Exclusive

Exclusive: The CW Rebooting '80s Cult Classic Beauty and the Beast

The CW’s 2012 development slate is looking pretty ugly — and I mean that in the best possible way.

Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that CBS Television Studios is developing a reboot of the ’80s cult classic Beauty and the Beast for The CW.

The original series, which ran on CBS from 1987 to 1990, starred Ron Perlman as the mythic man beast and Linda Hamilton as the object of his affection.

The new version will not only modernize and CW-up the love story but also add a procedural twist. Nice pedigree, too: Without a Trace vet Jennifer Levin and Brothers & Sisters‘ Sherri Cooper will pen the script and serve as executive producers.

I’m told this was the first project new CW president Mark Pedowitz discussed with CBS Studios head David Stapf when he succeeded Dawn Ostroff in the spring. Side note: This B&B is not to be confused with the B&B pilot that ABC is developing for next season. That one is based on the public domain fairy tale about a girl forced to live in a castle with a beast who eventually wins her heart.

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, what are you waiting for? Hit the comments with your dream casting picks!

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126 Comments
  1. aleksa says:

    Nooooooooo!!!

    • cathvin87 says:

      The 1987 Beauty & the Beast is my most favorite -I’d hate to see it done badly, but I’m trying to think positively -I’m hoping this series will have the Happy Ending that the original did not -I think Catherine should be played by Amber Benson & Vincent by Kevin Durand

      • M_Kadoodle says:

        OMG, Amber Benson would make a *perfect* Catherine!

      • Lauren says:

        I would love this show, but only if it stuck to the 80’s tv series style.With the Shakespear quotes and everything. I’m only 16, so I wasn’t aroun d when it was first published, but I’ve been obsessed with it since I descovered the series last year. If they screwed this up and made it some sort of sordid dram like 90210, I would hate it!And Hopefully the Happy Ending would have a kiss.

        • I’m totally with you! The literature, music, and acting should be really good. But I think they shouldn’t have Catherine. I think they should pick up where the original ended – with Diana Bennet as the ‘beauty’ and Vincent as the ‘beast,’ and a bright future ahead with baby Jakob. She, of course, would continue living above as a detective (at least at the beginning of the show – who knows where it will go?) while the baby and Vincent live below. Also, Father and Mary should get together after all that drama in the last episode. She definitely loves him, and whether he knows it or not, you can tell he loves her too.

          This would probably end up very much like the first seasons of the orginal show: she fights crime and he aids her and comes to her rescue. Maybe they could fall in love less obviously than Cathy and Vincent did, and could develop a similar bond over time without realizing it until she almost dies or something and he saves her and they finally realize their love.

          Or the show could pick up where it would in real-time, with Vincent as the new ‘Father’ sort of thing and Diana involved – either a helper or having moved Below after retiring – and their son (Diana and Vincent would totally have to get married and consider Jakob ‘their’ son in this case. Totally.) their son would be in his early twenties and all. Someone already mentioned this, I know. If they did this, they could use the original actors for Vincent and Diana and some of the younger (now grown) Tunnel dwellers – some of which are now Helpers and some still live Below. Then they’d just find new people for the new Helpers and Tunnel dwellers that have come in the past 21 years.

          Really, I like the first idea better. But I’d really miss Joe if they didn’t find a way to keep him in. I can’t lose Catherine and then Elliot and then Joe, too.

          • I thought of something else: 1. the theme song HAS to stay. Even if they re-do it with the new actor’s voice. Seriously. 2. please, no teenagers/young twenty-somethings playing main roles. Just because your main audience might be teens doesn’t mean you cast has to be. Honestly, I think the so-called ‘older’ cast made the original even better and deeper.

            Also, an unlikely thing but would definitely make it perfect: keep the 80s style. Like the music and clothes and computers and all. You know? I’d love that but I totally don’t see it happening.

          • VCForever says:

            That totally sucks, IMO. What’s the show without Catherine? She is half of the equation. Vincent and the other only met for six episodes, nothing compared with the relationship he and Catherine built. He would never love anyone else, that contradicts everything the whole show was about.

