10 Crime Shows From the ’80s That Need a Reboot
Love 'em or hate 'em, reboots are all the rage in Hollywood — both on the big screen, where you can't go a week without a new version of 'Footloose' or 'The Thing,' and on the TV, where '90210' is back and 'Charlie's Angels' briefly took flight again this fall.
Recognizing a trend when they see it, the folks at NBC have decided to reboot the cult 1987-90 CBS hit 'Wiseguy,' which starred Ken Wahl as a tough-as-nails undercover cop who infiltrated the Mob. (Kevin Spacey gave a memorable performance as a creepy, drug-addicted gangster.)
But why stop there? We're talking about a decade that gave us dozens of crime-solving shows — the cheesier the better. So we decided to make a list of ten great candidates for a comeback. Take a look below, and let us know what '80s shows you'd like to see rebooted.
'Murder, She Wrote'
Since losing her 'Charlie's Angels' gig, Minka Kelly needs a job. So why not hire her to star in a sexy update of geriatric favorite 'Murder, She Wrote'? In 'Murder, She Blogged,' the new Jessica Fletcher would a Perez Hilton-esque gossip blogger who solves celebrity murders. Original series star Angela Lansbury could pop in on a recurring basis as Minka's kindly landlady. Hey, it would be better than the 'Charlie's Angels' reboot.
Rumor had it that Matthew McConaughey was going to don Magnum's mustache and short shorts on the big screen. Since that sounds terrible, why not just bring back Tom Selleck to TV in the role he was born to play? In the reboot, an older Magnum would take over Higgins' role as caretaker of the Robin Masters estate. When a new hotshot P.I. shows up in Hawaii, it's up to Magnum (and old pals Rick and T.C.) to teach the kid the ropes. Since the original 'Magnum' was on CBS, there could be a crossover episode with the new 'Hawaii Five-O.' Reboot magic!
From 1984 to 1991, former NFL star Fred Dryer starred as hard-bitten police sergeant Rick Hunter, busting perps alongside his lovely sidekick Dee Dee McCall (played by '80s TV staple Stepfanie Kramer). Now, Hunter's back and better than ever — only now he's played by former NFL star Warren Sapp, and his sidekick is Eva Longoria. ('Desperate Housewives' is ending. She needs to do something.) You're welcome, Hollywood.
'Cagney and Lacey'
Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly headlined this groundbreaking police procedural during its impressive seven-year run, and reunited for four TV movies in the '90s. Their characters are retired now, but that's no reason to let the bad guys off the hook. Why not cast Portia de Rossi and Amber Heard as their crimefighting nieces? New faces, same vague sexual tension!
'Jake and the Fatman'
Obesity is on the rise all across America — but not in Hollywood, where Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and even the mighty John Goodman have lost weight in the last few years. Which is all well and good, given that the original Fatman, William Conrad, died of congestive heart failure two years after this series about a prosecutor and his investigator pal concluded its 1987-92 run. Without a truly obese star, we'd suggest hiring the somewhat overweight — and very funny — Patton Oswalt to play a slimmed-down Fatman. (Call it 'Jake and the Kinda Pudgy Guy.') And since the original Jake, Joe Penny, masked his native UK accent in the role, we'd hire another English actor for the reboot: Dominic West, who managed to sound like a Baltimore native during his five seasons on 'The Wire.'
Let's face it: the Jamie Foxx/Colin Farrell 'Miami Vice' movie was pretty forgettable. So why not bring back Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas for a 'Miami Vice' reunion on the small screen? In the reboot, Crockett and Tubbs (still sporting their awesome pastel outfits) hunt down some of Miami's most dangerous drug lords with the help of a sexy young forensics specialist. And in the ultimate TV crossover, the 'Miami Vice' crew teams with the 'CSI: Miami' gang to hunt down Miami's most dangerous serial killer…Dexter Morgan!
From 1982-87, Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist solved crimes and lampooned gender politics in 'Remington Steele,' the detective show about a private investigator (Zimbalist) who names her agency after fictional boss man Remington Steele in order to circumvent sexism — and ends up hiring an ex-con (Brosnan) to assume his identity. For the reboot, we'd hire the woefully underutilized Eric Bana, thus rescuing him from films like 'The Time Traveler's Wife,' and cast Callie Thorne from the recently ended 'Rescue Me' to fill Zimbalist's no-nonsense pumps.
'Scarecrow and Mrs. King'
Before 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith,' Bruce Boxleitner and Kate Jackson were 'the Scarecrow' — a noble secret agent working for the Agency — and divorced-housewife-turned-spy Mrs. King. Boxleitner is starring in 'Tron' sequels now and Jackson is working on her upcoming memoir — and housewives on TV are played out anyway — so we'd suggest casting John Stamos as the new Scarecrow, who inadvertently crosses paths with divorced telecommuter Jennifer Love Hewitt. Put it on the USA Network and you're guaranteed to have a hit show your aunt won't stop talking about.
Over the last few seasons of 'The Equalizer,' William Zabka co-starred as Scott McCall, the estranged son of series lead Edward Woodward, and was reportedly being groomed to take over the show at one point. Well, it's been off the air for over 20 years, and Zabka's closing in on 50 years old now — we say he's perfect for the role of an aging vigilante haunted by his past.
Starring the late, great Patrick Swayze and featuring one of the best opening credit sequences of all time, 'The Renegades' were a band of street punks with names like “Dancer” and “Eagle” who worked as undercover police officers. (Swayze played the appropriately named “Bandit.”) It was 'The Warriors' meets '21 Jump Street,' and it's a concept begging for a reboot. And since Kurtwood Smith ('That '70s Show') still looks as old and surly now as he did in 1982, he could return for the reboot as The Renegades' police liaison Capt. Scanlon.