“Boy, the way Glen Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade. Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.”
Anyone who watched TV back in the 1970s (or those younger viewers who see retro TV via streaming or internet) will instantly know that line as the Archie and Edith Bunker-crooned intro to All in the Family, one of Hollywood’s truly legendary television shows. Archie Bunker shocked our collective consciousness by saying outrageous and inflammatory things that had never been heard on the small screen before. The original 210-episode run of AITF ended back in 1979, though various spin-offs would perpetuate the legacy for awhile, with diminishing results.
Now in the grand Hollywood tradition of “is nothing sacred,” there’s talk of an All in the Family reboot, along with The Jeffersons and Good Times. Can someone else actually fill those considerable Bunker shoes? We may find out. Variety reports that Norman Lear, who created all of these shows, is in talks with Sony Pictures TV to “reboot” them, in the form of short six-episode runs. New actors would recreate the episodes working from existing scripts. Sony controls most of the Lear library via a 1985 purchase of Lear’s Embassy Communications.
How is this all coming together? Lear also created the sitcom One Day at a Time, and that is coming back, as a re-imagined series on Netflix, January 6. This version will star a Latino family with an Army vet as its centerpiece. Lear is the executive producer, and this show will have original scripts, unlike the proposed reboots. Variety says “Sony has been in discussions with Lear about the miniseries-reboot concept since before development began on “One Day at a Time.” It also adds that Lear has been kicking around some type of AITF rebirth since 2015 “which would have seen the show revived with new characters, possibly Latino. That idea was set aside in favor of the new One Day at a Time.”
The television landscape, like much of pop culture, has changed drastically since the heyday of AITF. Where we once had to settle for the three networks of ABC, CBS and NBC, now we have hundreds and hundreds of channels spread across multiple platforms. So who knows where these show concepts will be viewed, if they come to fruition? There’s a process to go through before we find out.
Glenn Adilman is the executive vice president of comedy development for Sony. He adds in Variety, “’It’s tricky for a lot of reasons, and it’s something we’re exploring.’”