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29+ TV Reboots Deemed Better Than the Original by Fans

Entertainment

| LAST UPDATE 11/24/2022

By Arianna Morgan

Television reboots are always tough to crack. There's a whole lot of pressure riding on the show's success, but sometimes they end up surprising audiences and become even more successful than the original.

Doctor Who

The beloved sci-fi show is one of the longest-running TV programs in TV history, and we know exactly why. The original series ran from 1963 until 1989, until it was picked up for a fresh start in 2005.

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The British series follows a time-traveling alien named "The Doctor" as they travel through time and space in order to save the planet. The series really keeps us on our toes as the role of The Doctor has been recast many times during its revival, resulting in 90% from Rotten Tomatoes.

Queer Eye

Upon its release in 2003, the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was a groundbreaking show. However, when the show paused and was then picked back up in 2018, it kept the show's original "makeover" concept but this time embraced outer and inner beauty for everyone all over the country.

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IMDB- Queer Eye (2018) via Netflix

Starting with the name of the show, according to Screenrant, Queer Eye is a refreshing take on the original. Instead of being filmed in NYC, the Fab 5 go cross-country to meet people of all different backgrounds with different-minded people, exploring new cultures and embracing difficult conversations. A must-watch!

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One Day at a Time

One Day at Time is a Netflix show based on a sitcom that ran for 9 seasons back in 1975. Both sitcoms follow the same premise of a young single mother raising her daughters on her own, but the updated version follows a Latina family and focuses on issues the original never touched on, such as mental illness and racism.

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The 2017 version ran for 4 seasons and was loved by critics. "More than anything, One Day at a Time is a show that radiates delight," New York Times critic Margaret Lyons wrote. "We're all looking for comedy that numbs the pain, but One Day at a Time cultivates an intimacy and sense of belonging that goes a step further."

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Shameless

Originally a dark comedy following a British working-class family, the UK's dramedy ran from 2004 to 2013 and was brought to America in 2011. Although both versions received high praise, Showtime received record-breaking high ratings for the reboot and became the longest-running scripted program on the network.

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"There is a quality at the show's core that pulls you in and makes you care very much about this weird, tight-knit, problem-filled family just enough to see where they'll go next," according to Nina Metz at the Chicago Tribune. The show pulled in audiences for 11 seasons before we said bye to the Gallagher family forever.

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The Office

Also based on a British television series, this mockumentary sitcom first aired in 2001 for only 14 episodes, and its successor aired in 2005. Starring Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, and John Krasinski, the sitcom has been deemed a fan favorite from the second it aired and for all 9 seasons following.

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According to James Poniewozik from Time Magazine, The Office gets a 9 out of 10. "It's ironic that NBC's most original sitcom in years is a remake, but who cares? The Office is a daring, unflinching take on very American workplace tensions." (And it makes for great re-runs).

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Friday Night Lights

Before it was one of the greatest teen dramas of all time, Friday Night Lights was a 2004 sports drama film. The movie and the series were based on a non-fiction book, Friday Night Lights: a Town, a Team, a Dream, following a small-town Texas team hoping to win the state championship, with the series following the same story.

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"Ultimately what makes the show stand apart is its faith in humanity," The Guardian critic Sarah Hughes wrote in 2012. "It knows life isn't perfect or wonderful, that terrible things happen, but it tells us too that life is worth living, that friends are worth celebrating and that even the smallest of dreams can be worth chasing."

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Battlestar Galactica

The original Battlestar Galactica only ran for one year in 1978 before getting canceled - but fans were delighted to find its reboot years later in 2004. Starring Edward James Olmos and Katee Sackhoff, the remake ran for 4 seasons and was praised for its updated visual effects and costume design.

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The original Battlestar had its cult following, and the remake lived up to audiences' expectations. James Poniewozik from Time Magazine states, "The writing and performances are first-class, especially Edward James Olmos as the noble but authoritarian commander in charge of saving the last remnants of humanity."

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90210

Reboots carry more than enough pressure when re-entering the television circuit, especially for the classics. A staple of the '90s was Beverly Hills, 90210, starring Jennie Garth, Jason Priestley, and Tori Spelling, which ran for 10 seasons. So when a reboot was announced in 2005, there was some skepticism.

