After 24, X-Files and Prison Break, what shows FOX should revive next?

Fox Entertainment chief David Madden declared recently to The Hollywood Reporter “Fox bringing back 24 was (…) an event series. That clearly had a title that made it an event. [Going forward] I think they need to be titles. They need to be things that don’t need the kind of marketing campaign that you would have to have to support an ongoing traditional series“. So the question is: what previous successes can FOX revive for event programming? Here are the good ideas. And the terrible ones they will inevitably think of…


rate X-FILES

X-Files is probably the first drama that really put FOX on the map. In its early days and for most of its run, the show was critically acclaimed. It became a phenomenon all over the world. An instant classic. And the truth is it hasn’t really aged. It is still very much enjoyable for viewers discovering it nowadays. It’s still relevant. And as far as we all know, truth is still out there. Fringe was a great attempt by J.J. Abrams to modernize the concept and in a way, they succeeded at it, but it was no X-Files. Dana Walden, FOX’s new CEO with Gary Newman, worked on the X-Files at the beginning of her career at 20th Century FOX Television. She certainly knows the beast and she has a close relationship with creator Chris Carter…

The question is not “will she try to revive it?” ‘cos of course she will. And maybe she’s already trying. It is: will she be able to convince Chris Carter to be a part of it (first thing going for her: what should have been his new show, The After, was recently cancelled before it even happened by Amazon Studios). The X-Files without him wouldn’t be OK. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson always said they’d do it in a hearbeat. The idea of a third movie is still up in the air. Why not producing a limited series instead, the way Twin Peaks is arising from the dead at Showtime? It is equally frightening, but it’s also very tempting and exciting… Before the end of the year, expect an announcement (with Vince Gilligan involved again?) !

UPDATE: FOX confirms even sooner than expected early talks with Chris Carter about a possible reboot, with Mulder & Scully still at the center of the show.

SECOND UPDATE: Ordered to series for a six-episode season.


Wentworth Miller & Dominic Purcell recently met the press to discuss their reunion in an episode of The Flash and the question of a potential Prison Break comeback was asked, as expected. Here what they had to say about it: “”We actually floated the idea to FOX very casually and they seemed very not casual about this interest. They seemed to think there was something there.” Damn it! They’re totally serious. In this story, it’s hard to decide whether it is the actors or the CEOs who are the most delusional. But both are. Clearly.

Just think about it: the show was GREAT the first year, it was OK the second, it was BAD the third, it was REALLY BAD the fourth and I don’t even want to qualify the TV Movie they made to conclude. Ratings wise, it ended with 3,3 million viewers (and 1.3% on the demo). It’s just ridiculous! It was at the time and it still is. Even for FOX. And it just ended 6 years ago, for god’s sake! I’m not saying they won’t do it -I mean, NBC is doing it with Heroes– but it’s just plain stupid and they will regret it… Leave Michael Scofield alone!

UPDATE: A limited series is in development


Crazy right? If people didn’t like the western space opera the first time, leading to a cancellation after only 11 episodes aired out of 13, why would they 15 years later? Well. Not enough people liked it. But those who watched it, loved it. Proof: a movie was filmed three years later to conclude, called Serenity. Because fans never gave up and because Joss Whedon needed closure badly. It is now considered as some sort of cult doomed show.

Aside from the fact that the leading man, Nathan Fillion, who was no one at the time is now a huge television star thanks to Castle, there could be some sort of hope that Firefly could turn into something more people are ready to watch now than they were before. Because Battlestar Galactica happened. Because Star Trek has been sucessfully updated by J.J. Abrams. Because Star Wars is coming back the same way this year. Because Morena Baccarin, Summer Glau, Gina Torres or Alan Tudyk are now familiar faces on TV. It would be crazy but bold. But maybe it’s better suited for FX…


Honestly, Sliders was neither an incredibly well-written series that everybody’s waiting patiently to have back nor a huge success (FOX cancelled it after 3 seasons before SciFi saved it for two more years). But the concept was cool. It was fun to watch. Jerry O’Connell was not annoying at the time. And the special effects were OK. Imagine it now: they could do something better in every way. But please, without Jerry O’Connell. That’s the only condition. I wouldn’t bet on this one. But why not?


Bridget Jones is back on book stores with third installment called “Mad About The Boy” and probably soon on theaters. A cougar version of her. Slimmer. Since everybody talked about Renee Zellweger and her “new face”, they would be crazy not to try. Ally McBeal could be back too. But not slimmer. It’s impossible. Calista Flockhart is available (but picky). David E. Kelley has a hard time to find the road of success again for some time now. But I don’t see him accepting to create a sequel if he’s asked and I’m not sure there are new things to say about Ally almost 15 years later. After all, she was a cougar for a brief period of time before it was cool. And Robert Downey Jr. is a movie star now. What’s the point of a comeback if it’s not to reunite Ally with Larry in the end? And imagining Ally with a 25 years old daughter is just depressing. It’s a bad idea and I don’t think they will even consider it. Just forget about it.


A long long time before Tony Soprano, Dexter, Don Draper, Walter White and so many others so called antiheroes exist, there was Jim Profit (Adrian Pasdar). On a network. The show was very dark, daring, ahead of its time. It’s probably why it was cancelled after one season of only eight episodes. The audience was simply not ready for it. They surely are now. There are many unanswered mysteries to unravel and new incredible stories to tell about him. But is it something someone somewhere is waiting for? Not really. It’s too late. It wouldn’t feel as original and bold now.


With its mix of police investigations, romantic attraction between the two leads and a great mystery about the origins of John Doe, this show had the perfect formula to be a hit! It was entertaining and gripping. It should have worked. But it hadn’t for whatever reasons and a lot of people cried over it. The creator even had to explain a few years later after pressure from fans what he envisioned for the rest of the show and what John Doe really was (the answer is: the messiah!).  Since we know the truth, doing it again is not interesting at all. And changing the end would be a disappointment.


90210 and Melrose Place already got the reboot treatment.


Hit the comments if there’s a show you think FOX should revive…


  1. Boby says:

    Je n’avais pas vu cet article avant.
    Moi je serai pour une série limitée “The O.C.”, une suite de la série originale. Pourquoi ne pas la faire revenir pour 6-8 épisodes ? Tout le monde a envie de retrouver les Cohen. Ca irait très bien pour une programmation durant l’été.

    • Lulla says:

      It was not produced by 20th Century FOX Television, so it doesn’t work for the article. And a sequel doesn’t look like a good idea since the show already concluded the storylines for the years after, the same way as Desperate Housewives did. Plus, it was never a ratings juggernaut.

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