NBC has handed renewals to Superstore and America's Got Talent.
HBO has renewed Crashing and High Maintenance.
ESPN's Mike Patrick announced his retirement. He has been with the network since 1982.
Bravo has given an April 5 premiere date for the 5th season of Southern Charm.
Not everyone is enjoying Waco as much as I am, evidently.
"Scripps Networks Interactive-owned how-to network HGTV has bolstered its Sunday programming slate with the addition of How Close Can I Beach? to the night’s lineup. Produced by Switchblade Entertainment, the 13-episode fantasy lifestyle series will follow prospective home buyers as they tour coastal towns in the hopes of finding the perfect beachside home. Each episode will follow the potential homeowners as they view homes that feature drastic differences in space, amenities and views, depending on their proximity to the shore. The families will then decide on their dream home."
"IFC’s Brockmire returns with a brand new season in April, and [yester]day the network dropped a trailer. Renewed ahead of its season 1 premiere last year, the Hank Azaria-starring series returns Wednesday, April 25th at 10:00pm, and the next batch of episodes follow Jim Brockmire as he 'finds himself in the decadent city of New Orleans, seeking to reclaim his career while falling headfirst into all the sinful temptations the Big Easy has to offer.'”
"A survivor of the massacre as Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is accusing CNN of giving him scripted questions during Wednesday night’s town hall on gun violence. Colton Haab told Miami’s local WPLG-TV that the network refused to allow him to raise his idea that schools consider employing U.S. military veterans as armed security guards and instead offered him canned questions. 'CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,' Haab said, adding that he decided not to attend the event as a result. . . .The network has categorically denied the charges."
Wendy Williams has Graves disease and will be taking the next 3 weeks off to take care of herself.
Per Variety, "Jay and Mark Duplass, the veteran American independent filmmakers behind The One I Love, The Overnight, Creep, and Jeff Who Lives At Home, are entering into a new agreement with Netflix that gives the streaming giant worldwide rights to their next four upcoming films.
"The first film under the deal is an untitled Duplass Brothers-Ray Romano project, which will be released later this year. The pic follows a bittersweet bromance and centers on themes of friendship, mortality, and made-up sports. The film, which stars Mark Duplass and Romano, recently wrapped production.
"The untitled project marks Alex Lehmann’s second outing as director — he also helmed Duplass Brothers’ Blue Jay — and he co-wrote the script with Mark Duplass. Mel Eslyn, president of Duplass Brothers Productions, is producing with Alana Carithers and Sean Bradley.
“'Turns out when you make films for Netflix, millions of people all over the world watch them. This is not a terrible thing for an independent filmmaker,' the Duplass brothers said. 'As Netflix continues to grow and develop new ways to reach viewers, we couldn’t be more thrilled to grow our partnership.'
"Netflix’s relationship with the Duplasses goes back to their first feature film, The Puffy Chair, which Netflix’s Red Envelope Entertainment co-distributed in 2005 as its first feature film acquisition.
“'Jay and Mark are the most enterprising filmmakers in the business,' said Ian Bricke, director of independent films at Netflix. 'They have embraced Netflix as much as our subscribers have embraced their films. Having worked with Mark and Jay for over a decade, we have huge admiration for their creative passion and filmmaking smarts. We are thrilled for this next chapter of our relationship.'
"In 2015, Netflix signed an SVOD deal with the brothers that included Blue Jay, Take Me, Creep 2, and the upcoming Duck Butter and Outside In. The previous pact gave Netflix exclusive worldwide SVOD distribution rights following a short theatrical release window.
"The Duplass brothers also executive produced Netflix’s upcoming documentary series Wild Wild Country. The series premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be available on the service March 16."
Per EW, "[f]rom the time he was 25 until his death in 2016 at the age of 66, Garry Shandling kept journals — lots of them.
“'Garry was working on a project at one point where he was trying to figure out how to use his journals as a way to talk about his journey in comedy,' explains uber writer/producerJudd Apatow. 'In the journals he talks about putting a book out called The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. I felt like it was something he wanted to share with people.'