      • Michael Sacal says:

        A few months ago I saw the entire original series on TCM and the first thing that came to mind after it was over was that it be interesting if they did a sequel series set today focused on Vincent and Catherine’s son, who was born in the last season.

        The show ended in 1990, so the boy would be 21 years old today, which would be a perfect time for the show to start. Since he wasn’t different like his father, he could be the beauty of the story and the female love interest could be the beast, while Vincent could become Father.

      • Bearfoot says:

        don’t worry you probably will see it done badly.

        Unless of course you meant you badly want to see it done…

    • Kim R says:

      I watched the original faithfully every week. It ended so sadly. When I got married, I came down the aisle to the theme music from Beauty & the Beast. They had the best soundtrack! I can’t imagine them bringing it back now. I wonder that it will be accepted like it was back then. Different times etc. If there are vampires….I’m out! :)

    • Patti says:

      I agree…Noooooooooooooooo! The original was perfect just the way it was. It’ll be hard to replace Ron Pearlman & Linda Hamilton in those roles. They were wonderful. I guess we’ll just have to hope for the best and wait and see.

      • Mary says:

        I DEFINITELY AGREE! The original was PERFECT! Ron and Linda will be hard to replace. But do not take away the “VOICE” of Ron. He is so sexual in his words. His voice is one to remember on a late, rainy night.

    • Davi says:

      Honestly? I’d love to see a twist where the Beast is played by a woman, and Beauty is played by some handsome guy.

      After all, isn’t the CW focused on gaining women viewership between 18 and 34? Wouldn’t having a female Beast give all of the right ‘what matters is on the inside’ vibes? Wouldn’t it get them press? Wouldn’t having an attractive male lead and a ‘beastly’ caring and strong woman be different?

      I mean, Vincent in the original wasn’t so much ugly as he was, well, beastly. He looked like a walking lion. You could easily do the same thing with a woman and have her embody those same characteristics without making her an unlikeable or subjugated character.

      It that would be a true twist on the original instead of just another reboot that could sully the memories of the original series.

      • cathvin87 says:

        @Davi -I really like that idea!

      • Vicky says:

        This is so very ironic! Back in the original’s day, they were trying to atract male viewers… that’s why they kept insertingt he actiony stuff that sent it all to hell… and now they’ll focus on the “procedural twist” that helped ruined it?

      • Radcliffe says:

        This would be an interesting idea, but not very realistic. I think the majority of guys would not stick around long enough to see inner beauty. That’s why the closest we get is “The Little Mermaid” – where she is different, sure, but still beautiful.

  2. Dee Dee says:

    Dream cast:
    Lea Michele & Mark Salling
    Troian Bellisario & some hot dude

  3. maxime says:

    My god ! I was 15yo. AND I LOVED THIS SHOW :)

  4. BERTZZ says:

    Ashley Greene (or Dakota Fanning) with whoever else, cuz i bet his face will be covered in facial hair :P

  5. Ann says:

    Ed Westwick is hairy enough to play the beast.

    Jessica Szohr as Beauty!

  6. CAM says:

    OH NO! They will ruin it! I wish some channel would run repeats of the original instead! I LOVED that show!

  7. Gillian K says:

    omg, out of ideas much? I’m having a laugh, but I did freaking love that show when I was a tiny tot so who knows, maybe I’ll enjoy a reboot for the sake of nostalgia.

    • BRETT says:

      You watched that show as a “tiny tot”? The pilot featured her being almost murdered and sexually assaulted, and being rescued by the beast. Great parents at your place!

  8. Susie says:

    OH NOOO!! Ron Perlman was Vincent aka ‘The Beast’. Such a classic TV series, why continuing to remake shows like this or even Charlie’s Angels and such…It’s almost like no one has an original thought in their head anymore.

    • Carmichael says:

      If there a way to like a comment here other than this, I would have done it so very, very quickly

    • Capt. Obvious says:

      Duh, have you been to the movies in the last decade or so?

