5 Types of Revived TV Series Netflix Should Work On
Netflix become a great place for revived TV Series since its inception, with the great fourth season of “Arrested Development,” the “Wet Hot American Summer” series and now the recently revived ABC TGIF sitcom “Fuller House.” (Although, some might argue that the “Full House” comeback was “dead on revival.” (See what I did there?)
The king of streaming services is also bringing back “The Gilmore Girls,” and probably a few others we don’t even know about yet.
That got us to start thinking about some different types of revived TV series that Netflix should really concentrate on, which might give them more chances at revival success.
While Netflix is really just mining your nostalgia with these revived TV series, they can actually do more than that.
We’ve seen Netflix deliver a kidney punch to network TV, much like their premium Cable TV brethren HBO and Showtime. But for the latter, you’ll likely still be watching some network TV because you’re paying for Cable TV already. With Netflix, you might be one of the millions of people that have decided to just cut the cord entirely. By making more revived TV shows, they’re proving to viewers to have better success rates than their network counterparts, which will speed up cord-cutting for sure.
Revived TV Series: Netflix Should Concentrate On These Types of Shows
This handful of show types (that’s actually a loose term, as you’ll see) works perfectly as revivals for a streaming service like Netflix.
1. Shows With Good Starts, Bad Follow-Ups
How many times have you started watching and loving in the first season, only to see it take a huge downward dive in Season 2 for various reasons. Viewership dropped and the show finally got cancelled. I’m talking about TV shows like “Men Behaving Badly,” with Rob Schneider, Stephen King’s “Under the Dome,” and ”Lois and Clark.”
The trick with reviving these shows is that since they already had second and third seasons, the story might already have gone beyond the tipping point of revival. Netflix would have to start the series after Season 1, and just rewrite the rest, pretending it never happened!
2. Sci-Fi Shows
This is the perfect type of revived TV series Netflix should concentrate on because of the sci-fi industry in general. Think of how popular the different Marvel series have already become on Netflix, from “Daredevil” to “Jessica Jones,” and the great expectations of the new “Luke Cage” series.
Network TV has some success here, too (“Arrow” and “Flash” specifically), but network executives like to get more involved with shows with early success, which often kills everything (see “Heroes”).
Remember that time you met a creative network TV executive? Me neither.
So TV shows like “Jericho,” “Firefly” and “Sliders” had a fervent following, but they didn’t have enough time to really build a large-volume audience.
Plus, when these shows came out, well before the streaming TV age, it was difficult for new viewers to get caught up. With streaming TV, viewers would happily start watching from the pilot going forward, as opposed to starting on Episode 11 in mid-November, on network TV.
3. Animated Series
I read a great post over at MoviePilot.com about “5 Animated Shows Ready For a Netflix Revival.” They shared a handful of awesome ideas for cartoon revivals, including “Batman Beyond” and “Futurama.”
Some reasons animated franchises would make for great revived TV series on Netflix:
- Actors/actresses that don’t age
- Can take place in any era without expensive visual effects and CGI
- Animated shows rarely look dated. Case in point, Bugs Bunny was as new in the ‘80s as he was in the middle of the 20th century.
- New generations of people that have never seen these cartoons are created every decade.
That last one sounds tricky, but what I mean by that is with TV shows from the ‘90s, millennials wouldn’t get caught dead watching them. But with animated series, new kids are born every day that haven’t seen them, and will happily stream.
4. Reality Shows
I did a piece on this earlier, hoping to convince someone that a “Reality TV Channel App” is a great idea! There are tons of reality shows that would be great streaming past seasons of, and now I think they’d work for reviving them.
Since the show’s host is really the only recurring actor/actress each season, these make for great revival candidates. Here are some Reality TV shows that would work well as revived TV series on Netflix:
- “The Mole”
- “The Surreal Life”: This was a “Big Brother”-like series on VH1 that had D-list celebrities living together in the same L.A. house. With the sudden influx of online celebrities from YouTube and other outlets, this could be a lot of fun to start up again. The first season, I’d like to see this cast live in the house together:
- Kirk Cameron
- Hannah Hart
- Joey Fatone
- Randy Quaid
- Ricki Lake
- Shia Lebouf
- Wesley Snipes
- “The Celebrity Apprentice”: Donald Trump might be busy with other things, but there’s no doubt his daughter, Ivanka Trump, would be an awesome new host.
Granted, they might look dated 10 years from now, just like early seasons of “The Amazing Race” do now. But binge-watching a bunch of episodes at once is perfect for reality TV. Think of when you come back from a long vacation and you have three “Survivor” episodes to watch in a row. That’s a great three-hour block of your “back-from-vacation” weekend!
5. 20- & 30-Year-Old Sitcoms
Part of the reason “Fuller House” just didn’t land right was that the schmaltzy jokes we all thought were funny and cute on Friday nights (when we were kids or young adults) aren’t the kinds of jokes we like now. And the kids or young adults living in the current decade have a much more refined sense of comedy than we did back then (see “Phineas and Ferb” or “Bob’s Burgers”) – two animated shows that adults and kids can like together.
So they’d need to refresh older sitcom premises that can be successes across several age groups, like “Night Court,” “Golden Girls,” and even “All in the Family.” For that last one, imagine a Trump-loving, grumpy patriarch that’s “set in his ways” battling with his liberal millennial daughter and son-in-law. (Then again, I guess that’s pretty much the plot for “Last Man Standing.”)
We hope this list of ideas for revived TV series helps Netflix set a precedent that other streaming channels and services follow.