These revivals follow CBS’ return of “The Odd Couple,” which started a few weeks ago and is now TV’s top-rated new comedy with 18- to 49-year-olds.
Recycled entertainment isn’t new. Big-name theatrical movie franchises come back over and over again. Hello, “Furious 7.” “The Fast and Furious” franchise is now 15 years old.
The cycle of returning TV shows seems to be getting shorter. That might be because of difficult starts for recent original shows, both comedies and dramas (Fox’s “Empire” being a major exception).
Many of these new shows -- the new golden age of TV, according to some -- have received good critical reviews but still haven’t made the grade. Hard-pressed senior TV executives are looking more than ever for predictably and stability in a continuing age of rating erosion.
With the old titles, they hope not only to grab the nostalgia of older viewers but perhaps also some attention from millennials. For many young viewers, however, titles like “Coach” and “Full House” may just represent shows their parents watched.
So why are networks (and Netflix) rushing them to market? A big reason is that returning old shows don't need “testing” in the form of pilots. That saves money.
Can you consider all these returning shows “franchises” in the same way that theatrical film producers see some of their content? With so many TV and other new media platforms hungrier than ever for original – and, especially, proven -- content, the appeal is strong.