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Roseanne

  • Broadcast networks are bringing back lots of hits from the past, including CBS’ just-announced reboot of “Murphy Brown.”
  • It’s a smart short-term stunt programming move. But it’s also something of a give-up when it comes to trying to connect with the streaming and mobile generation.
  • With live commercial TV viewing in decline, these revivals are short-term money grabs as much as they are nostalgic. Yet they’ll probably not change the trajectory of the TV ad business.

CBS is bringing back “Murphy Brown” for 13 episodes next year. The show went off the air in 1998. Candice Bergen is coming out of retirement at age 70!

Somewhere, the entirety of Gen Z is typing ¯_(ツ)_/¯ into its phones.

Of course, CBS isn’t the only network riding the nostalgia train. ABC is bringing back “Roseanne.” Fox has already brought back “The X-Files” and “Prison Break,” while NBC has scored a decent hit with its “Will and Grace” revival and might bring back “The Office” – which went off the air in 2013. We’re not sure what the cast of “Night Court” is up to, but stay near a phone, Richard Moll.

Pop culture has always mined nostalgia. And creatively, for the most part these reborn shows are being well-received and don’t feel like straight money grabs. The fans wanted more “Full House” and Netflix gave it to them, and everyone seems happy.

But in the case of the broadcast networks, which are perennially talking about getting younger audiences, these strategies won’t help much there. Young people have fallen for “Friends” and “Seinfeld” for whatever reason — but how many 20-somethings have ever seen “Murphy Brown,” or know what it is?

The folks running broadcast networks surely realize this, yet they’re going full steam ahead with the reboots, because they know that boomers and Generation X might actually Read More Here