The age of reboots has arrived

December 30, 2022

With shows like The Big Bang Theory, Gossip Girl, The Office, and more, the 2000s were an exciting time to be tuning into TV. During this period, streaming services had not yet attained the popularity that they have today, and the ownership of cable was still seemingly at an all-time high.

Television shows during this time reeled in massive amounts of views as episodes premiered on live television every week. The CW channel, in particular, was on a roll with bringing in viewership with shows that America fell in love with. Gilmore Girls (2000), The O.C. (2003), One Tree Hill (2003), Gossip Girl (2007), 90210 (2008), The Vampire Diaries (2009), and more were released to the channel and each drew in notable numbers of views each week which allowed for the shows to air new episodes for extensive amounts of time.

As streaming services rapidly grew during the 2010s and many people made the switch from cable to streaming, the quality of network television shows began to decrease. Now more than ever, network television is lacking in acquiring the viewership that they had once held the key to. Part of the reasoning as to why viewership has decreased is due to the yearn for shows similar to what had been on air in the 2000s. Shows from that time period contain specific qualities that install a special sense of nostalgia within viewers.

The necessity for the nostalgia of shows like that of the CW resulted in a new age: the age of the reboot. Various streaming services have found recent success in creating sequels of shows that were previously extremely successful.

The streaming service, HBO Max, has found immense success in their reboots. A prime example of this is Gossip Girl. This was a hit CW show from 2007 to 2012 with a star-studded cast, a memorable New York City setting, iconic plot lines, popular music, and more. In July of 2021, HBO Max released season 1 of the Gossip Girl reboot. The reboot is seen as a modern-day version of the original; however, it takes place in the same Gossip Girl “universe.” The reboot features a fresh cast and new plotlines, yet it still manages to curate the nostalgia which the original show had. HBO Max’s version remains true to its original Gossip Girl roots including nods to original characters and music moments. The reboot saw massive success, and season 2 was released on December 1, 2022.

HBO Max has also acquired success with its Pretty Little Liars and Game of Thrones reboots. Each reboot aired in the summer of 2022 and attracted major viewership. Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (2022) takes place in the same universe as Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017), but it follows a new, modern-day murder mystery. The show is hauntingly spectacular and includes many nods to its predecessor. House of Dragon (2022) serves as a prequel to Game of Thrones (2011-2019) and tells the story that occurred 200 years prior to the original show. Out of a pool of so many streaming services, HBO Max has set itself apart by producing numerous successful reboots.

Following the success of HBO Max, Paramount+ attempted to find success in reboot content, and they did so with iCarly (2007-2012). The original show was a fan favorite Nickelodeon program starring Miranda Cosgrove as Carly. The streaming service managed to bring back a majority of the original cast, as iCarly (2021) is a continuation of Carly’s life–this time in adulthood. The show returned fans to their childhood, and it attained a new audience due to its focus on adulthood and humor.

Prime Video seemingly joined in on the fun with their great success with Rings of Power. The show is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) and The Hobbit movies (2012-2014). Due to the substantial fanbase, Rings of Power brought in the most views for a Prime Video premiere. The reboot has seen immense success, and season 2 is already in the works.

Disney+ has also begun to work on reboots, with its most prominent success being High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The series is based off of the Disney Channel Original Movie, High School Musical. Season 1 of the show was released in 2019 with the launch of the streaming service, and season 4 is currently in production.

It’s an undeniable fact that streaming services are taking advantage of the new market for reboots. Audiences want to view programs that truly resonate with them and instill a feeling of nostalgia for their favorite shows of the past. Reboots allow viewers to reconnect with older shows while meeting exciting new plot-lines and characters.

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