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Coming up with a great new TV show idea — and getting it to catch on with viewers — is no easy feat. So in this age of television, why not just bring back the shows that are proven to have already worked?
That seems to be the thinking over at NBC (network for TODAY), based on an interview at Deadline with NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, who says he has a whole menu of shows he'd love to reboot.
Which ones? Think "The Office," "30 Rock," "ER" and "The West Wing," for starters.
"If Tina [Fey, show creator] called and said 'I'd do "30 Rock,"' I'd do it in a heartbeat, even for a limited run," says Greenblatt. "The same about 'The Office.'"
"We often talk about 'The Office,'" Greenblatt said, and referred to the U.S. show's creator Greg Berlanti, with whom who he's been rumored to be having talks. ("The Office" was originated in the U.K. by Ricky Gervais.) "I've talked to Greg four times over the past few years. It's always, 'Maybe some day but not now. There is certainly an open invitation but we don't have anything happening right now. If he wants to do it, I would do it."
He also noted, "I'd say to Tina, 'Hey, you think some more '30 Rock' makes any sense?' She'd say, 'I don't know; maybe.'"
"30 Rock" ran from 2006-13; "The Office" from 2005-13.
Then there's "The West Wing," created by Aaron Sorkin (1999-2006). NBC is already working with him on a live production of "A Few Good Men," so it's no surprise that Greenblatt would like to get a few more good shows back on the lineup.
"I keep saying to him, 'Do you want to do 'The West Wing' again, wouldn't it be great to do it?' He says, 'You know I love that show and some day I'd love to revisit it, but it's not going to happen right now.'"
Greenblatt also noted that he's approached "ER" (1994-2009) showrunner John Wells about rebooting that long-running favorite show as well, "but there is nothing concrete."
It's no surprise that executives would love to go back to some of their greatest hits for a reunion tour, particularly with the success of some attempts like Netflix's "Fuller House" (a continuation of "Full House") and NBC's upcoming "Will & Grace" revival, which earned a second season pickup before the first one even aired.
Plus, "Miami Vice" is getting a fresh start on NBC and "Dynasty" will soon rule again, this time on The CW. And we've seen old shows find new life on networks in recent years, like "Hawaii Five-0" on CBS. But NBC's wish list is much more recent.
Still, we don't think you should hold your breath for any of these shows to return. If you sense a similar "thanks but no thanks" tone in their creator/showrunners' comments, that's not a surprise: most of the cast and creators have simply moved on. Sorkin, for one, has directed his first feature film "Molly's Game" for release this November.
But as Greenblatt might say, never say never: Even without their guiding lights, sometimes shows can rise from the dead. And who doesn't like imagining that George Clooney could once again slip into his white doctor coat for a guest stint on a fresh "ER"? We're already setting our DVRs ...
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