"That’s when Apatow when took over. In this exclusive teaser of the four-hour HBO documentary that will feature appearances by the likes of Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sarah Silverman and Jerry Seinfeld, Apatow reveals how Shandling was an important mentor 'who was a mystery to me.' Before he began the project, Apatow made sure to read all of Shandling’s diaries so he could tell a complete story of the comedian who found great success on The Larry Sanders Show but also experienced feelings of loss and betrayal by working in Hollywood.
"The doc will covers Shandling’s rise on the stand-up circuit to becoming a TV star, along with the lawsuits over The Larry Sanders Show.
“'I feel like he had a neurotic voice in his head and the journals were how he tried to talk to his neurotic voice and calm it down and give it wisdom,' said Apatow, who wrote for Larry Sanders from 1993 to 1998. 'In the early years, they were traditional journals. He talked about his struggles at the Comedy Store and what his dating life was like. But then he started to dissect comedy, to figure out how it works. He was an engineer so it became almost scientific in his analysis. Then the journals became more psychological in order to connect with his higher self. There are a lot of Buddhist phrases. He’d write things like "you’re missing something by thinking." There’s a lot of talk about non-attachments and living in the moment and trying to not judge.'
“'The journals are generally not funny,' Apatow continued. 'But everyone once and a while, in the middle of a very serious section, he’ll just write a joke. So it will be him worrying about something, and then it will just say, "I shave one leg so it always feels like I’m sleeping with a woman.”'
"Part 1 of The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling airs March 26 on HBO. Part 2 airs the next night."
From The Hollywood Reporter: "Roseanne Barr vowed this time would be different.
“'I’m way too old to be fighting,' the 65-year-old comedian told Roseanne co-star Sara Gilbert, who reached out in the spring of 2017 about jumping in on TV’s current reboot craze and reviving their iconic sitcom. If Gilbert could reassemble the entire Conner family, including Roseanne’s husband, Dan (John Goodman), and sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Barr would return. Her only stipulation: Gilbert, who would serve as an executive producer as well as her onscreen daughter Darlene, would need to take on any battles that arose, be it with the series’ writers or its host network, ABC.
"Barr had, after all, endured enough fights during the sitcom's original run, from 1988 to 1997. In those nine seasons, she took pleasure in firing writers (whom she referred to by number, not name) along with the series' creator, Matt Williams, even as the show hovered at the very top of the Nielsen charts with an audience of more than 20 million. Barr regularly feuded with network execs as well as the series' producers, Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner, and on more than one occasion threatened to walk away herself. There was a series of PR gaffes, too, at least a few of which snowballed into full-blown scandals, including the time she shrieked the national anthem at a San Diego Padres game and multiple tabloid episodes from her tumultuous four-year marriage to comedian Tom Arnold.
"By all accounts, this time around has been different. While Barr's vocal support of Trump (the self-described 'radical' says she voted for him to 'shake up the status quo') and occasional alt-right Twitter rants have fanned flames, she insists she has 'learned to control [her] anger a lot better.' The disagreements have been largely contained to the spirited writers room, where a politically diverse staff, led by co-showrunners Bruce Helford (who ran one season on the original) and Whitney Cummings (who was still in grade school when Roseanne premiered), has tackled controversial issues from immigration and health care to drugs and gender fluidity. If the show scores an additional season, Barr would like to lean more heavily into such third-rail topics as race and religion.
"Unsurprisingly, the series' March 27 return, which will revive Dan (by sidestepping a fatal heart attack referenced in the series finale) and introduce a next generation of Conners, is generating heavy interest, with 30-second ads fetching ABC a robust $175,000. Its star, who also has a heavy hand in the show's scripts, will reportedly pocket more than $2 million from the new batch of episodes, on top of the tens of millions she made off the original. Over an afternoon in late January, THR gathered Roseanne's highest-profile off-camera talent, including Helford and Cummings, writer Wanda Sykes, and stars Barr, Gilbert and Goodman, for a discussion touching on old battle scars, boundary-pushing storylines and the Hillary Clinton barb Barr insisted on:
Did you consider having Roseanne vote for anyone besides Trump?
