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Revival Exhaustion: Take A Hint, NBC

By Tori Preston | Industry | August 7, 2017 |

By Tori Preston | Industry | August 7, 2017 |

Gosh, I just love the TCAs. There is always so much good gossip coming out of them. Sure, there’s the stuff that the channels and networks want to see reported in the press — the casting announcements, the sizzle reels, the quotes from talent on just how special their special new special will be. And then there is the weird asides, the random mentions that slide into conversations between producers or channel heads and the TV press.

Take, for example, the quotes in this Deadline article from NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. Ostensibly he was there to talk up the Will & Grace revival, which will bring back the cast and creators while ignoring the original series’ resolution. But somewhere along the way he started talking about the rest of NBC’s revival wish list: The Office, 30 Rock, The West Wing, and ER. And in particular the lackluster response he’s gotten from the creators he’s approached.

It seems like The Office is the top priority, which sort of makes sense. It has the kind of set up where they could either check in with the characters again, or recast and reboot the show (which is essentially what happened to the Ricky Gervais version when it landed at NBC in the first place). Apparently Greenblatt keeps checking in with Greg Daniels, the man behind the U.S. version of The Office, about reviving it, and each time he gets the same tepid response: “maybe some day but not now.”

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But even that is leaps and bounds more positive than the response Greenblatt has gotten from 30 Rock’s Tina Fey. According to Greenblatt, “I’d say to Tina ‘Hey, you think some more 30 Rock makes any sense?’ She’d say, ‘I don’t know maybe.’”

I don’t know. Maybe.

SICK BURN, TINA. That’s like me trying to get out of after-work drinks with those annoying coworkers that you have to keep up appearances with but you reeeeeally don’t want to spend time with. That’s what you say when you want to say no but you need to buy time for your brain to come up with a good enough excuse.

Bob, baby, honey — she’s just not that into it.

In the meantime, NBC is working on bringing back Miami Vice (if they update the pastel suits and loafers costumes I will SCREAM), while Dynasty is coming to CW, and CBS still has Hawaii-Five-O. That’s all in addition to ABC bringing Roseanne — and John Goodman’s Dan Connor — back from the dead. Someday maybe we’ll have enough data points to effectively analyze the success rates of these revivals, and see if there is any correlation between length of time off the air and audience interest. Of course, it’s a different equation when you’re rebooting a show versus when you bring it back with the cast and creators intact.

Also, please remember: 30 Rock ended like 4 years ago, so bringing it back now wouldn’t be a case of reviving it so much as acknowledging that the show took a longer hiatus than usual. If 30 Rock can end and come back in less time than it takes GRRM to release The Winds of Winter, well, that’s just sad. Unsurprising, but sad.

The moral of this story is: networks are running out of ideas, haven’t learned a thing from surprise hits like This Is Us, and cynically assume we’ll all ignore Netflix for a night if they just rehash shit we enjoyed anytime in the past 5-30 years. Also I’m still stoked for DuckTales and hypocrisy is FINE.

Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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