It is 2018 and reboots are hot hot hot. Actually, they’ve been hot for a while now. And a lot of them aren’t really “reboots” — in the strictest sense of the word — as they are continuations and reimaginings and other such words that are shorthand for “we got the stars to come back after 20 years and we’re gonna roll with it.” But still. I stand by my statement. Reboots are hot hot hot.
What other takeaway could you possibly have after a week that saw announcements of Murphy Brown, Magnum P.I., and Cagney and Lacey coming back to the small screen, joining shows like Will & Grace, Full(er) House, and MacGuyver? The question now is less “What popular show from days gone by will come back next?” than it is “What popular show from days gone by won’t come back next?” Which means, in all likelihood, someone, somewhere, right now, is working on a reboot/reimagining of Columbo.
And this is where I come in. I am going to reveal to you, Hollywood, the perfect actor to play Columbo in the hip, modern-day version of the classic 1970-80s detective series. It’s so good. You won’t even believe it.
But first: Just so we’re clear on this part… you know you don’t have to do this, right? You don’t have to make a new version of Columbo. Or any show, for that matter. I know times are tough right now, what with roughly 700 shows on 80 different channels and streaming services out there, all of them peeling eyeballs away from your particular programming lineup. And I know the name recognition of a beloved classic will at least get you a foothold to start scaling the face of that mountain. I get all that. It’s a business and people need to eat. But before I tell you the perfect lead for your new Columbo series — which, again, you don’t have to make, and can even instead replace with a “Columbo-inspired” series about a bumbling detective named, for example, Vernon Pepper — I want to ask you something, and I want you to really think about your answer: Where does this end?
Because, hoo boy, you guys. Murphy Brown? That’s where we are now? I say this not to defame the original version of the show or its star, Candice Bergen, in any way. Candice Bergen is great. I hope she lives to be 100 and stars in many more shows, or at least as many as she would like to. And a show about women working in media sure is timely given, like… [gestures toward the whole entire world]. But even in conversations where people get really, really excited about reboots, I truly do not think anyone exclaimed, “Why don’t they bring back Murphy Brown?!” Magnum, P.I.? Yeah, I can see that, I guess. Same with Cagney and Lacey, even. But how deep into this well are we going here? One of you needs to draw me a line. Because otherwise we’re gonna wake up one day with a prime-time lineup of Mr. Ed, My Three Sons, Family Ties, and, like, Edgy Matlock or something, and that’s just not gonna work.
(Quick note: Please consider scrapping the separate reboots and making one big show called Magnum P.I. & Cagney & Lacey. All three of them cruising around Hawaii in convertibles, solving crimes and so on and so forth. Put the edgy Matlock in there too for all I care. I mean, if we insist on bringing shows back, let’s at least have some fun with it all.)