Yet another TV reboot is coming. Popular late 80s adult drama Thirtysomething is returning to ABC. The original series came from creators Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, ran from 1987 to 1991 and scooped up 13 Emmys and two Golden Globes during its run.
The American network is reportedly ordering a pilot of the new show. However, they’re not actually calling it a reboot. Instead it’s being sold as a sequel series focusing on the grown-up, 30-something kids of the original characters. Thirtysomething alums Ken Olin, Mel Harris, Timothy Busfield, and Patty Wettig are reportedly returning, and Zwick will direct the pilot.
You’re probably wondering why a show that hasn’t exactly crafted a huge spot for itself in pop culture history is coming back. But back when it aired, the show was arguably ahead of its time, influencing later shows such as Friends and This Is Us.
The series focused on a group of friends — two married couples and three singles — who go through the highs and lows of parenthood, marriage, employment, and maintaining their friendships during their 30s.
ABC are likely hoping that time has been kind to the original series, and that the shows it helped influence will sort of reverse-inspire fans of those shows to watch this one. Or maybe they just cynically want fans of Thirtysomething to watch this reboot. Sorry, this sequel.
As the streaming wars heat up, both networks and streaming platforms are going to be battling for viewer’s eyeballs. Expect more and more reboots of popular old shows as executives try to keep their brands afloat.