When Nostalgia Wasn't Enough: 10 Reboots of Hit Shows That Failed to Recreate the Magic

When Nostalgia Wasn't Enough: 10 Reboots of Hit Shows That Failed to Recreate the Magic
Snapshots from shows The Odd Couple, Dallas, Charmed | Image source: YouTube

Fans are often left disappointed when reboots fail to make the most of nostalgia

Telly Savalas In
Telly Savalas In "Kojak." | Getty Images

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The popular animated show, “Futurama” made a successful reboot in July on Hulu, and fans are feeling quite nostalgic. Reboots often try to recreate the same magic as the original show and capture the same excitement. However, for many, things didn’t go as planned, and they failed to do justice to the original shows or simply overdid things. Here are 10 such TV reboots that failed to live up to the hype created by nostalgia around the original.

1. Charmed

Image Source: YouTube | Charmed (The CW) Trailer HD | TV Promos
Image Source: YouTube | Charmed (The CW) Trailer HD | TV Promos

 

The TV show “Charmed” ran for eight straight seasons from 1998 to 2006, garnering a loyal fanbase, with its story of three women who gain magical abilities to become the “Charmed Ones.” It was rebooted more than a decade later in 2018 with an entirely new cast. Despite being more diverse in casting and aiming to show women of color and LGBTQ+ representation, the reboot lacked character development and never stood out. It lost ratings and viewership which led to its cancellation after four seasons.

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2. Charlie's Angels

Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor on the set of the television series
Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor on the set of the television series "Charlie's Angels" | Getty Images } Photo by Uri Schanker

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The show “Charlie's Angels” took the small screen by storm from 1976 to 1981, paving the way for a blockbuster movie franchise later on. But a spin-off reboot of the show that premiered on the small screen in 2011, did not go down well with the audience. The characters lacked depth, and some critics even said that the show featured some of the worst acting of the decade. Following terrible ratings and reviews, the show was canceled after just four episodes.

3. The Odd Couple

Actors Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon from the CBS show
Actors Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon from the CBS show "The Odd Couple" | Getty Images | Photo by Slaven Vlasic

Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon failed to live up to the legacy of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, or Tony Randall and Jack Klugman in the reboot of the 1970s series “The Odd Couple”. The reboot which was first aired in 2015 lasted only three seasons, after some miserable ratings led to its abrupt cancellation by CBS. Perry had even tweeted about the cancellation of the show one month ahead of schedule after he saw that his face was painted over with green on the stage door of the studio.

4. Melrose Place

Melrose Place actors Katie Cassidy and Heather Locklear on the set | Getty Images | Photo by Bob Riha, Jr.
Melrose Place actors Katie Cassidy and Heather Locklear on the set | Getty Images | Photo by Bob Riha, Jr.

“Melrose Place” was originally a spin-off to “Beverly Hills, 90210”, which aired from 1992 to 1999. The original show was about the dramatic lives of the tenants of an apartment complex in West Hollywood, California. Its reboot which aired in 2009 had a slight change in continuity with one character being revived despite being killed off in the original show. With these continuity errors and unrelatable characters, the show received terrible ratings and a viewership of just 1.39 million for 18 episodes before getting canceled after just one season as per Screen Rant.

5. Kojak

Actor Ving Rhames at the Golden Globe Awards | Getty Images | Photo by Bob Riha, Jr.
Actor Ving Rhames at the Golden Globe Awards | Getty Images | Photo by Bob Riha, Jr.

 

The 1970’s series, “Kojak” featured Telly Savalas as the chrome-domed detective, loved by fans who couldn't have enough of the army man turned cop’s catchphrases at the time. The dialogues propelled the show’s popularity and set it up for a five-season run. But when Ving Rhames took over the reins to make a reboot in 2005, it was quickly labeled cliché as it didn’t resonate with the audience in the 21st century. Even the original characters failed to gain traction and the show was cancelled just after nine episodes.

6. Dallas

 Larry Hagman signing $100 bill from the original television show Dallas | Getty Images | Photo by Frank Tewkesbury
Larry Hagman signing $100 bill from the original television show Dallas | Getty Images | Photo by Frank Tewkesbury

 

“Dallas”, the primetime soap opera featuring the oil company and cattle ranch-owning Ewing family's drama, was aired on CBS in 1978. The instant resonance and popularity made sure that the show was on air for years till 1991. It was then rebooted in 2012 to introduce the next generation of Ewing children after being off-air for two decades. Even though it featured several faces from the original show, the new rendition failed to impress as the characters lacked chemistry. Further, with the absence of Larry Hagman, who portrayed the role of J.R. Ewing, the show’s ratings declined, leading to its cancellation.

7. Beauty And The Beast

Actors Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk speak at the
Actors Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk speak at the "Beauty And The Beast" discussion panel | Getty Images | Photo by Frederick M. Brown

 

The “Beauty and the Beast” reboot was loosely based on the 1987 fantasy drama series of the same name. Starring Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan the reboot deviated from the original plot in which a district attorney develops a romance with “Vincent”, an outcast whose face resembles a lion. In the reboot, Vincent was shown to have the ability to transform into a beast when he was upset, owing to a DNA mutation caused by a government experiment. This led to criticism of the series for showing beauty as being only skin deep, as per Screen Rant. Due to poor ratings, the show was canned after four seasons.

8. Queer as Folk

Stars of
Stars of "Queer As Folk" at the Show's World Premiere Event | Getty Images | Photo by Amy Sussman

The original show “Queer as Folk” told the story of a sexually diverse group of friends whose lives changed forever after a shooting in a queer nightclub. The show beautifully captured their struggles showing them dealing with grief, toxic coping mechanisms, and social prejudice. This resonated with the audience which earned it critical acclaim, but its 2022 reboot of the same name featuring three white gay men failed to offer a compelling enough story despite its attempts at being diverse. It was canceled after the first season due to poor viewership as per CBR.

9. 90210

Cast of
Cast of "The Beverly Hills, 90210" (orginal) poses for a portrait on set | Getty Images | Photo by Mark Sennet

The original show “Beverly Hills, 90210” ran for a decade from 1990 to 2000, addressing important topics such as domestic violence and racism, and inspired multiple spin-offs as well as reboots. The first reboot aired for five seasons from 2008 to 2013 while the latest reboot in 2019 made it only six episodes. The new reboot revival showed the original cast portraying fictionalized versions of themselves which did not work well and failed to gain traction among fans.

10. Thundercats

Image Source: YouTube
Snapshot from the original "Thundercats" | Image Source: YouTube

 

The reboot of the 1985 animated series “ThunderCats” shared the story of a group of “Thunderians” living on the Third Earth as they battle with their arch nemesis “Mumm-Ra”. Unlike the original show, the reboot attempted to create complex characters and had an overall darker theme. This did not resonate with the fans who just wanted to satisfy their nostalgia with the same vibes that the 80s show provided, CBR reported. Thus, due to poor response, the show was canceled after just one season.

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