5 TV Reboots That Hit the Nostalgia Sweet Spot

Bel-Air, The Game and The Proud Family are some of our favorites.

Tread lightly when reimagining a classic, especially in today's age of relentless social media scrutiny. However, when executed flawlessly, nostalgia can be a recipe for success. It's hard to resist the allure of reliving childhood memories or introducing a fresh generation to the iconic characters who shaped television history. 

Numerous reboots have graced our screens over the years, with more on the horizon. Here are five exceptional examples that successfully captured the magic of their originals.

  1. Bel-Air

    (Photos from left: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank, Travis Ellison/PEACOCK)

    Revisiting the iconic  Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which aired from 1990 to 1996, is a huge undertaking, but this reboot did not disappoint. The premise of Bel-Air is the same as the original, Will gets into a fight and is sent to live with his wealthy relatives in Los Angeles. But it's not your typical reboot. Bel-Air is a dramatic adaptation with newcomer Jabari Banks as Will from West Philadelphia -- Banks is originally from West Philadelphia, just like the real-life Will Smith. In Bel-Air we see the struggles the character faces transitioning from Philly to Los Angeles, set in modern times.

    Brought to life by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television, the Peacock series has been a huge hit and was just renewed for season three last month.

  2. Boomerang

    (Photo: Kareem Black/BET)

    A sequel to the legendary Eddie Murphy film from 1992, Boomerang took a comedic look at the challenges of work-life balance in modern times. Executive produced by Halle Berry, who starred in the original, and Lena Waithe, the series rocked two seasons on BET with the second season entirely directed by women. Although the series didn’t go past two seasons, Lena Waite wrote on Instagram, “I am so proud of this series, thank ya’ll for watching Boomerang! It’s been a wonderful journey building and rocking with everyone, so thank you for riding with us. We had a such a great run for 2 seasons, a lot of amazing folks contributed time and energy into this show.”

    You can still watch seasons one and two of Boomerang on BET+.

  3. The Wonder Years

    (Photo: ABC)

    In 2021, The Wonder Years,  which originally aired for six seasons from 1988 to 1993, got a reboot. The original coming-of-age comedy followed a white suburban family in 1968. This time around, it is a Black family in 1968 centered around 12-year-old Dean Williams played by Elisha “EJ” Williams. Don Cheadle was the adult version of Dean Williams and narrates.  The series also includes Dulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, and Laura Kariuki.

    Season one of the reboot had strong reviews and although season two was delayed, the ABC series is expected to return in June 2023.

  4. The Proud Family

    (Photo: Disney+)

    The Proud Family was an early 2000s series that followed 14-year-old Penny Proud tackling issues as she stepped into her journey as a teenager. In 2020, it was announced the popular animated series was getting a reboot on Disney+. The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder premiered on Disney+ in February 2022 and in January 2023 the series also began airing on the Disney Channel. The reboot has not been renewed for season three just yet, but it’s expected it will be

    What made The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder so special was that -- unlike most reboots -- the original cast returned, Cedric the Entertainer as Uncle Bobby Proud, Alvaro Gutierrez as Papi and, of course, Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud.

  5. The Game

    (Photo: Paramount+)

    Before reboots were all the rage, BET brought the legendary series The Game back to life. Starring Wendy Raquel Robinson,  Hosea Chanchez, Tia Mowry and Pooch Hall, the original run of The Game was on the CW but was canceled after three seasons in 2009. By 2011, BET picked up The Game and the series made history making it the most-watched sitcom premiere in cable TV history. The Game successfully ran for six seasons on BET, coming to an end in 2015 – however, it wasn’t over!

    In 2021, The Game returned on Paramount+, which now has two seasons under its belt. Although the cast has changed over the years, The Game is clearly one of the best reboots in television history.

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