Hollywood has seen a number of reboots, revivals and remakes since Netflix's Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life jump-started pop culture's latest obsession with nostalgia, and now another beloved WB series seems to be inching toward a revival.
In a new interview with Variety, uber-producer Greg Berlanti, who recently set a new record with 14 series on the air, said the possibility of a revival of his coming-of-age drama Everwood is becoming more and more likely.
"I think it's about schedules and finances and budget, and if we can get a budget to a [workable] place, I think that there's a real shot that that could come back," he told the magazine. "I think we just have to figure out what would be the best way to do it. But there's nothing firm in place yet."
Let us stop you right there, Greg. Even though there's still nothing set in stone, and as much as we truly love Everwood — it helped us get through the hell that was 2017, after all — is a revival really necessary?
Everwood follows Andy Brown (Treat Williams), a brilliant surgeon but largely absent father who packs up his life in New York and moves his two children, Ephram and Delia (Gregory Smith and Vivien Cardone), to a small town in Colorado following the sudden death of his wife (Brenda Strong). But the drama is the product of a very specific time and place. Premiering in 2002 and running four seasons, the show was earnest and heartfelt in a way that was common for TV in the days of The WB but now is rarely seen as shows have to fight for survival in a crowded television landscape that continues to evolve. While the prospect of a wistful, feel-good series like Everwood returning certainly sounds appealing in 2018, there are a number of issues that arise.
First and foremost, unlike, say, Veronica Mars, which was canceled without a proper ending and later revived as a crowdfunded feature film in 2013, Everwood had an emotionally fulfilling series finale in which everything came full circle and all the show's loose ends were tied up.
Because Berlanti and fellow executive producer Rina Mimoun didn't know if the series would make the jump to The CW when The WB merged with UPN in 2006, they filmed two different endings. The series sadly wasn't renewed, but the show ended with Ephram and Amy (Emily VanCamp) finally reuniting, Andy and Nina (Stephanie Niznik) becoming engaged, and Hannah (Sarah Drew) happily forgoing a full ride to Notre Dame in order to stay in Colorado near Amy and Bright (Chris Pratt). While it would certainly be fun to see what the Browns and the Abbotts are doing today, the series finale didn't exactly leave fans with the kinds of lingering questions that would warrant checking in. (And no, we don't care about what happened to Ephram's son with Madison.)
We also have to consider the possibility that the entire cast might not be back. Although VanCamp recently told TVLine that she would be interested in reprising her role should a revival happen, Chris Pratt, whose character Bright was initially a screwup but became one of the strongest parts of the show as the character matured, has a booming film career.
When the cast, along with Berlanti and Mimoun, reunited for the show's 15th anniversary last summer, Pratt was noticeably absent. In 2014, when they came together for a similar reunion at the Austin Television Festival, Pratt was again not present, though he did call into the panel to thank the fans for their continued support of the show. Honestly, it's hard to imagine an Everwood revival without Bright and his infectious enthusiasm or surprisingly heartfelt observations, so if Pratt's busy schedule can't accommodate filming the revival, a crucial piece of what made Everwood work could very well be missing altogether, and that would be unfortunate for everyone involved.
But perhaps the biggest issue surrounding a possible Everwood revival is the fact that it would contribute to Hollywood's pervasive culture of focusing on the past instead of looking at the future. Television, both as a business and as a product, has changed considerably in the 16 years since Everwood first premiered. Although the show holds a special place in the hearts of the people who grew up on The WB, what reason is there to bring it back? Is there anything left to say that hasn't already been said?
While it's true that ABC and NBC have seen success with Roseanne and Will & Grace, respectively, both shows often feel like old friends trying to recapture their glory days. Perhaps instead of trying to recreate the magic of what once was, we should give the next generation the opportunity to have their voices heard. Let's focus on giving young men and women coming-of-age series that reflect their actual upbringing instead of trying to relive our own. Otherwise, we run the risk of entering a world in which Ephram still wears long-sleeved shirts under his T-shirts and thinks it's acceptable.
Everwood is currently streaming on Hulu.