Movies and TV shows that got cool again years later

Some movies and TVs shows are timeless. Most, however, shine bright for a few years and then fade away. Millions tuned in to watch Everybody Loves Raymond, but it's hard to imagine that anyone will care about it 20 years from now. Sometimes, however, movies and shows rise again, like an entertainment phoenix. After years of hibernation, they come back and prove that what was once cool can become cool again.

Full House

Any kid that grew up in the '90s remembers Full House. Built around the seemingly unfunny premise of a widowed father who has to rely on his best friends to help him raise his three kids, it became one of the most definitive family-friendly sitcoms of its era. The jokes were all inoffensive and stayed away from topics that parents wouldn't want their kids to hear about. It made John Stamos a household name, launched the careers of the Olsen Twins, and enjoyed huge ratings for years—until the fanbase grew up and started to tire of the catchphrase gags and recycled plots. The show was canceled in 1995 after an eight-season run, but continued to live on in syndication—and meanwhile, the kids who loved Full House grew up and got old enough to feel nostalgic for their childhoods. People forgave the elements of the show they once deemed lame, instead connecting it to a simpler time in life. A sequel series, Fuller House, debuted on Netflix in 2016, giving grown-up fans of the original something to share with their kids…who will, in turn, eventually grow old enough to wonder why they ever thought it was funny. It's the circle of sitcom life.

Star Trek

It's been around for half a century, but the Star Trek franchise actually started out on some pretty shaky legs. The original Trek series debuted to strong ratings in 1966, but had a hard time maintaining those initial numbers, and the show was canceled after its third season. Always a cult hit among the small but passionate fanbase who'd helped save it from an early cancellation after Season 2, Trek found new life through syndicated reruns in the '70s, prompting the unlikely revival that launched with 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The fifth highest-grossing movie of the year, it spawned a sequel, 1982's The Wrath of Kahn, continuing the franchise's slow journey from cult favorite to mainstream hit. A slew of films and TV shows followed over the ensuing years, and although Star Trek seemed like it might finally have run out of dilithium crystals after 2002's unloved Nemesis movie, director J.J. Abrams rebooted the series for yet another new generation in 2009—and that movie's massive $385 million gross ensured we'll be seeing Trek sequels and spinoffs for years to come, including a new TV series planned for 2017.

Family Guy

This might be hard to believe, given that it's currently one of the longest-running shows on TV, but Family Guy struggled through some pretty dark days during its first few seasons. Initially criticized as a cheap Simpsons ripoff, the show slowly made a name for itself in its own right, building an audience one wildly inappropriate gag at a time. All that buzz faded, however, once Fox started moving the show's timeslot around. After three seasons of declining ratings, Family Guy was canceled with little fanfare. But just when it seemed like we'd seen the last of the Griffin family, Adult Swim picked up the series syndication rights, and it quickly became a network favorite, bringing in such impressive numbers that Fox actually brought it back from cancellation in 2005. While it's never duplicated the impressive ratings it posted during its first season, The Family Guy has gone on to become a cornerstone of the Fox schedule, returning for its 14th season in the fall of 2015. It was even successful enough to prompt a spinoff, The Cleveland Show. Unfortunately, it only lasted four seasons—and no one's bringing it back from cancellation.

X-Files

Aliens are out there, the government is keeping secrets from us, and we all want to believe. At least, we all did back in the '90s, during The X-Files' original run. The hit supernatural drama, about two FBI agents assigned to the strangest (and most likely paranormal) cases, derived added tension from the romantic chemistry between Agent Mulder, who was willing to believe in aliens and ghosts, and Agent Scully, who searched for more traditional clues. The show was creepy, cool and—for a time—super popular, even spinning off a hit feature film in 1998. Unfortunately, later seasons started to get a little too ridiculous, and a large portion of the audience abandoned ship. Even worse, it became clear that the show's central conspiracy was never really going to be resolved, and the finale left fans dangling. The show ended in 2002, but in 2008, Fox continued the franchise with another theatrical release, The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Despite years of pent-up demand for new product, the film failed to generate much critical or commercial momentum, and it looked like Mulder and Scully had finally seen their last case. In 2016, however, Fox brought The X-Files back for a six-episode revival, which posted impressive ratings numbers with its premiere. More than half of those viewers tuned out over the course of the mini-season, and reviews were somewhat mixed, but The X-Files' return reignited interest in the series. It turns out people want to believe in 2016 more than they did in 2008.

The Evil Dead

Sam Raimi's classic horror movie The Evil Dead kicked off a pretty weird series. The first movie is a complete gorefest, while the second, 1987's Evil Dead II, focused more on slapstick comedy (although it still had plenty of blood and guts). With the third installment, 1992's Army of Darkness, Raimi changed course completely, switching up genres to deliver a time travel fantasy epic. Along the way, the Evil Dead films launched leading man Bruce Campbell's career, and while he's never been a household name, he's still pretty famous among genre fans—even if they've never turned out in sufficient numbers to make the franchise a blockbuster hit. That lack of financial support led to a long hibernation for the series after Army of Darkness, with years of sequel rumors constantly proving unfounded. When The Evil Dead did finally return to theaters in 2013, it was as a "soft reboot" with a new star—and one whose serious tone didn't totally jibe with what longtime fans were expecting. While a planned sequel to the most recent Dead has yet to materialize, Campbell returned to the franchise with Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead in 2015. Crazy, gory, kind of silly, and full of great one-liners, the show appealed to the cult Dead fanbase, and has already been rewarded for its efforts with a second-season renewal.