Sure, the revamped version of "Hawaii Five-0" is a worthy successor to the classic 1970s Jack Lord police drama (and a good excuse to resurrect that catchy theme music!), but the CBS series is the exception to the reboot rule. Need more proof? Do the short-lived remakes of "Bionic Woman," "Knight Rider," and "Get Smart" ring a bell? (Let's face it, Andy Dick is no Agent 86.)
Fast forward to 2013, and NBC's modern-day version of the classic detective series "Ironside" is already in trouble. The show's premiere last week marked the lowest-rated fall drama debut ever in the demo, with a 1.4 rating, and the ratings dropped by another 15 percent for its second episode, according to The Wrap. Indeed, Robert Ironside's days could definitely be numbered.
Who wasn't rooting for Blair Underwood's return to TV to be successful? From his role as charismatic young associate Jonathan Rollins on "L.A. Law" to his portrayal of the dashing Dr. Robert Leeds on "Sex and the City," Blair makes for good TV. Unfortunately, "Ironside" may find itself added to the short list of the actor's one-season wonders, like "The Event" and "LAX."
At last summer's Television Critics Association panel, Underwood talked about his role as the paralyzed detective, but he was sure to make it clear that the new "Ironside" would be nothing like the 1967 Raymond Burr series: "We took his name, the fact he's a detective, and the fact he happens to be in a wheelchair. Everything else has been reimagined. There are all new characters, new city, new texture, new storytelling, new audience, new expectations. We're now a crime drama wrapped in a character study."
Check out Raymond Burr as the original "Ironside":
But perhaps that's the problem. What's the point of a reboot if it's so far removed from the original show that it's virtually unrecognizable? Classic TV fans will no doubt make comparisons to the original, while younger viewers won't be familiar with it anyway.
Underwood admitted that some of his fans weren't originally sold on his new project. He told ET Online: "My Twitter feed was really excited about it. But I will tell you, when I first announced I was doing this, I had a lot of my fan base saying, 'I don't know if I want to see him in a wheelchair.' They saw me a different way. I think the fact we have flashbacks opens up the storytelling as well."
It remains to be seen if NBC will be open to more of that storytelling.
Of course, if you're a fan of reboots and "Ironside" doesn't make it, fear not. NBC is already eyeing another retro series for possible reboot status. According to Deadline, the network is developing a sequel to the 1980s private-eye drama "Remington Steele." But here's the kicker: It will be a comedy.
Maybe if "Ironside" starts cracking jokes, he'll get the last laugh.
Watch the "Ironside" pilot:
"Ironside" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.
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- Blair Underwood