Detailed Findings and Methodology
One driving force behind the current wave of reboots is the rise of online streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. Such companies increasingly producing their own content, often with a responsiveness to audience demand. Of the 25 best TV shows getting rebooted, four are slated to appear on Netflix.
Interestingly, Netflix may have actually contributed to the increased demand for TV show revivals. By offering older shows on its streaming service, Netflix — and other streaming services — helped maintain the popularity of these shows — some of which have been off the air for decades.
The original runs of the best shows getting rebooted range from the 1950s to the 2010s. More than half of the shows on this list originally premiered between 1993 and 2006 — roughly the years when the millennial generation were adolescents. According to television data company Nielsen, millennials spend three hours a day watching live television on average and nearly as much time on smartphone apps.
Traditional television viewership increases with age. At an average of nearly seven hours a day, baby boomers spend the most time of any generation in front of the TV. Nine of the 25 best shows getting rebooted originally premiered in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s — years when baby boomers were teenagers and young adults.
Internet search activity can be an indication of a show’s anticipation. When ABC revealed a cast photo for the upcoming “Roseanne” reboot and announced the show’s revival on May 17, 2017, the number of Wikipedia page views for the show increased to 10 times the daily average. The largest spike in Wikipedia page views of any upcoming series occurred on July 21, 2017, when Nickelodeon announced it was rebooting “Rocko’s Modern Life” — pageviews for the show increased to more than 17 times the daily average.
To determine the 25 best TV shows getting rebooted, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on the original show’s IMDb rating, the number of IMDb user reviews, daily average Wikipedia page views, and the spike in daily Wikipedia page view activity. IMDb ratings and reviews, and the daily average Wikipedia page views from the period October 4, 2016 to October 4, 2017 were given single weight. The largest increase in a show’s daily pageviews over the past year relative to its daily average was given double weight. Television reboots of movies were not considered. To be considered, a show must either be in active development with a network or scheduled to premiere in the coming year. While most of these shows have not been on the air for decades, a few are considered reboots because they completed the ordered season without being renewed, and then were renewed for another season later on. This was the case with the X-Files and Arrested Development.