A remake of the 1960s-70s series “Love, American Style” is in the works at CBS — although “remake” might not be the right term to apply here.
According to Deadline, the new show would drop the anthology format that was “Love, American Style’s” signature when it ran on ABC from 1969-74. The show had a semi-regular cast of performers, but it mostly relied on guest stars to tell a series of brief stories about love each week. The new version would focus on four couples who represent some of “the many stages of love.”
“Being Erica” creator Jana Sinyor and Aaron Martin (“The Best Years”) are collaborating on the pilot script. (Both writers, somewhat ironically, are Canadian; they worked together on “Erica” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”) They’ll also executive produce along with Kim and Eric Tannenbaum (“Two and a Half Men”).
If it goes forward, the “Love, American Style” update will join a small but growing trend of not-really-remakes (zombie remakes?) of old shows that share little more than a title and vague premise with their predecessors. Think NBC’s “Bionic Woman” and “Prime Suspect,” for instance. There’s also the question of whether a 40-year-old title holds any cachet with the majority of viewers today.
A weekly anthology is kind of a tough sell in the current television climate, so dropping that aspect of the old show might make some sense. But that then raises the question: Why not just call it something else and start from scratch?