'Murder, She Wrote' remake? Why not 'Diagnosis Murder' and 'Jake and the Fatman' too?
Leaving aside the question of whether such reboots actually work -- recent history shows a lot more misses than hits -- the "Murder, She Wrote" news got us thinking: If we were profit-hungry TV executives, what other shows might be ripe for a 21st-century update? Some ideas, and the networks that would call them home:
"Diagnosis Murder" (ABC): As with the CBS original, a renowned physician moonlights as a police consultant and often ends up working with his detective son. Dick Van Dyke and his real-life son Barry starred the first time around; the reboot would reunite on-screen father and son Bill Cosby and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
"Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" (FOX): A "gritty, edgy" update of the original series. Logline: "Grey's Anatomy" meets "Deadwood."
"Early Edition" (CBS): Guy learns the news the day before it happens, sets out to prevent bad things from happening. The original starred Kyle Chandler and featured him getting a copy of the newspaper a day early. The reboot features Chandler's "Friday Night Lights" co-star Zach Gilford, and since no one would believe a 30ish guy gets a daily newspaper delivered, he would receive prescient Google alerts or tweets.
"Hardcastle & McCormick" (TNT): He's a hard-nosed retired judge with a nose for justice. He's a streetwise car thief looking to beat a prison rap. Get ready for a "Wings" reunion as Tim Daly and Steven Weber are ... "Hardcastle & McCormick." (Note: TNT has right of first refusal on all series with ampersands in the title.)
"Jake and the Fatman" (The CW): The same premise as the original, which featured a prosecutor and an investigator who team up on cases. It has a CW twist, though: "Jake" is a beautiful young woman with a tough-as-nails exterior, while the "Fatman" is in actuality a model-handsome twentysomething with washboard abs. Sparks fly! The bulldog totally stays, though.
"Touched by an Angel" (The CW): "Supernatural's" Castiel ( Misha Collins) wanders the countryside, "Kung Fu"-style, in this much, much darker reboot.
"Father Dowling Mysteries" (NBC): When a priest ( Eric Dane), defrocked for speaking out against church abuses, and a streetwise nun ( Jennifer Esposito) team up, it's murder ... for the bad guys. Bonus: A teasing but ultimately frustrating plot arc about the conspiracy that got Dowling booted from the church.
"Riptide" (USA): Army buddies Cody ( Matt Davis) and Nick ( Justin Bruening) open a detective agency on Cody's boat and solve crimes using their wits, their helicopter and the skills of a socially awkward but brilliant -- and beautiful -- computer hacker ( Autumn Reeser).