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. Dalin says:

    This is probably my favorite TV series ever (next to Gargoyles) and I can’t help but dread that of all things that CW is going to be working on it – the teenage series killer of killers.

    If I had my way with it I’d totally go with Kevin Mckidd (w/out the accent if possible) and actually I think if they went with Thora Birch as Catherine it’d be pretty great. She has this amazing odd look to her that would be incredibly neat.

    • L.Selim says:

      BATB is and always will be a cult classic. I just hope they don’t ruin it. The chemistry between Ron and Linda was incredible. The music, poetry and writing was second to none! Though I’m excited at the thought of a reboot – I hope they don’t ruin it with the sexual explicit nonsense! I don’t want to see another Twilight!!!!

  2. n/a says:

    Hopefully this version will have a happier ending for the main couple. I can see Evangeline Lilly in the role of Catherine. Not sure about the male lead although I agree it needs to be an older (maybe in their 30’s) actor and not a teenage / early twenties type of actor.

  3. Vicki says:

    I have been hoping for some time now that this show would be rebooted. As long as it is done right. I love and always will love the original series. And I loved Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton playing Vincent and Catherine, but I would have no problem seeing other actors play the roles as long as the show is done right and the writing is good.

    I remember a few years ago when they rebooted BSG and at first I refused to even think about watching it because I loved the original series so much, but I watch it and loved it.

    So again as long as the reboot is done right and the writing is good then I would love to see Beauty and the Beast come back to TV.

    As for the actors to play Vincent and Catherine I have no one in mind, I just want them to be believable as a couple that truly loves each other they need to have have chemistry together.

    So yes I will wait for this new version and watch it.

  4. ???? says:

    Kellan Lutz & Katie Kassidy ?

  5. Jamie says:

    Oh god please no, not that show. First that lame show The Carrie Diaries and now this. Damn it, CW. You have some good shows premiering this year, I was hoping you’d continue with that next year. Don’t be lame.

  6. Sam says:

    Amber Benson and Jason Momoa if it has to be done at all, but I agree, let the classics be the classics, come up with something new!

  7. John Berggren says:

    The original Beauty & the Beast lived and died on the strength of Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton (as evidenced by the result of her departure from the series). I can’t see a new series with teenager A and teenager B being any good.

  8. kirads09 says:

    I just hope it isn’t set in a high school and the leads barely 18-21.
    Sorry to be snarky but it seems the trend since everyone wants to cash in on twilight. And this is the CW.

    I think I would rather rewatch the original series. I don’t think this could be redone well. Casting will be crucial and I can’t think of aanybody worthy that is free to do it.

    Dreamy – Keifer Sutherland as Beast? Annie Wersching as Beauty?
    I loved their chemistry on “24”.

  9. Melanie says:

    Mark Pelligrino as Vincent and Genevieve Cortese as Catherine

  10. Kyle says:

    Some new face actor should be Catherine (Kelsey Boswell) who was good in footloose and vincent should be a new actor as well .

  11. Jeannine says:

    I just want them to cast mature, accomplished actors on par with the great Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, not “tween” heart throbs.

    The stronger the actor the more they will be believable as Catherine and Vincent in my opinion.

    I was worried about the reboot of BSG but they pleasantly surprised me with strong writing and acting and I was converted. BatB reboot needs to do the same.

  12. Rhian says:

    This show was a favourite of mine growing up. In terms of casting, they’re going to have to go some to match Ron Perlman. All I can hope for is that it’s not made into another CW teen/20-something drama. Catherine and Vincent were grown adults with Catherine as a well-established assistant DA so God forbid she ends up in high school or college in the remake!!!

  13. Allmighty God says:

    “So again as long as the reboot is done right and the writing is good”….

    But that is the problem with most, if not all, remakes.They are not done right and the writing is usally sub par and the actors are too, compared to the originals.There is a reason these show were hits to begin with and why people still think of them years after they were aired, they were good OR just cheesey fun (as in the case of Charlies Angels)

    What are you writers being paid for if you can not even come up with an original idea??? Stop already

    Two of my all time favorites…
    1.La Femme Nikita (did not follow the movie story after pilot)
    This was made BEFORE–9/11, before Alias, before The Unit, before 24 (24 was created and made by the guys that created LFN) and before any other Anti terrorist show existed.It was new, fresh idea.With new and fresh charcters and actors

    2.Beauty and the Beast(First season)Before any other fantasy show on this level was done in prime time.

