TV Show Reboots Ranked from Average to Terrible
Why take a risk on something completely new if you can breathe new life into an old fan favorite? That seems to be the mantra of most TV execs these days. Thanks to streaming platforms — and the TV networks hoping to compete with them — reboots are everywhere.
While you’re undoubtedly happy to see some familiar faces return, there are plenty of retreads you could certainly do without. From the passable to the horrible, we take a look at a mix of reboots that have potential to improve (we hope) and others we’re glad got the axe.
30. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018) | Renewed
Based on the Archie Comics series of the same name, Sabrina: The Teenage Witch was a successful, heartwarming ‘90s sitcom. But in true Riverdale spirit, Netflix rebooted the franchise as a gritty teen drama that focuses on forcing Sabrina to choose between her mortal life and the world of witchcraft.
29. Will & Grace (2017) | Renewed
When Will & Grace debuted in 1998 on primetime television network NBC, the sitcom was considered groundbreaking. By centering on the friendship between Will (Eric McCormack), a gay lawyer, and Grace (Debra Messing), a straight interior designer, the show was credited with educating audiences and "normalizing" gay folks.
28. The Conners (2018) | Renewed
Centered on the working-class Conner family, the original Roseanne featured storylines about abortion, sex education, queer relationships and more. The bold approach set it apart from other family sitcoms in the late ‘80s and ‘90s.
27. Charmed (2018) | Renewed
Like the original ‘90s series, Charmed follows the lives of three sisters who discover they are The Charmed Ones — a trio of witches destined to protect humankind. Instead of recasting the original characters, this reboot tells the story of three Latinx sisters. Although all three sisters are portrayed by women of color, only one of the actresses (Diaz) is Latina.
26. Twilight Zone (2002) | Cancelled; Re-Rebooted in 2019
Twilight Zone creator and host Rod Serling called the viewer’s trip into the titular dimension "a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination." The 2002 reboot of the classic show revealed those very boundaries.
25. The Muppets (2015) | Cancelled
It’s not easy being green. Apparently, it’s also not easy finding a new platform. Debuting in 2015, The Muppets was a sitcom that parodied the mockumentary style popularized by shows like The Office. Kermit took on the role of producer for Miss Piggy’s late night talk show, a la the Late Show with David Letterman.
24. Murphy Brown (2018) | Cancelled
Debuting in 1988, Murphy Brown ran for 10 years. The titular star — played by Emmy-winner Candace Bergen — became one of television’s most enduring characters, thanks to her sarcasm, ambition and ethical mindset. Unfortunately, 2018’s one-season revival of the show was cancelled after just 13 episodes.
23. Arrested Development, Season 4 (2013) | Ongoing - Season 5 Released in 2018–19
Despite glowing reviews from critics, Arrested Development’s low ratings led to cancellation in 2006. The Fox series was picked up years later by Netflix, which distributed a new season in 2013, marking one of the platform’s first exclusive releases.
22. Fuller House (2016) | Renewed
Developed by Netflix, Fuller House is a sequel to successful sitcom Full House. Premiering in 2016, the show centers on the now-grown Tanner sisters who still live in that San Francisco Victorian. At first, it was universally panned. (Everywhere you looked — a burn to hold on to.)
21. Prime Suspect 1973 (2017) | Cancelled
The original version of this police procedural ran from 1991 to 2006 in the UK, with each season focusing on a different case. Helen Mirren won two Emmys for playing detective Jane Tennison. In 2017, showrunners debuted a follow-up to the beloved British drama.
20. Dallas (2012) | Cancelled
The beloved prime-time soap opera Dallas was rebooted in 2012, just over two decades after the original series ended. Despite a well-reviewed sophomore season, the reboot was cancelled by TNT in 2014, proving that not all things get better with age.
19. 90210 (2008) | Cancelled; Re-Rebooted as BH90210 (2019)
The original Beverly Hills, 90210 from the ‘90s is often credited with creating the entire teen soap genre. The collaboration between Sex and the City’s Darren Starr and producer Aaron Spelling kicked off its own franchise, which includes several spin-offs — Melrose Place, for one — and reboots.
18. 24: Legacy (2017) | Cancelled
The original 24 had a lot going for it, including star Keifer Sutherland and an inventive storytelling gimmick. Each season took place over a single day, and each episode portrayed an hour in that day. The concept meant incredible cliffhangers and marathon viewings (made possible at the time by DVD sets from Blockbuster).
17. Prison Break (2017) | Cancelled
Fox initially turned down Prison Break, feeling it didn’t have any longevity to it. However, buoyed by the successes of 24 and Lost, the network eventually signed off on the show, and Prison Break became hugely popular.
