Andrew Eccles/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images; Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
What year is it, anyway? Today's TV shows look like the past recaptured: Kung Fu, MacGyver, Magnum P.I., Dynasty, Supermarket Sweep, Saved by the Bell, Lost in Space and Punky Brewster. Walker, Texas Ranger has been clipped to just Walker; Full House expanded to Fuller House, and Roseanne is The Conners (minus Roseanne).
And plenty more TV reboots and revivals are on their way this year and in early 2022. Here are 12 nostalgic series revivals to look forward to (and backward at the same time).
Coming to: Fox, Aug. 10
Returning stars: None
The update lowdown: Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids, Grand Hotel) stars as the descendent of Ricardo Montalbán's character in the ABC series that ran from 1977 to 1984. Now she runs the family's luxury island where guests have their fantasies fulfilled. The show (costarring The Bold and the Beautiful's Kiara Barnes) is shooting right now in Puerto Rico.
Look for: Rosewood's John Gabriel Rodriguez as the pilot of “De plane! De plane!'
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Coming to: Peacock, late 2021
Returning star: Will Smith (behind the scenes)
The update lowdown: The oddest road to a reboot came when a fan named Morgan Cooper made a four-minute trailer for an imaginary dramatic take on the 1990-1996 comedy about a Philly street kid gone to live with his rich uncle's family. When original Fresh Prince Will Smith, 52, caught the viral clip, he got in touch and the two presented it to Peacock, resulting in a two-season deal. “I've been in this business 30 years. That just doesn't happen,” Smith says.
Look for: Possible dramatic interpretation of the Carlton Dance.
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Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.
Coming to: Disney+, Fall
Returning stars: None, but the widow and son of Doogie Howser, M.D. cocreator Steven Bochco are executive producers.
The update lowdown: The 1989-1993 ABC drama about a teen doctor is being reimagined as a comedy about a 16-year old mixed-race girl from Hawaii who's devoted to medical school. In place of former Doogie Neil Patrick Harris, Peyton Elizabeth Lee from Disney Channel's Andi Mack stars as the new Doogie.
Look for: Scenery amid the surgery.
The Wonder Years
Coming to: ABC, Fall
Returning star: Fred Savage, but as director of the pilot
The update lowdown: The 1988-1993 coming-of-age comedy that looked back at the ‘60s gets a twist, following an African American family in Montgomery, Alabama, during the same period. Dulé Hill (The West Wing, Psych) plays the dad, and Elisha “E.J.” Williams is the 12-year-old, Dean, at the center of the show. In place of the original's Daniel Stern, Don Cheadle, 56, plays the narrator, the grownup voice of Dean.
Look for: Social issues along with the family comedy, especially regarding the civil rights struggle.
Little House on the Prairie
Coming to: Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content, late 2021 or 2022
Returning stars: To be determined
The update lowdown: Laura Ingalls Wilder's 1932 book about her 1870s pioneer childhood became a 1974-1983 hit, and it's still Hallmark Drama's number 1 TV show. No casting has been announced yet, but Alison Arngrim, 59 — who played the mean girl Nellie Oleson — points out that she's now the perfect age to play the older Mrs. Oleson. Melissa Gilbert, 56, who played Laura “Half Pint” Ingalls and lives in a little cabin in the Catskills, says people during the pandemic keep telling her, “I'm rewatching Little House on the Prairie — it's bringing me so much comfort.”
Look for: The Canadian wilderness, filmed to resemble Wilder's Walnut Grove, Minnesota.
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Coming to: Paramount+, probably in 2022
Returning star: Kelsey Grammer, others to be named
The update lowdown: Grammer, 66, revives a character he played for eight seasons on Cheers and 11 on the eponymous series — 17 years later. Grammer has said he wouldn't embark on such a project without original cast members David Hyde Pierce, 62; Jane Leeves, 60; and Peri Gilpin, 59. John Mahoney died in 2018.
Look for: A focus on Frederick (Trevor Einhorn), the son that Frasier Crane had with Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth, 62).
And Just Like That …
Coming to: HBO Max, late 2021 or early 2022
Returning stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, 56; Kristin Davis, 56; Cynthia Nixon, 55
The update lowdown: HBO's Sex and the City foursome lived and loved on in two popular (and critically reviled) movies. But the 10-episode resumption of the series about New York girlfriends will include just three of the original four stars: Kim Cattrall, 64 — not Parker's biggest fan — has opted out of a role that reportedly pays over $10 million per actress.
Look for: Creators Darren Star and Michael Patrick King to bring back the old spicy rapport among the cast members.
Coming to: Paramount+ or USA, possibly by fall 2021
Returning stars: Don Johnson, 71; Cheech Marin, 74; Jeff Perry, 65
The update lowdown: Production begins in May for a revival of the series about San Francisco detectives that ran six seasons, from 1996 to 2001. Original plans were for a USA Network movie to kick it off, but the project may instead go straight to network's streaming ally, Paramount+.
Look for: The old camaraderie amid the crime solving, 20 years later.
Coming to: Showtime, late 2021
Returning stars: Michael C. Hall, 50
The update lowdown: The popular eight-season cable drama about a serial killer on the Miami police force ended in 2013 with Hall's titular character faking his own death amid a hurricane so he could disappear and become a lumberjack. Set a decade later, the character appears “a world away from Miami,” according to Showtime. Clancy Brown, 62 (The Shawshank Redemption, Promising Young Woman) plays Dexter's main foe, the unofficial mayor of fictional Iron Lake, New York. Production has begun in western Massachusetts.
Look for: An effort to redeem its much-criticized 2013 finale.
Coming to: Paramount+, late 2021 or early 2022
Returning stars: None announced
The update lowdown: You might have not even noticed the absence of the 15-season procedural that spawned two spin-offs, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which ran for one season, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, which ran for two. But the original show ended its network run on CBS in February 2020. An announced two-season reboot brings back the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, but instead of closing cases weekly, it will crack one case over an entire 10-episode season.
Look for: Possible guest appearances by original cast members Mandy Patinkin, 68; Joe Mantegna, 73; Shemar Moore, 51; and Thomas Gibson, 58.
How I Met Your Father
Coming to: Hulu, late 2021 or 2022
Returning stars: None
The update lowdown: The long-planned sequel to the 2005-2014 comedy How I Met Your Mother is from Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, creators of the original series with Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris. The new one stars Hillary Duff as the matriarch in the future who reflects on her single years back in 2021. Ironically, Duff only became available for this because a planned reboot of her Lizzie McGuire fell through.
Look for: Duff's irresistible nostalgia.
Coming to: Peacock, probably in 2022
Returning stars: None named
The update lowdown: The one-season 1978 ABC space saga that briefly returned in 1980 already resulted in a solid Syfy network reboot that ran from 2004 to 2009. But the story of Cylon robots en route to conquer Earth is back for a third variation under the guidance of Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot).
Look for: The advances in special effects to be out of this world.