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32 Classic TV Shows From The 1960s That Were Rebooted For Gen X

 Picard in the Captain's chair in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Picard in the Captain's chair in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The first couple of decades of television produced some really great shows, and a couple of decades after that, once the Baby Boomers grew up and had children, a ton of those shows were rebooted for a new generation, Generation X. There was definitely some Boomer-nostalgia going on with some of the shows on this list as well. Not all of them worked, either, in fact, many didn’t work at all, but some launched an entirely new era of classic franchises. Without further ado, here are quite a few of the classic shows that were later rebooted for Gen X (and their parents).

Danno shocked on Hawaii Five-0
Danno shocked on Hawaii Five-0

Hawaii Five-0

The original Hawaii Five-0 was one of the hippest shows on TV when it debuted in 1968. It was so popular that it lasted all the way to the 1980s, ending its run in 1980 after 12 seasons. In 2010, CBS rebooted the show for a new generation of fans, updating it for a new millennium, but doing its best to keep the “cool” factor. It made sure to make throwbacks to the old show, including the iconic line, “Book ‘em, Danno” on occasion. It also updated the always cool theme song.

Matthew Rhys as Perry Mason
Matthew Rhys as Perry Mason

Perry Mason

Perry Mason has quietly been one of the most enduring franchises in modern media history. There have been books, movies, a radio show, and, most notably, the TV show starring Raymond Burr as Mason that ran for 271 episodes from 1957-1966. Burr returned in the ‘80s for a series of TV movies, 30 of them in all, between 1985 and 1995. Most recently, it was rebooted yet again for a critically acclaimed run on HBO with Matthew Rhys as the titular character which ran for two seasons.

The opening credits of The New Adam-12
The opening credits of The New Adam-12

The New Adam-12

The original Adam-12 isn’t as remembered today as other shows from its era (it ran seven seasons from the late ‘60s until the mid '70s), but that didn’t stop a reboot from happening in 1990. The reboot wasn’t all that successful though, lasting only two seasons that ran consecutively for 52 weeks in a row. It really only shared a premise though, as none of the characters from the original appeared in the reboot.

Jordan Peele on the Twilight Zone.
Jordan Peele on the Twilight Zone.

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone is one of the most legendary shows from the early years of television and starred an incredible amount of big-name actors. The dirty little secret is that it was not as appreciated in its time as it was later. Ratings were never great during its original run from 1959-1964, but that didn’t stop CBS from rebooting in 1985 after the middling success of the controversial film. The new show didn’t fare better, as it was never a ratings success either, but still did manage to run for three seasons, even including an updated theme song by the Grateful Dead. It was rebooted again for one season in 2002, and yet again in 2019 by Jordan Peele to great fanfare, but again struggled to find an audience.

Jerry Mathers on The New Leave It to Beaver
Jerry Mathers on The New Leave It to Beaver

The New Leave It to Beaver

One of the strangest entries on this list has to be The New Leave It to Beaver. It’s really more of a sequel to the original Leave It To Beaver than a reboot, as it starred most of the original actors in their original roles, all grown up with their own children in the 1980s. As much about Boomer nostalgia than anything, somehow the bizarre “sequel” worked and aired for four somewhat successful seasons.

Alex Trebek talks on Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek talks on Jeopardy!

Jeopardy!

Even classic ‘60s game shows got the rebooting treatment in the 1980s. Sure, we look at Jeopardy! today and think of the Alex Trebek era as the definitive era, and it is, but Merv Griffen first created the show in 1964, when it aired during the day for 11 years with host Art Flemming. Other than a short run in the late ‘70s, the franchise was dormant until 1984 when Griffen relaunched it with Trebek at the helm and the rest is history.

Patrick Stewart on Star Trek: The Next Generation on Paramount+
Patrick Stewart on Star Trek: The Next Generation on Paramount+

Star Trek

Of course, any list like this must include Star Trek. The original series ran for three seasons, from 1966 to 1969 and then it was 10 years before the first movie was made. 18 years after the original signed off, the series was first rebooted with The Next Generation in 1987. That series, starring Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard was a huge success in syndication and now, the franchise is ubiquitous, with more than a dozen movies and almost as many TV shows.

Catherine O'Hara and Steven Weber in The Outer Limits The Revelations of Becca Paulson
Catherine O'Hara and Steven Weber in The Outer Limits The Revelations of Becca Paulson

The Outer Limits

In 1963 ABC launched The Outer Limits to go up against The Twilight Zone on CBS. The Outer Limits was more sci–fi than its rival, and it wasn’t quite as successful, lasting just two seasons. It was much more successful 30 years later when it was rebooting in 1995. The second incarnation of the show lasted seven seasons and 152 episodes on Showtime and the Sci-fi network.