    Why is it TPTB have been picking my favorites recently and just crapping all over thier memory. Since I am older, the young people do not get it.They have not had thier favorites rebooted yet.I can not wait until someone suggests that Supernatural, Buffy or Firefly be remade and I will sit back and laugh at the very people who told me to just get over it and that the remake was ok and did not just crap all over thier memory with inferior remake.BUT, I guess if you have not seen the original, you do not know what you are missing and that the remake does not do the original justice. But PLEASE, make the losy Nikita remake go way soon…

  14. miss scarlet says:

    sometimes the CW does things I get, and then the CW does things like this.

  15. skybeing says:

    The 1980s B&B was my favorite show. The night they killed off Catherine, I cried my eyes out on my back deck. The writers of that show were such jerks the way they screwed up the 3rd season. No one could ever compare to Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. If they remake it, I hope there IS some kind of twist, cause the crime solving was ridiculous. She was just an Asst District Attorney…they don’t do crime solving – just lawyer crap. Get a new story line but still have Vincent live in the tunnels of NYC.

  16. Guinnevere says:

    The original premise for the B&B series was dreamed up from an actual crime: a photo model was attacked with knives and disfigured by some men whom her obsessed landlord had hired to punish her for rejecting his romantic overtures. She said that at first she was relieved that they hadn’t raped her, until she realized how much damage they had done. HER scars never disappeared entirely, although the surgeons did a lot of successful reconstruction. She was still beautiful, but the scars were evident when she appeared on some daytime talk show I watched back in the day.

    Beginning with that idea, Ron Koslow wrote a sensitive, romantic script for the pilot… then he got overwhelmed by the show’s popularity and tried to keep the thing going with no advances whatever in the relationship, I suppose because he thought that was what the viewers wanted. That, unfortunately, is like killing your sweetheart at the peak of youth and beauty, to keep her or him from getting older and losing those “endearing young charms.”

    So basically he ruined it by trying so hard to preserve it, the show got cancelled because of growing viewer disinterest, and then it was renewed for only half a season. Linda Hamilton supposedly had a minimum-episode clause in her contract, and a half season didn’t meet the minimum. She was entitled to opt out, and she did, presumably because she was fed up with the everlasting status quo. (I know I was.)

    Unless they’re smarter than Koslow (and there’s SO little on TV to indicate much intelligence these days…), I am very skeptical about the idea to remake the series.

    On the other hand, every successful silent movie that was made got remade as a talkie in the 1930s, and then remade AGAIN in the 1940s, and then made into a teleplay in the 1950s. It’s a pretty old tradition, and unlikely to stop now. Just because they make the shows doesn’t mean anyone has to watch them, though.

    • Vicky says:

      Linda did want the relationship to move forward, but that’s not the reason she left. She left because she was pregnant and had already had a miscarriage, and the work conditions weren’t the best (the long hours, the fog, the chemical plant nextdoors)… Her contract had an opt-out clause and she used it; still, the writers/producers could have figured out another way to write her out, but chose to ruin it… I once read an interview where one of them (can’t remember who but I’ll go find it) actually admitted that they were angry at Linda and took it out on Catherine.
      But aside from this, TPTB wanted to make the show more action-ey to atract more male viewers, and then there was the issue of timeslot during the second season (they kept moving it around and preempting it for silly stuff, to the point that viewers never knew when to expect it), which obviously impacted the ratings. And then the network was having policy issues already, so it all contributed to the cancellation.
      Too bad the crime-solving aspect is what the show is perceived as though, since in reality few of the episodes were D.A’s-related (maybe half of them in the first season and none in the second). And when the action thing was re-introduced by the end of s2, that’s where it started going all to heck… and that’s what the focus will be apparently with the so-called “procedural twist?” Sigh…

  17. Laurie says:

    Eeyuck! Bad enough that they’re rebooting Charlie’s Angels, which I predict will last about as long as that horrible reboot of The Bionic Woman a few years ago (who do they think they’re kidding anyway?). But now they’re gonna to reboot Beauty and the Beast??!! Good grief! I agree, get an original idea, Hollywood! Whatsa matter with these modern writers anyhow? No imaginations or what? And for those of you said that they should ‘show the old one on some channel’ – the show has been out on DVD for about 3 years now. I know because my best friend bought me the 3-disc set 2 or 3 years ago for Christmas, because she and I both love it. So if your local Future Shop or Best Buy no longer stocks it, then you can probably find it on Ebay. Or hey, there are also lots of websites that offer free viewing of new, old, and classic TV shows. These days we don’t have to wait for ‘some channel’ to show old shows – we can either get it on DVD, find it on Ebay, or watch on one those online websites. Ain’t modern technology great?

