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Upcoming TV Reboots You Didn't Know Were In The Works

Reboots, revivals, remakes, and reimaginings of TV favorites across genres and target audiences from recent (and not-so-recent) years have dominated television and streaming services lately. They provided new delights alike as well as closure for fans of the original shows. Some have even earned critical acclaim, too. It seems like everything from the '90s or 2000s with at least a moderate level of name recognition made a return to the air (or a streaming service), including "The X-Files," "Twin Peaks," "Will & Grace," "iCarly," "Mystery Science Theater 3000," "The Tick," "Gilmore Girls," "The Twilight Zone," "Dallas," "Charmed," and, most recently, "Friends." 

It's a craze that shows no signs of slowing down. Audiences apparently want — or at least network, studio, and streaming service execs think they want — the comfort of a familiar situation and characters, but the newness of fresh adventures. If you're waiting with bated breath for your favorite show to make a comeback, don't fret — it might just be on this list of reboots on the way in 2021, 2022, and beyond.

There's a new occupant of the throne in Bel-Air

"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" transformed Will Smith from a pop rapper into an internationally famous actor. In 1990, the entertainer formerly known as the Fresh Prince, rapper of amusing story songs like "Parents Just Don't Understand" and "A Nightmare on My Street," agreed to star in a sitcom loosely based on music executive Benny Medina's teen years, when he moved from a tough neighborhood in East Los Angeles to near a rich family friend in Beverly Hills. The series, in which Smith played a character named Will Smith who moves into a mansion where his uncle Phil, aunt Viv, and cousins Carlton, Hilary, and Ashley live, ran for six high-profile seasons on NBC, ending in 1996.

The sitcom proved enormously and consistently popular in reruns and embedded itself into popular culture. Speaking to that, filmmaker Morgan Cooper released a short video in 2019 called "Bel-Air," reimagining the bright and silly comedy show as a serious drama. The short film went viral. Peacock thought a full series of a dramatic "Bel-Air" was a great idea, and ordered two seasons. Playing Southern California transplant Will is Jabari Banks, who ironically was born and raised in West Philadelphia (like his character says he was in the original show's famous opening sequence).

Criminal Minds is headed back for one big case

One of the longest-running and most consistently popular crime procedurals in American television history, "Criminal Minds" was an anchor for CBS's primetime schedule for 15 years. Each week, a team of brilliant and sensitive criminal profilers of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit used psychology and detective work to track down "unknown subjects," or "Unsubs," on the run after committing (or currently in the act of perpetuating) lurid and heinous crimes. The final episodes of the series ran in February 2020, and just about a year later, CBS's corporate parents at CBS Studios and Paramount decided that new "Criminal Minds" episodes would make for a great signature series on its fledgling Paramount+ streaming service and would tap into "culture's ever-growing obsession" with crime-oriented content, as then–Executive Vice President Julie McNamara told Deadline

Per the announcement, the new "Criminal Minds" is set to be a limited series, and unlike the original show, which operated in a case-of-the-week format, the revival will follow one case over the course of 10 episodes. According to people close to the production who spoke to TVLine, the series will employ both actors from the original show as well as some new faces.

The Flintstones will return, older and anxious, in Bedrock

The first incarnation of "The Flintstones" was one of the first primetime animated series, a loose but obvious cartoon clone of "The Honeymooners" taking place in the pun-filled Stone Age town of Bedrock and following the adventures of Fred, Wilma, and Pebbles Flintstone, and neighbors Barney, Betty, and Bamm-Bamm Rubble. It ran from 1960 to 1966 (and forever after in reruns) and spawned a number of spinoffs in the decades since, such as "The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show," "The New Fred and Barney Show," and "The Flintstone Kids." 

