I offer congratulations or apologies, depending on how you feel about reboots. There’s been a whole lot of them recently, and it sounds like things won’t be slowing down in 2017. Charmed, one of the great WB supernatural series of the turn of the millennium along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and arguably Roswell, is the latest TV series to get a reboot — just don’t expect the Halliwell sisters to start working their magic again.
The CW has confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that they are developing a new Charmed series. But, at least at the outset, it won’t have a connection to the original series — the story will take place in 1976, before the events of Charmed, and it’s being planned as a standalone story instead of a sequel. That could be a little sleight of hand on the part of the production team, but it’s all we have to go on for now. Either way, it seems this is meant to be an ongoing series, not a mini-revival like we saw with The X-Files and Gilmore Girls.
A Charmed revival has been rumored for years, although this announcement is a bit different from what he had been hearing. As early as 2013, there were reports that CBS, which came to own Charmed through producer Aaron Spelling, was working on a remake of the original series. Those rumors persisted into this year, but an Alyssa Milano tweet revealed that the original cast would not be involved. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that CBS project has moved over to the CW, with Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin of Jane the Virgin writing. A number of other members of the Jane the Virgin production team will also be involved with the new Charmed series, including director Brad Silberling.
Of the original Charmed cast, Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Rose McGowan (who joined the full-time cast in season four) tweeted in response to the announcement, with McGowan being a bit more pointed in her statement.
Charmed joins a number of other television reboots and revivals over the past decade, a collection of projects with a spotty record. Despite getting a third season, Fuller House has seen negative critical reviews and reportedly a sharp downturn in viewership for the second season, although Netflix doesn’t share official numbers. The X-Files miniseries also got a tepid reception from critics and fans alike, while critical and fan reaction to the Gilmore Girls four-episode revival was divided. This year’s MacGyver reboot (ed. note: a particularly sore spot for me) has gotten poor critical and fan reception, echoing the single-season run of the 2008 Knight Rider reboot.
While Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica can be held up as examples of reboots done right, the list of flops is becoming hard to ignore. Considering the success of original series like Orphan Black, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and we could go on and on, it’s starting to seem an awful lot like reboots aren’t the sure thing they’ve been made out to be. It’s interesting to think about considering this Charmed reboot will reportedly bear no resemblance to the original series outside of the name and, presumably, the presence of witches.
Header image via TNT