It’s hardly surprising to see a major TV network reboot a beloved broadcast series.
The wrinkle with the upcoming “Hart to Hart” reboot, however, lies in the startling premise. Instead of a man and woman playing the dashing lovers who mix amateur detective work with their lush lifestyle, the new “Hart to Hart” will feature a gay couple solving mysteries.
The project, at least according to Deadline.com, is a “modern and sexy retelling” of the show that lasted five seasons starting in 1979. The original series, from the mind of novelist Sidney Sheldon, starred Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers and Lionel Stander.
Some think a future James Bond could be gay to show a more inclusive approach.
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Cultural forces are trying to nudge existing properties to include more gay themes. In the comics world, Iceman recently came out as gay. Some think a future James Bond could be gay to show a more inclusive approach. Even Spider-Man, one of Marvel’s signature characters, has been part of this potential shift.
Andrew Garfield, who played the web-slinger in two feature films, once argued with the studio that the character should be gay. The studio resisted the suggestion, going so far as to insist the film version remain both straight and Caucasian.
All of which begs the question, is American ready for a same-sex “Hart to Hart?”
Regardless of sexuality, TV reboots often fall flat. Consider a recent attempt to revive “Kojak,” the venerable cop series starring Telly Savalas as the lollipop-loving detective. The original series ran for five seasons, and Savalas’ character nabbed the No. 18 slot on TV Guide’s list of the 50 best TV characters. The 2005 reboot, starring Ving Rhames in the title role, lasted one season.
At least Rhames’ series made it on air. Octavia Spencer, hot off her Oscar-winning role in “The Help,” snagged a gig to play Jessica Fletcher in a “Murder, She Wrote” reboot. The project never reached the air. The show’s original star, Angela Lansbury, said at the time that making a new show with that name was a mistake.
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Not all reboots fizzle, though. The current CBS series, “Hawaii-Five-0,” is about to start its sixth season. The latest take on “The Odd Couple,” starring Tom Lennon and Matthew Perry, didn’t score big ratings last year, but managed to earn a second season.
We’ll have to wait until 2016 to see if the upcoming “X-Files” reboot can maintain the original show’s appeal.