Girl Meets World was one of the first shows to ride the wave of nostalgia straight into a revival on television. The new series continued the story of Boy Meets World from the era of TGIF for 70 new episodes and brought back all the familiar faces that fans loved getting reacquainted with on a weekly basis. It certainly wasn’t the first time that a series was revived in a creative way and we’ve always had television spin-offs that tried to capitalize on those successes. The difference at this moment is the slew of remakes and revivals of classic shows long gone for new episodes, including Full House, Gilmore Girls, The X-Files, and at least a dozen others in the near future.
But now Girl Meets World is officially canceled over at Disney, confirming the rumors started by Rider Strong and bringing the story to another close here in 2017. Along with an uncertain future for other revivals like The X-Files and the coming rush of reboots over the next few years, you have to wonder if this is the moment where the revival boom begins its turn downward.
Now sure, it’s silly to think that a show on the Disney Channel would mark a turning point for all of television. The show was never some major network sitcom held in the same regard as other classics out there, like say Cheers or Seinfeld. It’s also certainly not a death knell for revivals as a whole since there’s a lot coming down the pipe.
But look at the superhero genre on the big screen. It’s doing well by anybody’s standards, but it’s still facing down the warnings that say the genre is on the verge of being oversaturated. Could the same happen to revivals on television? It definitely depends on the project, but the chances of it happening with tv shows are much higher than with film. Limited choices at the box office and the marketing behind them guarantees that even bad movies can find some success.
Television, on the other hand, is spoiled for choice. Peak TV and streaming services are overflowing with choices for people to watch and enjoy, mostly through original programming. While Netflix found early success bringing back Arrested Development for a fourth season, things have changed quite a bit since that moment. There’s almost too much TV out there.
Something like Girl Meets World grabs your eye thanks to that nostalgic aspect, but what will be the staying power for shows being created on the memories of their past success? We have a lot of tests in the coming year, with the return of Twin Peaks and 24 near the top of the list. Their success should indicate the direction, but this could be a moment where we see things start to dip.