Variety’s Michael Schneider is reporting that ABC is currently developing a reboot to hit Canadian drama Being Erica with former Eastwick scribe Maggie Friedman. While the move may draw some criticism, as the show actually airs on American television (ABC sister channel SOAPNet), remakes/reboots/adaptations seem to be the name of the game for ABC this development season. The network currently has True Lies, The Spellman Files, Romeo & Juliet, Patient Zero, MI-5, The Incredible Hulk, Good Christian Bitches, Charlie’s Angels, and Courtroom 302 at various stages of development with several expected to make it to series.
As much as the thought of yet another reboot/remake makes my skin crawl, especially since the movie industry is going through a similar holding pattern, I have to say that ABC could’ve picked a much worse source material than Being Erica. The drama is unique in that it has sci-fi elements, but at its heart, it’s a tale of acceptance, maturity, and learning the value of perspective. It’s television comfort food that’s infinitely charming and carries enough of a message to make you think without being heavy handed; if the reboot can capture even a modicum of what makes the original so special, it’ll be worth the trouble. Science fiction is having a hard time staying on television, considering the collapse of The Event, the uncertainty of Fringe, and the recent cancellations of Caprica/SGU, so perhaps it’ll take something a little lighter to warm audiences up to the genre again.
It’s been a rough season for ABC, so the need to put out established quantities is understandable. It’s been over half a decade since there was a breakout drama on the network, dating back to the blockbuster 2004-05 season that brought Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, and Lost, so familiarity may not breed contempt for the alphabet; it may bring serious dollars.
What do you think about this decision by ABC? Do you watch the original series? Who would you cast in the remake? What do you think about Erin Karpluk's (Erica in the original series) suggestion of making the show Being Eric?