TV season is upon us yet again, which means that it’s time for some exciting new programs…and some rehashes of old favorites. Yes, reboots and remakes are about as familiar as commercials on television these days. Some like 90210, Hawaii Five-O, and Dallas have met with fairly hefty success, whereas others were gone in about as long as it takes to change the channel! This year we’re welcoming a revamped version of the long running ’60s detective drama Ironside to the small screen. We have high hopes for the program, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn’t go the way of these 10 failed remakes. Read on to see how these short-lived shows rank by number of episodes that actually made it to air!
10. The Love Boat: The Next Wave
Beloved Original Series: 1977-1986 (9 seasons/249 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 1998-1999 (2 seasons/22 episodes)
Few shows have been such a glorious time capsule as The Love Boat. The funky music, white polyester and guest stars galore seem to define the “yacht rock” age of the late ’70s and early ’80s. So it goes without saying that the ’90s remake sank without a trace.
9. L.A. Dragnet
Beloved Original Series: 1952-1959, 1967-1970 (12 seasons/374)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 2003-2004 (2 seasons/22 episodes)
Just the facts, ma’am: Jack Webb starred as Joe Friday -the quintessential non-nonsense stone-faced cop- in two separate series of the long running procedural. We were able to forgive a goofy Hollywood comedy staring Dan Aykroyd in the ’80s, but producers were pushing their luck when they decided to make a remake of the remake, sans Webb. Casting former Married With Children funnyman Ed O’Neill pretty much sealed the show’s fate as a criminally bad cop show.
8. The Twilight Zone
Beloved Original Series: 1959-1964 (4 seasons/156 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 2002-2003 (1 season/22 episodes)
Rod Serling’s masterful black and white classic succeeded in giving an entire generation the willies. And speaking of willies, the show also gave us this priceless early appearance by a young William Shater. But the reboot had none of the flair (or success) of the original. In fact, the most surreal moment of the whole series was when we learned Forrest Whitaker was filling Serling’s host shoes. Simply put, the original show was just too good, and audiences just wanted to remember it as it was. Folks, you are entering…The Cancelled Zone.
7. The Fugitive
Beloved Original Series: 1963-1967 (4 seasons/120 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 2000-2001 (1 season/22 episodes)
The suspenseful finale of the original series drew record numbers when it aired in 1967, but the same crowds didn’t turn out to see this turn-of-the-millenium rehash. We much prefer the movie version from 1993, in which Harrison Ford stars as Dr. Richard Kimble, a man on the run after he was wrongly accused of killing his wife.
6. Melrose Place
Beloved Original Series: 1992-1999 (7 seasons/226 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 2009-2010 (1 season/18 episodes)
The ’00s remake of the Beverly Hills 90210 was a reasonable success, so it seemed like sound logic to do the same for it’s spin-off show, Melrose Place. Ehh, not so much. Maybe all of the remake-spinoff business required viewers to do too much homework. Not even ’90s TV queen Heather Locklear could save it.
5. Family Affair
Beloved Original Series: 1966-1971 (5 seasons/138 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 2002 (1 season/16 episodes)
Fans of TV Land will probably be the ones most likely to remember this throwback show about a wealthy bachelor struggling to raise his brother’s children in New York City. The rather bland premise seemed even more vanilla when seen through a 21st century lens. Producers cast Tim Curry in the role of show-stealing Mr. French (previously played by Sebastian Cabot), but it wasn’t enough.
4. Knight Rider
Beloved Original Series: 1982-1986 (4 seasons/60 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 2008 (1 season/17 episodes)
Wait wait wait -a remake of Knight Rider without David Hassellhoff? That’s like Seinfeld without Seinfeld! NBC tried to update this campy early-eighties hit about a crime fighter and his talking car (did we miss anything else?), but without the Hoff it just fell flat. Cast drama (many were fired midway through the season) probably help speed up the demise.
3. Bionic Woman
Beloved Original Series: 1976-1978 (3 seasons/58 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 2007 (1 season/8 episodes)
Brought to us by the man who turned the ’70s sci-fi shlock-fest Battlestar Galactica into a hugely successful modern remake, this revamp of the proto-feminist action show was glossed over with big budget special effects and fight scenes. Despite dramatic plot-lines, audiences just weren’t buying it.
2. Get Smart
Beloved Original Series: 1965-1970 (5 seasons/138 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 1995 (1 season/7 episodes)
The brainchild of comedic genius Mel Brooks, on the cusp of his ’70s heyday, the original episodes of this spy spoof are still just as hilarious almost 50 years later. They managed to get series lead Don Adams in the remake, but casting the singularly unlikable Andy Dick as his co-starring son? Ehh, we’ll pass.
1. Charlie’s Angles
Beloved Original Series: 1976-1981 (5 seasons/110 episodes)
Cringe-Worthy Remake: 2011 (1 season/4 episodes)
Yup, four episodes into their first season, network execs at ABC decided that Minka Kelly and the rest of the new angels belonged in TV hell. Oof.