When a show gets cancelled or the cast calls it quits, every avid fan of that show hopes that in some studio somewhere there are actors, a director, and a producer willing to bring their show back from the dead and onto their television screens again. To revive a show takes a lot (just ask the fans of CBS’ cancelled show Jericho) because convincing broadcast company executives that what happened the first time won’t happen again is a very hard thing to do.
There are hurdles that must be leapt within the development stages of the revitalization process that often muddle efforts from progressing further, but if a show makes it through that difficult stage, then it’s in for the hardest challenge of all: convincing the public that the new rendition of the show will be just as good or better than the original. Needless to say this hasn’t stopped some shows from coming back with varied levels of success.
The creators of the show “Land of the Lost” which originally aired in 1974 made it through the development stage of the comeback process but were unable to bring in the viewers during a failed 1991 resurgence.
Now the show is trying to crawl back from the dead again with a movie being released this summer starring Will Ferrell and only time will tell how this second comeback will pan out.
Land of the Lost may be a bad example of a revival attempt because it was never successful to begin with but revival doesn’t get easier even if the show had some success the first time around; just ask the creators of the show “Knight Rider.”
From 1982-1986 fans of this action packed television series were awed by the Firebird dubbed “Kit” as he and future Baywatch star David Hasselhoff rushed to save the day and performed dazzling stunts. Sadly the show reached only minor success and was cancelled, but to the delight of many Knight Rider fans, NBC revitalized the show in 2008.
The only problem was NBC didn’t put as much thought into this comeback as they should have and the second coming of Knight Rider only tarnished the name of the original series.
Though these shows didn’t make it when they tried to comeback, others have. Two of the most notable ones have to be “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica.”
Of those two, the least known has to be Battlestar Galactica but to the fans that watch this show it is the bread and butter of television today.
The original Battlestar Galactica aired for only one season in the late 1970s and faired rather poorly, but now Battlestar Galactica is the flagship of the cable network Sci-Fi.
From 2003 to the present, Battlestar Galactica has been a shining star in the sci-fi realm and has given space fiction fans something to watch since the last real Star Trek episode aired in 2001 (“Star Trek: Enterprise” did have four abbreviated seasons from 2001-2005 but had very little success).
The show allows fans to easily connect with their favorite characters and has spawned Internet chat-rooms with thousands of active participants full of fictional fan spin-offs and desires for more. The current rendition of the show has gone through ups and downs and the show is currently reaching its end, but only after a great seven year resurgence and a stop at the top of the science-fiction TV world.
The perennial power atop the science-fiction TV genre from the late 1980s until the late 1990s was the fan favorite, Star Trek; but Captain Picard can owe his success as the skipper of the Enterprise to that of Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series which aired in the 1960s.
From 1966-1969 Kirk, Spock, and Scotty introduced America to the concepts of warp drives, phasers, and teleporters as well as massive starships, distant planets, and numerous alien races.
Star Trek mania hit the United States like a storm but the show was cancelled after two seasons.
Avid fans fought for the show’s return through a massive letter-writing campaign and were blessed with a third season, which unfortunately turned out to be its last.
The fans screamed for its return again but the second time around it didn’t work but instead they created a new sub-culture in America where if you are a member, you go by the term Trekkie. To some being a Trekkie is a fun diversion, something to do on the weekends and to do with friends.
For others though, it became an all-consuming obsession and almost a way of life which led to massive Star Trek conventions, costume parties, fan clubs, and every other thing under the sun you could think of. These fans actually got NASA to name the first Space Shuttle Orbiter the Enterprise through a massive write-in campaign to America’s fledgling space headquarters.
The tidal wave that was Star Trek lay dormant for the most part during the 1970s and 1980s and grew to a level that nobody could have guessed until the rebirth of the show in 1987. The largest fan acceptance of a returned TV show began in earnest when Star Trek was reborn with Captain Picard, Data, and Commander Riker at the helm of the new Enterprise.
For seven years “Star Trek: The Next Generation” gave every old Trekkie and newborn baby Trekkies their Star Trek fix and brought in millions of dollars to the show’s producers and actors alike.
The Star Trek craze in the late 80s and early 90s was perhaps bigger than it ever had been and the success of Next Generation led to the creation of three more television series spin-offs and seven movies since 1987.
The total length of the second coming of Star Trek ran an impressive 18 years on broadcast television, a feat no other television show has been able to come even close to.