Rebooting: Some classic TV reimagings

In recent days, there has been talk of not one but two television series being reincarnated.

“Murder She Wrote” and “Charmed” are the two former fan favorites which could be rebooted soon.

From what I have read, the “Charmed” revival will be at CBS and the stars of the original series – which went off the air in 2006 – are not thrilled about it. Which of course, would make sense since the new version doesn’t include them.

NBC is developing the “Murder” revision and actually has an Oscar winner lined up to star: Octavia Spencer, who won a best supporting award for her work in 2011’s “The Help.”

Check out what Spencer said about the relaunched concept:

“I’ve always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with (NBC chairman) Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV,” Spencer told the online publication Deadline. “Naturally, I said ‘J.B. Fletcher’ meets ‘Columbo’ And here we are.”

The original “Murder She Wrote” started in 1984 and continued until 1996 with Angela Lansbury starring as Jessica Fletcher, a retired Maine school teacher who became a best-selling author under the name J.B. Fletcher.

Brilliant Jessica helped solve crimes both in her hometown of Cabot Cove and on the road while she was out promoting her books or visiting various relatives.

While I didn’t really watch it during its original run, “Murder She Wrote” has become a favorite after-the-late-shift Friday night treat for me in its airings on the Hallmark Movie Channel. It’s fun for a TV fan like me to see which actors will pop up in the episode.

The reboot could be great as Spencer is an actress with excellent timing and a warm presence.

“Charmed” was a show I liked a lot initially. However, when my cable system dropped the channel it was on, I lost track of it. A reboot is the works, apparently, mostly because the show still draws legions of viewers when it airs on Lifetime and TNT.

But will it be as well loved with a different set of actors?

All this got me to thinking of suggestions for TV reboots. How about these?

– “Sanford and Son,” with James Earl Jones and Chris Rock as the father and son junkyard team, just because I want to hear JEJ’s voice say the famous line, “‘It’s the big one, I’m coming to join ya Elizabeth'”… while clutching his chest, of course.

– “Bewitched,” with Emma Stone as Samantha, the beautiful suburban witch, and Jim Carrey as Darrin Stevens, her often flustered mortal husband, with Nicole Kidman as Endora, Samantha’s droll mother.

– “Cosby Family Ties,” Theo Huxtable (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) marries Mallory Keaton (Justine Bateman) and the pair have a passel of kids, moving into Theo’s family home after his parents, Cliff and Claire, retire to South America. The guest star possibilities are endless.

– “L.A. Law 2014,” with Jerry O’Connell and Tiffani Thiessen as Barney and Marney, the long-lost twins of Corbin Bernsen’s Arnie Becker, and an all(TV)-star cast of regulars including Shannen Doherty, Rob Morrow, Scott Wolf and Christina Applegate, with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as the firm’s newest owners.

– “American Bandstand” with Sean “Diddy” Combs as guest host. Yes, Combs has launched his own music channel called Revolt, but a network-based program that actually plays music would be a welcome revival, at least to me. “Bandstand” was a great afternoon program in my older sister’s youth and a fun Saturday program in mine. Bet a new version could find some fans whenever it was scheduled.

For now, I look forward to the new “Murder She Wrote.” Hope it will be done. My wish is Angela Landsbury make a guest shot or two.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is