Oliver Twist NBC Reboot

NBC to Reboot Oliver Twist as a Female-Driven Procedural

Well, this is quite a twist. An… Oliver Twist.

The classic Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is being reimagined as a female-driven crime procedural by NBC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The project, tentatively titled Twist, promises “a sexy contemporary take” centering on a twentysomething woman named Twist who teams up with a group of skilled outcasts to catch wealthy criminals.

This is just the latest are-they-serious? reboot heading to the small screen. Earlier this week, Fox announced they would reboot the tale of King Arthur and Camelot as a police procedural. Twist does have some heavy hitters behind it, though: Mega-producer Joel Silver and studio Lionsgate are on board so far. And it’s already earned a script commitment from NBC, with Chad Damiani and J.P. Lavin penning the pilot.

The original Oliver Twist, about a street orphan who gets lured into a gang of child pickpockets, has been adapted countless times by Hollywood, including the 1948 film version (pictured above) starring Alec Guinness as Fagin and 1968’s Oliver!, which won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Would you watch a “sexy contemporary take” on Oliver Twist? Let us know in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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86 Comments
  1. El S Boy says:

    Please kill me now…

  2. H says:

    Sexy is what comes to mind when I think of orphan Oliver.
    I thought the Camelot one was a joke.

    • Bartimeus says:

      Depending on where they went with Camelot that could be a much better idea than this Oliver Twist thing. Isn’t part of the King Arthur myth that he’ll one day be reborn or whatever? That could explain away the modern setting and stuff, and make some amount of sense. This though, makes me think the execs at NBC are on drugs.

      • TV viewer says:

        I’m sick and tired of reboots, either come up with something original or I’ll just watch the actual original on Blu ray and DVD rather than TV.

  3. Daya says:

    A good adaptation was Oliver and Company. (So says my child self, anyway.)

    This? This is just weird.

  4. maltru says:

    I have an idea- a new take on the Frankenstein tale, it’s a procedural lead by Dr. Francine Stein, aka Frankie, who solves crimes using her medical, marine, and private investigator training. And she has sparks with her partner who isn’t actually a cop, but is a journalist/veterinarian/taxi cab driver, Drake Ula.

    I’m sorry, what do you mean that has nothing to do with the original Frankenstein or Dracula tales? She’s called Frankie Stein, he’s called Drake Ula. They’re the exact same thing.

    • J. Norman says:

      You know, i know you are being facetious, but I’ve actually heard of worse ideas.

      Depends how it was done. Ir couldn’t be cheesy a la something like the Munsters.

      It might be interesting as an hour type dramedy something along the lines of Psych.

      The idea is at least as good as Twist

    • KT says:

      Maltru, that is awesome. You better be careful, though, because you know someone in Hollywood is probably going to steal this idea.

    • sunshine says:

      At a point in time literature runs out of it’s copyright protections so anybody can have it for free. That’s why Hollywood can take a popular title or storyline and usurp it to their own ends. They figure you recognize the name and that will attract you whereas any random name won’t. They take a popular name of something and make up anything they want and maybe you’ll come over for a look and stay around. It’s a very cynical game for commercial purposes.

  5. Iris says:

    RIP creativity.

    • MMD says:

      Exactly! I don’t think that there is an original thought left in Hollywood.

      • TV viewer says:

        The Big Bang Theory, Galavant, Lost, Grimm, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Game of Thrones, there are ideas out there they are just using them.

        • Mark says:

          Of course, Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are based on novels/graphic novels, so not exactly original content to Hollywood. Still, your point that there is good original content out there as long as you look for it does stand.

  6. Mariah says:

    Umm…WTF?!!!

  7. datdudemurphy says:

    The good news?
    It must be INCREDIBLY easy to pitch a pilot to the networks.

    Simply take any previously told story and follow it up with “as a procedural”

    Can’t wait for the sexy re-imagining of Little Shop of Horrors….as a procedural

  8. Wordsmith says:

    I’m not opposed to the basic concept, though I think they should just back off from the source material and let the show be its own thing.
    For example, Revenge didn’t beat us over the head with the fact that it was a gender-swapped Count of Monte Cristo, nor did Sons of Anarchy feel the need to hammer home the fact that it was a retelling of Hamlet with biker gangs.