ROSEANNE BARR No, I wanted to do it this way. It's the conversation everybody is having. Families are not speaking to each other. People are still shocked and upset about it. It's the state of our country.
What happened in the room when it came time to write those scenes?
BRUCE HELFORD Contrary to what you might think, the room was not totally liberal …
BARR It wasn't?
HELFORD There were people who had points of view that you'd consider conservative, and we had those discussions, and they ended up being what goes on between Darlene and Roseanne and Jackie.
WHITNEY CUMMINGS We so often surround ourselves with people we agree with, so going into the writers room was often like, "Eeeeek." We were challenging each other, and I definitely wanted to go back into my Huffington Post or Vulture cocoon where everyone agrees, but it's really important to be with people you disagree with when you're writing to make sure you're not being elitist assholes.
BARR I thought everybody was pretty liberal, so I was keepin' an eye on it, making sure that it was evenhanded. But the day we went to shoot [the pilot], I got with the writers, and I'm like, "You guys have to have a Hillary slam." 'Cause they were all Trump slams.
SARA GILBERT Although we never say anybody's name.
BARR But we do say, "How could you vote for him?"
HELFORD And we say "pantsuit" …
BARR That's the line you gave me, and it was a great Hillary slam. I wanted to represent the country and how divided we are.
GILBERT People think this show is more political than it is. It's more about how a family deals with a disagreement like that. But I get it, it creates website clicks.
If Hillary had won, would there have been an appetite for this show?
JOHN GOODMAN Yeah, because the family is still sunk no matter who gets in [the White House].
HELFORD It might have been different arguments, but it would be the same heat.
What were your biggest reservations about coming back?
BARR I got a call from Sara. I said, "I don't know." And she goes, "John's in." I go, "Yeah, I'm in."
GOODMAN It took three weeks from that call till we had a deal at ABC.
GILBERT Then there was the moment for me where I was like, "Uh, now we gotta do it, and it's gotta be good." I was nervous.
BARR It's a great writers room. The best one I've ever been in.
I don't know if that bar is high or low given how you felt about the writers during the original run.
BARR Oh, it's a really high bar. But this one was different because I had nothing left to prove.
HELFORD In the old days, there was a certain amount of buffering for us to get to you. You had a million things going on; it was the No. 1 show in America and everything else. This time, I was able to sit down with Sara and with Rosie, and they both had a million ideas.
Roseanne, in a famous New York magazine essay that you wrote in 2011, you said, "I was not crazy before I created, wrote and starred in television's first feminist and working-class-family sitcom (also its last)." Why do it again?
BARR I certainly weighed all of that, and in conversation with Sara, I said, "I'm way too old to be fighting, so you're gonna have to do it." She promised she would.
GILBERT I lied. (Laughs.)
GOODMAN The way we do things in show business.
BARR Sara can communicate with people at all levels. She's not confrontational, which for me, I'm still that same girl. And a stand-up comic, too, [which means] you're just waitin' for the heckler.
GILBERT Honestly, I was prepared to take on any battles for Roseanne, but there were none.
GOODMAN Maybe you're not trying hard enough.
HELFORD I'm sure we made ABC completely crazy. The standards and practices people were constantly like, "Are you really gonna say that?" But in a way, we were grandfathered in.
In that same piece, you said that you so admired Dave Chappelle for walking from his show. Why?
BARR I admired him for knowing when the fight isn't worth it. Sometimes you've got to walk if you're feeling like your whole thing is so compromised and you've lost your voice and the authenticity. But I didn't get it put to me like he got it put to him. I just kept fighting. I wasn't about to give in. I just wanted to win.
Looking back, did you win?
BARR Oh yeah, absolutely. And it was worth it. And here we are.
Given Roseanne’s prior success, why isn’t the landscape littered with copycats?
