Five Non-Whedon Shows that Could Actually Be Rebooted


Not that I don’t love me some Dollhouse, but other shows deserve a chance, too. With Whose Line Is It Anyway?Arrested Development, and Veronica Mars all returning, let’s take a look at some other shows that would be practical to resurrect.  And marvel at how Toddlers and Tiaras is now in its FIFTH season but certain others were cancelled after less than one.  So. Much. Rage.

Mystery Science Theater 3000


Suddenly I have a refreshing mint flavor.

A decade and a half after its cancellation, you will find MSTies “circulating the tapes” and debating their favorite host’s attributes in the same vein as the Kirk/Picard debacle.  This show ranks as the longest running on this list, with ten seasons (11 if you count the KTMA years) and a full-length feature that was ironically shorter than the television episodes.

Am I biased?  Yes, because I seriously love this show.  I love this show so much I built my own working Servo who now graces the bar in our man cave, and shoots snarky glares at my husband while he plays BioShock.  I also convinced a group of friends to dress as Mike, Dr. Forrester and Crow (that’d be me) for Halloween.  Pics or it didn’t happen?


Ha! There.

The best episodes in my opinion are from season 8 (post movie) and beyond – Space Mutiny, Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, Pumaman.  Yes, I like Mike Nelson a smidge more than Joel Hodgson, because the bots had zero respect for their non-creator and taunted him relentlessly. (Mike broke the Hubble! Mike broke the Hubble!)  Before we breach the hull and all die, understand that Joel chose Mike as his replacement, a fitting selection since Mike served as head writer and occasional guest actor for most of the series.


Whaddya think, Sirs?

Why it’s practical: Here’s the thing – voices for the most part don’t change.  Three-quarters of the show is made of puppets for Crow’s sake, and the Henson empire is now into its seventh decade built on this premise.  Although Joel and Mike have both continued with their own versions of film riffing (Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax, respectively), a reboot could easily be developed inserting a naïve new Deep 13 janitor.  If a couple of droids could end up back on the same damn planet in the same damn family, there’s no reason Servo and “Art” wouldn’t find themselves back on the Satellite of Love being pursued by a deranged scientist or his mother.



Welcome to the Circus of Values!

What the Hell Michigan happened to this show?  Unique concept, brilliant writing and casting, and a truly refreshing spin on the battle between good and evil.  It was Assassin’s Creed goes to the Circus, minus the guy in the big yellow hat.  That smell?  Sawdust, popcorn, carnies, and fear.

Dark and gritty and powerful – a combination HBO seems to excel at, but often cancels way too quickly.  Carnivàle ended up being an opening act rather than a three-ring circus – originally planned as a six season series, the show was given the HBOot after merely two, wrapped up with a Mockingjay-esque abrupt ending that left fans unsatisfied.   It was a premature jump to a forced climax; after reading what Daniel Knauf had actually planned as the extended story arc, I cried a big ol’ big top tear for what might have been.


Every prophet in his house.

Why it’s practical:  Um… it’s a traveling circus – limitless possibilities for cast, setting and plot lines.  While I enjoyed 1930s Dust Bowl setting, I was disappointed we didn’t get to explore an epic Avataric battle and its implications in the impeding World War – or beyond.   I would love to see this series rebooted and expanded from its original time frame – take it back further and examine Ben and Justin’s ancestors, or accelerate into the future and explore the lives of their descendents.  And then the producers wouldn’t have to worry about tracking down occasional rehab resident Nick Stahl.  Awww…



What are you all looking at???

Yes, I’m aware they sort of wrapped up the series with a film after being cancelled, but *cough* so did Firefly, and not exactly by original intent.  If Battlestar could be resurrected successfully after 20 years, so can Farscape.  If Star Trek can put Scott Bakula in the captain’s chair, why can’t we have Crichton and Aeryn back?  Or take it a step further and continue the story with a new cast in the same universe.   Sigh… I just really miss my Farscape

Alas, rumors of the show’s return have been shot down for years, with sets being dismantled after financing fell through.  I’m not going to say it didn’t have a good run, but like everything else that was denied the ability to reach its full potential, it could have been so much more.


Still one of my favorite episodes.

Why it’s practical:  Again, puppets and makeup, people!  Aliens and characters that don’t age!  This show had/has just as many people clamoring for it’s return as Firefly, and SciFi even retracted its original claims of a drop in ratings and a rise in production costs after fans revolted over its abrupt cancellation.  If it wasn’t expensive and yielded great ratings, why the cut-off?  Farscape was ultimately the victim of network negotiations and takeovers – go here for an in depth explanation as to what exactly happened.  It makes my head hurt.



Uh, turn around there, Skeet…

With the continuing threat of possible nuclear war (or at least media-incited public paranoia), this premise will always have its own niche.  Most of the story didn’t center around CG effects or even the total destruction of the major cities – it was the interpersonal relationships following the catastrophic events that proved to be the driving force.  A fan-based support movement brought it back from the brink of cancellation after the first season, and there has been talk of a possible revival on Netflix.


Martial Law & Disorder.

