Last night, it was announced that ABC is bringing back Roseanne after firing its star for, well, basically being the worst. The twist? ABC has cut Roseanne herself out entirely — to the point where she gets no financial compensation or residuals, only an executive producer credit — and it’s rebranding the show as The Conners. So, The Conners got us thinking about other shows that are prime to become reboots without their lead stars. After all, reboots are hot lately, so why not improve some old, beloved shows in the process?
5 TV Reboots Without the Star We’d Like to See:
1. Growing Pains
Though the late Alan Thicke was the dad, the true star was then-teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron (who played the eldest son, Mike Seaver), and he ended up an anti-gay Christian, we probably should’ve seen the signs. After all, he demanded his TV-girlfriend be written out for (gasp) appearing in Playboy, accused Growing Pains producers of being pornographers for introducing slightly adult themes. He also forced writers get rid of Tracy Gold’s TV-boyfriend, Matthew Perry, because Cameron thought he was an agent of Satan.
So what would a Mike Seaver-less Growing Pains look like? The other Seaver children have to come together and mourn after losing their Dad to cancer and their brother Mike to a wacky cult. They come together, love, grow and realize they’re better off without that smug jerk in their lives anymore. The pilot can end with them laughing about how Mike thought that bananas of all things proved God’s existence.
2. Home Improvement
Good news! There’s a Home Improvement reboot being floated! Bad news, it’d still star Tim Allen. His last show, Last Man Standing, may have gotten cancelled at ABC and revived by Fox, so, he’s probably busy being an awful right-wing Trump supporter there.
Besides, we only watched the show for Tim’s friend and coworker Al and Tim’s neighbor Wilson. Tim’s ape-like grunting schtick wore thin during the first episode. So here’s our proposed Home Improvement reboot: After blowing up his house with one of his idiotic attempts at adding “MORE POWER” to a toaster, Al decides the best way to honor his friend is to restore his house. Al works on the house while Wilson dispenses quirky life advice. Best of all, Al’s not a total idiot, so he’ll actually understand what Wilson’s saying! Sadly, the actor who played Wilson died in 2003, so maybe we can cast George Wendt instead. Who doesn’t like George Wendt?
3. The Cosby Show
In a nod to The Conners, we’d rename The Cosby Show to The Huxtables. Instead of aa family sitcom, the new version would be a drama, where Cliff’s been arrested for committing many many sex crimes against his patients, and the remaining Huxtables (who never moved out of the family house because, dang, that thing was huge) are forced to reckon with the fact that the man they knew and loved was an absolute monster.
The fifth episode is about the characters remembering Cliff’s Special BBQ Sauce, and realizing they were victims too. The episode ends with 45 minutes of unrestrained sobbing, interrupted by commercial breaks.
After Jeffrey Tambor was fired from Transparent, the show’s future was left up in the air. We’d recommend a reboot — though the only thing we’d change is casting an actual trans woman in the lead. You know, like they should’ve done in the first place.
5. Celebrity Apprentice
Yeah, we know, they already did a reboot of Celebrity Apprentice with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Trump‘s role. While we appreciate casting a man who legally can’t be President, we think the entire show should be retooled.
We propose casting American singer and music producer Andrew W.K. in the lead. Instead of making terrible business decisions and sexually harassing the contestants, Andrew W.K. will help the apprentices become better people.
Admittedly, this is just a soft reboot of Your Friend, Andrew W.K., but that show was awesome. And hey, if lighting strikes again, this under-qualified reality TV star turned president would at least be a nice person.