Opening credits of The New Dragnet
Opening credits of The New Dragnet

The New Dragnet

Dragnet, starring Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday began as a radio show, starting in 1949. In 1951, it moved to TV and ran for eight legendary seasons of “just the facts.” Jack Webb returned in 1967 for another, updated Dragnet, that ran for four more seasons. In 1987, Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks teamed up for a Dragnet movie, one of many films based on old TV shows as well. Finally, in 1989, The New Dragnet launched in first-run syndication, lasting two seasons.

A scene from Ponderosa
A scene from Ponderosa

Ponderosa

Two of the longest-running shows of the ‘50s and ‘60s were westerns. Gunsmoke which ran for 20 seasons on CBS, and its rival on NBC Bonanza, which aired for 14 seasons. In 2001, Bonanza’s creator David Dortort created Ponderosa on PAX-TV as a prequel to the original show, though it only lasted for one season.

A scene from New Monkees
A scene from New Monkees

New Monkees

In the mid-’80s, Gen X discovered The Monkees when MTV starred re-air the episodes of the original show. It proved popular enough that Coca-Cola (yes, the soda company) produced New Monkees, with an entirely new cast, and new characters, but with the same premise following the life of a fictional band. It was about you expect for a show made by Coke, and it lasted only 13 episodes, mirroring New Coke with its lack of success.

Jim Caviezel in The Prisoner mini series
Jim Caviezel in The Prisoner mini series

The Prisoner

The British show The Prisoner from 1967 is one of the coolest and most influential shows in the sci-fi genre. Showrunners from shows like Lost and The X-Files have cited it as an inspiration and it has been rebooted in many forms over the years, including in 2009 when AMC remade it for more modern times, starring Jim Caviezel as the titular character.

A scene from Love Boat: The Next Wave
A scene from Love Boat: The Next Wave

Love Boat: The Next Wave

Producer Aaron Spelling helped define Gen X with Beverly Hills, 90210, and Melrose Place, but when he tried to reboot another classic show of his, The Love Boat in the ‘90s, it didn’t work out as well. Love Boat: The Next Wave, starring Robert Urich as the captain, somehow managed to last 25 episodes, but I dare you to find anyone who saw even one.

A scene from The New Gidget
A scene from The New Gidget

The New Gidget

In the mid-’80s, it was popular to reboot classic shows with “New” in the title. The New Gidget was one of those. Gone was Sally Field in the title role, along with the rest of the original cast. The show managed to last two seasons in first-run syndication.

A scene from The Munsters Today
A scene from The Munsters Today

The Munsters Today

The Munsters Today is kind of like The Brady Bunch movies that came out in the ‘90s. The premise is that the Munters all get put to sleep by Grandpa Munster in the ‘60s, and don’t wake up until 1988. It’s amazing that it lasted three seasons in syndication.

A scene from Route 66
A scene from Route 66

Route 66

No show conveyed the American optimism of the early ‘60s quite like Route 66 did. Just two guys, a big American sports car, and the open road. 30 years later, however, NBC made a misguided attempt to reboot the series, this time about the son of one of the original characters. The show lasted less than a month in the summer of ‘93, airing only four episodes.

A scene from The Fugitive
A scene from The Fugitive

The Fugitive

Everyone remembers the 1993 movie The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford based on the ‘60s TV show of the same name, but that’s not the only reboot of the wildly popular show. Fewer people remember that in 2000, CBS rebooted the show, starring Tim Daly as Dr. Richard Kimble. The show was good and was nominated for some awards, but failed to find an audience and was canceled after just one season.

A scene from Sea Hunt
A scene from Sea Hunt

Sea Hunt

In a lot of ways, Sea Hunt was ahead of its time. Not only was the show about a scuba diver (Lloyd Bridges), which was a very new activity in the early ‘60s, but at the end of each episode, Bridges would appear as himself and plead with viewers to protect marine life. It makes sense that in the ‘80s, when scuba diving and environmentalism were more mainstream, it would be rebooted, alas it only lasted one season.

man with chicken on his shoulder Lost in Space
man with chicken on his shoulder Lost in Space

Lost In Space

The original Lost In Space from the mid-sixties was set in…1997. So while the future didn’t quite work out the way it did on the popular show, even further into the future, in 2018, the show got rebooted for a fairly successful three-season run on Netflix.

A scene from The Untouchables
A scene from The Untouchables

The Untouchables

The Untouchables movie starring Kevin Costner, loosely based on the TV show of the same name from the early ‘60s, was a massive hit. In 1993, the show itself was rebooted by Paramount TV, starring Tom Amandes as Eliot Ness, though it lasted just two seasons in syndication and has been since forgotten by most.

