There’s a very specific and special place in the television hall of fame for Norman Lear. Over the course of his career, he has delivered a number of instantly endearing (if rough around the edges) small screen icons, from Archie Bunker to George Jefferson. If you consider yourself a fan of Lear’s legendary sitcom work, then prepare to get very, very excited. We’ve just learned that Lear is gearing up to reboot his classic 1970s sitcoms, including All in the Family, The Jeffersons and more. And he is doing it in a way that will definitely entice fans of the original shows.
Sony is currently in the process of developing angled reboots for a number of classic Norman Lear sitcoms from the 1970s, such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude and Good Times. According to a report from Variety, the reboots would be abbreviated six-episode anthology seasons, produced with modern stars who would tackle notable episodes from each series using the original scripts. It’s closer to readapting a stage play than your average remake process, for sure. These potential reboots have not been picked up by a network or streaming service yet, but it’s hard to imagine that they would be a difficult sell.
While many people have a tendency to rail against the very concept of reboots these days, I personally think that there could potentially be quite a bit of promise here. By treating these classic shows more like stage plays, Sony and Norman Lear have the opportunity to preserve the integrity of the classics by updating the visual elements but largely keeping the same words and tone. This is a stark difference from traditional reboots, which often attempt to vaguely adapt particular fictional universes and rewrite them for the contemporary era. Traditional sitcoms already operate like televised stage productions, so the format definitely has plenty of potential.
It’s also worth noting that shows like All in the Family and The Jeffersons routinely tackled topics that still definitely resonate with today’s society. Issues like race, gender, and generation gaps played key roles in the drama and the comedy of these series, and I think it’s safe to say that those scripts will still play with modern audiences. After all, Archie Bunker’s old-fashioned curmudgeon personality never goes out of style.
Although this series of reboots is currently in the early stages of development, it makes plenty of sense when we consider the fact that Sony is about to debut a remake of Lear’s One Day at a Time on Netflix in January, though that show fits into Netflix’s seasonal standards. There seems to be a resurgence of enthusiasm for the man’s work, so it’s only logical to capitalize on that.
We will bring you any and all relevant details related to the reboots of these classic Norman Lear sitcoms as new information becomes available to us. The reimagining of One Day at a Time debuts on January 6 on Netflix, and for more information related to all of the most highly anticipated spring television debuts, make sure to check out our comprehensive midseason premiere guide and fill out your TV viewing schedules accordingly.