      • Susie says:

        Capt. Obvious,actually the last movie I saw in a theater was The Grudge lol and that was just because a friend begged me to go with them cause they thought it would be too scary for them. I like to wait so I don’t have to pay outrageously to see something that I might just regret, like the Dukes of Hazzard with freaking Jessica Simpson, ugh! I have so many friends that just go by what ‘critics’ say when it comes to movies that I try to hide when something new is released.

  9. Ronda says:

    Keep Ron Perlman as Vincent, and I will watch!

  10. Leslie says:

    OMG OMG. Hyperventilating here. I own a replica BatB crew jacket. That was *my* show. Ron Perlman as Vincent was breathtaking. Neo-Vincent needs his gravitas (please no twenty year old twerp!), and the blazing blue eyes. Catherine should be intelligent, earthhmotherly.

    • rain weathers says:

      you r sooo right ron perlman was breathtaking as vincent ,but there is just no beauty and the beast without catherine .the whole thing with diana was an insult to what made the show what it was it’s tv their has to be a way to bring catherine back and let her and vincent have the life they always dreamed of .i have to say the 3rd season really bummed me out the magic was lost with catherine i almost felt betrayed with this diana person ron and linda had such great chemistry i almost feel bad for the new show no one could follow in ron perlman ‘s foot steps and not fall

  11. Blatch says:

    Serena Williams as the Beast
    Travis Fimmel as Beauty

    I would watch that.

  12. Nerwen Aldarion says:

    Okay I was alright with this until I read this ” but also add a procedural twist.” WHY???? In what universe does Beauty and the Beast fit in with crime solving????????

  13. NANA says:

    WHY IS THERE NO MENTION OF RON KOSLOW, THE CREATOR OR BEAUTY AND THE BEAST THE TV SERIES…THIS WAS THE FIRST SERIES I FELL IN LOVE WITH, AND LOVE ALL THE STORIES!. BUT IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU PEOPLE WOULD MENTION MR. KOSLOW!!

    • BRETT says:

      It would be nice if you didn’t type in all caps. But I guess we can’t always get what we want…

    • JC says:

      FYI: typing three lines in all caps, makes it more difficult for the reader. If you want to get your point across, you should make it as easy for the reader as possible. (I have know idea what your point was.)

    • NANA says:

      WHEN ONE IS ALMOST BLIND IT HELPS TO SEE WHAT I AM TRYING TO TYPE…DON’T BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE..

  14. Vanessa says:

    For the Linda Hamilton role why not Erica Durance and for the Beast James Marsters.

    • Jason says:

      Good choice of JAmes Marsters as Vincent. They should wait for Charlie’s Angels to be cancelled and get Minka Kelly for Catherine. Or maybe MEgan Fox since her movie career is almost done.

  15. Salena says:

    Sigh. Why don’t they have more original stories? The show was great–it doesn’t need remaking. If you’re going to do a remake, remake something really old, where the leads are retired or dead, and you aren’t raping the childhood of a relevant target audience.

    The Beast role has such heavy makeup that there isn’t any reason Ron couldn’t play it again, if he weren’t on another show.

  16. AT says:

    Awesome news. Sounds like they’re trying to make it a mix between this particular Beauty and the Beast and Moonlight. I’ll give it a watch. Though the CW should have just picked up Moonlight when it had the chance.

    • Rusty says:

      WHOA…a crossover between my two fave shows!!!

      Mick St John and Vincent take on crime while Beth finds the clues and Catherine prosecutes!

      (You know I am joking, right???) NOTHING can take the place of Vincent and Catherine, EVER!!!!

      • carolinagirl says:

        I don’t know Rusty – that premise sounds as good as anything else I have read (lol). I am willing to keep an open mind as long as they don’t stray TOO far away from the original. Although given that TV has changed so much since the original was on the air as far as what is acceptable to show on prime time I can’t see them keeping the original intact.

  17. Elgee says:

    NO! They will never be able to recapture the perfection of the original. No way.

