80s Revival: 5 Shows That Need Reboots

If you don’t like acid wash jeans, Pepsi Free and bad hair you better brace yourself, we’re in the midst of an 80s revival. The latest example comes after CBS announced that it picked up a Macgyver reboot for the upcoming fall season. The basic “building anything out of anything” plot appears to remain, however Richard Dean Anderson and his mullet have been replaced by a very young-looking Lucas Till and a poorly coiffed head of hair.


Over the last few years we’ve classic 80s shows like The A-Team, The Dukes of Hazard, and even Knight Rider relaunched or remade on the big and small screen… but here are five shows that haven’t been remade that need to be immediately.


A handsome private investigator solving crimes while living at a rich dude’s house, rolling in said rich dude’s sweet ride, surrounded by bikini-clad women and all of it takes place in Hawaii. You’re telling me this wouldn’t be as big a hit now as it was when it ran from 1980-1988? Did I mention one of his friends flew a helicopter and the other managed a beach club? Bonus!

The original Magnum P.I. aired on CBS, which has just so happened to bring back another Hawaii-based police drama, Hawaii 5-0, with great success. It was hinted that the originals existed in the same “universe” so why not just make that connection obvious and spin-off a new Magnum straight out of the current Hawaii 5-0? If there’s one thing CBS likes to do it’s creating spin-offs (see: CSI, NCIS, Jag and so on).

I don’t know who would play Magnum, but Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) would be a good Higgins.


One of my all-time favorite shows. After a time traveling experiment goes wrong, Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) is trapped leaping through time (mostly the 50s, 60s and 70s) into other people’s bodies in order to correct historical mistakes. His only ally is Al (Dean Stockwell), his holographic friend that only Beckett can see. It was the perfect mix of sci-fi and history.

While the show ran on NBC from 1989 to 1993, it was open-ended as Beckett never stopped leaping. This opens the door for a continuation instead of a reboot. In this version, Bakula takes over the Al role for a new leaper who would now have the 80s, 90s and early 2000s to leap to. Just do it SyFy or History Channel.


Heralded as one of the greatest television shows of all-time, it seems like this one is ripe for a reboot. The original (which was of course adapted from the movie of the same name) is basically an army hospital set up in South Korea during the Korean War. It was an allegory to the Vietnam War, the theme song was titled Suicide is Painless and yet somehow was still billed as a situational comedy.

Like Quantum Leap it wouldn’t necessarily have to be a reboot, it could be a continuation. It could be set during either Gulf War or the war in Afghanistan. Maybe you even get Alan Alda involved. I do also think to really work, it would have to take a more serious tone. Basically it would be ER meets Band of Brothers.


Believe or not (see what I did there) a show about a guy losing the directions to the super suit that was given to him by aliens only lasted two seasons. Sure, the premise sounds pretty silly, but wait until you see Ralph Hanley (William Katt) try to figure out how the suits works! Just check out the show’s intro… he can fly… but he can’t land! This is peak 80s slapstick comedy.

If NBC is green-lighting a show billed as “The Office but with super heroes” wouldn’t network execs at least listen to a pitch for this?


Speaking of heroes… how about a band of super-powered “human anomalies” lead by a brilliant scientist? Sounds kind of familiar, right? OK, so this is basically an X-Men ripoff in an ice cream truck, but hey, the X-Men franchise has made a boatload of money. Only the pilot of this show ever made it onto TV. It’s probably best known for having Courtney Cox as part of the cast well before she hit it big on Friends.

Given the success of the X-Men this could work. Special effects are easier to do these days and you wouldn’t even have to pay Marvel for the rights to the characters.


A doctor uses his ability to shape-shift into any animal he chooses (mostly a hawk and panther) to help police solve crimes. Who isn’t watching this? I mean besides everyone between September and December of 1983. How bad was it in 1983? It only lasted 8 episodes, yet somehow the Manimal character ended up as part of a crossover with the show Nightman 15 years later.

Seriously, this one is a terrible idea and should have never been made in the first place. I only included it on the list so you could watch the amazing and somewhat disturbing transformation sequence that lasts nearly two minutes. And it happened IN EVERY EPISODE.

Justin Chechourka
Justin Chechourka
By day, I am the Multimedia Manager for a major infrastructure project. By night, I am a sports loving, pop culture addicted, craft beer swirling, technology enhanced father of 3 small super heroes. I was a TV news producer for nearly 15 years, but I have a passion for writing. It’s a passion that is only matched by what my wife calls my uncanny ability to maintain a brain full of (mostly useless) facts about sports, beer and comic book-based movies & TV.