Face it: The future has arrived and in the entertainment world, it looks a lot like the past -- sans the happy take-away vibe. In one corner: TV's Charlie's Angels. (Note to Drew Barrymore: Love you, but next time, pull in better writers.) In another: the Footloose reboot, which, critically, didn't hear for the boy.
True, for decades, what's old becomes new again. But does it really have to? Is Hollywood so lacking in creativity that is has to reinvent every cool hit of the last 30 years? Apparently. Fortunately, CBS' Hawaii Five-0 is worthy of our attention, but it's a rare bird compared to The Bionic Woman and Knight Riders that came before it. I don't mind reboots, but at least, be inventive enough to make the updated versions captivating for 21st century viewing.
So, before Starsky & Hutch, Magnum P.I. and Fantasy Island are greenlit -- although... done right, a latter-day, more mature Fantasy Island could be a kick and yes, if you're a Hollywood exec who's reading this, I'd be happy to come aboard -- maybe it's best to take a look at a small posse of former TV personalities who really should be back on television:
Need we say more? Hall rode the huge tidal wave of success back in the '90s with The Arsenio Hall Show. (Wait -- why was that canceled?) Now that the television landscape has broadened considerably, surely there's a place for Hall, his humor, his insights. Few hosts were/are able to connect with their interviewees, or the audience for that matter, with such finesse. And, at a time when all seem desperately "disconnected," it sure wouldn't hurt to have Hall back in our corner. Bring it.
Once dubbed "The Godfather of cable TV," Rivers has that winning trifecta: wit, charm and intelligence. After a buzz-generating veejay outing on VH1 -- he also landed his own celebrity talk show -- he later hosted Top 5 on Food Network (2002). His collaboration with Whoopi Goldberg in a festive morning radio talk show from 2006-2008 was a hoot but bottom line: We need more of Rivers on TV. OWN? TCM? Bravo? Logo? Step on up. (Photo by Michael Timmons)
Funny lady. Coles grabbed our attention in the '90s on breakout hits like Living Single and In Living Color, but her distinctly original voice and humor is too big to pass up. Sure, we found her on BET's My Black Is Beautiful, but I say get this woman in the center of the television spotlight again. Better still, let's enhance her penchant for provoking thought -- her G.I.F.T.S. Blog Talk Radio finds her interviewing influential givers. Is anybody from OWN tuning in?
She made a dent in stints on The West Wing and Strong Medicine several years back, but the truth is, Richardson has everything she needs creatively to shine as she once did in ABC's Home Improvement. (It still rattles my nerves that the Emmy-nominated actress never took home the gold for H.I.) Aside from casting her in, say, A TV Land venture -- a la Fran Drescher -- I say a network exec should offer this woman a top slot in a new sitcom -- comedies have made a big comeback this year.
Emmy winner. Theater Queen. Daly is a creative force. Her work on Judging Amy, one of the best shows that aired in the last decade, was both soulful and mesmerizing. Few actresses are capable of hitting her emotional depth. Surely, if we have room for Kathy Bates on something like Harry's Law (dig you, Kathy, but I pray your show keeps evolving for the better), there has to be an outing worthy of Daly's caliber. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
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