In the U.S., a “reboot” is a television show in which only the idea is taken from an old series (example: Magnum P.I.). A “remake” is a modern version of an old series or film with all new faces (example: The Birdcage, taken from the 1978 film La Cage aux Folles). A “revival” is a new series that features the original show’s cast (example: Roseanne, which, despite being very successful, was recently cancelled due to a racist tweet posted by the series’ star). A “spin-off” is a series created from a “rib” of a series that’s still on the air (example: Station 19, taken from Grey’s Anatomy). And a “format” is a local adaptation of a foreign program (example: Grand Hotel, originally broadcast on Antena 3 in Spain).

This trend of reboots, remakes, revivals, spin-offs, and formats is due to the fact that both the producers of the series (the studios) and the TV networks (which are owned by the studios):

1) Don’t have many new ideas,

2) Don’t want to take risks with innovative concepts that might fail,

3) Are targeting a new generation of viewers,

4) Want to cut through the clutter (because there are now more than 500 new series per year offered on American television screens, which can cause confusion and indecision for viewers who, due to time limitations, simply won’t be able to watch everything. By offering well-known series that were once popular, viewers can easily distinguish between the tides of available content, and thus cut through clutter.

There are currently seven “spin-offs,” eight “revivals,” one “remake,” and a “reboot” on traditional U.S. television.

The new U.S. TV season (which starts in September 2018 and ends in May 2019) offers two “reboots,” two “remakes,” two “revivals,” and three “spin-offs.” In terms of the number of new series, studios have produced 111 pilots (at an average cost of $3 million each), of which 76 were for broadcast television, 16 were for streaming operators, eight were for premium services (such as Showtime), and 11 were for cable TV (from the 31 total series commissioned by cable TV networks). From those 76 pilots, the broadcast TV networks have selected 38 new series. Last year, they chose 47 out of the 75 that had been commissioned.

For the list of all pilots visit:

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