The producers of ABC’s new take on “Charlie’s Angels” are well aware of the spotty record of old TV series that have been remade in recent years.
For every “Battlestar Galactica” and “Hawaii Five-0,” there’s a “Bionic Woman” and “Knight Rider,” and they say they can take lessons from both the successes and the failures. Because of that, “A show like this has a big target on its back,” executive producer Al Gough says.
What Gough and fellow exec producer Miles Millar (the two previously developed “Smallville”) want to do with the new show is try to make it more grounded and less fantastical than either the 1976-81 series or the two Drew Barrymore-led movies, which Gough describes as “superhero movies for girls.”
“For us it was finding that emotional theme and having a very clear vision for what we wanted to do,” Gough says. “It’s a show about redemption, a show about second chances. All the ladies have pasts — Charlie is giving htem a second chance, and each week they solve cases that give someone a second chance.”
In addition to that, though, “it’s also execution,” Millar says. “The stakes are much higher when you do a remake — you have to execute extremely well, you have to cast brilliantly.” (Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh play the three Angels, and Ramon Rodriguez also stars as a more involved Bosley.)
Millar says the new show will “keep the DNA” of the original show by having female detectives front and center, but he echoes Gough in saying he wants the characters to be “emotionally resonant.”
“The other iterations felt a little more cartoony and broad, and we wanted our Angels to feel more dimensional,” Millar says. “The modern audience, particularly on ABC, is expecting [to see] that these are contemporaries they can respect and relate to.”
“Charlie’s Angels” will air at 8 p.m. ET Thursdays on ABC starting Sept. 22.