All in the Family Reboot

All in the Family, Other Norman Lear Classics Eyed for Short-Run Reboots

Legendary TV producer Norman Lear says there has been “some talk” of rebooting All in the Family, The Jeffersons and other classic sitcoms — though with an important twist.

With Netflix’s Latino remake of his One Day at a Time set to premiere on Jan. 6, Lear told our sister site Variety that he and Sony Pictures Television have been having discussions about “redoing” All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude and Good Times “with today’s stars” — and only as six-episode batches, re-enacting select, classic episodes.

“It’s sort of tricky to figure out what the business of that is and … how it would work,” a Sony EVP told Variety of the miniseries concept. “But its something we’re trying to figure out.”

What do you think about this twist on the simple (and easily derided) “reboot” concept? Small-batch remakes of favorite episodes?

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74 Comments
  1. Brian says:

    Horrid idea.

  2. Dysturbed says:

    Since this would just be select episodes being redone, as opposed to full reboot, and since no matter what the legacy of the classic episodes remains intact since old episodes won’t suddenly stink just because new versions aren’t likely as good, I say sure…why not?

  3. readenreply says:

    Twists:
    All in the Family: Muslim neighbors
    Jeffersons: South Asian family movin’ on up!
    Maude: Fierce Black Woman of course
    Good Times: Latino family in the projects

  4. Steven says:

    This is actually a really interesting idea. I’d love to see what these would look like!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Right? Like, if James Gandolfini was still with us, wouldn’t you LOVE to see him take a crack at Archie for 6 episodes?

      • Steven says:

        I could see Brian Dennehy or Jack McGee fitting in that role well. I’d love to see a TV Line gallery of who should play the lead roles.

      • Eurydice says:

        Sure, if today’s Archie were played as divorced, shunned by his family, fired from his job and homeless. Nobody would tolerate a “lovable bigot” today and Archie’s abusive childhood wouldn’t be a good enough excuse. He would have to be thoroughly punished for his attitudes….and then, for final rehabilitation, go on Dancing With The Stars.

        • Woofer says:

          Say WHAT! You say “Nobody would tolerate a “lovable bigot”? Your country just made a bigot the president- so 42 million idiots must think he is lovable!

      • ragnar51 says:

        Wow!1 I wasn’t at all on board with the reboot until you guys mentioned Gandolfini and Brian Dennehy, Could you guys picture Little Steven (Silvio) as Archie? :)

    • Butch says:

      If they did original episodes maybe. Redoing classic episodes, I don’t see the point. How could they improve on say “Edith’s 50th Birthday” where she was almost raped? The acting of Jean Stapleton was so extraordinary what would be the point of a redo? The combination of comedy and pathos of some of the classic episodes maybe could be duplicated but I doubt it would be exceeded. Rerun the originals instead of remaking them.

  5. Traditionalist says:

    PLEASE NO! How about just watch the classics????!!!!!
    If this is the best Hollywood can do, please just close up shop now.

  6. kmw says:

    Just no!!!!. No one has any new ideas apparently because everything needs to be rebooted. Horrible idea

  7. Alyson says:

    I don’t think Archie Bunker would translate well into today’s ultra PC world.

    • ragnar51 says:

      You’ve got that right, they’d be demonstrating!

      • Watched it back then says:

        It didn’t translate that well in the ’70s, to be honest. Even though Norman Lear was (and remains) on the left side of the political spectrum, “All in the Family” always posed a question of whether viewers were laughing *at* or *with* Archie Bunker. The uncomfortable reality is that for all the statements it attempted to make, the show achieved its hit status with some of both. Today it’s like Foster Brooks and “Arthur” — not that funny anymore.

  8. Tom says:

    No. Just no.

  9. ScottJ says:

    The BBC did something similar recently. They re-made 4 episodes of comedies from the 1960s. The originals no longer existed on film but they still had the original scripts. It was a bit of failure and even with some tinkering of the words they still came across as very sexist and very racist.

  10. Kehinde says:

    Just don’t have any reboots.

  11. Pat L says:

    Why not save time and money and just select X number of classic episodes to air as specials? It was the casts that made the old shows great and there will never be anyone to match Carroll O’Conner, Jean Stapelton, Sherman Hemsley, Bea Arthur and others. TV shows aren’t like Broadway plays where cast members can just be rotated in and out.

  12. Lindsey says:

    I’m pretty sure this show displayed some strong prejudices. I don’t think we need any more of that in today’s society.

  13. kirads09 says:

    No. They were perfect and exquisite and had a strong social message for their time and place. But you can’t recapture the magic – despite even Norman Lear. Re-enact classic eps? No.

  14. ChicagoDan says:

    Those ‘classic’ episodes were timely and relevant 40 years ago. If it’s reenacting the original scripts – stick with originals. The only positive is that it will introduce these series to a lot of people and they may check out the real deal.

  15. Yolo says:

    Nooooooo!!!! Some classics you should let be.

  16. J.Norman says:

    ““It’s sort of tricky to figure out what the business of that is and … how it would work,” a Sony EVP told Variety”

    Also, who cares or is even interested in reviving past television series – with current actors?
    i mean, really, who is clamoring for something like this.

    • Dysturbed says:

      Probably no one, but the reality is that nobody has to ask for any given show, reboot, sequel, etc. to potentially end up enjoying it regardless if actually made, or at the very least having some degree or interest.

      Worst case scenario is that the idea bombs (which it very well may), but nothing changes about the fact that the originals are still great.