  18. Cyndi says:

    Oh Man! please don’t mess with our Vincent and Catherine.

  19. uhyeahright says:

    (My forum name seems to fit in with whatever article I comment on this site; kinda weird.)

    The original series was actually pretty well written, good background music, and wonderful acting. The only way this new show will succeed is if they do the same thing (good writing, acting, and music). But no, this ain’t gonna happen, so quite frankly, I don’t care anymore.

  20. Leslie says:

    To the nay-sayers: oh, but they never got to tell any of the GOOD stories, because Linda jumped ship. And special effects now will rock. And the 80’s crap was sooo cheesy.

    I could see James Marsters. No idea for Catherine, someone smart, fiery, determined. Not a 16 year old. :-P

  21. Robin says:

    I feel like this would fit perfectly on the CW with their own supernatural vibe they kind of have going. Just a fantasy kind of twist…I’m intrigued! Just slightly bothered that apparently ABC is also doing a Beauty and the Beast show…I mean if Once Upon a Time does well do they really need another fairy tale theme oriented show?

  22. Brandy says:

    This sooo stupid,specially with abc doing thier own version. I agree about coming up with original shows. I will not be watching this if it airs. Im looking foward to Carrie Diaries though.

  23. Templar says:

    Waaaayyyy out on a limb here, but how about Isla Fisher and Kevin Bacon? I know he’s a bit older, but he’s a terrific actor, has the killer blue eyes and someone suggested RP reprise his role, well Bacon is certainly younger than him. Think about it.

  24. XK says:

    Ugh, please no. The first was cheesy fun, but it does not need to be rebooted, and certainly not on a channel like CW.

  25. Leslie says:

    Too bad George RR Martin is busy with that little side project, whatcha call it, game of dragons?

  26. Sam says:

    No one from Beastly should be allowed anywhere near this thing. I have a horrid feeling that Vanessa Hudgens is on the short list to play Belle (or whatever her equivalent is). Disney Channel stars seem to be flocking to The SeeDubs as of late.

  27. dgill says:

    Um, Ron Perlman still works

    or, not to type cast but Jason Momoa.

    or, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

    • anonymous says:

      OMG – a thousand yeses to JDM as Vincent. I love him.

      I can’t decide if I’m appalled or thrilled by this remake, but if they do a decent job casting it and don’t make it too sex-driven (part of the charm of the original was the UST), it could work. I can see JDM as Vincent and maybe someone like Charisma Carpenter as Catherine.

      • Vicky says:

        Ah, but you just know after the third episode with only hugs between she and Vincent, they’ll have Catherine sleeping with the next co-worker available. “He doesn’t want me… I can’t do this any more…” and off she goes.

  28. Wendy says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is nothing sacred anymore?? No reboot could hope to compare to the magic that was the original Catherine and Vincent.

  29. imahrtbrkbeat says:

    I remember watching this show with my mum when I was 3!!!!! I loved it. I can’t believe they are doing this! My childhood memories are forever tainted.

    • Magically Suspicious says:

      If you were 3 when this show came on, I can’t imagine you are old enough to be a Furs fan, so I’m curious about your name.

      Regardless…kudos to you for planting that song firmly in my head for the day….”…and nobody don’t dance, on the edge of the dark, we got the radio on…”

      • imahrtbrkbeat says:

        “and it feels like love,but it don’t mean a lot,and it feels like loveand it’s all that we’ve got, there’s a heartbreak beat playing all night long down on my street…”

        Well, @MagicallySuspicious — I remember when my sisters also made me watch Nightmare on Elm Street on the free preview weekends that HBO used to do…I was around four. So, I remember being terrified of Ron Perleman and Robert Englund at a such a tender age. Though, I’ve grown to love them.

        Now, as far as the Furs goes — no, didn’t listen to them at that age. Haha, I grew into them in my late teens/early 20s.

  30. SC says:

    Noooooooooooo!!! Not this show too! C’mon Hollywood – grow an original idea already!

