'Fuller House': Why do old TV shows get reboots?

Netflix is reportedly close to confirming a continuation of the 90s series, tentatively called 'Fuller House.' Are reboots really that profitable?

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/File
John Stamos, famous for his role as Uncle Jesse, may come back as producer in a possible "Full House" reboot.

Following the announcement that “The X-Files” will return to television with its stars on board, another 90s classic will explore the 21st-century lives of its cast.

TVLine announced Thursday that Netflix is “this close” to rebooting “Full House” in a 13-episode continuation tentatively titled “Fuller House.” The show would star Candace Cameron Bure as D.J. and Andrea Barber as the spunky Kimmy Gibbler. The two best friends would now be in their 40s, giving the show plenty of possible angles and story lines to explore.

MTV speculates about the potential details of their lives: Will D.J and Kimmy have kids? Will they still be with their high school crushes? What has become of the rest of the Tanner family?

As for the last question, there is a strong possibility that multiple members of the original cast will be part of the show, or at least guest appear. John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse, will have a producer role in the show. The creator of “Full House,” Jeff Franklin, will also executive produce with two of the shows original producers, Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett.

Bob Saget and Dave Coulier are being eyed for guest appearances, and there has not yet been word on whether or not the Olsen twins or Jodie Sweetin will be included in the spinoff.

It seems many networks are recycling hit shows, banking on nostalgia to make a profit. Many shows have announced comebacks, spinoffs, and reboots, and the ones that have already occurred have done so with varying levels of success.

After the announcement that “The X-Files” would be returning to Fox in a short, 6-episode season, Merrill Barr of Forbes said that revivals are less about pleasing fans and more about making the originals more valuable. With online streaming providers such as Netflix – which has 44 million subscribers – fighting competitors Hulu and Amazon, they are constantly looking for ways to make old shows a viable business. A reboot can achieve that.

“A revival of ‘­The X-Files’ means all of the show’s previous work is valuable again. Old fans are going to start re-watching it, and newcomers are going to start seeking it out in order to get caught up before the premiere,” Mr. Barr wrote. “The reason this matters is because Fox can use that leverage to strike yet another highly valuable streaming deal with one of the big three (Netflix, Amazon and Hulu) to make some serious money off the currently dead series.”

Episodes of the original “Full House” are available on Amazon Instant Video, but not on Hulu or Netflix. Perhaps if Netflix decides to officially move forward with “Fuller House,” that could change.

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