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Actors Who Slammed Reboots Of TV Shows They Starred In

With multiple broadcast channels, dozens of cable networks, and a growing array of streaming services to choose from, TV producers have to get creative if they want to attract the largest and most profitable audience possible. Ironically, that creative thinking leads to some very uncreative thinking. Oftentimes, producers will just reboot, revive, or remake old shows. After all, that built-in recognition and a mainstream audience's enduring appreciation for the original series will almost certainly lead to a substantial number of people giving the new show a try while also pulling in new audiences who like the reboot for its own merits.

But it's not a cause for celebration all around. Cast members from the original series may feel resentment, rage, and frustration when their hard work from the past is sent further back into history in the wake of a flashy new reboot. And such disgruntled actors aren't afraid to make their feelings known to the entertainment media. Here are some actors from classic TV shows who came unglued when their most famous projects got the reboot.

Richard Dean Anderson wasn't crazy about the MacGyver reboot

Amidst all the gun-heavy and car crash-reliant action shows of the 1980s — Miami Vice, The A-Team, and The EqualizerMacGyver was something different. From 1985 to 1992, Richard Dean Anderson portrayed the title character, a genius with a seemingly endless set of skills who could get himself out of any situation, save lives, and defeat the bad guys entirely via his intellect and purposely without firearms. All MacGyver needed to get the job done was his brain, his Swiss Army Knife, and maybe a paper clip, chewing gum, a match, and a button. 

In the fall of 2016, CBS' primetime slate – already rife with shows based on previously existing intellectual properties, like the movie-based Ransom and Training Day, a new Hawaii Five-0, and the Sherlock Holmes-oriented Elementary – made room for a MacGyver reboot. This time, MacGyver (portrayed by Lucas Till) was putting his skills to work for a covert government agency. 

However, the first MacGyver, Anderson, didn't make himself available for a cute cameo as young MacGyver's long-lost father or anything like that because he didn't like the new show at all. "I'm not real crazy about it, I'll be honest," Anderson said during a 2019 convention appearance (via Cinema Blend), adding, "They called and asked if I wanted to have anything to do with it. And I said, 'Noooo.' And I'm glad."

The cast of the original Charmed declared war on the cast of the new Charmed

On original flavor Charmed, which aired from 1998 to 2006, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and Shannen Doherty (later replaced by Rose McGowan) played a trio of powerful San Francisco witches. The CW's revamped version stars Melonie Diaz, Madeleine Mantock, and Sarah Jeffery as three siblings with a similar arrangement. But in the months leading up to the new Charmed's debut in 2018, Doherty voiced her reservations on Twitter, hoping that her series would be "respected" despite an awkward press release that promised the show would be a "fierce, funny, feminist reboot." Doherty even suggested that the show could exist but under a new name and as an entity "inspired by Charmed." 

Months later, Combs added her thoughts on Twitter (via EW), writing, "I appreciate the jobs and opportunities the Charmed reboot has created. But I will never understand what is fierce, funny, or feminist in creating a show that basically says the original actresses are too old to do a job they did 12 years ago. I hope the new show is far better than the marketing so the true legacy does remain." Two years into the reboot's run, Combs still wasn't pleased. She made a TikTok clip with McGowan, who flat out said the revamped Charmed "sucks" even though she hasn't actually seen it.

The original Bionic Woman blasted the reboot

After finding success in 2006 with Heroes, NBC aimed to program even more action shows in 2007. Along with promising new fare like Chuck and Journeyman, NBC brought back a familiar name and concept with Bionic Woman. The new take on the '70s TV show (run by David Eick, most famous for his acclaimed reimagining of Battlestar Galactica) starred Michelle Ryan as Jaime Sommers, an athlete given super powers thanks to some laboratory-installed bionics. 

It would prove a tall order for NBC to get viewers interested in the show and leave behind its goodwill from the 1976-1978 The Bionic Woman, the hit spinoff of The Six Million Dollar Man that starred Lindsay Wagner as the titular spy who's also the world's first female cyborg. But not enough people liked the new Bionic Woman, and NBC canceled it midway through its one and only season. Among those who didn't care for it? The original Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner. 

The actress thought the new show's creative team got the concept all wrong. "It's very much like what the shows are today, kind of dark and broody and violent — what people seem to be getting off on these days," she told TV Series Finale. "So, it's not at all what we were doing. We were doing a show for kids intentionally and making it fun and made it in such a way that adults could enjoy it, too."

Ian Ziering had nothing but hate for 90210

Beverly Hills, 90210 was an absolute TV juggernaut that stuck around the airwaves for a long time in various versions. The original series aired on Fox from 1990 to 2000, producing nearly 300 episodes of soapy, sun-soaked, young adult drama. In the summer of 2019, the show returned, in a way, as BH90210, a meta reboot in which the cast members of the original show played themselves participating in a Beverly Hills, 90210 reunion series. 

