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TV reboots: Is Hollywood just out of ideas?

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
October 31, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Holly Marie Combs (from left), Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan aren't charmed by the idea of rebooting their former show.
Holly Marie Combs (from left), Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan aren't charmed by the idea of rebooting their former show.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • There are several television reboots planned
  • Stars of "Charmed" tweeted against reboot of their show
  • Writer says fans hold originals near and dear

(CNN) -- Has nothing been learned from "Ironside?"

The recent NBC reboot of the classic crime drama featuring Blair Underwood in the role made famous by Raymond Burr in the late 1960s and early 1970s was one of the first of the fall television shows canceled. But don't think that will stem the tide of reboots yet to come.

Get ready for new versions of "Remington Steele," "Charmed," "Boy Meets World" (which will be updated to "Girl Meets World"), "Love, American Style," "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous." And some of the former cast members of "Falcon Crest" have been saying they've been approached about a possible reboot of the nighttime soap.

So everyone should be excited that these popular shows will be getting new life, right?

Wrong.

Rose McGowan, one of the stars of the original "Charmed," tweeted "they really are running out of ideas in Hollywood" while her former co-star Alyssa Milano tweeted "the thing about them doing a #charmed reboot is ... it just ... it feels like yesterday. It feels too close."

Seems Milano and fellow former co-star Shannen Doherty would rather see the series end up on the big screen than redone on TV. Both recently tweeted in support of a "Charmed" film.

Fall TV scorecard

Hollywood has long loved a reboot. The movie industry appears to offer sequel after sequel to capitalize an an already existing fan base, so bringing back a beloved show would seem to make sense. But Zap2it's Laurel Brown points out that "for the most part, it's the shows that don't know why they exist -- other than having a connection to the past -- that falter. This is, unfortunately, all too common a problem."

"It's hard to make a TV show a success," she wrote. "That's the thinking that often seems to be behind the idea of a reboot. But are reboots any help? Looking at their recent history, the answer may be a resounding no."

We have seen it with shows such as "Charlies Angel's," "The Bionic Woman," "Love Boat," "Knight Rider," "Get Smart" and "Melrose Place."

This season's "Ironside" was declared "worst new drama" by reviewer Brian Tallerico. As one TV Guide writer said, "Sometimes viewers have such strong memories of an original that the new version can never compare."

"Honing the 'spirit' of a beloved show is difficult; recapturing it is even more so," writes Brie Hiramine of Flavorwire. "There is no magic formula for creating television that resonates, especially when trying to appease preexisting fans."

Sequel mania: A guide to the next five years of films

Not all of the redux retro shows, fail, however.

Brown notes that sci-fi and fantasy genres seem to do well getting makeovers a la "Battlestar Galactica" and CBS has found success with the crime drama "Hawaii Five-O." TNT's "Dallas" has also done well with audiences (TNT is owned by CNN's parent company).

And for a little dash of irony, it was recently announced that -- just in time for the 20th anniversary of the series -- there will be a reboot of the cartoon show "Reboot."

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