A scene from The New Lassie
A scene from The New Lassie

The New Lassie

Will Estes is best known as Jamie Reagan, as part of the cast of Blue Bloods, but did you know he was a child actor as well? In fact, he starred in a reboot of one of the most beloved kid shows, Lassie, which ran for an astonishing 19 seasons. The New Lassie launched in 1993 and didn’t last quite as long, making it just two seasons.

Don Adams on Get Smart
Don Adams on Get Smart

Get Smart

In the wake of the wildly successful James Bond series came Get Smart in 1965, starring Don Adams as secret agent goofball Maxwell Smart. 30 years later, the show was rebooted by Fox, with Adams reprising his role as Smart as the head of CONTROL. It only lasted seven episodes.

Peter Graves on Mission: Impossible
Peter Graves on Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible

Tom Crusie has taken stunts to the next level in the seven Mission: Impossible movies, based on the hip show from the late 1960s. Cruise’s take on the series wasn’t the first reboot, however. In 1988, Peter Graves, who played Jim Phelps, returned to the role in a new version of the show that lasted just two seasons on ABC.

Peter Falk in Columbo
Peter Falk in Columbo

Columbo

Less of a reboot than a continuation of the original series,  Columbo which debuted in 1968, took a decade-long hiatus between 1978 when the first show ended, and 1989 when it returned to TV, with the great Peter Falk once again playing the bumbling but brilliant detective. The show proved it had staying power, too, lasting four more seasons in its second life.

A scene from The Bradys
A scene from The Bradys

The Brady Bunch

There is no show that Gen Xers watched more in reruns than The Brady Bunch, so it makes sense that the franchise would be rebooted multiple times, including a continuation series with many of the original cast that aired for six episodes on CBS in 1990 called simply The Bradys before getting canned for poor ratings.

Gene Berry on Burke's Law
Gene Berry on Burke's Law

Burke's Law

It’s fair to say that Burke’s Law, which ran for three seasons in the early 1960s was not the most remembered show of the era, but that didn’t stop CBS from trying to revive the franchise in 1992 starring the show’s original lead Gene Barry in the titular role. Somehow it made it two seasons, though not many remember that, either.

Jerry O'Connell on Mockingbird Lane
Jerry O'Connell on Mockingbird Lane

Mockingbird Lane

By far the oddest show on this list has to be Mockingbird Lane, which was a pilot/special that aired on NBC as a reboot of The Munsters, starring Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster. The one-off had hopes to turn into a series, but it was a ratings bomb and one episode is all audiences got.

Blair Underwood on Ironside
Blair Underwood on Ironside

Ironside

Raymond Burr may best be known for Perry Mason, but in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s he starred as Ironside on the show of the same name about a wheelchair-bound private detective. It was a big hit in its day and that led to a reboot in 2013 starring Blair Underwood as Ironside. Sadly, it didn’t work and only four episodes aired before it was canceled.

Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery on Bewitched
Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery on Bewitched

Bewitched

This is the story of what could have been or what might be. The original Bewitched, which aired for eight seasons in the ‘60s and early ‘70s was beloved by Boomers and Gen X alike, the latter finding it in reruns. Multiple attempts have been made to reboot the show, but all have failed, most recently in 2018. At least fans have an episode of WandaVision to bring back the nostalgia.

The Flintstones in their fly mobile
The Flintstones in their fly mobile

The Flintstones

The Flintstones remains one of the most popular franchises of all time, and while the original ended in 1966, it’s been rebooted many times on TV and in movies, most recently in a show called Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs on Max which ended in 2022 after two seasons.

Flipper on Flipper
Flipper on Flipper

Flipper

It’s hard to believe you can make a successful show about a dolphin, but Flipper was very popular in the mid-'60s. So popular, it turns out, and so enduring, that PAX-TV rebooted the show in the mid-’90s and it lasted three seasons, starring a young Jessica Alba, of all people.

Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor in Disney+'s Doctor Who, wearing retro clothes.
Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor in Disney+'s Doctor Who, wearing retro clothes.

Doctor Who

What can you really say about the enduring legacy of Doctor Who that hasn’t already been said? The original run lasted an amazing 26 seasons on BBC from the early ‘60s until the late ‘80s. Even years after it was canceled, it continued to find a dedicated audience and finally, in 2005 the show was rebooted and updated for modern times, and again found that audience. It’s still going today, with no sign of slowing down.

Not every reboot is a good idea, as this list can attest, but that doesn't mean they won't keep trying. When there is nostalgia and a built-in audience, Hollywood will always try to revive a good franchise.