CUMMINGS It’s not for lack of trying.
HELFORD Everybody’s tried. I went off and immediately made a deal with Disney and created a show for Gaby Hoffmann. It was about a 12-year-old girl who was obviously gay and it was about three stages in her life and about her friends. And everything that I'd learned on Roseanne, I brought into it. I was handed back the script, they said, "This is dangerous. Cannot be aired."
But why after Roseanne had broken open those doors, did they close again?
HELFORD Because it was a hit show and Rosie had the power to say, "We're doing this." Even when we got to the fifth year, we had to fight for some of those stories, but you (looks to Barr) would just say, "We're doing it," and they would do it.
CUMMINGS You don't have 10 people compromising on a crappy idea. You had one person fighting for a great idea.
HELFORD It was also the PC-ness that came in later on and the fear of rankling people — even though they had seen it work, they were scared to try it.
As the world has become more PC, has the line for what's funny on this show moved, too?
BARR No, I think the world is ready for controversy.
CUMMINGS And comedy.
BARR About real people.
WANDA SYKES The thing about the Conners is they were a Midwestern family who have limited means, and you don't see that a lot on TV — except for black people. Black people are allowed to be poor on TV. (Laughs.) But when the Conners came on, it was like, "Here are real people talking about real problems."
CUMMINGS I became the PC police this time. I was the "you can't say that anymore" and "now this is the word we use" one. And they were like, "Yeah, but that's not how people in this town at this age in this income bracket talk." And I learned, it's not about what we would say, it's about what they would say.
GILBERT I had those same conversations where I was like, "Ooh, I don't think we should say this or that."
GOODMAN The Conners are good people, though, and they're also trying to adapt to the world. They're learning.
BARR Darlene's son is gender fluid, and we fought about that one for a while.
CUMMINGS The word, even. Is it "gender fluid"? "Gender nonbinary"?
GILBERT But he's not gender fluid; he just likes to dress in more feminine clothing is where we landed.
BARR We read so many kids for that part, and it was always too nail-on-the-head. And we had big discussions about it because I'm like, "You guys, we're biting off a big bite of trouble here, so let's do it right."
CUMMINGS: And by "right," it doesn't mean the most PC version with an agenda; it's what would actually happen in this family.
One of the other grandkids is a black girl, which is also something that was not part of the original version, and I'm curious what those conversations entailed?
BARR That was something that I always wanted to do because of DJ not kissing a black girl [in season seven]. So that's important to me.
BARR I like diversity, and it's so much a part of the working class where it is not so much part of middle-class stuff. And I know so many people who have mixed families. My godson is African-American, and we've known him since he was 3. Now, he's 23. And the conversations that my family was able to get into because of that with his parents and his siblings is just a wonderful part of my life. And if we get another season, I'd like to discuss that more.
CUMMINGS This season, we decided it's not about her being black. It's not like, "Here's a black story about the black kid."
GILBERT We never talk about it.
HELFORD It was Wanda who put it into my head, and it came through in the script: Not only does there need to be some diversity in this show, but we have to show that everybody is going through the same problems.
SYKES Because part of the division of the country is people have the same problems, but they're arguing it as if they aren't suffering the same thing.
You have talked about breaking taboos on this series. How do the taboos differ from 20 years ago?
HELFORD We wanted to make sure that all sides were represented in the show, which seems to be taboo today. We did an episode about a Muslim neighbor. I can tell you that the hair of the standards and practices people went on end.
CUMMINGS Muslim neighbor versus a Muslim neighbor. Just the tense — how do we say it? And are we saying it right?
HELFORD Health care was another one. Rosie said, "We gotta discuss health care." Who else is taking that on for comedic purposes?
It doesn't sound very funny.
HELFORD And that's the beauty of the show: The more tension there is, the funnier it is. We also took on Dan facing the competition from people hiring illegals, and that's not anything anybody really wants to touch.
GOODMAN Mixed with a concerted effort to get rid of labor unions.
