Though many recent primetime schedules are littered with unsuccessful revivals of old TV shows, ABC thinks the time is right for a new version of Charlie’s Angels. It’s actually the third time that this has been attempted. Will this one actually make it?
Created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, the original Charlie’s Angels debuted on ABC on September 22, 1976. The story revolves around three picture-perfect young ladies who work for a private investigation agency and use their beauty and skills to solve cases.
The show’s original trio of women was played by Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith. David Doyle played helper John Bosley and John Forsythe voiced the unseen owner of the agency, Charlie Townsend. Fawcett left after one season and was replaced by Cheryl Ladd. Jackson left after three seasons and was replaced by Shelley Hack. The producers were unhappy with her so she was later replaced by Tanya Roberts.
The series was a top 20 show for four years and finished its five year run in 1981, after 110 episodes. A new version was considered for FOX in 1988 but it never came to fruition.
A feature film version of Charlie’s Angels was released in 2000. It stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu as three new female characters and Bill Murray as Bosley. While the movie is essentially a remake of the series, Forsythe returned to voice Charlie.
The feature film was successful enough to spawn a sequel in 2003, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. The three ladies returned but Murray did not. He was replaced by Bernie Mac who played Bosley’s foster brother. Smith briefly reprised her character from the original series.
Though the second movie wasn’t as successful as the first, it led ABC to consider bringing Charlie’s Angels back as a new series in 2004. The pilot was written by and to be executive produced by Carton Cuse (prior to Lost) and John Wirth (pre-Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) but was never shot.
Now, ABC is considering remaking the show once again. This time, according to Variety, it looks like a pilot will actually be made. Movie producers Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen will executive produce, as will original series producer Leonard Goldberg and Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles). Friedman will also write the pilot.
This new version will supposedly pay tribute to the original series but will be updated for a new generation. It seems doubtful that Forsythe, now 91-years-old, will reprise his voiceover role as he’s retired from performing.
ABC Entertainment Group President Stephen McPherson is expected to greenlight the pilot and is apparently excited about the project. Are you?
What do you think? Is the timing right for a new Charlie’s Angels or should this one be left in “TV heaven?”