In recent years, plenty of beloved shows have been given the reboot treatment, from Gossip Girl to, more recently, Wizards of Waverly Place. However, most reboots don't match the success of the original — and some never get off the ground at all.
Here are 13 planned reboots that got canceled before they even made it to air:
1.THE PLAN: Hilary Duff filmed two episodes of a Lizzie McGuire reboot for Disney+. The storyline followed a 30-year-old Lizzie as she moved home with her parents after discovering her fiancé cheating on her on her birthday.
THE CANCELATION: Several months into production, Terri Minsky, the OG showrunner, was fired because Disney wanted to "move in a different creative direction." Disney reportedly felt the show was becoming too grown for its streaming service, and despite Hilary's attempts to get them to move the show to Hulu, they ultimately axed it in 2020.
On TikTok, Jonathan Hurwitz, who was a writer on the reboot, said that he guessed Disney's final straw was a scene in Episode 3, where Lizzie woke up in her middle school crush Ethan Craft's bed after hooking up with him.
Jonathan said, "We weren’t actually going to show them having sex, just Lizzie waking up in Ethan’s shirt and then he comes in with freshly made coffee, and they have this cute little catch up. Animated Lizzie pops up, and she has this little checklist, like a to-do list, and Ethan is on the list, and she checks it off. I think she says something like, ‘I checked that box — dramatic pause — twice.’ So if I had to guess, I saw another comment about storylines Disney wasn’t comfortable with, my guess was… That moment was probably one of them."
2.THE PLAN: In 2013, NBC planned to produce a reboot of Murder, She Wrote starring Octavia Spencer as a hospital admin/self-published mystery writer who inserts herself into the true crime investigations that fascinate her.
THE CANCELATION: Early the following year, NBC scrapped the plans. Dame Angela Lansbury, who starred in the original series, told the BBC that she was "terribly pleased and relieved" with the cancelation.
She said, "I knew it was a terrible mistake. I didn't want to sully the memory. Octavia Spencer is a superb actress. She had no business being put into a situation that she couldn't win."
3.THE PLAN: In 2020, Peacock picked up a present-day reboot of Clueless. Rather than Cher Horowitz, Dionne Davenport would be the main character. It was described as "a baby pink and bisexual blue-tinted, tiny sunglasses-wearing, oat milk latte and Adderall-fueled look at what happens when queen bee Cher disappears and her lifelong No. 2 Dionne steps into Cher’s vacant Air Jordans. How does Dionne deal with the pressures of being the new most popular girl in school, while also unraveling the mystery of what happened to her best friend?”
THE CANCELATION: Nine months later, Peacock ultimately decided to pass on the series alongside several other projects after reviewing what they had in development.
4.THE PLAN: In 2021, The CW announced that it was working on a live-action version of The Powerpuff Girls starring Chloe Bennet as anxious and introverted Blossom, Dove Cameron as tough and fame-hungry Bubbles, and Yana Perrault as sensitive and attention-avoidant Buttercup. On the show, the girls would be in their 20s and dealing with resentment over losing their childhood to being superheroes.
THE CANCELATION: After the pilot was filmed, network execs had it reworked and reshot because they deemed it "too campy." However, in 2023, the show was officially dead in the water.
The CW's entertainment president Brad Schwartz told TV Line, "We’ve already given [it and other canceled series] back to the studios...so they're free to develop those and sell them anywhere."
5.THE PLAN: In 2007, after The Simple Life starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie wrapped up, E! planned to relaunch the reality series with Kelly Osbourne and Kimberly Stewart working "mundane jobs."
THE CANCELATION: After shooting the pilot, Kelly reportedly quit because she thought it was "demeaning to other people and juvenile."
Likewise, both Paris and Nicole shut down the idea of reviving the series themselves.
In 2019, Paris told Gay Times UK, "They actually approached me to re-do it again, but my schedule was so insane that I didn't have time to do it, so I said no, but it would be pretty epic."
Then, in 2020, Nicole told Entertainment Weekly, "That show was what it was, and it was so much fun, but that concept wouldn’t even work in this moment because, remember, we’d leave our lives for a month and we didn’t have any phones. No phones in this day and age just doesn’t work! Also, we’re almost 40 years old, and I can’t imagine leaving my kids. We’ve got real jobs now. We were 20 or 21 when we did it. It was like backpacking through Europe: something you do in your twenties. If I could say something to my younger self, I’d be like, 'Do it, because when else are you going to be able to go and do that?' That’s what your twenties are for."
6.THE PLAN: In 2019, HBO Max ordered a two-season reboot of The Boondocks. It would've followed Robert "Granddad" Freeman and his grandsons, Riley and Huey, as they moved to the Maryland suburbs, only for their neighborhood to be taken over by Uncle Ruckus.