BARR The town that ours is based on — Elgin, Illinois — is changing. It was majority white, now it's majority Hispanic. We went and interviewed people there.
HELFORD The producers. We did a focus group with primarily women, 35 to 55, and we found out some really fascinating things.
CUMMINGS The things we thought their problems would be were not.
HELFORD We're all Los Angelenos, so one question we asked was, "Do you try to buy organic food?" And they're like, "Nah." That was the end of the discussion.
CUMMINGS Another taboo we addressed was the opioid crisis, which is this thing we're seeing in the news, but it's not being tackled on [scripted] TV, certainly not network TV. But what I've always loved about Roseanne is the show's ability to have these incredible dramatic moments in a multicamera sitcom with an audience sitting there, not laughing 'cause an incredible dramatic moment is playing out, whether it was when DJ wouldn't kiss the black girl at the school play or Jackie's domestic abuse. We thought maybe this could be one of those episodes.
GILBERT I was talking to our DP about the look of our show, which is a little darker, too. It's not a bright, glossy sitcom. I said, "It's barely a sitcom," and that is the way I'd describe Roseanne.
Looking back, what were the biggest fights, contentwise?
HELFORD If it was dark, like Jackie being abused. That was a very tough one. And I don't know if you remember, Rosie, but when George Bush was going out and [Bill] Clinton was coming in, you guys said something like, "Well, we hope there's gonna be a change in the White House."
BARR They wrote a whole bunch of stuff in some newspaper, maybe the Chicago Sun-Times, that what we had said helped Clinton win.
HELFORD When the Conners say something, it carries weight.
GOODMAN I am Walter Cronkite. (Laughter.)
BARR People have asked me, "Would there be a Hillary Clinton without Roseanne?"
How do you answer?
BARR No, there wouldn't be. And I think I accused her of stealing my act, too. (Laughs.) Race was always a no also. And I couldn't figure out how to crack that. I made some mistakes there. I was angry about [the lack of diverse casting on our show], and I went to The New York Times, and in an interview, I said, "Carsey-Werner just hired a whole bunch of black people to stand in the background in the factory." We used to make fun of it 'cause the only thing they'd do is, like, check the fuses.
GOODMAN Ohhh jeez. (Laughs.)
BARR Things have become more integrated since, but when I said it, they were angry at me because I was talking about the producers of The Cosby Show [Carsey-Werner produced both shows].
John, you're laughing now, but how did you deal with the wars your co-star waged back then?
GOODMAN I'll give you the good answer and the bad answer. I was at a point in my life where I didn't need any more stress. I was creating enough of my own. [Goodman, now sober, battled alcoholism during the original run.] So I just didn't do anything. I hid in the dressing room a lot."
This interview has been condensed.
On the heels of that, there's this: "During a Feb. 13 episode of Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, Jerry Seinfeld tested the enthusiasm threshold of the host's already-animated audience when he told her that it's 'possible' he might someday revisit his eponymous 1990s NBC sitcom. [AS IF!]
"No, Seinfeld will not be back on the network's 'Must See' block for fall 2018. But the fact that DeGeneres' question was even answered after two decades of the comedian rolling his eyes at such suggestions is a sign of the times. Revivals of contemporary classic sitcoms Will & Grace, Roseanne and Murphy Brown, original casts still in place, have shifted industry perception to the point where few series wouldn't be considered fair game for some kind of update. These continuations, a strange breed that's neither remake nor the original iteration, are still just a fraction of the reboots dominating the TV landscape — reflecting the often complicated dealmaking and the fact that most runs aren't expected to last long.
"'Netflix really kicked this into high gear with Fuller House,' says one studio chief. 'It's one of the worst shows that I've ever seen, but it's by far their most watched. It woke everybody up to look at their own libraries.'
