It was difficult to know what to expect when a revival of the classic ’90s sitcom “Roseanne” was first announced.
Would this new show be yet another example of Hollywood’s reboot obsession? Could the revival really capture the lightning-in-a-bottle quality of the original? And how would the show bring back Dan Conner, husband of Roseanne (played by John Goodman) from the dead?
Against these and other odds, the new “Roseanne” works — and it’s better than ever. The series has seen some of the best ratings of any TV show in years, and already a second season is in development.
One key to the revival’s success is its honesty in depicting America’s current culture. While many programs have addressed the Trump presidency and other issues, “Roseanne” was the first major one to do so without an aggressive agenda.
Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) is shown as a Trump voter who is not a conspiracy theory-spouting racist, as other shows have depicted those who voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Like its original incarnation, “Roseanne” examines people of all political persuasions and tries to tackle America from a blue-collar, working person’s perspective. That makes it one of the most conservative television shows on the air right now.
Given all this, it might be time to take a glance at other long-dead right-of-center shows that should be revived.
1.) “24.” This show technically has never fully disappeared. It aired for a powerful eight seasons and was followed by the 2010 miniseries “24: Live Another Day.” After that, star Kiefer Sutherland stepped aside and a spinoff was produced titled “24: Legacy.”
“Legacy” didn’t quite live up to the first show’s … well, legacy. It was a bit more politically correct than the original cutthroat series and the ratings reflected as much. It was canceled last year, and Fox announced it was working on a new incarnation of the franchise.
Why not just convince Sutherland to put together another miniseries? The original series was beloved by conservatives. Rush Limbaugh often talked about it, and producer and creator Joel Surnow was an open conservative who worked many right-of-center views into the patriotic program. Sutherland’s Jack Bauer would often earn criticism from the mainstream media for his extreme methods in stopping potential terrorist attacks, but he was still a fan favorite.
Given today’s cultural divide, the time is right for a patriotic white-knuckle series like “24” to return to its roots.
2.) “Last Man Standing.” This show hasn’t been gone long, but fans have never stopped asking for it back. There have been popular petitions to bring it back, and star Tim Allen has said on multiple occasions he’d like the show to return.
The series was canceled last year even though it was one of ABC’s top-rated sitcoms. Some people took issue with the program’s central conservative character, played by Tim Allen, along with the show’s right-of-center take on today’s social issues.
But ABC’s reasons for axing the show were always suspicious to fans; and now, with the network winning with “Roseanne,” it seems a perfect time to correct the mistake made with “Last Man Standing.”
3.) “Walker, Texas Ranger.” How there has not been a revival of this show is anyone’s guess. It was wildly popular, and Chuck Norris’ standing in popular culture has only grown since the series ended.
One major reason to bring “Walker, Texas Ranger” back is this: Give it a proper ending. After the series finale, CBS aired a television film titled “Trial by Fire” in 2003. It was supposed to be the first of many to follow Texas Ranger Cordell Walker (Chuck Norris) and the gang — but no follow-ups were to be found. That was especially bad for fans, since the movie ends with the fate of one main character hanging in the balance after a shooting.
“Walker, Texas Ranger” offered a weekly dose of “everything Texas” through eight entertaining seasons. The television landscape could use a little of Cordell Walker’s roundhouse-kicking moral code back.
And Chuck Norris may be pushing 80 — he is currently 78 — but would you challenge this guy to a fight?
4.) “King of the Hill.” Rumors have swirled recently that Fox is mulling a revival of “King of the Hill.” It would make sense. The series (which aired for 13 seasons) continues to succeed in syndication. Fox has already revived shows such as “Prison Break” and “The X Files,” so why not this one, too?
“King of the Hill” was part of Fox’s animation block, which also included shows like “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons.” “King of the Hill” was a perfect addition because it was just as ridiculous as those shows, but its perspective was more blue-collar.
The show followed a conservative, middle-America family and its adventures. It would be a welcome equalizer in the culture. Just as it was insightful to see what the Conner family from “Roseanne” was up to in this time of Trump, it would be great to see what the Hill family is up to these days as well.
5.) “The 1/2 Hour News Hour.” This was a terrific concept that never quite found its footing. Produced by “24” mastermind Joel Surnow, the satire news show had a right-of-center perspective and was designed to push back against such increasingly left-leaning programs as “The Daily Show.”
Featuring folks like Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Miller, the series was a bit of a mixed bag and was quickly canceled.
It aired on Fox News back in 2007; it would have far more success today on a streaming platform such as Hulu or Amazon. Its content would also have more freedom. Plenty of right-leaning comedians could participate in a reboot: Steven Crowder, Owen Benjamin, etc. With late-night programs exclusively catering to a far-Left audience and “Saturday Night Live” turning into little more than leftist propaganda, a show like “The 1/2 Hour News Hour” could find success today and provide a breath of fresh air for conservatives tired of the modern television landscape.