In 2011, Fox announced (via The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline) that "Family Guy" and "American Dad!" boss Seth MacFarlane had started work on a full-on revival of the original series, set to debut in 2013. That project fell apart after Fox executives didn't like the pilot script, but nearly a decade later, a new take on the contemporary Stone Age family is back on the table. In April 2021, according to Deadline, Fox ordered a "Flintstones" sequel series titled "Bedrock." Actor and producer Elizabeth Banks had been quietly developing the show for two years under a deal between her company, Brownstone Productions, and Warner Bros. Animation, which will take place 20 years after the first "Flintstones," focusing on Pebbles struggling to enter adult life and Fred Flintstone about to retire.

Frasier will be back, and he'll be somewhere new and very wealthy

In early 2021, ViacomCBS and Paramount rebranded their little-noticed streaming service CBS All Access as Paramount+. At launch, they announced an ambitious slate of programs in development. One of the biggest pieces of intellectual property on that list: "Frasier." According to Deadline, Kelsey Grammer will reprise his role as Frasier Crane, the snobby, arrogant, serially dating Seattle radio psychiatrist whom he played from 1993 to 2004 on NBC's "Frasier" (for which he won four Emmys) and for a decade previously on "Cheers." The revival is a co-production with Grammer's own Grammnet Productions; the actor has been trying to get a new "Frasier" off the ground for at least two years.

Five months later, Grammer divulged some details of the series and its ongoing development to New York TV station NBC 4. Grammer said he'd reached out to original cast members David Hyde Pierce (Niles), Peri Gilpin (Roz), and Jane Leeves (Daphne) about getting them on board, and said that they'll address "in the first episode" the death of Frasier's father, Martin Crane, since his actor, John Mahoney, died in 2018. Grammer also let slip that the new show won't be set in Seattle like "Frasier" or Boston like "Cheers," but a brand-new location. As for the character of Frasier Crane, Grammer hinted that "he ends up rich beyond his dreams."

How I Met Your Mother extension How I Met Your Father is on the way

"How I Met Your Mother" enjoyed a successful nine-year run on CBS, wrapping up in 2014 after finally revealing the identity of the mother with whom lead character Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) had the children to whom he's telling his life story in the show's framing device. Having told a complete story, CBS was left with a reboot as its only option for continuing the franchise. In 2014, a pilot episode for "How I Met Your Dad" was shot, starring future Oscar-nominated "Lady Bird" filmmaker Greta Gerwig as Sally and telling the story of how she fell in love with her future husband. CBS killed the show after test audience reacted negatively every time Gerwig appeared on screen (as told by Gerwig on "The Late Show").

In 2021, "How I Met Your Mother" creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays helped produce "How I Met Your Father," a reworked version of the reboot. Under the slightly tweaked title and premise, Hilary Duff plays Sophie, a woman struggling to find romance in the age of dating apps who at some point (if not in one of the initial 10 episodes set to debut on Hulu) will meet her future kids' dad. The original "How I Met Your Mother" was a friend-group comedy, and so is the remake. Chris Lowell ("Veronica Mars"), Tom Ainsley ("The Royals"), and Francia Raisa ("Grown-ish") will play those pals.

True Blood is set to return to HBO

"True Blood" was a rare breed: a Southern Gothic, LGBT-friendly, sort-of comic, supernatural-romantic drama set in a small town full of vampires and werewolves. Based on Charlaine Harris' popular "Southern Vampire Mysteries" books, and created by Oscar-winning "American Beauty" screenwriter Alan Ball, "True Blood" was HBO's most popular show since "The Sopranos" went off the air, and brought in millions of viewers each week for its soapy, shocking, and allegorical plots about misunderstood monsters.

Once a white-hot show that earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, "True Blood" wrapped up after seven seasons (and falling ratings) in 2014. Six years later, per Deadline, HBO began developing a reboot. Ball will return as an executive producer, while creative control will sit with "NOS4A2" creator Jami O'Brien and "Riverdale" creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

According to the show's star, Anna Paquin, news of the reboot came as a surprise to the cast and creatives. "Charlaine Harris didn't even know it was happening," Paquin told Collider in January 2021, adding that if asked, she may not even reprise her role. "It was some of the best years of my life, but I don't think them continuing to tell those stories or continuing in that world really has anything to do with the thing we created," Paquin said. "I wish them well."