"Fuller House, which stars Candace Cameron Bure and reunites nearly all her co-stars from ABC's Full House (1987-95), was not an easy sell. Original creator Jeff Franklin first shopped the family sitcom (technically a spinoff) as a 10-90 deal (a 100-episode order if the first 10 work), when the initial success of Charlie Sheen's on-the-cheap Anger Management briefly had those in fashion. Nobody would bite. It was Netflix that ultimately reached out to Franklin to hear the pitch before rushing the show to premiere in early 2016. 'We went out to all the likely suspects, and they all passed,' Franklin tells THR over email. 'Without Netflix, this show would not have happened. And all the sitcom reboots that followed may not have happened, either. You're welcome, Roseanne.' (Netflix is said to have 'overpaid' for both Fuller House and its remake of Norman Lear's One Day at a Time.)
"The success of Fuller House, like all things on Netflix, is somewhat ambiguous. Its true audience is unknown, though anecdote suggests it is high. Nielsen cited a third-season premiere week haul of 4.6 million viewers, and the streamer itself claimed subscribers plow through it faster than all but one other original on the roster. (The series with that distinction is another reboot: the four Netflix movies reuniting the cast of the defunct WB/CW drama Gilmore Girls.) Both projects prompted a broadcast network scramble to get on the nostalgia bandwagon — just as Netflix, which allegedly paid roughly $45 million to resurrect the Mitch Hurwitz cult favorite Arrested Development as one of its first big original plays, decided it was not in the TV salvage business. The trend now belongs to the Big Four, desperate to drum up buzz by harkening back to their heyday.
"It's working at NBC. Most point to Will & Grace as the current standard of reboot success. At the very least, it's the show that ABC will measure Roseanne against when the comedy returns from its 20-year break March 27. Will & Grace ranks as NBC's No. 1 comedy of the season, and it trails only CBS' Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon on the list of top comedies across TV. Better still, the already-renewed comedy barely costs more money than a typical first-year show, say sources.
"'As far as the financials, these look similar to any new show being launched with high-end talent on board,' says a TV lit agent. 'Where you can get into issues are the original agency packages.'
"Will & Grace, like Fuller House or Gilmore Girls, has the benefit of the original creator, stars and studio all being keen to make it happen. The only speed bump comes with paying out to those stray parties who are no longer involved. Independent agent Scott Schwartz, who hasn't represented Will & Grace co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan for several years, gets a piece of the new show for his role in putting it on the air back in 1998. (NBC is paying roughly $2 million an episode.) 'You could always try to make the case that it's something different,' the agent adds, 'but they're the same damn shows.'
"If the original creator is not involved, he or she will still get a cut, be it a continuation or a more traditional remake. The Writers Guild of America affords multiple protections in its contracts. Matt Williams, Roseanne's creator and first showrunner, departed in season one after butting heads with Roseanne Barr. He still saw his name run with the lone 'created by' tag for the eight and a half seasons that followed. And that credit will remain intact for the show's new episodes, even though he's as uninvolved as ever. Williams, who also gifted ABC with Home Improvement, did get a courtesy call before the official reboot announcement — and the extravagant pitch to ad buyers that followed. Sources say he'll receive a percentage of his past royalties and backend. Such passive payments, according to one lawyer, are a victory at a time when backend is becoming harder to come by.
"It pays to be polite, by the way. Creators who don't get a heads-up before the cat's out of the bag often end up being either 'very expensive or very difficult.' Entitlements vary wildly. 'In the ideal world, these creators should not find out from a press release,' notes another TV lit agent, speaking about more traditional remakes. "But that's definitely not always the case."
"'Marcy [Carsey] and I have been approached about doing a reboot of one thing or another, but it's hard to make a reboot fresh,' says Roseanne rights owner and Carsey-Werner co-founder Tom Werner. 'We always had this sense of, "We want to be proud of something that we did,' and we don't need the income.'