Series creator Aaron McGruder told Deadline, "There’s a unique opportunity to revisit the world of The Boondocks and do it over again for today. It’s crazy how different the times we live in are now – both politically and culturally – more than a decade past the original series and two decades past the original newspaper comic. There’s a lot to say and it should be fun."
THE CANCELATION: In 2022, voice actor Cedric Yarbrough told the Geekset Podcast, "I hate to say this…right now the show is not coming back. We’ve been wanting to do the show and Sony and its…they decided they’re going to pull the plug. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to revisit it…I wish the show was coming back." It was reportedly canceled because it took too long to finish.
7.THE PLAN: In 2019, ABC gave a pilot production commitment for a revival of NYPD Blue. It would've followed the original main character Andy Sipowicz's son, Theo, as a police officer trying to get promoted to detective while investigating his dad's murder.
THE CANCELATION: The show never made it to air. In 2019, ABC entertainment president Karey Burke told TV Line, "It was a very good pilot. On any other network, in any other circumstance, that show [likely] gets on the air. For us, we kept the bar really high. We all felt like, unless we can really advance the ball from the original, let’s let the original rest."
She continued, "They did as good a job as one can do with something that is that revered."
8.THE PLAN: In 2015, NBC gave a straight-to-series order for a revival of Coach with Craig T. Nelson reprising the role of Coach Hayden Fox. Picking up 18 years after the original run ended, it would've followed Hayden as his retirement plans were interrupted by a call from his adult son, Tim, who was the head football coach at an Ivy League school, asking him to serve as his assistant coach.
THE CANCELATION: A few months after the series was originally announced, NBC canceled it on the grounds of "creative issues." Though the show was mid-production, it was reportedly only getting mixed internal reviews.
Series creator Barry Kemp told TV Insider, "We did have some creative differences, that is true. But by the same token, they also admitted that we delivered exactly what we said we would deliver. I think there were comments about it skewing older, although they knew it would. It wasn’t casting. Some millennials said it felt a little dated. It doesn’t have the rhythm of shows on now, but it wasn’t designed that way. It was designed to be a continuation of a show that was on earlier."
9.THE PLAN: In 2021, ABC ordered a pilot for an LA Law revival with Blair Underwood returning as Jonathan Rollins. In the new series, the law firm of McKenzie Brackman would now be called Becker Rollins and specialize in especially high-profile cases, and Rollins would clash with a millennial attorney named JJ Freeman.
THE CANCELATION: In 2022, ABC canceled the series. Network head Craig Erwich told Deadline, "Unfortunately the pilot just did not come together as we had hoped it would."
10.THE PLAN: On a 2014 episode of The Talk, Sharon Osbourne shared that a reboot of her family's '00s reality show, The Osbournes, was in the works at VH1. She said that the plan was to film six to eight episodes to "catch up on our lives and where we are now."
THE CANCELATION: The following year, VH1 canceled its reboot plans.
On a 2023 episode of The Osbournes Podcast, Ozzy said, "[The show] won't happen again. Never in a million years."
11.THE PLAN: In 1988, producer Aaron Spelling was working on a Charlie's Angels reboot called Angels '88. According to the LA Times, he said that the new series wouldn't have any "bimbos [or] dum-dums with a Southern accent walking around." The cast included Tea Leoni, Sandra Canning, Karen Kopins, and Claire Yarlett.
THE CANCELATION: Though the series was in production for a long time, it ultimately never made it to air.
12.THE PLAN: In 2018, ABC ordered a pilot for a New York Undercover revival. Malik Yoba returned as J.C. Williams, who'd oversee the new generation of Fourth Precinct detectives, and Luna Lauren Velez returned as Nina Moreno, who'd be retired but still have connections to the unit.
Additionally, Otmara Marrero and Toby Sandeman were cast as lead detectives Melissa Ortiz and Nat Gilmore.
13.And finally, THE PLAN: In 1977, Paramount announced that it was launching its own TV network, Paramount Television Service, along with a Star Trek reboot called Star Trek: Phase II. A pilot and 13 episodes were scripted, and all of the OG cast members, aside from Leonard Nimoy, agreed to reprise their roles. Series creator Gene Roddenberry reportedly planned to break "NBC’s rule of one-third females" and cast more women and show more of the crew's day-to-day lives.
THE CANCELATION: Paramount ultimately decided to ditch its plans for PTS, worried they'd lose more money than they made. So, Phase II was canceled as a series, but its two-hour pilot provided the framework for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Of course, the Star Trek legacy continues today with the most recent spin-off, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.