Garrison Keillor once said something to the effect that the state of reading and writing in America has come to this: presently there are 17 readers for every person who writes a book. I personally think he’s exaggerating. My own experience is that it’s more like 2.5 readers. Two persons who finish the book, and one who doesn’t.
The state of television viewing and producing television shows must be much the same. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime – there are more and more companies competing for viewers. Furthermore, so much programming nowadays is stinko that these programs don’t attract anywhere near the numbers of viewers they used to. Thus, in an effort to attract more viewers, networks are bringing back the more popular programs of yesteryear – TV program redux.
Redos of both Roseanne and Will & Grace have already made an appearance. I think a network would attract more viewers had they combined these two old shows. Make it Roseanne & Will. He rents a room at Roseanne’s house, and viewers tune in to see who kills whom this week.
I’ve also seen what CBS did to Hawaii Five-0. Not once has Jack Lord’s replacement said, “Book ‘em, Dano!” You can’t have Hawaii Five-0 without detectives like Chin Ho and villains like Wo Fat. It’s just not natural. Not going to watch it.
One Day at a Time is a bad idea, too old-fashioned. In this age of multi-tasking, Netflix ought to give us Two or More Days at a Time.
And the X-Files, really? The show was never ending to begin with. I kept waiting for something to happen, and it never did. I’d shout from my living room, “Go back to Roswell! Not only will you find evidence of a cover up, but the volunteers at the Museum of Alienology will help you!” They never did. I don’t expect the redo to do any better.
Cagney & Lacy. In episode one, we find them in a home for old cops. One of their neighbors down the hall, a retired canine corps handler, gets mugged while taking a walk. Cagney and Lacy spring into action – more exactly, they move their walkers as fast as they can – in an effort to solve “The Case of the Purloined Pooper-Scooper.”
Twilight Zone. Episode one. The President gets confused and orders a wall to be built around New Mexico. But after talking with his advisors about the alien problem, he cuts back and builds it around Roswell. Doesn’t bother Mulder and Scully, though. They aren’t trying to get in.
Murphy Brown. Wow! Given her history with Dan Quayle, how do you think her encounter with Mike Pence is going to turn out?
Kung Fu. Since David Carradine died in 2009, the lead in this redo plays the role of Lucy Chang, a Buddhist monk and Kung fu master who drives through 1950 America while Dinah Shore sings in the background, “See the USA in your Chevrolet…” Lucy soon teams up with a Korean War veteran who helps her look for her son who was stolen years earlier. AND AGAIN the people who bring us this program have missed the boat. Had they combined Kung Fu and the Fugitive, in other words, The Kung Fu Fugitive, she would have met Dr. Richard Kimble, and together they would search for the one-armed man who stole her son. Millions more would have tuned in because, unlike the X-Files, we know that the original Fugitive came to an end. She will find Grasshopper!
Magnum P.I. Originally, the producers wanted Tom Selleck to redo the role, sort of a Magnum Opus. But on second thought, the original Magnum was a fun-loving guy. Tom Selleck has played law-and-order-loving New York City Police Commissioner Reagan on Blue Bloods for so long that he’s incapable of having fun. And he always wears an overcoat, which wouldn’t work in Hawaii, and something is wrong with his facial muscles. They aren’t strong enough nowadays to pull his droopy mustache into a smile. Also something is wrong with his hands. He always keeps them in his overcoat pockets. Doesn’t he know that when he falls, a matter of “when” and not “if”, there is a higher probability that he will hurt himself, more so than if his hands were free to help break his fall? He could shatter his mustache. And with his hands always in his pockets, how could he drive Robin Masters’ Ferraris? Actually, how could he fit in that little two seater? On the other hand, which is also in his pocket, advocates of Selleck redoing the role of Magnum point out that his voice is still the same when he gets excited, an octave higher. He can still hit a high note when he calls out, “Higgins!”