    • johnhelvete says:

      I agree that the basic concept is not that bad of an idea. The issue, I doubt NBC buys this pitch if it is without the “high concept hook” of it being based on Oliver Twist. If Revenge was pitched today it would probably be called “Cristo” and ABC would have mandated that they take down of week form season 1 become a bigger emphasis for the show, which would have made it a procedural.

  9. Ian says:

    This sounds really stupid, lol.

  10. Maddie says:

    Next, ABC is planning to reboot The Hunchback of Notre Dame, only now Quasimodo doesn’t have a hump, and is an accountant is San Francisco.

    • Jane says:

      But he has a bell collection so it is practically the same, right?

    • Jeremy says:

      The show will be called “Hunch” as he’s not only an accountant but moonlights as a Detective Quentin Modo – a brilliant homicide detective with a dark past.
      In place of his absent hump, he will have a mysterious back tattoo that will lead to the man who murdered his family.
      He spends his spare time in his airy loft inside a converted Notre Dam-like church to keep with the theme of the book.

    • hannah says:

      Accountant in South Bend , Indiana . As not to lose the Notre Dame setting

  11. Joey says:

    Coming soon: Medical drama based on The Canterbury Tales.

    ….I really shouldn’t give them ideas.

  12. Lindsey says:

    So what I’m hearing is it’ll be completely unrelated.

  13. Jane says:

    This sounds really really bad.

  14. SJ says:

    I really wish they’d stop slapping names of famous works onto new projects that have zero connection to them.

    It’s kind of like if I said I wanted to re-imagine The Little Mermaid, but with an Asian-American male lead solving crimes in rural Canada. His name? Ariel. See, it’s just like the source material! Ridiculous…

  15. And they cancelled Grimm for this???!!!!

  16. Steven says:

    I’m sorry, what? A sexy woman named Twist?

  17. Marco Piazzo says:

    The words ‘sexy contemporary take’ are cringeworthy. Besides, it sounds almost NOTHING like Oliver Twist. I have a feel this pilot will go the way of Drew, which was reportedly awful.

  18. Luis says:

    They must be passing around some high grade stuff in H-wood now

  19. Et al. says:

    This should pair well with ‘Frank!’ – NBC’s sexy, procedural, re-imagining of The Diary of Anne Frank in which the 20-something titular character solves crimes while trying to manage her family’s run-down boarding house!

  20. Btm says:

    I see the Hollywood cocaine industry is still thriving…..

  21. c-mo says:

    Honestly it sounds like a group of tv “creative-types” gather in a bar, play the drinking game “who can come up with the most ridiculous reimagining of a classic book or tv show”. As you go around the table, the person who gets “meh’s” or “no’s” has to drink. A network has to buy the idea submitted by the last person to pass out……

    • Anne says:

      Next is Anne of Green Gables as a sexy modern procedural where Anne has a drug problem and lives with her abusive adoptive parents.

  22. Auntiemm says:

    Isn’t this Leverage?

  23. madhatter says:

    So…Leverage? I mean, not exactly the same, but very similar concept.

  24. Avery says:

    Isn’t this “Leverage” (which I loved), with a couple tweaks?

  25. quang says:

    That sounds like such a hacky and uncreative pitch. Back when Revenge was annouced, they were wise enough NOT to sell it as a “sexy female driven soap” based on the Count of Monte Cristo.

  26. sad says:

    Awesome. This article made me lol.

  27. Rahajicho says:

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall during these pitch meetings.

  28. Boiler says:

    And this is supposed to better than Laura??

  29. Eran says:

    Can’t wait for Tarzan the procedural and CSI: Agraba.

  30. Aeol says:

    I mean, that’s hardly a reboot. Just sounds like a lame attempt to be one. I suppose it’s as much a “reboot” as Sleepy Hollow or something.

