The success that streaming service Netflix is experiencing regarding the "Full House" reboot "Fuller House" and the excitement surrounding the plans for new Netflix "Gilmore Girls" and "Lost in Space" series is prompting three similar new shows that will emulate the ABC "TGIF" Friday night lineup of the '80s and '90s. Like its predecessor, "Fuller House" will anchor this lineup.
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings announced today that the company is developing the following shows and that he is going "old school" regarding releasing a new episode of each (along with a new episode of "Fuller" S2) each Friday night starting in mid-September 2016.
1. "Gimme Another Break"
Former child star Joey Lawrence will reprise his role as abandoned child Joey Donovan, whom Nell Harper (played by the late Nell Carter) cared for in the original series about Harper becoming the surrogate mother to the three daughters of her deceased friend.
In the new series, Donovan is a cop pursuing a law-enforcement career to honor the "Chief" in the original series. The premise this time is that Donovan is raising the three orphaned boys of his black partner, who was killed in the line of duty. Real-life Lawrence brother Matthew is on hand as slacker little-brother Matthew who does his best to help with the boys but always makes things worse and learns the same lesson as them in the end.
2. "Adam in Charge"
Former child star/current animated series voice-actor Alex Polinsky stars in this remake of the Scott Baio '80s sitcom "Charles in Charge." Similar to Lawrence, Polinsky's Adam Powell from "Charles" is at the center of this show.
Adam is now a 40-something never-married manchild with a career as a voice-over actor for radio commercials for the local businesses in the New Jersey college town where he grew up under the care of Baio's caring college student/manny. The pilot episode has Adam set to sell his childhood home to a single mother household with three children and move to Los Angeles to star in a "The Simpsons" style animated series,
Learning that the aforementioned parent without a partner will need to back out of the deal because she cannot afford childcare for the kids prompts Adam to pay it forward by moving into Charles' basement bachelor pad and volunteering his services in between his wacky commercial gigs.
Hastings shares that "Charles" co-star Willie Aames is on hand to reprise his role as dim-witted Buddy Lembeck, now Adam's agent.
3. "Labor Pains"
Fellow '80s ABC kidcom "Growing Pains" joins "Fuller" in the line-up in another series set around the former boy in the series. In this case, Jeremy Miller once again takes on the role of youngest Seaver son Ben.
This former excitable boy turned teenage schemer has his act together as a union organizer who, true to the form of these reboots, lives in his childhood home despite the Seaver clan selling this abode at the end of the original "Pains." The "history repeats itself" twist this time is that the now-gay Ben is married to childhood friend "Stinky."
The pilot finds Ben responding to his organizing activities making him miss out on watching his two adopted Asian boys Mike and Luke (now aged 8 and 10 respectively) growing up by accepting a supervisory job with the union that allows him to work out of his father's former home office. Former home-based telemarketer Stinky then ventures out into the wide world in his new role as a high school cafeteria worker.
Many of the "sits" that provide the "com" this time relate to Ben being on the other side of the juvenile squabbles, get-rich-quick-schemes, and general mischief in which he participated in "Growing,"
An element of fellow '80s sitcom "Family Ties" enters the picture regarding the boys being more liberal than their pro-labor dad. The pilot episode introduces this by having the boys try to convince Ben to raise their allowance to $15/hour.
Folks who are salivating in anticipation of the three sitcoms described above will be less happy than folks who justifiably are cringing regarding them to learn that the announcement of the new TGIF shows is the annual April Fool's Day prank from Unreal TV. (Netflix truly is developing new "Gilmore" and "Space" episodes.)
Folks who merely find this post amusing may want to check out the 2015 April Fool's Day post, which reports the development of a Boston-based Matt Damon/Ben Affleck sitcom. The subsequent release of "Batman v. Superman" makes the participation of Affleck in such a comedy more likely now than it was a year ago.
The bonus 2105 April Fool's Day post announces a "Hot in Cleveland" movie.