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"Much to my surprise, I found 90210 to be a satisfactory guilty pleasure," praised Brian Tallerico, a top critic at HollywoodChicago.com. Like many others, Tallerico was skeptical of the re-make, trying to uphold the iconic status of the original. Online critic Emily G called it her "favorite show of all time!" per Rotten Tomatoes. 

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Westworld

The critically acclaimed and award-winning television series, Westworld, was actually based on a 1973 film directed by Michael Crichton, who penned the novel and then adapted it for the big screen. The concept of the TV series is based on the movie but was released over four decades later.

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Although the original film was deemed a success, critics agree the HBO remake surpasses the film due to its artistic angles and incredible cast. "Westworld producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have created a beautiful look at a complex subject through a visually stunning piece of art," TV Fanatic Carissa Pavlica praised in 2018.

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DuckTales

Although the DuckTales reboot did not reach past 3 seasons, it was met with much praise and love from its fans, critics, and its network. "The new DuckTales is better than the original show. Funnier, more ambitious," noted Darren Franich, a critic from Entertainment Weekly.

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IMDB- DuckTales (2017) via Disney Channel

Thirty years following the original series, the animated show premiered in 2017 and followed the one and only Scrooge McDuck and his nephews yet again. The show quickly picked up steam, grew a loyal audience, and drew up "funny and exciting" stories, according to Luke J on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Hawaii Five-0

The iconic action series Hawaii Five-0 is based on the original series from 1968 that ran by the same title but had the letter "O" instead of the number "0" in its title. The initial drama ran for 12 seasons, also showcasing an elite task force working together to bring down organized crime on the islands.

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IMDB- Hawaii Five-0 (2010) via CBS

Fans and critics loved the constant action and character development seen on the show, and according to Rotten Tomatoes user Joseph H, the reboot is the "Best crime action-thriller tv show!!!" Critics from Rotten Tomatoes seem to agree, as season 4 even received a 100% rating!

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M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H the television series was based on a 1970 war film of the same title, which was originally based on a novel written by Richard Hooker in 1968, titled MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. Although the film received positive feedback, critics seemed to favor the series.

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IMDB- M*A*S*H (1972) via CBS

The series was created 2 years later and ran for 11 seasons, receiving endless praise from both critics and fans. Year after year, the show appeared at the top of critics' "best" lists. And in 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked the sitcom as the 5th best-written television show in TV history!

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a teenage drama hit starring Sarah Michelle Geller, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was Kristy Swanson in the 1992 film. The popular TV show developed in 1997 and ran until 2003, completely revamping the character and the sci-fi genre in ways never seen before.

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"Buffy was dealing with issues that no other show dared to," Amy Roberts for Bustle wrote. "But did so in ways that felt accessible by hiding the pains of adolescence, heartbreak, addiction, abuse, loss, and even misogyny behind supernatural guises." Buffy influenced a new kind of feminist action hero and marked a true change in TV.

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The Flash

The Flash on the CW is actually the second TV adaptation of the extremely popular comic. The series from 1990 was based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen/Flash and only aired on CBS for 1 year. However, the popular character remained a fan favorite throughout the years, as evidenced by the success of the current CW show.

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Both fans and critics have been raving over the DC-inspired show since it kicked off in 2014, with critics giving the series an average of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. A fan of the show even deemed it the "best show on TV" due to its "adventure, fun, humor, heart, incredible characters, loving relationships, and awesome visual effects."

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She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power

According to Reddit user u/Grauzevn8, the reboot of She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power was "ridiculously better than the original in so many ways its not even funny." Tell us how ya really feel! The original animated series aired in the '80s and was brought back to life in 2018 for audiences everywhere to enjoy on Netflix.

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IMDB- She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power (2018) via Netflix

However, it wasn't just the fans who deemed the reboot better than the original; critics equally agreed. Alex Abad-Santos from Vox called the show "terrific" in its "huge step for LGBTQ representation on TV." The updated series even won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming!

