Creating a new television show is a risky business, so it makes sense to base new shows on existing properties. These revivals can be spinoffs of popular movies, such as this year’s Minority Report, or may be a continuation or reboot of an older, beloved property, such as the upcoming Twin Peaks. However, even with the power of nostalgia behind them, revived shows are not always a guaranteed success. In this analysis, we will analyze the demand for some current revivals and compare them to older revival attempts. In addition, we will look at the demand for some shows that have upcoming reboots.
We considered any show that is currently on the air and based on a pre-existing property—either a film or former TV show—as a revived series. By taking the median demand* for such titles since the beginning of the year in the United States, we found the top ten most in-demand revivals:
The horror-comedy Ash vs Evil Dead tops the list, followed by the recent X-Files reboot. The other major revivals from the 2015 TV season—Limitless, Heroes Reborn, The Muppets and Minority Report—all appear in the top ten, though Limitless is a clear winner with over 2.3 times the demand of the all-but-cancelled Minority Report. Doctor Who and Hawaii Five-0 represent older reboots that have clearly succeeded on their own merits, as the former has nine seasons and the latter has six.
How does the demand for these current revived series compare to past attempts at reboots? Here, we rank the top ten older (and now-cancelled) revivals against the current top ten:
We expect to see that shows that are no longer airing have a lower demand than ones currently on the air, but the gulf between the two sets is nevertheless quite large. The average demand for the top ten new revivals is nearly 13 times more than the top ten old revivals. While some reboots, such as Battlestar Galactica, may have been in-demand in their day, others, such as the Dallas reboot on TNT, may have simply failed to live up to the popularity of the original.
It is not known beforehand how well a revived series will perform, but we can gain some insight by examining the current demand for the older, to-be-revived series. We rank ten titles with upcoming reboots by their demand from January until now:
As expected, demand for these older shows is less than currently airing titles. Full House may have a resurgence in demand as its revival, Fuller House, is being released on February 26th. The next two, Prison Break and 24, are the most recent shows on the list to be revived. Twin Peaks and Gilmore Girls have virtually the same amount of demand, while it seems very few people would be excited for the proposed The Tick reboot. Of course, if a show based on a cult horror franchise can become the most in-demand reboot of 2016 so far, then any of these upcoming revivals have a chance to succeed as well.
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