBS both announced that both have new shows also based on previous material and I can no longer keep quiet.

Lets start with the A-Team. Chris Morgan, Fast & Furious producer will executive produce The A-Team remake series with Tawnia McKiernan, the daughter of original series creator Stephen J. Cannell. According to reports the rebooted version will update the series in a more modern way then one might of thought.

This incarnation of The A-Team will focus on a team of Special Forces operatives framed for a crime they didn’t commit, and intent on bringing down the black-ops organization that set them up. In between clearing their name, however, the team will help others along the way. Unlike the original cast, the new series will include both male and female members among its ranks.

Reports don’t say what character might be female in this version and if the female role would actually be one of the A-Team members, but I’m guessing that would be the case.

Lethal Weapon F

Lethal Weapon / WB / 1987

Deadline on Friday announced that Fox now has a Lethal Weapon reboot in the works as a TV series. There’s no release date as of yet, or news of any potential casting rumors. The original film debuted in theaters in 1987 and was followed by three sequels in 1989, 1992 and 1998.

According to reports the TV version of Lethal Weapon would center on a Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs (originally played by Gibson) who, following the loss of his wife and baby, moves to Los Angeles to start anew. There, he gets partnered with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh (Glover), who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life.

If news of the first two reboots weren’t enough The Hollywood Reporter says that CBS wants to bring “MacGyver” back to television. The original series ran from 1985 to 1992 on ABC and starred Richard Dean Anderson as an incredibly resourceful agent for the Phoenix Foundation who frequently escaped from dangerous situations with ingenious and engineering trickery.

MacGyver Image

MacGyver / 1985-1992 / Richard Dean Anderson

Reggie’s Take:
It seems the mentality of remakes and reboots that seem to be the overwhelming trend at the theaters is slowly making its way to the small screen in your living-room.

To be very honest I’m more displeased with the A-Team and Lethal Weapon reboots then I am MacGyver, now that’s not to say they should go through with a MacGyver reboot I’m just not as familiar with the original show.

The A-Team Movie 2010

The A-Team / 2010 / 20th Century Fox

From the sounds of it the new modern take of The A-Team actually sounds more like a television series based on the 2010 movie that starred Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper. It also featured Jessica Biel who for most of the movie was trying to chase the team down.

I’m not sure there is much more that you can do with another A-Team series that wouldn’t be looked on as, haven’t they already done that? Yes there saying that this version will be an updated modern take with female members, but even if you re-write it so that one of the Team is a female, which one would it be?

As much as I loved the original series in the 1980’s and the theatrical movie in 2010 that I still maintain has been one of the better adaptations of a television show to movie I’m just not convinced a new series would survive past a first season.

The A-Team 1980's NBC

The A-Team / NBC / 1983-1987

Then of course there’s the idea of bringing Lethal Weapon to television that I really don’t understand nor do I believe would work. The original Lethal Weapon movie was a unique take on the buddy cop movies that worked extremely well.

To try and bring that same kind of grit and chemistry to television in a Lethal Weapon series I believe cannot be done effectively on one of the major four networks. The major networks have limits and restraints and a good Lethal Weapon series would be hurt by those restrictions.

Lethal Weapon would be best served by airing on Netflix, HBO or even Showtime and once you remove the Gibson-Glover chemistry from the mix your left with a tired cop procedural.

Of the three shows mentioned, MacGyver in my opinion might have the best chance of surviving as a new re-imagined series, but even so I think most viewers would rather see something NEW from the networks then trying to put new life in shows that already had there chance at success.

Hollywood at the box office and on television is suffering from a major case of brain drain. They can’t come up with new original ideas and there for keep going back to previous material in hopes of making money and success on name recognition alone.

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