have attracted a wide audience. Due to its high potential for
cancellation, one could argue (and I do) that a streaming service
saved a series yet again. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has thrived on
Netflix, gathering a sizable audience and accolades from critics, the
public, and the Television Academy. The preemptive salvation of
series may become commonplace for streaming services as they
continue to grow their libraries to fill the needs of niche audiences,
but the effects have rippled beyond the streaming services. The
results have become evident among broadcast and cable stations
as well.
As with Arrested Development, which Brian Lowry of Variety
claims was created so the audience could “bask in the nostalgia,” a
wave of nostalgia has begun to fuel television production (Lowry).
Networks, cable, and streaming services alike are rebooting
cancelled series and films so they will have established intellectual
property with existing fan bases on the air/internet. These reboots
can exist as limited series like Gilmore Girls: A Day in the Life or
they can be the start of a long running series like Netflix’s Fuller
House (a revival/continuation of the sitcom Full House that focuses
on the grown-up daughters). Examples of limited series include:
Heroes: Reborn (from the cancelled Heroes), 24: Live Another Day
(from the cancelled 24), and The X-Files (from the cancelled series
of the same title). Similar to Fuller House, Amazon picked up the
2001 sitcom The Tick (which had previously run three seasons as
an animated series) with an order for a full season slated to appear
in 2017. As of this writing, CBS has MacGyver back on the air. Even
24, which received 24: Live Another Day as a limited series
continuation, is being rebooted as 24: Legacy now that the star is
done with the series. The revivals are not restricted to cancelled
television series; FOX airs a series based on the Lethal Weapon film
franchise. These series tap into narratives America wants to see:
the same things viewers already knew they liked. The fact that
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