WE LIVE! WE DIE! WE LIVE AGAIN!1 of 12
One of the hardest parts of being a dedicated TV fan is losing something you love. Almost everyone has felt the sting of favored a cancelled show with seemingly unlimited potential. But sometimes, we do get a second chance to enjoy a favorite show when a revival or even a reboot hits the air.
And for that reason, we're just waiting for the petitions to bring back the abruptly-cancelled Luke Cage in some for or another, even if it means the fan-favorite show moving off of Netflix.
Of course, the number of genre shows that hardcore viewers want back is countless – the thing about rabid fandom is that there’s never enough of any show to satisfy the hunger for more adventures with beloved characters. But we’ve still done our best to pick out the cream of the crop, the shows that really deserve a new lease on life. Here are our picks for 10 genre shows that deserve a revival.
BABYLON 52 of 12
Created by J. Michael Straczynski – who also wrote 92 of the show’s 110 episodes, a TV record – Babylon 5 picked up the torch lit by Star Trek and took its mature approach to sci-fi to new frontiers.
Babylon 5 broke new ground by becoming one of the first TV shows to use CGI effects, and one of the first to portray same-sex relationships. It even out Star Trek’d Star Trek by going deeper and more broad in its political and societal themes.
Babylon 5 ran for its intended length of five seasons, but that doesn’t stop fans – or the show’s creators – from asking for more.
For Straczynski’s part, he’s been talking about a big-screen movie for some time now, but the rights for the show remain entirely in the hands of Warner Bros., who seem to be dragging their feet on moving forward with anything Babylon 5-related.
QUANTUM LEAP3 of 12
OK, so this one’s quite a throwback, but time travel is stock in trade for Quantum Leap.
Running for five seasons and almost 100 episodes from 1989 to 1993, Quantum Leap starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Samuel Beckett, a man displaced in time thanks to his advanced experiments. Every week, Beckett found himself inhabiting the body of a new person, trying to right some historical discrepancy caused by his time-travel.
Quantum Leap has been gone for more than two decades, but it remains a cultural touchstone for fans who fondly remember Bakula’s winning performance as Beckett, and his holographic sidekick Al. With a final episode that left the door open for a possible revival, maybe it’s still possible to get Scott Bakula back in action for another leap – or several.
Interestingly, like several entries on this list, Quantum Leap also had a life as a comic book, though unlike the others here, it actually ran concurrently with the series.
HANNIBAL4 of 12
Every time Bryan Fuller makes a new show, his rabid fanbase moves from trying to get his last one back on the air to trying to keep his current project afloat - at least until the cycle repeats itself.
Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, and Pushing Daisies all came and went far too quickly for many fans, but no wound is as fresh, or perhaps cuts as deep, as Fuller’s arguably most successful show, Hannibal. With a cult-following mostly focused on Mads Mikkelsen’s disarmingly charming portrayal of the psychopathic Hannibal Lecter and his gift for cannibalistic culinary art, Fuller’s “early years” take on Hugh Dancy’s fragile Will Graham and Lecter’s bizarre relationship seemed to strike a chord for many viewers.
Clocking in at three seasons, Hannibal is also the longest lived of Fuller’s efforts. Despite that, its late-game cancellation by NBC left fans up in arms, sparking a fan effort to keep the series on the air – and an effort to bring it to Amazon or Netflix from Fuller himself. Though the series didn’t get a fourth season thanks to some behind-the-scenes weirdness from the potential streaming hosts, occasional talk of bringing the show back still circulates despite Fuller having moved on to other projects.
LOST5 of 12
ABC's Lost ran for six seasons and reached some spectacular highs but also crashed against the rocks of speculation, confusion, and disappointment - particularly the show's controversial ending. But eight years since the series finale, those characters and some of the concepts are still fondly remembered.
With the recent Halloween film doing a comic book-style retcon and TV's Dallas doing it decades before... what if someone did the same with Lost?
Return to the island with Sawyer, Kate, Jack, Hugo, Walt (an adult Walt!) and the others to make sense of it all. If that means retconning the last episode (or the last season), so be it.
Like Matthew Fox's character Jack told Kate once, "We have to go back. We have to go back to the island."
Just this time, let's figure out the new ending before we have a new beginning.
AGENT CARTER6 of 12
Marvel’s Agent Carter lasted only two brief seasons on ABC, where it was a midseason fill in for the still running Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Agent Carter was a period piece set in the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Hayley Atwell reprising her role as Peggy Carter from the Captain America films.