  18. Boadicea says:

    OMFG!!!!!!!!!!! I loved this show! I would chomp at the bit every Friday!!!! I hope and pray they keep it as close as possible to the origenal story line. I grew up on that story , I remember begging my foster parents to let us watch it, when they did and I heard Ron Perlman’s voice as Vincent I became an addict right then and there, Lord please don’t screw with it!!! PLEASE !!!!!! BTW I think James Marsters would make a perfect Vincent, and Rose McGowen a lovely Catherine!

  19. Patsy says:

    Please, please please, CW, don’t make this some tweeny-Twilighty crap. Please, no 20-somethings in the leads. The original series worked BECAUSE the characters and the actors were mature and complex people. Please don’t dumb this down – the smart scripts and complex characters were what drew in the viewers.

    How is this going to possibly work in the modern day? Now that there are security cameras everywhere and CSI style forensics, the police would find Vincent in no time. There were easy and plausible reasons why he never got tracked down in the 80’s, but now…? I can’t imagine any way they’re going to write around that if this is set in 2011 and beyond.

  20. amy says:

    Beauty and the Beast…1987, Linda and Ron, Roy and Ellen, Jay and Armin, David and Irine and all the cast ands crew….these are the people who we know from the show…who made it Beauty and the Beast…Ron Koslows idea of Vincent and the tunnels, Lee Holdridge and his amazing music score with Don Davis gave us an incredible soundtrack, the conventions give us original costumes and articles, fans from back then in the day when BATB first came on, the memorabilia and books, comics, we all wanted the BATB movie which is what Ron wanted…we want BATB as it was…please dont go changing…its like gargoyles, moonlight, vampire diaries, Beastly….we have those things, but dont go changing something that was so perfect.

  21. Zeph says:

    Definitely a scary thought… but I’ll give CW the benefit of the doubt until we see what they do with casting and story. I’ll ditto the recommendations for James Marsters, since everyone else I can think of is already committed to other shows. For the female role, as much as I love Summer Glau as an actress, I think it requires just a bit more oomph – so I’ll suggest Eliza Dushku.

  22. xoer says:

    I’m actually okay with this cause after Linda left the show got REALLY effing weird

  23. Alice says:

    I do hope that this remake of Beauty and the Beast will be as sensitive, elegant, and lovely as the 1980’s version. I suppose it is too much to hope that the wonderful Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman will reprise their roles. The original version was a an oasis in the wasteland called television and would be even more so today. To the producers: Please remember what made this original series so successful and duplicate it!

  24. Vicky says:

    Only nine of the 44 episodes had investigative stuff, three of which were at Vincent’s request for Catherine’s help. To want a procedural twist focus is the first grose misperception/misunderstanding of what Beauty and the Beast was all about. So yes… I’m still keeping my hopes low. I can’t shake the feeling they’ll make more of a Moonlight show than BATB.

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  26. kathy says:

    has always been a hope to see the beauty and the beast series presented again. it is also my hope that the new writers will realize that while there must be an update to satisfy the melinium generation that the trueisms of seeking below the surface and the patience and kindness of ait nd for a caring set of human souls will not be lost in the update. no matter what the date on the calendar the ever present desire for all bings is to be loved as we are inspite of who and what we are. the original writers always found ann avenue to blend the beauty and beastly qualities . with the plot twists and turns of every episode there was always a resolve in reality that beauty can be its own blessing or nightmare and that the beastly aspect can have a positive value even though crude and cruel. they also were able to show-thogh in a fantasy setting that the desire for good collectively or individually still has great valu e. they created human beings who made the choice to find a better way even thouh it would be in primary circumstances,,,,no matter the characters-the enviroment-the story lines were created with a cumulative set of emotions -kept in balance and eventually a type of harmony that the world above and below could exist with each the others help. each episode left the viewers with the thought….. yes that could be possibility…with the technology available today the ost would not bre 100,000 per episode as in the original series….. hopefully as much time will be spent on the split screne premise viewing each prospective vincent and catherine to see their chemistry as will be spent in the budget office…..the voice of vincent …. the tonal quality ….. from the poetry in his lyrical voice to the rage in the beastly voice always brought about an empathy from the viewer… to possess the soul of both saint and demon mainly from the vocal sound was a rare gift of ron pearlmann……..catherines facial expressions coupled with her story board eyes and the quiet grace of sound in the soft and graceful tonal quality made the blend of both characters a verbal woven spell of words…… for in reality as in fantasy first we see the entrance of the soul with our eyes…..then through the sound of our voices we open our hearts to the verbal expressions we share……and from that comes the love story for every beauty and the beast…….

  27. Debra says:

    when does it start

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