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Parenthood

The reboot of Parenthood is one of those family-friendly shows we can watch over and over again - but we had no idea it was a remake of a film released in 1989 and a TV series that aired in 1990 for a short bit. Leonardo DiCaprio was even featured in the original TV series! But it still didn't quite hit the same way the 2010 version did.

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The NBC version featured a star-studded cast, Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham, and Peter Krause, and ran for over 100 episodes. "Week after week, the Braverman family locks onto your heart and rips at your emotions until you have an intertwined cry and chuckle," according to Stephanie Krikorian from the Wall Street Journal.

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How I Met Your Father

How I Met Your Father is the 2021 spinoff of the popular sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, which ended in 2014. Dedicated HIMYM fans were skeptical of the series reboot starring Hilary Duff but have been pleasantly surprised by the way Hulu has updated the series - all while giving us the nostalgic feel of the original!

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IMDb - How I Met Your Father (2022) via Hulu

According to Screenrant, HIMYF does a significantly better job of addressing gender roles and representing different cultures and ethnicities in the series in a way that HIMYM did not. In addition, the series "goes all out in being relatable to the present audience." A big plus, we would say!

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House of the Dragon

We know this may be a bit controversial, seeing as how obsessed everyone was with Game of Thrones - but just hear us out. On budget alone, House of the Dragon received nearly $20 million per episode compared to GOT's $6 million per episode in its first season. So, with this insane budget, the CGI alone is bound to be more impressive.

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IMDb- House of the Dragon (2022) via HBO

"In terms of the action," according to Screenrant, "House of the Dragon also seems to be the better series. While the majority of Game of Thrones season 1 focuses on political conflicts, House of the Dragon already depicts battles and conflicts with dragons in the early episodes of the season." Plus, it was picked up for a season 2!

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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Another reboot we understand can be quite controversial, but for very different reasons, is Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The mini-series aired nearly a decade after the iconic show ended and brought us all way back to good old Stars Hollow. Fans were dying to know what happened to the Gilmore girls - and the reboot gave us that.

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Netflix revived the series with the original writer-director Amy Sherman-Palladino, giving fans a nostalgic feel that was very much needed. Despite a few things fans wished they had seen differently, according to Screenrant, the biggest plus was "just being able to see what happened to everyone." And, of course, being back in Stars Hollow!

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Fuller House

With huge shoes to fill decades after the original sitcom finished, the show's predecessor not only lived up to its fans hopes but exceeded them. Bringing back the original cast Fuller House presented a modern twist on the classic family-friendly show picking up the story where it left off.

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IMDb- Fuller House (2016) via Netflix

With such hype surrounding the continuation of the show, audiences everywhere tuned into the Netflix series, making it the #1 TV series for 2015-2016, according to Symphony Advanced Media ratings. Fuller House averaged 14.4 million viewers per episode, making it one of the biggest shows in all of television history.

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Lost in Space

Lost in Space is a series reboot based on the 1965 series of the same name, which was initially inspired by the 1812 novel, The Swiss Family Robinson. Though the original was considered one of the best sci-fi TV series of all time, the reboot managed to surprise its cult following, completely surpassing expectations.

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According to Rotten Tomatoes, critics agree the "production values are ambitious enough to attract sci-fi adventure fans, while the story's large heart adds an emotional anchor to all the deep space derring-do." However, the show sadly ended in 2021 after fans saw The Robinsons family adventure come to a close.

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Charmed

The Halliwell sisters were a staple of the late '90s in the supernatural drama, Charmed. For 8 seasons, we watched these sisters fight against the force of evil using their witchcraft, and when the show came to a stop, we were devasted. However, with news of the revival in 2018, we were hopeful once again.

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IMDb- Charmed (2018) via The CW

"One aspect of the show that really excelled in the original Charmed was the series' willingness to explore the Halliwell family history," according to Screenrant. The current reboot continues to pull storylines from the original Charmed series, helping build its own mythology for audiences to fall in love with.