Atwell’s performance as Carter and her chemistry with co-star James D’Arcy who played Edwin Jarvis (yeah, that Edwin Jarvis) hit all the right buttons for genre fans who were not only excited to see a female superhero show, but were drawn in by the period costumes and plots that combined espionage with light sci-fi elements.
Fans have been clamoring for Agent Carter’s return since mere moments after it was cancelled, and though Atwell has repeatedly said she’d be open to returning to the role, she’s she's only had the chance to resume her role as Peggy Carter as a voice actor in Avengers: Secret Wars, the fourth season of the Avengers Assemble animated series.
X-MEN7 of 12
The X-Men animated series launched in 1992 and a generation of young viewers instantly became lifelong X-fans, thanks to the show's comic book- influenced storytelling, colorful animation, and commitment to embodying the melodrama inherent in the lives of Marvel's merry mutants.
X-Men ran for five seasons, but the show's writers had plans for at least one more season. While the continuity of the series had a brief revival in comic books, we'd like to see a full-on return in animation.
With Marvel's purchase of 21st Century Fox very nearly a done deal, it's only a matter of time til a new X-Men animated series arrives - but we'd love one more ride on the Blackbird with these childhood favorites.
LOIS & CLARK8 of 12
It's been 21 years since Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman signed off on ABC with a cliffhanger finale. Both Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain have appeared in the modern DC TV Arrowverse as other characters, but given John Wesley Shipp's reprisal as Barry Allen for the upcoming "Elseworlds" crossover, we ask... what if?
While the idea of Lois and Clark with a child might have been too much for 1997, in 2018 it seems prescient given the modern-day comic book Superboy - Jon Kent - is their son.
Lois & Clark producer Eugenie Ross-Leming has said that the plan at the time was to show Lois and Clark raising a family, so why not dust off those ideas and call back the actors for a fifth season like Boy Meets World segued into Girl Meets World with Hatcher and Cain raising their own Superboy?
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES9 of 12
Batman: The Animated Series lasted for three seasons, spawning an entire universe of DC animated shows, and seeing elements that spun out of it incorporated into mainstream DC comic books.
This one isn’t exactly a case where the show needs a revival because of unresolved plots, but moreso, we just want some more time with Kevin Conroy’s Batman -- as only TAS did best.
For what it’s worth, Conroy’s Batman – and his nemesis, Mark Hamill’s Joker – have appeared in several outlets in recent years, including the Arkham video game series. But these are iconic versions of the characters, beloved by fans and definitive for an entire generation.
We know it’s a slim chance – it’s been 20 years since this one went off the air – but with the age of the actors involved not being so much of a factor, we can still hope that someday Warner Bros. will give us something - even if it’s only a limited run.
Even though we haven't gotten an actual revival, Kevin Conroy does voice Batman in the animated series Justice League Action.
FIREFLY10 of 12
Has there ever been a fan campaign as enduring as the one to get Firefly back on the air someway, somehow?
After one season and a movie that came a few years later than most fans would like, there has been little to sate the appetites of the rabid Browncoats who still swarm conventions, message boards, and the Twitter feeds of guys like Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion looking for any sign of hope that the crew of the Serenity might take flight again.
Sure, there have been comic books and other media, but these only serve to whet the appetites of fans who just don’t want to let go. For what it’s worth, Whedon, Fillion, and the rest of the cast seem to be right there with the fans, though they’ve also stressed that efforts like an unsanctioned Kickstarter to buy the show’s rights aren’t really helping the cause.
And while the chances of the show coming back get slimmer every year, the faithful among us still hold out hope.
LUKE CAGE11 of 12
To say Luke Cage's abrupt cancellation is a fresh wound is an understatement. The ink has barely cooled on the headline, but fans are already clamoring for a revival for Mike Colter's Luke Cage in some form or another.
Luke Cage's cancellation reportedly came as a result of creative differences between executives and creators, but the fact that it almost immediately followed the cancellation of Iron Fist has sparked speculation that a Heroes For Hire show is in the works.
As it stands, Netflix and Marvel would be leaving money on the table not to move Luke Cage to the upcoming Disney streaming service, or at least find a way to bring the show back with Netflix.
This is one case in which we're definitely hoping Luke is truly bulletproof.
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