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Friday, 12 November 2010

Wild Wild West will ride again

FROM TV SQUAD - The people who create remakes of classic TV shows seem to like them more than TV viewers. Sure, once in a while we get a hit like the new 'Hawaii Five-0,' but the success of that show is probably less about the quality and more about how it fits into the CBS formula and its time slot.

Now comes word that 'Battlestar Galactica' producer Ron Moore is going to do a new version of 'The Wild, Wild West' for CBS. The 'Battlestar Galactica' reboot was successful because they completely re-imagined the series -- and let's face it, the original wasn't that hot to begin with. 'The Bionic Woman' redo died a quick and painful death.

While this is good news because any new western content is to be applauded it would be much better to see a remake of a traditional western on the TV screen. Today's producers probably wouldn't make a truly traditional Western -- something like 'Gunsmoke' or 'Bonanza' or 'The Big Valley' or 'Rawhide.' It's not that a quirky, off-kilter Western couldn't work. 'The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.' is one of my favorite shows, and that was a Western about a power-mad villain who was looking for three glowing orbs. 'Outlaws' started out as a typical Western but then the guys went through a time portal and ended up in modern times. Richard Dean Anderson's 'Legend' was fun but was hardly your father's Western. 'Peacemakers' sounded like a traditional Western at first, but then we found out that it was 'CSI' in the West. Kind of a cool idea but again, a Western with a twist. CBS did try with 'The Magnificent Seven' but it didn't last long.

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