According to a new report coming in right now via Variety, CBS is currently developing a revival for their classic series Northern Exposure about a New York doctor named Dr. Joel Fleischman who found himself in a small town in Cicely, Alaska. While there, he managed to make a new life for himself and found a wide array of different obstacles thrown in his direction. Rob Morrow, who starred as Joel in the original, is back for the revival alongside the original creators Josh Brand and John Falsey.
Per the official logline, the new version of the show finds Joel arriving back in Cicely “for the funeral of an old friend. Once there, he finds a new set of quirky characters and reunites with old ones.” We imagine that, on the other side of that, hijinks ensue and there are some tough issues that need to be tackled.
While there are a number of different networks out there who have tried and failed at the reboot concept, CBS is one that really does seem to have its finger somewhat on the pulse with these. They’ve found some success with new versions of Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver, and Magnum PI over the years, and while the Murphy Brown revival hasn’t lit any Nielsen boxes on fire as of late, it did manage to get a cameo from Hillary Clinton and find itself a great deal of prominence.
So why are there so many revivals that are being ordered or developed in some shape or form? As we’ve noted before, the biggest reasons are money and convenience. With the first, these are shows that networks already know work, and it’s simply more convenient for them to go back to this well than try on some new ideas. In a way, it’s understandable. There are hundreds of shows out there and with that, it’s so much harder to get a series going in 2018 than it was back when shows like Northern Exposure were first on. It’s hard to get the attention of younger viewers and a huge hit like This Is Us that is wholly original only comes about once in a blue moon. Networks need established IP to get their foot in the door these days and that’s why these are so heavily considered.
With this being a medical show and with these being seemingly on the rise right now, we actually think that this could work commercially — at least if it’s not just about nostalgia and it actually works to bring in some younger viewers at some point along the way.
What do you think about the idea of a Northern Exposure revival series? Could it actually work to you? Be sure to share some of your thoughts on the matter in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)