Putting my television historian hat on, the concept of the TV series reboot or revival (depending on how you want to refer to it) is nothing new. The first to my knowledge was a black and white sitcom called The Life of Riley. Jackie Gleason (pre-The Honeymooners) headlined this tale of a hardhat with a soft heart named Chester A. Riley in the 1949-50 season. And William Bendix inherited the role in 1953 when NBC decided to give the comedy a try again.
Again, these new versions of old favorites (some with all new casts, and some featuring original cast members) has been in play since basically the beginning of the medium. But it has never been has prevalent as it is now.
Just three days into this week and six new reboots have surfaced, They are kids-themed comedies Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster, and sci-fi entry Battlestar Galactica on NBCU’s digital platform Peacock; sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, which has no outlet attached to it yet and will focus on the descendants of the original heroes (if it moves forward); action drama The Fugitive on Quibi; and, now, animated The Boondocks on HBO Max.
Peacock, Quibi and HBO Max are upcoming digital streaming platforms, which are only adding to this reboot mania (and will increase your monthly streaming costs should you choose to acquire them). This will be the fourth TV show version of Battlestar Galactica and third of The Fugitive (not including the blockbuster 1993 Harrison Ford theatrical). And because The Boondocks is animation, the characters do not have to age (hence the endless spinoffs from any typical animated classic). Think The Flintstones, which could also be back in what is described as an adult-skewing primetime animated comedy reboot from Warner Bros. Animation and Elizabeth Banks’ Brownstone Productions.
This new version of The Boondocks from creator Aaron McGruder (which is a two season, 24 episode order) will launch in fall 2020 with a 50-minute special. Originally airing on Adult Swim from 2005 to 2014, the series follows an African American family named the Freemans who settle into a predominantly white suburb called Woodcrest. And the storylines are themed to the mixture of cultures, lifestyles, social classes, stereotypes and