American network The CW has had success in recent years by developing reboots and re-imaginings of well known properties, most clearly with its highly successful Riverdale. Just as that series introduced a whole new generation to Archie, they’re perhaps looking to do the same with their latest project. They’re developing a reboot of the mid-2000s series The 4400.
At the time of its debut in 2004, the show was massively hyped, but unfortunately was airing at the same time as the cultural phenomenon that was the similar Lost, and its sci-fi/superhero roots just weren’t the kind of thing people expected on TV at the time. Thus the show went under-appreciated and was cancelled in 2007 after four seasons.
However, the show’s sci-fi/superhero premise sounds a lot more palatable to general audiences nowadays, so The CW is rebooting the show in the hope that it can capture the audience it wasn’t able to do over a decade ago.
The premise is that 4400 people have mysteriously gone missing over the course of recent history, all in their reproductive prime. Some as recently as a few weeks ago, others as long ago as the infamous day the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957. Yet one day, all 4400 show up at the sites of their original abductions, having not aged a day and having no memory of what happened to them.
They are dubbed ‘The 4400’ and must grapple with a brand new, unfamiliar world to them, all while discovering they have come back altered in ways none of them yet understand.
The original show was created by René Echevarria and Scott Peters, but the new version will be co-written by Craig Sweeny (Elementary) and Craig Elmore (Justified), who previously collaborated on the TV version of Limitless. Sweeny did serve as a writer on the original show, but Elmore is set to be the series showrunner if the show moves forward.
If you’re groaning at the idea of another TV reboot, that’s understandable. But at least this reboot is of a show with a fascinating premise that wasn’t able to hits its intended heights during its original run. Rather than reboot a series just for the sake of nostalgia, this is one where a show is being rebooted because of its untapped quality. Hopefully it can find its audience this time around.