16. Knight Rider (2008) | Cancelled
Debuting in 1982, the original Knight Rider starred David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a crime fighter assisted by KITT, his artificially intelligent car. Knight Rider’s cult following even gave rise to its own fan convention, KnightCon, so a reboot seemed like an obvious choice.
15. Charlie’s Angels (2011) | Cancelled
Crime drama Charlie’s Angels debuted on ABC in 2011, 30 years after the original series of the same name came to a close. After the series’ fourth episode aired with exceptionally low numbers, ABC cancelled the series immediately. In fact, the show was so cancelled that its eighth and final episode went unaired in the U.S.
14. MacGyver (2016) | Renewed
The character MacGyver uses his wit — and whatever items are lying around — to weasel out of just about any bad situation. Unfortunately, he walked right into the first bad situation with the 2016 reboot of the 1980’s hit.
13. Melrose Place (2009) | Cancelled
Melrose Place was a primetime soap that aired in the ‘90s for a whopping seven seasons. The series was the second in the Beverly Hills 90210 franchise and nabbed a spot on Entertainment Weekly’s "New TV Classics" list. Unfortunately, creators just couldn’t replicate this show’s initial success.
12. The Returned (2015) | Cancelled
This 2015 A&E series is an adaptation of the 2012 French series Les Revenants, an Emmy-winning supernatural show that revolves around a small town whose dead reappear. Lacking in atmosphere, this reinvention just doesn’t live up to the accomplished French series.
11. The Odd Couple (2015) | Cancelled
Starring Matthew Perry as a couch potato and Thomas Lennon as his extremely tidy roommate, 2015’s The Odd Couple tried to recapture the magic of the original sitcom. As it turned out, this derivative show was extremely one-dimensional.
10. American Idol (2018) | Renewed
After a 15-season run on Fox from 2002 to 2016, American Idol had its last encore — until it was revived by ABC in 2018. Long-time host Ryan Seacrest was joined by an all-new panel of judges: Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
9. Heroes Reborn (2015) | Cancelled
Well before Marvel built its cinematic universe, NBC’s sci-fi drama Heroes took superhero drama and made it compelling and accessible for audiences that didn’t read comic books. In 2015, creator Tim Kring tried to recapture that magic with a mini-series, Heroes Reborn.
8. Get Smart (1995) | Cancelled
Network execs thought the relative success of the 1989 reunion movie Get Smart, Again! meant it was time to revive the ‘60s-era series. Although the antics from 1965’s Get Smart were beloved by audiences, the comedy in the 1995 reboot of the same name just wasn’t enough to captivate viewers.
7. Bionic Woman (2007) | Cancelled
In the 1970s, sci-fi action series The Six Million Dollar Man spawned a spin-off called The Bionic Woman. The show focused on ex-tennis player Jaime Sommers, who receives superpower-like abilities after an accident requires her to receive bionic implants to survive.
6. Mockingbird Lane (2012) | Cancelled
Mockingbird Lane was pitched as a "re-imagining" of the 1960s sitcom The Munsters. It aired in 2012 a few days before Halloween as a television special, with the option for a series order. The hour-long special played out like a failed pilot — and, in the end, that’s just what it was.
5. Wonder Woman (2011) | Never Aired
From Supergirl to Batwoman, most of the CW’s lineup features superhero action shows based on DC Comics. Back in 2011, however, DC couldn’t quite find its footing. Wonder Woman, which was a hit on ABC in the ‘70s, thanks to star Lynda Carter, seemed like the perfect show to reboot.
4. Ironside (2013) | Cancelled
The original Ironside was an eight-season crime drama that added to star Raymond Burr’s enduring legacy. In the show, Burr played Robert T. Ironside, a police consultant who is paralyzed from the waist down. Unfortunately, the 2013 reboot starring Blair Underwood was widely panned.
3. Roseanne (2017) | Cancelled
In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Roseanne was lauded for being the antithesis to the traditional family sitcom. Unfortunately, the show’s creator and star, Roseanne Barr, turned away from the progressive stance that made her series so beloved.
2. Skins (2011) | Cancelled
This American remake of the UK teen drama of the same name featured a cast of amateur young actors. The UK version of Skins was a global phenomenon that lasted seven seasons, but the MTV version crashed and burned after just 10 episodes.
1. Heathers (2019) | Never Aired
Instead of going the traditional movie remake route, Paramount decided to reboot the 1980s dark comedy classic Heathers as a TV series. In an inversion of the original, the "traditionally" bullied characters are the titular bullies. Showrunners clearly missed the satire memo.