The premiere of ABC’s “V” — and TV’s mostly woeful track record for updating beloved TV series — has us taking a closer look this week at ’70s and ’80s TV series that just might be able to make a comeback, if done correctly.
Monday, we took a look at “Greatest American Hero,” “WKRP in Cincinnati” and “Small Wonder.” Next up …
“Hart to Hart” (1979)
Original: “The Thin Man” with teased hair and shoulder pads instead of cocktails and hangovers. Wealthy industrialist Jonathan Hart and his journalist wife, Jennifer, find themselves in the midst of a mystery every week. They’re aided in their crime-fighting by acerbic frog-voiced butler/driver/cook/manservant Max and shaggy canine Freeway.
Reboot: Jonathan Hart is a software billionaire and thrillseeker who married Jennifer, his brilliant and beautiful top programmer. Using a combination of Jonathan’s extreme sports skills and Jennifer’s smarts and abilities as a hacker, the duo tackles a variety of adventures and mysteries, from murder to industrial espionage to terrorism. Their backup and frequent savior is their major-domo Max, a Special Forces vet who served under Jonathan’s father, Franklin. Franklin’s disappearance five years ago is the one mystery the Harts have yet to solve. (These days, shows need either a large central mystery or a big major villain, often an evil corporation.)
Recast: Scott Foley (“The Unit”) as Jonathan Hart. Sarah Shahi (“Life”) as Jennifer Hart. Michael Clarke Duncan (“Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”) as Max. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Watchmen”) as Franklin Hart (seen only in photos and flashbacks).
Original: Michael Mann created this slick private eye series about Dan Tanna, a Vietnam vet who parked his ’57 Thunderbird in his living room. Tanna worked the high and low ends of the Vegas Strip battling criminals from con men to killers to the mob.
Reboot: “Las Vegas” meets “Burn Notice” in this action-heavy update. The new Dan Tanna is a former mercenary and hitman who’s turned over a new leaf. He’s trying to atone for his past but occasionally has to battle a well-armed skeleton from his closet. Tanna eventually learns that many of the criminals he butts heads with are connected to one man … a mysterious crime kingpin pulling the strings of the city’s swindlers and crooks.
Recast: Justin Hartley (“Smallville”) as Dan Tanna
Come back Wednesday for our “Daria” and “Forever Knight” updates.
TV Redo: ‘Greatest American Hero,’ ‘WKRP in Cincinnati,’ ‘Small Wonder’
TV Redo: ‘Forever Knight,’ ‘Daria’
TV Redo: ‘Magnum P.I.,’ ‘The Famous Teddy Z’
TV Redo: ‘Bosom Buddies,’ ‘Manimal,’ ‘Misfits of Science’