Quantum Leap Revival

NBC’s upcoming streaming service The Peacock was not represented at NBC Universal’s day before the Television Critics Association. The Peacock will feature revivals of classic NBC sitcoms Punky Brewster and Saved By the Bell, but NBC’s head of program planning and strategy, Jeff Bader, discussed another series that might get revived as well.

Speaking with /Film, Bader said the ‘90s time travel series Quantum Leap is another title under consideration and spoke about what led to the Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell revivalson The Peacock.

Quantum Leap starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett (above), a scientist who invented time travel. Every week he would leap into someone from the past to correct a wrong that occurred in history. It ran from 1989 to 1993, and it might be jumping into the 21st century.

“That’s one that I know everyone is discussing,” Bader said.

In 2009, Syfy considered a reboot of Quantum Leap with a new cast., but that’s not what any Quantum Leap fan wants. They want Scott Bakula, and ideally Dean Stockwell as his hologram partner Al. Unfortunately, Bakula is currently on CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans and Stockwell is 82 and hasn’t acted since 2015 , though he did an episode of NCIS: NO with Bakula in 2014.

One of the hooks of Quantum Leap was that Beckett could only leap within his own lifetime. So episodes spanned the ‘50s to the ‘80s. A 2020 Quantum Leap could do ‘80s and ‘90s stories as period pieces.

“That’s true,” Bader said, adding that the network is exploring their whole back catalog. “There’s more that I think we’ll be visiting.”

punky brewster reboot

How Millennials Saved Punky Brewster

Punky Brewster was a show on the bubble in the ‘80s. It lasted four seasons and spawned an animated spinoff, but fans couldn’t save it in 1988. Soleil Moon Frye played the title character, an orphan who becomes the foster child of Henry Warnimont (George Gaynes). The Peacock revival sees Frye reprise her role as a mother herself who meets a young girl who reminds her of herself.

Punky Brewster is like a lot of those shows that didn’t ‘work’ with adults, even going back to The Brady Bunch and Partridge Family and things like that,” Bader said. “Punky Brewster has a huge resonance with millennials. That’s what we want. We’re seeing that with millennials, Soleil Moon Frye, there is a resonance. So the idea of a show with her and a kid actually I think is going to work for them.”

The kids who watched Punky Brewster in the ‘80s would more likely be Generation X than millennials. There’s a chance millennials must have caught it in reruns or on DVD, but either way, Punkystans surely thank them for bringing her back.

mark-paul gosselaar saved by the bell

Saved By the Bell

The Peacock confirmed Mark-Paul Gosselaar would appear in the Saved by the Bell revival. Although The Peacock is not his department specifically, NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telagdy said in his executive session that it was a no-brainer to bring back the high school comedy.

“I know the show and its history,” Telagdy said. “This is how I look at all these things. Would I do Saved By the Bell again? Hell yeah. Based on the context of some people showed up for that 90210 reboot. I backed away from it. It wasn’t what I was expected. I don’t know whether it’s a good surprise or a bad surprise. Tracey Wigfield is doing it. I bumped into Mark-Paul Gosselaar. They’re all excited about it.”

One could also measure the affection towards Saved By the Bell by the popularity of The Max pop-up restaurant. Fans of the show stood in line or made reservations to eat at the diner from the series. Will they subscribe to yet another streaming service to see Zack Morris and co. again? We’ll see.

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