Back to the future

Prime time viewers are having what has to be a serious case of deja vu. In the last year or so, we’ve seen several attempts to revisit or revive older shows.

Who knew “Knight Rider” could come back and be a contender on NBC? Who knew that the CW, of all places, would revive 90210 (and now Melrose Place)? It boggles the mind.

Putting a modern spin on the classics is not a new idea – it’s been going on in popular music and film for years – but it’s really gaining traction on TV.

It’s an idea that could also work for daytime. Roger Newcomb at We Love Soaps had a suggestion a few weeks ago to revive Another World – which would be a great idea.

For me, the show that virtually SCREAMED “bring me back” for the last few years was Edge of Night. Think about it: mysteries are some of the highest-rated shows on the air. That formula still works and still brings in the ratings on shows like CSI, Cold Case and the various Law & Order shows. Tweak the old murder-mystery framework of EON and update it to include forensics.

And of course, keep (with an update) the fantastic theme song:

(Yes, again with the theme songs. It’s a sickness of mine….)

It might actually be compelling and entertaining to watch a murder mystery unfold – one where the person’s death might have a bit of an impact and drive months of story. As opposed to the current model, which is more “Hey! Let’s kill off a 30-year veteran. Because it’s a Friday.”

What other shows do you think could be revived? Why? Where could they be broadcast? I’m interested in hearing your ideas.

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3 thoughts on “Back to the future

  1. Patrick,

    Edge of Night is my all-time favorite soap (along with Texas). Just recently transfered a video tape of Edge scenes to DVD and watching it reminded me how much I miss that show. Such great characters and such great storytelling. No matter how off the wall some scenes seemed as they aired, I always knew they would eventaully all make sense once the mystery was solved. I trusted Henry Sleasar and knew that he knew exactly what he was doing.

    So, I’d love to see Edge back on the air. Feels like it would be a perfect late-nite soap air on a cable station (I still fondly recall the mid-80s late-night run of repeats from 1980-84 on the USA network). If TNT would pay for it, seems like it would be a pefect fit for their dramas. Or perhaps USA Network again. And since Edge always existed on a miniscule budget, I’d be content with something low-budget.

    Given that GH:Night Shift season 2 essentally gave us back the GH of the 70s and 80s that we loved so much, and did it on a very low budget, it seems very doable to me.

    Not sure whether it should be a continuation of the story or a reboot. Would love to see what Adam Drake, Jr. or Raven’s son Jamey are doing today. But at the same time, it would be lovely to see the Adam-Nicole romance all over again or the delightful Raven-Sky hijinks retold, IF they could find actors suitable for the roles. And I will admit, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Donald May as Adam or Sharon Gabet as Raven (even though Sharon was actually the second actress in the role).

    Other shows that would be suitable for revivals? Well, Edge seems like best candidate since it was a mystery oriented soap. But Another World would be good. And Ryans Hope might work out well too.

    SoapNet seems the ideal place for this, but they seem to be moving out of the soap business given all the movies and reality shows they’re running on weekends.

    James, I agree – Edge would make a great 30-minute soap for the late-night period.

  2. A great re-tooling of The Edge of Night might be in terms of developing a mini-series such as was done with “Damages,” on FX or some of the ones that appeared on other cable outlets such as “Fashion House,” etc.

    A 12 or 13 week run would really allow an intriguing, well-crafted, character-driven mystery story to develop and play out. And maybe have it set in 2008 but where the storyline/mystery hinges on developments that took took root and developed in the late 80s and 90s, allowing the luxury of using again the characters from EONs during the final years of its run. The audience could meet or become re-aquainted with pivotal characters like the Cavanaughs and the Whitneys. By doing this, we get the best of both worlds–the past and present. And after the 12 week run, you could start the process again with a new intriguing mystery complete with court trials, wonderful characetrs, and all that made EON unique and memorable.

  3. Actually, I cannot remember where I read this (TV Guide’s website, I think), but there was an interview with Tristan Rogers of General Hospital: NightShift (playing his GH character, Robert Scorpio).

    Rogers stated that given the success of NightShift on SoapNet, perhaps it would be an excellent idea to consider reviving another one of ABC’s long-lost soaps. He specifically cited Ryan’s Hope and The Edge of Night as soaps that could definitely thrive with several “veteran” actors from those shows coming back to reprise their roles, along with a newer cast of characters.

    I think it definitely has potential. Why not ask Ann Flood to reprise her role as Nancy Karr? I don’t recall if Forrest Compton is still alive to play Mike Karr, but that would be great, too. Or maybe Nancy is a widow and the series starts off with her praising the new DA of Monticello as a crusader for justice, just like her beloved Mike Karr? Or many other ideas, though I’d love to see — or at least have referenced — how they ever solved the final mysteries of the series: the return of Louis van Dyne, the “resurrection” of Donald Hext and just what/where was Wonderland Lane? 🙂

    There is SO much potential for a series continuation/”reboot”! 🙂

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