scooby-doo and waltons

This just in from the Department of But Why? The CW has ordered three specials for late 2021 – The Scooby-Doo Reunion Special, The Waltons: Homecoming, and Beebo Saves Christmas. This is an odd assortment of titles to begin with, but when you start to think about it, it gets even weirder. How can there be a Scooby-Doo “reunion special” when Scooby-Doo never really went away. Hell, there was a new Scooby-Doo movie (called Scoob!) released last year. Then you have The Waltons, a TV series that ran from 1972 through 1981. While the show was popular in its day, has anyone, anywhere, asked for some sort of revival? And then there’s Beebo Saves Christmas, which…okay, I admit I have no idea what that one is. 

It’s a slow news day, kids, so let’s dive into the announcement that The CW has ordered three specials that seem tailor-made to appeal to no one in particular. Those specials: The Scooby-Doo Reunion Special, The Waltons: Homecoming, and Beebo Saves Christmas, which will arrive on the network later in 2021. Per Variety, the Scooby-Doo special is a bit meta, and exists in a world where the Scooby-Doo gang is real. In the special, “the Mystery Inc. gang reunites at Warner Bros. Studios to reminisce about their favorite cases and how they were filmed. But it turns out that the backlot may have its own monster problem. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo investigate this mystery while celebrating the legacy of the franchise during this one-hour special.”

guess that could be fun, in an amusing sort of way. But will the Mystery Inc. team be old now, since the original Scooby-Doo adventures began in the late ’60s? If so, wouldn’t Scooby himself be long dead by now? Maybe I’m overthinking this. In any case, the special will be executive produced by Jonathan Stern and come to us from Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon and Abominable Pictures.

Then there’s The Waltons: Homecoming. You might be too young to remember The Waltons, reader, but it was a historical drama television series about a family in rural Virginia during the Great Depression and World War II. It ran from 1972 until 1981, but originated via a TV movie called The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, which aired in 1971. This new special:

“…is set in the 1933 Depression Era and told through the eyes of John Boy, the 17-year-old eldest child of John and Olivia Walton. His mother expects John Boy to help her raise his sisters and brothers, and his father expects him to follow in his footsteps to help support the family, but secretly, John Boy wants to be a writer. Times are hard enough in 1933, but to make matters worse, it looked to be the Waltons’ first Christmas without John Sr. When Olivia receives a letter that John Sr. is planning to make it home for Christmas after all, the family is thrilled and races to prepare for his homecoming. But when a storm threatens his arrival on Christmas Eve, and John Sr. is nowhere to be found, Olivia sends John Boy out into the night to find his daddy – a journey that will change John Boy’s life forever.”

The cast includes Bellamy Young as Olivia, Logan Shroyer as John Boy, and Richard Thomas, the original John Boy, serving as The Narrator. Lev L. Spiro directs a script from Sam Haskell.

Finally, we have Beebo Saves Christmas. I wasn’t aware of this until just now, but Beebo is a character part of the Arrowverse, specifically Legends of Tomorrow. The special is described as a “one-hour animated special built around the DC character. When Sprinkles, an efficiency-obsessed elf, decides that Christmas would run better without Santa Claus, Beebo and his friends travel to the North Pole to help discover what truly makes Christmas meaningful. Ben Diskin stars as the voice of Beebo along with Kimiko Glenn as the voice of Tweebo, Yvette Nicole Brown as the voice of Turbo, Keith Ferguson as the voice of Fleabo, Chris Kattan as the voice of Sprinkles, Ernie Hudson as the voice of Santa, and Victor Garber as the narrator.”

And there you have it. Three specials that are 100% real things that will exist on a TV screen near you at some point.

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