Ian Ziering, who played cocky hotshot Steve Sanders on the first show and "himself" on the revival, was probably happy to be included, but he certainly didn't approve of another series in this unique TV universe. In 2008, just eight years after Beverly Hills, 90210 went off the air, The CW debuted 90210, a show that repeated the premise of its predecessor — a family from elsewhere moves to glamorous California — and included some of the original cast members in smaller roles, notably Jennie Garth reprising her work as Kelly Taylor. 

By the time it was all said and done, 90210 lasted five years, which was too many for Ziering. "That show you saw," Ziering said, as reported by TV Guide, "wasn't really an iteration. They were using Beverly Hills, 90210 to lure people in." He added that the CW series "was more of a soap opera, while the original 90210 was more substantive, much more issue-oriented." Taking aim at the revival series, Ziering also quipped, "No one is going to make a remake of that show."

Angela Lansbury wanted to kill the Murder, She Wrote remake

For well over a decade, CBS provided appointment comfort television in the form of Murder, She Wrote, a show about homicide that was also sweet, quiet, and gentle somehow. Legendary actress Angela Lansbury portrayed Jessica Fletcher, a successful mystery novelist who lives in the idyllic Cabot Cove, Maine, where she helps authorities solve the area's many grisly murders. Routinely finishing in the top 10 of Nielsen's most-watched shows, ratings plummeted in 1995-1996 when CBS moved it to Thursday nights, opposite NBC's phenomenon Friends. That was all she wrote for Murder, She Wrote after 12 seasons, but it was only a matter of time before somebody decided to bring the long-running and very successful show back to TV. 

In November 2013, NBC announced a new Murder, She Wrote was in the works, starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer as a hospital administrator turned amateur murder detective. However, Lansbury took offense. "I think it's a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote," she told the Associated Press (via Deadline), "because Murder, She Wrote will always be about a Cabot Cove and this wonderful little group of people who told those lovely stories and enjoyed a piece of that place, and also enjoyed Jessica Fletcher, who is a rare and very individual kind of person." NBC ultimately decided to not move forward with the project, upon which Lansbury told the BBC (via E! News) that she was "terribly pleased and relieved."

Roseanne Barr got fired from Roseanne and took shots at The Conners

When it seemed like every TV show from the '90s was getting a reboot in the late 2010s, ABC's announcement of Roseanne made sense. The original 1988-1997 series featured comic Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner, matriarch of a blue-collar, financially strapped Midwestern family. In the wake of the contentious 2016 election, decided in large part by economically wounded sectors of the Midwest, there seemed to be a demonstrable need for more shows about working-class Middle America. And the first season of the new Roseanne performed extremely well for ABC, ranking as the second most-watched scripted show on network TV and ensuring a pickup for a second season

Then, a few weeks later, ABC abruptly cancelled Roseanne. The reason? Hours earlier, Barr tweeted her thoughts on Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor in the administration of President Barack Obama. Barr suggested that Jarrett shared the views of an organization that some have called a terrorist group, and she also compared the appearance of the African-American woman to that of an ape. ABC later backtracked, firing Barr and bringing Roseanne back as The Conners. The first episode revealed that Roseanne Conner had died from a prescription painkiller overdose. 

But immediately after that episode aired, Barr tweeted a joint statement she wrote with her rabbi, Shmuley Boteach. "We regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character," it read. "That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show."

Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada gave the CHiPs remake more than just a warning

CHiPs is one of the all-time great cop shows, airing from 1977 to 1983. What separated it from all the other police dramas at the time was that it was innately action-oriented because so much of it took place on motorcycles. CHiPs is an abbreviation for "California Highway Patrol," the branch of law enforcement where characters Officer Jonathan Andrew Baker and Officer Francis "Ponch" Poncherello worked hard to stop criminals and help innocent people, usually on the road somewhere in the Golden State's freeway system. 

Lead actors Larry Wilcox (Jon) and Erik Estrada (Ponch) became big TV stars and sex symbols for portraying good and handsome cops for six years, and they didn't like it when they felt their legacy was tarnished by the 2017 big-screen CHiPs movie. Written, directed by, and featuring Punk'd and Parenthood star Dax Shepard alongside Michael Peña, CHiPs flopped with audiences as well as critics, earning $18 million at the American box office and 18% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Upon the release of the film's first trailer, Wilcox tweeted that studio Warner Bros. had "just ruined the Brand of CHiPS and of the Calif Highway Patrol." Estrada did his part on the microblogging platform, retweeting nasty things other people said about the upcoming CHiPs movie, such as one fan's assessment that it was "demeaning" to fans of the show, and that it was nothing more than "PURE TRASH."

