Fox chief reveals depressing reason why they're making so many reboots

The network has new versions of 24, Prison Break, Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist lined up for autumn

Endless reboots, remakes and reimagining are starting to irk even casual TV and film fans, swiftly commissioned, fast-tracked through production and slotted into broadcast schedules. Sometimes they do add to the original, but more often than not they tarnish its reputation

Fox has new versions of 24, Prison Break, Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist lined up for its 2016-17 slate, and was essentially asked “what’s the deal?” at the Television Critics Association presentation this week.

Dana Walden, Fox Television Group chief, said:

“Reboots are not a guarantee of success - we certainly know that as well as anyone. Our hope was that the well-known titles - if and only if well-executed - would lighten the load on our marketing team (by) taking advantage of viewers’ awareness.”

I guess this is obvious, that they’re mining nostalgia, but the marketing angle I hadn’t considered before. Networks know they can potentially get an easy win on a reboot series without really needing to promote it; as opposed to, you know, getting behind new talent and creative ideas and attempting to persuade viewers with actual graft that they need to check them out.

Walden said she was initially “skeptical” about the Lethal Weapon reboot, but the pilot was so good it “leapt over the bar” to land a prime time spot on the Fox fall schedule.

She also stressed that, despite the volume of reboots, original programming is still the main focus.

“That clearly remains our predominant business,” she said as per Variety. “As we are now starting with comedy and drama development, most of what we’ll be looking at will be original because that’s the nature of what we do.”

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