  17. brandy says:

    But…why?

  18. MMD says:

    No, nope, nada. Horrid idea! Even with the great Norman Lear involved, some things just can’t be translated to a different era with a different cast.

  19. Eurydice says:

    “Sort of tricky to figure out what the business of that is…” sounds like “we haven’t figured out how to make any money from this…”

    In general, I think this sounds like a bad idea. The shows and characters were products of a specific time, and pulling out a half dozen episodes would take them even further out of their historical context.

  20. Dennis says:

    No no no !!!😧😮😵

  21. Dontryl Alexander says:

    No Damn Way! No More Reboots, just leave the classics alone!

  22. Debbie says:

    I know that most commenters here have answered with a resounding no and often siting the fact that they will be taken out of historical context, but look around, we are still having the same conversations we had then. These shows are just as socially relevant today as the day they were originally produced, so if an updated cast or a different setting helps to move that conversation forward, I say go for it.

    • Eurydice says:

      We’re having conversations about the same subjects, but we are not having the same conversations. For instance, our attitudes about the military and our acceptance of war are very different now than then. And women had a great deal less economic freedom then than they do now – that changed the dynamic between men and women, which changed the conversation.

  23. Tomm Huntre says:

    Maybe an ALL IN THE FAMILY sequel focusing on a now adult Joey married and his wife living with Gloria in Archie’s old house?? But for an actual reboot?? NO!!

  24. Walkie says:

    Hideous idea.

  25. rowan77 says:

    The worst idea ever. They take classic shows that still old water and decide to remake them? The chance that they will be better than the amazing originals is minute. The chance that it will not measure up? Huge.

  26. B says:

    Can’t imagine they can achieve the same chemistry or the freshness of those classics by redoing them (it’s a different animal, but think: Psycho remake, shot-for-shot). The issues may still (sadly) be around, but I just don’t see the point of this endeavor. If you want to comment on the state of today’s society, make a new show. We could use something as bold and timely as those shows, but geared properly for today’s world.

    • Penny Can says:

      Actually the issues are very different now. Today we are living in the Hell Archie expounded on with the ashes of the hand basket all around us. The country, in fact the entire free world, is a far more vulgar, graceless and violent place than in those days.

  27. A.G. says:

    Can’t anybody think of a t.v. Show on their own even a movie stop remakes

  28. datdudemurphy says:

    I thought we had already hit bottom….. I’m almost impressed

  29. David Kane says:

    Norman Lear did Hot l Baltimore It was a good show that was never given a chance now would be the time.

  30. Carlos Lee says:

    Bad idea. I will not watch,

  31. Colleen says:

    This remake/reboot trend is getting insanely out of hand. Is there no one out there that still has the ability to come up with an original thought or idea?

  32. lrdslvrhnd says:

    Ugh, no.

  33. DavidSask says:

    …..BECAUSE IT WON’T WORK!!!!

  34. Daya says:

    I know it’s not a Norman Lear show, but I would dearly love to see Sara Rue redo a few Lucy episodes. <3

  35. Aeol says:

    So….literally restage, word for word, set piece for set piece, classic tv show episodes that are already out there for viewing? Hard pass. It’s one thing to reinterpret a show or revive a play and hopefully do it well. But man, what a confusing and pointless concept this is.

  36. Ange says:

    Bad idea. Are there no more original ideas left? Also, let’s not forget the premise of the show.

  37. Jared says:

    Make it stop! I started to cringe when I read “reenact classic episodes” LOL

  38. Larc says:

    When any TV production community lacks creative brainpower for coming up with new ideas, either copycatting or exhuming used ones is about all they can do. But this is just too desperate.

  39. Qweenperky says:

    Please no. Just…no.

  40. Another Poster says:

    There should be a Golden Raspberry, (Razzie) for the worst in television, just as there are Razzies for bad movie. Here’s a front runner for the Razzie award for the worst idea in TV shows. Short-run reboots? How about one and cancelled, or better yet, just stop it right now.
    It’s the 2016, the seventies were a long time ago. What was original then sounds like desperation for a known product to sell to the networks and the commercial sponsors.

  41. Ana M says:

    Just what we need, blatant racism on TV to accompany that of the incoming white house. I’ll pass. Hell, I’ll boycott whatever network it’s on and ALL of their programming.

  42. Mark says:

    So what is the point of redoing certain episodes? I have no problem with reboots, but if you are just restaging the old with new actors, it seems like a waste of resources.

  43. ToyCannon says:

    Rob Reiner should play the new Archie Bunker. Alfonso Ribeiro would make a good George Jefferson.

  44. Jim A. says:

    DO NOT DO THIS! There will never be an “Archie Bunker” like Carroll O’Connor and the cast of “All In The Family”. It is an insult to the great work of those actors to try to duplicate it.

  45. damicotest says:

    Think he could be on to something here…….The BBC in the UK brought back limited run series of some of its best britcoms and there were new series created sequels to originals. The key is limited series runs and it pays homage to the veteran actors and originals!

  46. Johnny Styles says:

    In today’s PC obsessed culture, shows like these could never work.

  47. Mary says:

    Can they give it a rest with these remakes. Gee Nothing will be good as the original. Here’s a thought why don’t you think outside the box and develop new shows.

  48. Penny Can says:

    While I don’t think this is a good idea, IMO most reboots fail because TPTB make horrid casting choices. The other big mistake is “reimagining” the feature by changing the gender, ethnicity or orientation of the core characters.