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina brought a darker twist onto the popular family sitcom from the 90s, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Audiences fell in love with Sabrina Spellman and her eccentric family, so when Netflix presented a darker magic approach, fans and critics were slightly skeptical…

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Screenrant notices the reboot is "incredibly clear about how inclusive it wants to be" as it "pays a lot of attention to every kind of diversity under the sun." People are also more attracted to the dark gothic vibe the reboot gives, mainly focusing on Sabrina's rebellious nature, making her feel relatable to audiences.

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Cobra Kai

According to critics at The Fandomentals, "Cobra Kai is a reboot done right," which could explain its average score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. Based on The Karate Kid film franchise, Cobra Kai is set 34 years after the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament.

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Showrunners Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald are openly major fans of the original movies and continue to pay homage to the franchise through flashbacks and fundamental themes we first saw in the original Karate Kid films, giving us that extra nostalgic feel.

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Voltron: Legendary Defender

Voltron: Legendary Defender is set in an animated science fiction world where teenagers from earth are transported to an alternative universe to become pilots for robotic lions to fight in an intergalactic war. The reboot is based on the 1981 Japanese super robot anime television series Beast King GoLion, and the Voltron franchise.

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IMDb- Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016) via Netflix

Although the original series was beloved by its fans, the remake received high praise, with Rotten Tomatoes rating the series a 95%. Although the show has come to a close, Dave Trumbore of Collider gave the last season raving reviews, saying, "It's not perfect, but it's as close to perfection as we're going to get in this reality."

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House of Cards

The American political thriller series, House of Cards, was an adaptation of the 1990 BBC series of the same title, which was based on the 1989 novel by Michael Dobbs of the same name. Released in 2013 on Netflix, the show became an immediate success and received many positive reviews and nominations.

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The Netflix series received 33 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, 8 Golden Globe Award nominations, and wins for both Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright for their outstanding performances in the series. "Amazing cinematography, interesting characters, perfect pace of progression," according to mega-fan Tuuli K. on Rotten Tomatoes.

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The Twilight Zone

Created by narrator Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone was a TV series based in many different genres, from science and dystopian fiction, to super, horror, and supernatural dramas, but always helmed a very unexpected twist resulting in some sort of a moral to the story. After receiving much success, the show ran for 5 seasons.

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IMDb- The Twilight Zone (2019) via CBS

The popular series went through three revivals before its' last, helmed by none other than Jordan Peele, who also served as narrator in the sci-fi series. The final reboot was nominated for a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award and was "beautifully produced," according to Charlie Ridgely from ComicBook.com.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a dramedy based on the book series of the same title by Lemony Snicket for Netflix. Starring Neil Patrick Harris, the show received critical acclaim for its production standards, script, acting, and commitment to the book series.

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Critics praised the series as a better adaptation of the books than the 2004 movie, which starred Jim Carrey. Rotten Tomatoes gave the show 94%, writing it is, "Enjoyably dark, A Series of Unfortunate Events matches the source material's narrative as well as its tone, leaving viewers with a wonderfully weird, dry, gothic comedy."

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Twin Peaks: The Return

The ultimate mystery drama series Twin Peaks only ran for 2 seasons in 1990 but developed a massive audience during that time. The series' success initiated a media franchise, beginning with the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and several books. Fast forward nearly three decades later, and Twin Peaks returned.

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IMDb- Twin Peaks (2017) via Showtime

Helmed by its original creator, David Lynch, with much of the OG cast returning, "the revival radicalized the surrealist small-town mystery into a relentlessly trippy, surprisingly emotional, merrily dimension-hopping portrait of a world gone mad," according to Entertainment Weekly.

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Teen Wolf

One of the most popular supernatural teen dramas of the 2000s, Teen Wolf, was based on the 1985 film of the same name. Starring Tyler Posey as a werewolf who defends his town from supernatural creatures, the series ran for 6 seasons, and a new film continuation, Teen Wolf: The Movie, is scheduled to debut on Paramount+ next year.

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IMDb -Teen Wolf (2016) via MTV

After its first season, Metacritic listed the show as the second-highest-rated MTV series by professional critics. Rotten Tomatoes seemed to agree, with an overall consensus that Tyler Posey delivers as the lead, plus its "dark, biting humor," the show "is a pleasant summer surprise, even if it does tread familiar ground."

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