The Kids in the Hall is coming back to lay eggs and crush heads

After honing their act in clubs and improv shows in Toronto, fellow Canadian and "Saturday Night Live" mastermind Lorne Michaels hired the sketch comedy troupe that called itself The Kids in the Hall to make a half-hour sketch comedy TV show. The regular series hit CBC in Canada and HBO in the U.S. (later moving to CBS stateside), and all five stars — Dave Foley, Scott Thompson, Mark McKinney, Kevin McDonald, and Bruce McCulloch — became comedy icons thanks to wildly creative and original characters like Buddy Cole, the Chicken Lady, the Head Crusher, Gavin, and the guy who's "hip," "cool," and "45." After six years as a cult sensation, "The Kids in the Hall" ended production in 1995. But the troupe known as The Kids in the Hall has never been split up for long. They released the feature film "Brain Candy" in 1996, embarked on two national tours in 2000 and 2008, and played basically all the roles in the CBC/IFC miniseries "Death Comes to Town" in 2010. 

But in 2021, for the first time in more than 25 years, the Kids reunited for some more of what made them famous: episodic sketch comedy for television. According to ET Canada, Amazon Video ordered eight new installments of "The Kids in the Hall." After production delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, filming began in Toronto in April 2021.

Ally McBeal will search her soul once again

In the late '90s, narrative television was almost totally binary. The big four broadcast networks ruled the airwaves with essentially two kinds of scripted shows: laugh track-laden, half-hour sitcoms and hour-long dramas. "Ally McBeal" arrived on Fox in 1997 and instantly disrupted TV — it was an hour-length comedy, with elements of drama, soap opera, and fantasy. It featured an often hard-to-like lead character in Ally McBeal, an attorney prone to self-sabotage. "Ally McBeal" made a star of Calista Flockhart and won seven Emmy Awards during its five-season run, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series. Even the theme song, Vonda Shepard's "Searchin' My Soul," became a hit single.

As early as 2018, creator David E. Kelly said a reboot could happen. "But I don't think it should be done by me. If it were going to be done, it really should be done by a woman," he told The Hollywood Reporter. According to TVLine, Twentieth Television (a division of Disney and a corporate sibling to streamer Hulu) began developing an "Ally McBeal" revival miniseries in March 2021. Flockhart will likely reprise her titular role, while Kelly, as promised, will hand over creative duties to a female showrunner while serving as a consulting executive producer.

Headbang once more with new episodes of Beavis and Butt-Head

One of the few bright spots in the cycle of the 2009 movie "Extract," a critically overlooked box office flop written and directed by Mike Judge, was an ad for the movie featuring the filmmaker's best-known creations, stupid but snarky metalhead teenagers Beavis and Butt-Head watching a clip of the film and making fun of it, just like they did with music videos on their explosively popular 1990s eponymous MTV cartoon show. Just two years later, new episodes of "Beavis and Butt-Head" were in production and back on MTV — for just one season. "That kind of caught up in some kind of changeover of the top brass at MTV," Judge told Mandatory. "I'm kind of trying to sell it to another network."

It took an exceedingly long time, but in 2020, Variety reported that the interrupted "Beavis and Butt-Head" reboot was finally returning to TV. Comedy Central, which, like MTV, is owned by ViacomCBS, ordered two seasons worth of "Beavis and Butt-Head," and left the door open for specials and spinoffs, too. "It seemed like the time was right to get stupid again," said Judge, who, as he did on the 1993 to 1997 original series, write, produce, and record the voices of both numskulls. 

Don Johnson and Nash Bridges are on their way

Finally, a revival of the long-ago popular detective drama starring Don Johnson. Not so fast — no network is currently reviving Johnson's stylish, iconic, and groundbreaking 1980s police show "Miami Vice." One is instead reworking the breezy, affable CBS crime series "Nash Bridges," which Johnson starred in from 1996 to 2001. Johnson played the title character, a cocky San Francisco detective who cruised around town in a yellow 1971 Plymouth Barracuda with his partner, Joe Dominguez (played by Cheech Marin, who, like Johnson, was best known for his prior work, half of the stoner comedy duo Cheech and Chong). 