"Not that it doesn't boost a writer to get his or her series back into the conversation. In addition to the fact that a remake or new episodes means collecting more fees, the current streamer push for old libraries has sweetened the backend on the originals for many. Hulu secured the original Full House after the success of its Netflix spinoff. And, after ABC announced its plans for Roseanne, Amazon Prime struck a streaming deal with distribution house FilmRise for its first nine seasons and several other titles in the Carsey-Werner catalog. 'There's a huge appetite for nostalgia in some of these streamers,' says FilmRise acquisitions vp Max Einhorn. 'And there's been a large, sustained interest for Roseanne since it premiered on Amazon. I think ABC will see that reflected in their own ratings come March.'
"Contrary to common assumption, these new runs don't automatically come with rights to the old seasons. They can be negotiated together or separately. NBCUniversal licensed only the first eight seasons of Will & Grace to Hulu at the time of the show's return (for nearly $15 million, a deal described as 'cheap'). What happens with the ninth and upcoming 10th season for their second window is up in the air. Warner Bros. has yet to make any formal deal for Murphy Brown's back catalog, although Hulu is said to have expressed interest and CBS streamer All Access seems like a natural choice, given that the reboot is for CBS. Many express skepticism about how individually valuable these new seasons can be. After all, they're short orders — between nine and 16 episodes — and, even in success, aren't expected to last many seasons. Showtime poured tens of millions into David Lynch's return to Twin Peaks, but the one-off has made little awards impact for a prestige play, and the ratings (2 million viewers, across platforms) did not spike as many thought they would. New episodes of The X-Files, revived at Fox with original leads David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, pulled nearly 14 million weekly viewers with a 2016 event series. But the audience for its 2018 follow-up is down 55 percent, and Anderson has already said she's not signing for a third season.
"That's hardly stalled talks on other titles. Sony is trying to reassemble Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser for more Mad About You. NBC execs have passively discussed bringing back The Office, and the network is said to be equally interested in reassembling former cast and the option of just starting from scratch. The ecosystem is certainly better built for the latter, where the cast is typically less expensive (the four leads of Will & Grace each made $250,000 per episode for the first season of the show's return and will make $350,000 a pop for the second season, still less than their salaries when the original run ended) and eager to sign on for more. Remakes with new casts and creative teams litter the dial, from CBS procedurals Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver to The CW's soapy Dynasty. And networks only want more. Up-and-coming TV scribes are frequently sent off to studios to peruse IP libraries like they're self-serve frozen yogurt bars — either to get inspiration or to find familiar packaging for an idea they've already cooked up. 'Almost half of the pilots ordered this year were based off of intellectual property,' CAA TV lit agent Tiffany Ward says of the reboot grab. 'That kind of proportion, coupled with a dormant title that fits with a creator's idea, makes adding recognizable titles a worthy conversation to have.'
"At least two creators are even trying to revive one of their own shows with a new setup. Christopher Keyser and Amy Lippman, behind '90s family drama Party of Five, were inspired by the success of This Is Us to put a timely twist on their story of orphans raising each other after the death of parents. Freeform gave a substantial pilot commitment to a new version focused on a group of Los Angeles kids whose parents are forced back to Mexico by U.S. Immigration.
"'The question always has to be, "Why now?"' says Keyser. 'We weren't sitting for years trying to figure out how to get this thing to happen again. It didn't have a reason for being until now.'
"For CBS Television Studios president David Stapf, with new versions of Cagney & Lacey, Charmed and Magnum, P.I. all in consideration for next season, there's no doubt: 'How do you break through the clutter when there are 20 places to sell a show? The marketing and promo folks will always tell you, "Give me a title. Give me a star. Give me something where I'm not starting from scratch." And, in many cases, these series come with built-in, contemporary fan bases through years of original series reruns on both cable and streaming platforms.'
"What network or streaming service wouldn't pay a premium for more Seinfeld? Jerry and company may not be prepping that comeback, but NBC (and everyone else) will line up to put it on the air should they ever — no matter what happens with Roseanne, Murphy Brownor the shows that will no doubt come after them. The nature of this abundant TV market demands it. 'When these start to bomb or quickly flame out, you will see less enthusiasm from the marketplace,' says Franklin. 'But there will always be room for the right property to rise again. Still Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, anyone?'"