“Comfort shows” = repeat viewings. TV producers have taken note and are giving Americans’ favorite series and characters a second (or third or fourth) life onscreen.
In the traditional land of television, viewership and critical praise are the hallmarks of success. But in today’s ever-expanding, streaming-centric landscape, the sign of sure achievement exists in the form of a series reboot — and Americans are ready to watch.
With each revival’s announcement, fans grow more excited to reunite with beloved characters, and expectations rooted in nostalgia begin to build. To discover which series are stirring up the most interest among viewers, we surveyed 9,000 Americans on what they’re planning to add to their watch lists.
Viewers are looking forward to revisiting these childhood friends:
For many of us, the concept of a “comfort show” ties back to childhood memories of cartoons and sugary cereals on weekend mornings. While we may have swapped the cereal for green smoothies, our appetite for classic cartoons remains the same.
When asked which animated reboots they were looking forward to, the majority said they’d be most excited about The Jetsons, which is in talks to return to ABC in a live-action format. The futuristic adventures of George, Jane, and Rosie the robot originally took place in the now-not-so-distant future of 2062, which gives us about 40 years to start driving flying cars.
Outside of The Jetsons revival, the upcoming Batman series on HBO Max was of particular interest to our 25- to 34-year-old age group. The franchise is perhaps one of the most successful examples of multiple reboots in different mediums, with characters that are recognizable across generations.
Here’s what people are excited to watch once the kids go to bed:
When it came to buzzworthy cable network shows of yore, our respondents said they’re most excited for the announced Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon. Set to debut in 2022, the new HBO series will hopefully set things right for fans who were left disappointed by Game of Thrones’ conclusion.
While House of the Dragon was most preferred overall, women indicated being most interested in HBO’s revival of Sex and the City. Glamorous New Yorkers Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte are set to return — sans Samantha — in a limited series called And Just Like That.
When broken down by age group, Generation X was most interested in seeing more from crafty serial killer Dexter Morgan on Showtime. Will he continue to follow Harry’s code in Oregon? Find out when the limited series is released this fall.
Viewers are ready to re-create that TGIF feeling with shows like:
The ’80s and ’90s were full of windbreakers, dial-up internet tones, and sitcoms that viewers flocked to during TV blocks like TGIF. One of those beloved comedies was The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which our respondents are looking forward to watching when it debuts on NBC’s streaming service Peacock. Fans of the familiar, light-hearted series will be in for a change of pace, though, as it’s been reported that Fresh Prince will resurface as a drama.
Aside from the overall vote for Bel-Air, viewers over age 55 said they were looking forward to the revival of long-running sitcom Frasier, which will make its way to Paramount+. Many were invested in Frasier’s antics even before the original show’s debut, as his character earned a spin-off from the classic sitcom Cheers.
To round out our research, we looked at Google Trends data from the past six months related to our survey’s top three shows overall.
This map reflects Google Trends search data from September 1, 2020 to March 1, 2021.
According to Google Trends, Vermont is most excited for The Jetsons more than any other state, Alaska and Montana are amped for House of the Dragon more than the rest of America, and Kansas’ anticipation for Bel-Air can’t be matched. These four states have been Googling America’s top three most anticipated reboot shows more than any other states.
Reboots, revivals, and spin-offs will continue to dominate our television and tablet screens in 2021, and with the multiplying number of streaming services and surging demand for nostalgic content, it may only be a matter of time before your canceled favorite finds a new home. Not all reboots will be declared a success, but with streaming hours on the rise, Americans are likely to tune in.