Gordon Thompson of Dynasty didn't hold anything back

There are few shows that were more of its era than Dynasty. Airing from 1981 to 1989, the ABC primetime soap told the saga of the Carrington oil family of Denver. Celebrating the glitz, greed, and superficiality associated with the '80s, the campy show famously featured Linda Evans (as tycoon Blake Carrington's second wife, Krystle) sparring with Joan Collins (as Carrington's first wife, Alexis) while both were decked out in designer gowns and expensive jewelry. While the specific trappings of Dynasty's wealthy characters went out of style, a fascination with rich people behaving badly never does, and in 2017, The CW ordered a brand new Dynasty, built around Elizabeth Gillies as energy heiress Fallon Carrington.

Gordon Thompson portrayed the despicably villainous Adam Carrington on the original series, and in September 2017 — before the new Dynasty even hit the air — he sat for an interview with The Daily Beast and lambasted the updated series. "I have had a look at the new Dynasty, and I am appalled," he said. "What the f*** is The CW doing? It's utter s***." He added that he found the acting "truly dreadful," the writing "appalling," and the whole project "insulting" to both himself and to the legacy of late Dynasty executive producer Aaron Spelling.

The voice cast of The Powerpuff Girls felt betrayed by the reboot

The Powerpuff Girls exploded onto Cartoon Network in 1998, offering legitimate superhero action while satirizing all the tropes of the genre. The three main heroes — Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup — were the kindergarten-age daughters created by the kindly Professor Utonium, a scientist who wanted to create ideal children. But in addition to adding "sugar, spice, and everything nice" into the mix, he accidentally included "Chemical X," which gave all three of his new kids super strength, X-ray vision, heightened senses, and the like. 

The show ran for seven years (and generated a feature film), with the girls successfully defending the city of Townville from villains like Mojo Jojo and the devilish "Him." The Powerpuff Girls was a very popular show for a generation of cartoon lovers, and in 2016, Cartoon Network brought it back for a new audience. Some voice cast members — including Tom Kane (Professor Utonium) and Tom Kenny (the Mayor) — signed on for the new show, while others didn't, notably the three performers who played Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup: Catherine Cavadini, Tara Strong, and E.G. Daily, respectively. 

Sadly, it would seem that producers weren't interested in rehiring them. When news of the revival broke in 2015, Cavadini quipped on Twitter, "I wish the new girls well but Wow! does this hurt my heart." Strong agreed, tweeting that she had "no ill feelings" towards the actresses in the new series, but she and the other original Powerpuff Girls were beyond hurt and that they'd never been asked to come back.

Micky Dolenz wasn't a believer of New Monkees

The Monkees were assembled in the late '60s to star in a sitcom (The Monkees) and record pop hits, among them "I'm a Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville." In 1986, long after the group's demise, MTV aired a weekend marathon of The Monkees, and it was one of its most popular broadcasts ever. Off-screen, the Monkees were planning a reunion tour (which quickly sold out after the MTV exposure) and their new single, "That Was Then, This Is Now," hit the top 20. 

Some TV producers sought to keep the Monkees train going with a brand new Monkees sitcom starring fresh-faced actor-musicians. In 1987, New Monkees debuted in syndication, starring Jared Chandler, Marty Ross, Larry Saltis, and Dino Kovas. However, the show made it just one short season. The band, which flogged an '80s synth-rock sound, didn't generate any hit singles. 

In other words, the general public loathed New Monkees, and original Monkee Micky Dolenz didn't like the show, either. Producers had asked him to direct the first episode and for Dolenz and his bandmates to cameo. "They said, 'You guys should be in it, and you can sort of hand the baton over to [our replacements],'" Dolenz told Yahoo! Entertainment. "I was like, 'Screw you! I ain't giving the baton to nobody." He added that he later met all four New Monkees and said he "felt sorry for them." Any lingering animosity was put to rest by 2019, however, when Dolenz performed with the New Monkees at the latter's reunion concert.

Dustin Diamond wasn't Saved by the Bell

If there were a Mount Rushmore of TV geeks, it would include Milhouse from The Simpsons, Steve Urkel from Family Matters, Dwight from The Office, and Samuel "Screech" Powers from Saved by the Bell. The curly-haired, squeaky-voiced, robot-building dweeb with zero fashion sense, self-awareness, or any sort of cool factor was brought to life by actor Dustin Diamond for a really long time. He portrayed Screech on the one-season prequel series Good Morning, Miss Bliss, four seasons of Saved by the Bell, a year on Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and then another six on Saved by the Bell: The New Class

Nobody has taken up as much Bell-related screen time as Diamond, and yet he claims that he wasn't invited to participate in Peacock's 2020 modern-day reimagining of the series that features several of his old castmates, including Mario Lopez (Slater) and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie). "How could you have Saved by the Bell without Screech?" Diamond rhetorically wondered to TMZ. "It seems like a missed opportunity there." It may not be a matter of Screech's absence but Diamond's. In 2009, he published a salacious tell-all, Behind the Bell, detailing embarrassing details about his co-stars' off-stage love lives.