Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why do the networks keep dusting off reboots?

Last week, CBS announced they were going to try and reboot Charmed.

Yes, Charmed, a series that went off the air in 2006.

I think that proves that there really are no new ideas left out there.

I mean, Charmed? If you’re going to reboot a genre show – at least go with a good one.

To be fair, Charmed was not a terrible show – most of the time. The WB program – about a trio of witchy sisters with a destiny to fulfill – lasted eight seasons and had a cult following. It managed to survive the upheaval of losing one sister – Shannen Doherty – and switching her out for another sister – Rose McGowan – and fans still stuck with the show.

I watched the first three seasons of Charmed with great interest and affection – even though it was often gimmicky – and then felt my interest quickly start to fade. The introduction of Paige didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I know that show runners were stuck between a rock and a hard place with Doherty’s antics.

By the time the seventh season debuted, I had given up on the show (I have since seen those episodes Charmed’s credit, they had one of the better finales of a genre show – so they went out at a good time.
on reruns), but I did tune back in for the finale. To

I still don’t think Charmed is a show that should be rebooted. I get that witches are the new zombies – with American Horror Story: Coven getting big ratings and Lifetime debuting the guilty pleasure Witches of East End – but should CBS be bringing back a show that has only been off the air for a few years?

Genre shows are really hit or miss on television. Even the successful ones like Lost and The X-Files have a finite audience. In other words, genre shows are too dense to bring in new viewers in the middle of a show’s run – unlike something like The Big Bang Theory, which continues to grow in viewership each season.

So why is CBS looking at rebooting Charmed? They say it’s because Charmed is one of the biggest draws for binge viewing on Netflix. That’s actually surprising to me, since at least three different channels are constantly airing the show, too.

If CBS wants to reboot a genre show from The WB, why not go with quality and resurrect Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Just a suggestion.

CBS isn’t the only one in the reboot market – although you would think that the networks would realize that reboots aren’t exactly working out.

NBC just cancelled the reboot of Ironside, the CW is eyeing a Tales from the Darkside reboot, Paramount is looking at a TV adaptation of the movie Ghost, and murder mysteries may get a little ethnic diversity with a Murder She Wrote reboot.

I’m leery about every single one of those shows.

Quite frankly, I can’t remember very many reboots that were successful at all – with the possible exceptions of Hawaii Five-O, Dallas, 90210 and Battlestar Galactica.

In the past few years, we’ve seen Charlie’s Angels, Knight Rider, the Bionic Woman, Melrose Place, and V crash and burn.

So why do networks keep trying to reboot everything?

I think laziness is one factor and I think a lack of creativity is another. That’s why we’re stuck with so many terrible reality shows and procedurals. True creativity exists in a cable vacuum on television anymore – and that’s not a good thing.

What do you think about the reboot trend continuing?


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