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'Doogie Howser, M.D.' reboot in the works — and there's a twist

The new Doogie will be a multiracial 16-year-old girl who works as a doctor in Hawaii.
/ Source: TODAY

A "Doogie Howser, M.D." reboot is in the works at Disney+, but this time around the show's medical prodigy will look a little different.

"Doogie Kameāloha, M.D." (working title) will focus on Lahela "Doogie" Kameāloha, a multiracial 16-year-old girl who works as a doctor in Hawaii, the streaming service announced Thursday.

DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D., Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Fudge, Lawrence Pressman, Season 1, 1989-1993. TM and
Neil Patrick Harris, far left, in a scene from "Doogie Howser, M.D." (C)20thCentFox / Courtesy Everett Collection

The new show is being described as a "re-imagining" of the hit ABC series starring Neil Patrick Harris, and will depict Lahela juggling a budding medical career and life as a teenager. Like Harris' Doogie, Lahela is close to her family, including her spirited Irish mom — who works as Lahela's supervisor at the hospital — and her Hawaiian dad, who's struggling to accept that Lahela is no longer his little girl.

Kourtney Kang ("Fresh Off the Boat," "How I Met Your Mother") will write and executive produce for 20th Television.

"Thirty years ago, a young medical prodigy took the world by storm and left a lasting impact on pop culture," Ricky Strauss, president of content and marketing at Disney+, said in a statement. "Kourtney and the team at 20th Television have created a very modern take on this beloved property which will resonate with our global Disney+ audience. We can’t wait to introduce the world to the new Doogie!"

The original "Doogie" was created by TV legends Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley. It aired from 1989 until 1993 and rocketed Harris to fame. The 47-year-old actor shared how thrilled he was to nab the role during a Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist in September 2019.

"I never wanted to do a TV show. ... My parents said unless it was, like, a Steven Bochco show, because they loved 'L.A. Law' and 'Hill Street Blues,'" recalled Harris, who was just 15 when he landed his big break.

Harris then recalled receiving a phone call from someone in Hollywood, who told him, "This Steven Bochco guy is doing a show about a kid doctor. You'd be perfect for it."

"Cut to us moving to Los Angeles and doing just that," Harris shared, and the rest is history.