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TV series reboots and revivals coming in 2021 and beyond

By Kara Santos Published Dec 29, 2020 2:46 pm Updated Dec 29, 2020 4:45 pm

Nostalgia is pretty big in Hollywood these days. During times of trouble, such as a global pandemic, going back to the good old days gives people a comfortable place to dwell.

Along with the resurgence of childhood comfort food and nostalgia playlists on Spotify, we're seeing a lot of iconic TV shows being given fresh spins and familiar faces, returning years or even decades after their shows have ended to tell the next chapter of their lives.

From beloved family sitcoms and childhood cartoons returning with next-generation characters, to the surprising comeback of hit series' that we thought had ended, many old shows and movies are getting brand new makeovers.

Here are just a few reboots, revivals, and spin-offs in the works for cable networks and streaming services that we can look forward to in 2021 and beyond.

Dexter

Dexter, which originally ran for eight seasons on Showtime from 2006 to 2013, told the story of Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a forensic technician specializing in bloodstain pattern analysis for the fictional Miami Metro Police Department, who led a secret life as a vigilante serial killer, hunting down murderers who slipped through the cracks of the justice system. 

A 10-episode limited series will be a continuation of the original show with the character Dexter "going on self-imposed exile as a lumberjack and living a solitary life." Original showrunner Clyde Phillips also returns along with Hall.

Production is expected to get underway on the series early next year, before the limited series premieres sometime in Fall 2021.

True Blood

True Blood, the vampire drama series, which ran for seven seasons on HBO from 2008 to 2014, is another series that's reportedly getting the reboot treatment.

Based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris, the series focused on a world where vampires and humans lived together after the creation of a synthetic blood substitute, along with other supernatural beings such as fairies and werewolves.

The series starred Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress with telepathic powers, along with Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, and more.

As previously reported on PhilSTAR L!fe, a reboot is already in the early stages of development at the cable and streaming giant. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who oversaw Riverdale’s transition from comic book to small screen, and Jami O’Brien are attached to write the script, with original series creator and showrunner Alan Ball attached to executive produce. However, there's been no confirmation that the show’s original cast will return.

Battlestar Galactica

The military science fiction TV series Battlestar Galactica has reportedly landed a TV revival with a brand new series from the creator of Mr. Robot Sam Esmail.

The science-fiction franchise first began in 1978 with the original TV series created by Glen A. Larson, before a re-imagined two-part mini-series developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced by Moore and David Eick in 2003, followed by four regular seasons from 2004 to 2009.

Battlestar Galactica follows a group of humans who survive a nuclear catastrophe at their native interplanetary home known as the United Colonies of Kobol. While traveling on the titular craft, the humans' main goal is to avoid being tracked down by their robot enemies, the Cylons.

The creators of the upcoming series have clarified that the new version will not be a reboot or remake of the series, though it will still be set within the same universe of the hit SYFY show. “BSG fans, this will NOT be a remake of the amazing series @RonDMoore launched because ... why mess with perfection? Instead, we’ll explore a new story within the mythology while staying true to the spirit of Battlestar,” Esmail tweeted. “So say we all!”

Gossip Girl

The hit teen drama Gossip Girl originally broadcast on The CW network for six seasons from 2007 to 2012, followed the lives of privileged teenagers on the upper east side including Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), and more. 

The reboot will pick up eight years after the events of the original series and will follow a "new generation of New York private school teens" as they "are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl," according to the official summary for the series. Expect a more diverse cast, more contemporary fashion, and loads of commentary about social media on teen life. The reboot is expected to hit sometime in 2021. XOXO.

Clueless

Amy Heckerling's coming-of-age teen film Clueless itself reinvented Jane Austen's Emma for the masses back in the 90s and made stars of its main cast including Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, and Paul Rudd.

The movie's cult following remains strong and the film has received all manner of spin-offs, from a television series that lasted three seasons to a line of books to a stage musical.

The reboot will focus on the character of Dionne, played by Stacey Dash in the original film, after her best friend and right-hand woman Cher (portrayed by Alicia Silverstone) mysteriously disappears. No timeline has been set for when the series for Peacock will arrive, but we're looking forward to rollin' with the homies in the near future.

Punky Brewster

Get ready for more Punky Power.

The American sitcom television series about a spunky young girl being raised by a foster parent (George Gaynes) that originally ran on NBC from 1984 to 1986 has gotten a revival on the US-based Peacock streaming service.

In the same vein as Fuller House and Saved by the Bell, Soleil Moon Frye reprises her role as Punky, who's now a grown-up single mother with three children. Freddie Prinze Jr. will also appear in the revival, playing the recurring role of Punky's ex-husband, Travis. Check out the teaser trailer for the 10-episode first season below.

iCarly

iCarly, the record-breaking teen sitcom that ran for six seasons between 2007 and 2012 on Nickelodeon, is also set to be revived, with a series ordered at the Paramount+ streaming service (currently known as CBS All Access), as reported by TVLine.

The series followed the adventures of a teenager who created her own web show with her best friends, which quickly becomes an internet phenomenon.

Fans of the original series will be pleased to learn that original stars Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathan Kress are all set to return in the reboot. Jay Kogen (School of Rock, The Simpsons, Frasier) and Ali Schouten (Diary of a Future President, Champions, Merry Happy Whatever) have signed on to develop the update.

Rugrats

You heard right. Rugrats is getting a CGI revival too. Nickelodeon's new "Next-Gen" animation poster gives viewers a glimpse at what their favorite Rugrats characters like Tommy Pickles (E. G. Daily), Chuckie Finster (Nancy Cartwright), and Phil and Lil DeVille (Kath Soucie) and Angelica Pickles (Cheryl Chase) will look like in the 2021 reboot.

The series that captured the world from a baby's perspective initially aired on Nickelodeon in 1991 and ran for 9 seasons, becoming one of Nickelodeon's most well-known animated series. The success of the animated series previously led to spin-offs All Grown Up, Rugrats Pre-School Daze, and Rugrats: Tales From the Crib.

The adult animated sitcom Daria, which ran from 1997 to 2002 on MTV, started as a spin-off of Beavis and Butthead. The series followed a smart and cynical teenage girl living as an outsider in an otherwise "normal" world of mainly idiotic adolescents and condescending adults.

A new Daria animated spinoff series, titled Jodie (originally Daria & Jodie), will have actress Tracee Ellis Ross voicing the titular character and serving as executive producer. Comedy Central has characterized the series as the first in multiple projected Daria animated spinoffs.

(Banner image via Showtime)