CBS viewers will recognize Peter Lenkov’s executive producer credits: ‘Salvation’, ‘Hawaii Five-0’, ‘MacGyver’ and ‘Magnum PI’.
Did you notice something about those series names? The last three are very popular re-imagined reboots.
While Peter seems to have stepped back from television production for the time being, there is no denying that for a while there, he had developed a pretty good track record.
The re-imagined ‘Hawaii Five-0’ ran for ten seasons, producing 240 episodes. The series writers and casting folks showcased a growing diverse cast in a way that actually improved upon the original series. ‘MacGyver’ ran five seasons producing 95 episodes with a solid cast and good ratings. Peter’s third reboot ‘Magnum PI’ premiered as a hit and at the time of this writing, is in its fourth season with 72 episodes on the shelf.
Peter and his producing partners seemed to be able to re-imagine their recreations just enough to make them contemporary and acceptable to new audiences – but keep elements that are familiar and important draws to the original audiences.
Now leaving the topic of Peter Lenkov, but staying with CBS and reboots, it is with these successes in mind that I would suggest ‘Mission: Impossible’ as the next series CBS could consider developing as a tv reboot.
‘Mission: Impossible’ was originally broadcast on the same network, CBS, and was produced at Desilu Studios, which was eventually merged into the existing Paramount Studios (located next door). The series featured an ensemble cast who were specialists in languages, disguises, electronics, etc., and who were assigned covert missions abroad to rescue hostages or reveal corrupt government officials. The series initially ran seven seasons from 1966 to 1973. It was resurrected in 1988 for two additional season on ABC. This two season resurrection is an interesting circumstance, and the topic for a future post.
Think Team MacGyver without the improvised strategies and “MacGyvered” (I couldn’t resist) gadgets assembled from found parts – but instead, a well-equipped, precision rehearsed team of experienced agents jetting off to foreign lands, and you could have the updated ‘Mission: Impossible’.
A studio business consideration: Paramount has produced a series of feature length motion pictures starring actor Tom Cruise under the ‘Mission: Impossible’ banner. But then again, Paramount produced the original TV series and presumeably has the “rights” to that. There is a precedent to this situation. CBS and Paramount are simultaneously producing the ‘Star Trek’ franchise of tv series and motion pictures. So, if the spirit was willing, it could be done?
For those unfamiar with the ‘Mission: Impossible’ tv series, the dvd box sets are available for purchase on Amazon.