Why it’s practical:  When this one first came to mind, I dismissed it thinking there’s only so long they can extend the storyline past the initial events.  At the risk of negating the title however, why not take it on the road?  Explore how larger cities handled the fallout?  The similarities, differences, new societies?  I enjoyed traipsing around with the Greens, but bringing in some fresh new faces wouldn’t be difficult – and would keep Jericho going beyond its own walls.

My Name Is Earl


I’m just trying to be a better person.

Again, biased because, again Halloween costume.  The fact that I get my husband to shave his beard and go along with my schemes every year is a testament to a bond of mutual geeky devotion.

I realize I’m pushing it here.  But like so many suddenly suspended shows, this one got left on a cliffhanger, leaving us wondering just who Earl Junior’s father is (hint: not Earl).  It was great shut-your-brain-off entertainment.  The obvious morality tales left you smiling instead of feeling like you just endured a boring lesson.  And getting to see all the bad things that lead up to the karma-recovery missions was pure bliss – Earl stole a girl’s prosthetic leg, racked a rich guy, got Catalina deported, ruined Joy’s wedding/Christmas/life.


Hey, our ‘COPS’ is on! No, our OTHER ‘COPS’ is on!

Why it’s practical:  The biggest factor here is that most of the original cast is still available and willing, although Randy (Ethan Suplee) is literally half the man he once was following his continual weight loss through cycling.  Jaime Pressly even has a legit mugshot to add to her resume.  Awww…

These are my favorites – what other shows do you see as being realistically revived?

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  1. Spawn on HBO. It only got 3 seasons, but it was a great R rated cartoon. also, the comic has been going now for 200+ episodes, so it isn’t like they don’t have story material. that, and they still owe me for making me sit through the live action movie.

  2. Jericho would be cool. But if they travel the road and don’t spend any time in Jericho, they would have to call it something other than Jericho, right?

    Like, I dunno…”Revolution”…or something.

  3. It’s amazing to me that MST3K has stayed off the air as long as it has. There is so much garbage out there just begging to be formally mocked, the budget it so low (except for purchasing the rights to the movies, I guess), and so many people still love it so much. God, when I watch a real stinker I hear them in my head sometimes….

  4. I definitely want Earl back… Then the missus will have a show to watch, allowing me more game time. I have to check out most of these shows for a first time.

  5. I love that you had to go so far as to actually use the term “Non-Whedon”. I guess to avoid the stampede of “FIREFLY!!!!!” comments.

  6. Yikes, Jericho? That show was awful. Bad writing, bad acting, bad direction, I rejoiced when it was canceled. Skeet Ulrich has all the charisma of a wet paper bag. Including it on this list could seriously call into the doubt the worthiness of the other entries. And it shouldn’t, MST3K really needs to come back!

  7. FARSCAPEEEEEEE!!!! I reject the idea of a new cast though. Ben and Claudia are a MUST for a revival. They make Farscape what it is. Sure so does a lot of the rest. but THEM!!!

  8. I completely agree why was Farscape canceled and what an awful ending to a great series. I would love for this to happen to like Crichton and Aeryn kids or some kinda split universe induction back into the series.

  9. “this one got left on a cliffhanger, leaving us wondering just who Earl Junior’s father is (hint: not Earl).”

    Not the way I remember the finale. The son that Earl thought was not his own son turned out to be his own son. Earl’s wife had long thought it was not his son due to a mixup during a Halloween party at which both Earl and another person wore the same costume.

  10. Remember when Scream came out and people were touting Skeet Ulrich as the next Johnny Depp? Me neither.

    Count me as a member in the “I seriously heart Carnivale” club. Except I don’t think there’d be much in the way of Ben and Justin’s avatar descendents since (spoiler) Sofie’s the Omega, so very likely the last. (end spoiler)

    But yeah, let’s get into how Jesus, Dracula, the Buddha, Hitler, etc. were all avatars! Or just finish the original story properly. I had such a huge crush on both Ben and Brother Justin. Especially Brother Justin. Which made me deliciously ashamed.

  11. Will – that son was Dodge. Earl Jr. was the African-American child, who everyone thought was Darnell’s, but was conceived while Joy was married to Earl. When the DNA results came back, in true Maury fashion, Darnell was NOT the father. And neither was Earl, obviously. Thus, the mystery remains.

    And yeah, I could have done without Skeet and blonde-chick and their pseudo romance – it was never very convincing to me. But overall I liked the concept of a very realistic post-hydrogen bomb America – I thought it had great potential, if not for the soap-opera storylines.

  12. Brimstone. Bring back Brimstone! It was one of the earlier series that got the Firefly treatment (changed timeslots, no advertising, pre-empted without warning) despite loyal fans, high ratings, and critical acclaim. John Glover was Television’s greatest Satan of all time, the lead actor played his pathos and hope to the letter, and the villains were fun and original. Add to that the plans they had for season two and you have a great series. One in a long line of shows screwed by Fox.

  13. Someone probably mentioned this in the comments that were tl;dl, but costs for MST3K were too high. Not because the show had any special effects, but because the movies they were making fun of cost WAY too much to allow them to play without paying royalties up the ass. That is why the show is gone, and that is why you can’t find DVDs, and THAT is why they turned to just having .mp3s and you having to own the movies yourself. I would love to have this show back, but realistically, it will never happen.

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