Critically derided but heavily watched up until its final season, there might still be an audience for the show more than two decades after its cancelation. According to TVLine, in 2019 cable's USA Network started developing a "Nash Bridges" revival in the form of a standalone two-hour movie that, if well-received enough, could simultaneously be a pilot for a new slate of episodes. In 2021, nearly two years later, Deadline reported that a new cast had been assembled. Johnson and Marin are set to return to their roles, as is original cast member Jeff Perry as detective Harvey Leek.

Viewers can party down with Party Down again

Airing for two short seasons in 2009 and 2010 on the unheralded (at the time) Starz premium cable network, "Party Down" was a dark and wry comedy about people on the fringes of showbiz, working for a catering company while they struggled to make their dreams of fame and artistic success come true. "Party Down" developed a loyal following thanks in no small part to its strong cast, which included Adam Scott ("Parks and Recreation"), Martin Starr ("Silicon Valley"), and Jane Lynch ("Glee"). But neither pedigree nor acclaim (it scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes) could pull in enough viewers. The second season finale brought in a paltry 74,000 viewers, and Starz canceled the series days later.

But thanks to a cast who would go down to bigger things and a second life for reruns on streaming services, "Party Down" became one of the most highly regarded comedies of the early 2000s. In March 2021 The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that co-creator Rob Thomas (who had also successfully rebooted his other big show, "Veronica Mars") was working on a revival for Starz. "At the end of 2019, the 'Party Down' cast and producers were all reunited at a retrospective for the show," Thomas said. "We had such a good time that we wanted to find a way to get the team back together again." The plan is to make a limited reboot of six episodes.

A Little House on the Prairie reboot will offer more wholesome old-timey family fun

Millions of American kids over the past century grew up reading the visceral, plainly told "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, who detailed her tough but fascinating life growing up in the Midwestern American frontier of the 1800s. Millions more delighted in the smash hit 1974–1983 NBC family drama "Little House on the Prairie," loosely based on (and greatly expanding upon) the world suggested by Wilder. Michael Landon starred as kindly farmer Pa Ingalls, who built up his homestead and raised his daughters Carrie, Mary, and Laura.

After Landon (who also wrote, directed, and produced the show) departed, the show continued as "Little House: A New Beginning" and as a series of made-for-TV movies. With the exception of a limited series remake on "The Wonderful World of Disney" in 2005, though, "Little House" has been absent from the small screen for decades. But in 2020, Entertainment Weekly reported that Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content (the company that made another 19th century period piece, "Dickinson," for Apple TV+), was moving forward on an hour-long regular series adaptation of "Little House on the Prairie." That's the latest move in a modest "Little House" renaissance. Peacock made old episodes of the original series available in December 2020, PBS's "American Masters" profiled Wilder that same month, and reruns of the show became the most-watched show on the Hallmark Drama channel.

Some new Pretty Little Liars will get into new trouble

Unlike most other shows under reboot consideration, "Pretty Little Liars" hasn't been off the air all that long to build up good feelings and widespread nostalgia. The Freeform soap about privileged teenagers harboring secrets finished its seven-year run in 2017, and sequel series "The Perfectionists" had a one-season run in the spring of 2019. 

But HBO Max — home of buzzed-about reunion specials featuring the casts of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "Friends," and the well-received reboot of the "Pretty Little Liars" spiritual predecessor "Gossip Girl" — thinks that less than half a decade is plenty long to make fans wait. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. TV is producing a new "Pretty Little Liars" series overseen by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who helped get teen shows like "Riverdale" and "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" made. Aguirre-Sacasa will write the pilot script, which will feature a new cast of characters but set in the same universe as "Pretty Little Liars." Former child star Bailee Madison will head up the cast of the project, which went into the early stages of production in September 2020.