Genre television is becoming a major presence in primetime TV. Shows like American Horror Story, Hannibal, True Blood and Grimm are dominating the air and doing big numbers for cable and network stations alike. Subsequently, there is a new trend of reviving series once thought to be dead. Netflix is resurrecting Arrested Development, Fox is bringing back 24, TBS rebooted Cougartown. FEARnet is even getting in on the game, bringing back Reaper with an all-new reunion special airing May 28th.
We at FEARnet, being die-hard horror fans, have some ideas as to what we would like to see rebooted, revived, retooled, or resurrected for another turn in the spotlight. There are plenty of factors that play in to the viability of revamping or resurrecting a series. There are concerns of continuity, scheduling, the aging of the cast, and more. We are not proclaiming that a revival of each of these series is necessarily logical. But, there is no denying that it would be a great deal of fun to see some of our favorite genre-themed television shows that died too soon given a second chance.
David Lynch, you evil genius, you. You have brought genre fans so much delight throughout the course of your impressive career. Not the least of which was one of the most original, exciting, and bizarre shows ever to hit television. The series was unjustly cancelled after a two-season run. The Gulf War is attributed to playing a part in the show’s cancellation. As a result of the war, the show was taken out of its regular timeslot and frequently superseded by coverage of the war. Given that TiVo had not yet been invented and the second season was already a challenge to follow, the series’ fate was sealed. The film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me provided some of the answers fans were looking for and a lot of fans loved it. But, die-hard fans of the show would love to see the series continue. Twin Peaks remains one of the most indisputably beloved cult classics grace the small screen. We would like to see a third season that explored some of the territory covered in the film, by offering a look at what Laura Palmer was like when she was alive and a more concise analysis of her twisted relationship with her father. A spin off would also be a welcome idea amongst fans of the series. Maybe a new mystery set in the town of Twin Peaks, featuring some of the same characters; for instance, Log Lady. Her log knows things.
Friday the 13th: The Series
Friday the 13th enjoyed a three-season run between 1987 and 1990. The concept was unique enough. The title was misleading and an unfortunate choice, seeing as how the show has absolutely no relation to the successful film franchise of the same name. But Friday the 13th: The Series was a great deal of fun in spite of its attempt to piggyback off the success of the machete-wielding Jason Voorhees. Viewers enjoyed following the exploits of a trio of antique dealers tracking down cursed antiquities. A revival of the series may require recasting some of the characters or introducing new regulars, as Chris Wiggins is in his 80s. But, in a perfect world, a resurrection of Friday the 13th: The Series would see the members of the original cast solving problems of the supernatural variety as they did back in the day.
On an interesting side note, John D. LeMay – who played Ryan on Friday the 13th: The Series was a lead in the Friday the 13th film Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Are You Afraid of the Dark? was a first point of contact with the supernatural realm for a lot of horror fans that grew up watching it. The show was popular with the same generation that was raised on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Both the youth oriented book series and the tween friendly television show found an enthusiastic audience because neither held back the goods. I grew up an enthusiastic fan of both because they scared the pants off me. There isn’t much for kids to turn to for legitimate scares, these days. A reboot of the franchise would undoubtedly be a hit. It would be a natural candidate for a reimaging, as the formula doesn’t really require any of the original cast to return. It was the constantly revolving door of actors who portrayed the spooky goings on inside the vignettes that really made the show a hit. The core cast ultimately just sat around a campfire and narrated the spooky tales. That’s not to devalue their contribution to the show, but it is to say that replacing them would not be a major detriment to the revival of the popular series. The show ran from 1991-1996 and was taken out of retirement for a short stint in 1999. But, we are of the opinion that the show is long overdue for a triumphant and long lasting return to television.
Todd and the Book of Pure Evil
The Canadian television series Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is one of the most truly bizarre series ever green lit for television. Where else on live action TV can you find a giant talking penis? The show was simulcast right here on FEARnet. Todd ran for two outstanding seasons, but was axed before its time. Therefore, the series is currently seeking crowd funding via Indiegogo to finish the story by way of a feature length animated adventure. While an animated conclusion to the show will be a great deal of fun, it would be even more exciting to see Todd and company come back with a live action continuation of the series that explored new plotlines, tied up all loose ends, and gave fans of the show the closure they are seeking. It would be great if the series could generate enough episodes (typically 100) to make Todd eligible for syndication.
Tales from the Darkside
Tales from the Darkside ran from 1983-1988, not a bad run, but the concept is far from stale. The anthology format has so much to offer and allows a series to go on indefinitely without drying up. Like other anthology programs, the introduction of new characters each week provides a formula for long-term success. Unlike serialized television, where we are subjected to the same characters going through the same motions each week, the anthology format allows the writers to explore new territory with each episode. Both the television series and the film remain extremely popular with legions of loyal fans that would undoubtedly welcome a continuation of the series.
Masters of Horror
Some would argue that Masters of Horror already received a reboot as Fear Itself, but we beg to differ. Masters of Horror aired on premium cable and therefore had the ability to show almost anything - although Takashi Miike’s Imprint was deemed too intense to air during the show’s original run. Fear Itself, though a very similar concept, was on NBC, which limited what the show’s contributors could get away with. The show was ultimately cancelled after airing only eight of the 13 episodes that were in the can - hardly a fair chance to build an audience. Masters of Horror needs to be revived by a premium channel where legendary names in horror can do what they do best: scare the pants off viewers.
On a side note, Fear Itself can be purchased on Amazon for around $15. The set includes all 13 episodes, thereby allowing viewers to take in the episodes that never made it to air.
Fred Krueger is such a kidder. His awesome show lasted for roughly two and a half seasons. Robert Englund donned his legendary razor blade glove to host, as well as appear in some of the episodes of , this anthology-based series. Unlike some other anthology series, Freddy’s Nightmares was the kind of show that lived or died by its host. The always charismatic, ultra likable, and perpetually jovial Fred Krueger is what made the show so special. That and the fact that the series wasn’t afraid to tackle many of life’s serious issues, like season one, episode 22, which broached the age-old story of two virginal teenagers lusting after a goth girl who's obsessed with Fred Krueger. As far as a revival, we really wouldn’t change anything. Englund would obviously be the crucial element to the success of the show. But, we have no complaints about the format and don’t really know why anyone would mess with near perfection.
Did we hit all of the genre series you would like to see revived or did we miss something you are dying to see resurrected from the dead. Let us know in the comments below!