The time has come, fans of 80’s television. Prepare for an updated version of Little House on the Prairie.
Imagine — a retelling of the Ingalls family’s 19th century plight, courtesy of modern entertainment.
It’s on its way, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.
Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content have teamed up to develop a one-hour episodic drama based on the popular book series.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 17, 2020
The project will be executive-produced by Trip Friendly, whose father, Ed, once possessed the rights to the novels.
He eventually sold them to NBC.
The new show’s been a long time coming:
[F]riendly has been trying to revive the hit series. Things looked promising when Sony developed plans for a Little House on the Prairie movie in 2012, but the plans fell through after Sony chairman Amy Pascal left the studio in 2015. Friendly recently said a reboot was looking promising.
Trip told EW people are ready:
“Fans are eager to see Little House on the Prairie come back to the screen, and we agree the time is right,” he told EW. “We feel optimistic that this will happen.”
Actor/Writer/Director Michael Landon’s beloved television series ran on NBC from 1974 all the way to 1983.
But without the guidance of Landon (who produced his show with Ed Friendly) — and given the state of contemporary programming — will the new version find the same emotional notes as the original?
Over the last while, we’ve seen updates of MacGyver, Dynasty, She-Ra, Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., and Hawaii Five-O.
How’d they do?
As for a new picture of Walnut Grove, since 1983, the politics and morality onscreen have, in a word, changed.
Most recently, Netflix even served up a very Rated-R version of Perry Mason.
What will Little House look like at a time when wokeness and TV-MA are all the rage?
Will Hollywood again offer a show about a Bible-believing, praying family living in a town centered around its Protestant church?
If you’re curious what other material Anonymous Content’s created, see Homecoming, Dickinson, and 13 Reasons Why.
Back to the audience being ready, EW notes Little House has never lost its luster:
[I]nterest in the franchise has never diminished. Reruns of the 1974-83 series continue to air in 30 countries worldwide, including U.S. networks like Cozi TV, UPtv, and Hallmark Drama, where it remains the most-watched program excluding movies. Peacock just announced it will begin streaming old episodes this month, while PBS on Dec. 29 will devote an installment of its American Masters docuseries to Ingalls Wilder, covering everything from her libertarian politics to the lingering suspicions that her daughter, Rose Lane, did some (or all) of the writing.
When the new show hits the screen, will there be cameos from the past?
At least one original actor’s happy to oblige — Alison Arngrim, who played that notorious brat, Nellie Olson.
It seems she believes it’s good timing to play her mom:
“I’m just the right age to play Mrs. Oleson,” says Alison Arngrim, who starred as the snobby, sausage-curl-sporting menace Nellie Oleson for seven glorious seasons. “I’m totally there. I have no shame.”
Hopefully, Trip will have some shame. That is to say, rather than a quick cash-in, hopefully, he’ll give the world something heartfelt and beautiful that it needs.
Such things seem to be in short supply these days.
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