  31. Anne says:

    Omg, k, what the network needs to do is just go to Joss Whedon or Amy Sherman-Palladino and be all ‘here, take this pile of money and make us something awesome’. Then they need to give them creative control and a guaranteed two season order.
    .
    Bam. A hit they’ll have on their hands.

  32. Sue says:

    Don’t cancel GRIMM!

  33. Charissa29 says:

    Oh man! Imagination and taste are dead, but the police procedural will never die!

  34. Tahoe Mike says:

    That is the worst idea NBC has had since, “Hmm, let’s interview Ryan Lochte.”

  35. peterwdawson says:

    I remember a joke about this once, where instead of Oliver Twist it’s Oliviere Twist, his female twin who was sent to a Buddhist monastery to learn the ancient arts of Kung Fu and Capoeira, plus she’s also the Messiah but doesn’t know it yet. That sounds like a better premise than this, just saying.

  36. dave says:

    Right. So little girl Olivier loses her parents to some nefarious criminal. She gets shoved in an ophanage for all her trouble. She vows to one day find the man responsible for her parents deaths. In the meantime she will solve crimes until she comes face to face with her folks killer in the season 5 finale. OK, got it.

    • rinaex says:

      You omitted the requisite love triangle that includes a detective on the police force haunted by his past, and the bad-boy who may or may not be a suspect in her parent’s murder!

      • Jakay says:

        And let me guess… The good guy is named Dodge and he has an art gallery but is also good at picking pockets and other sleight of hand, while the bad one is Will Sykes. He’s dark and shady and she finds out he is suspected of murdering his ex-girlfriend.

  37. Michael Summerset says:

    It’s like they sit around trying to decide how to totally make a mess of classics. It’s like a bunch of TV executives get stoned and try to come up with the stupidest idea for a TV show imaginable.

    Let’s hope the network executives get visited by three ghosts before this airs.

  38. PJ says:

    Kudos to you all for your awesome ideas. Best laughs I had in a long time…..until I realized that these have either already been pitched or will be to some exec.

  39. Dude says:

    Twist is a terrible name.

  40. ThatBob says:

    This isn’t even a reboot, or a remake, or a reimagining. It’s just ripping off a title and slapping that on a totally unrelated pile of crap to try and give it a gimmick the sales team can use. NBC: Now Bereft of Creativity.

  41. Mike says:

    Just…just WHY? Really, why? What could you possibly gain from an adult, female (aka the two polar opposite primary traits of the character) version of a Charles Dickens character? And wasn’t the thieves catch rich a-holes gimmick done better by leverage?

  42. dave says:

    First case in the pilot episode will be the discovery of a dead body found in a vat of porridge in the oats factory. Detective Olivier will ponder the victim asked for more. More what? What could have he wanted that resulted in his murder!

  43. act_on_love says:

    Only if they’ll give me more gruel.

  44. KingDave says:

    It’s just trying to copy the general concept of Once Upon a Time – take a classic tale, throw away 99% of the story and keep the names mostly the same. That actually kind of worked when they only changed about 20% of the story, but as they strayed further and further from the source material, the dumber it got. This kind of extraordinarily loose spin on Oliver Twist is skipping the successful first season and going straight for shark jumping.

  45. George H. says:

    They must have decided this was a good idea after seeing the “success” of Ghostbusters.

  46. No just no. I normally never post anything negative about any show as I’m open about watching anything but this, no.

  47. Jesse says:

    Yikes – just tack on “reimagined”, “high concept”, and “as a procedural” today to get a show made.

    William and Gracie – a reimagined, high concept new version of Will & Grace, as a procedural. Crimes Division Captain Karen Walker is NOT to be messed with!

  48. Emily says:

    Why make it “based on Oliver Twist/Camelot” if it’s so far off the base material? At that point why not just make it an original idea?!

  49. Jill says:

    Sounds like a reboot of Robin Hood or Leverage and not Oliver Twist! Have the producers even read Oliver Twist?!