  31. Leslie says:

    So long as they keep the opening of the pilot — “Once Upon a Time, in the city of New York… “

  32. Baeb says:

    What is wrong with these idiots. Bring on fresh ideas instead of recycling older shows (or making US versions of Brit ahows) unnecessarily. No wonder I watch less and less tv – it’s deja vu all the time.

  33. Gio says:

    Hey Brett….in the pilot episode of the original, she was NOT sexually assaulted- but yeah they certainly attacked her. Nonetheless, this should not be remade. The Powers That Be should leave it alone. They will never recapture the feeling of the old television show.

  34. Cat says:

    Ugh, why?! I know there’s no such thing as an original idea in Hollywood, but what is with this horrible “reboot” trend?

  35. Alex says:

    Com’n, we all know they’ll find some way to destroy this. Like make Catherine a high school or college journalism student (played by a 25-28 year old actress) or some other CW nonsense.

  36. Holly says:

    How about Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony? Oh wait…been there, done that.

  37. cassi says:

    Most hilarious thing I’ve heard all day! LOL

  38. Michael says:

    Well I never watched the original but all I can think is: Great a reboot of a cult classic that ran for three season… just what The CW needs.

  39. Vicky says:

    HERECY! is right! Why, oh why mess with perfection? Put the original back in the air instead!
    Goodbye to Shakespeare, Rilke and Wordsworth, to Beethoven and Schubert and the fantastic Lee Holdrige scores… get ready for nonsensical teen angst! They’ll ruin it. They’l “over-supernaturalize” it. Thanks heavens for my DVDs I can play over and over…
    Insidentally, Beauty and the Beast was not about the crime-solving thing, so seeing a focus on that is the first clue that they’ll totally mess it up.

  40. Jenny says:

    Can’t believe no one’s played the Summer Glau card.
    SO! My Picks are: Summer Glau and Tamoh Penikett. I think the pitch sounds very CW right now on it’s quest to become Syfy for Tweens.

    • Jennifer says:

      I’d give the series a shot just to see what she could do with it. Just like I’m going to give Ringer a shot because of Sarah Michelle Gellar. Summer Glau has had some bad luck with series though. Stupid Fox. Still mad over Firefly.

  41. shauna says:

    YESSSSSSS!! So then we can mock how bad the remake is!!!!!!!!

  42. Thluly says:

    Excellent call on Kevin Durand!

  43. Brad says:

    Christina Hendricks and… oh maybe I’m just looking for ways to see more of her. Felicia Day and… same thing.

  44. Katy says:

    As soon as I read this article I thought of Kevin Durand! And I’d love them to reunite him with Jessica Alba, whose the right age, look, mood etc but I’m sure she’s too busy lol. I never watched the original, at 25 I’m too young to have seen it first time around, but my mum loved it. I’m doing a degree in cultural studies and one of the things we’re exploring is that there are NO original ideas anymore, that every film, book, TV show can be traced back to some similar, earlier source. I understand how people can be upset by this remake, but also see no harm in trying to bring the obviously much loved concept to s new genetation to give them the chance to fall in love with it. Will it crash and burn? Possibly even probsably, but I’m excited to see it just in case it works.

  45. Samantha says:

    sounds cool. IT should be the story from their son I think. like how his life went. (I’m almost finished with the final season of the original. can’t wait to see how it ends

    • Vicky says:

      NOOO! Then it would indeed be just another teen show! But seriously, I don’t know how that would work, given that the whole baby thing was the most out of character stuff they did to the show… but that’s another story! That wasn’t the original idea for the last season in the first place.

      • they should of askes linda hamilton to stay for the last season. offer her more money to fin: up the season or bring someone ease in to take her place. The baby thing did not work for me. You dont have a baby by kissing someone.

  46. Radcliffe says:

    I LOVED that show! I hope they handle it with care because it will be a tall order to live up the the original. Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton were PERFECT!

  47. cal says:

    Mark Sheppard and Summer Glau have to be in this; they are in everything else.

  48. renee says:

    Boooooooo

  49. Renee says:

    Uh. No thank you.

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