The best TV reboots and revivals of all time — and the worst

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.

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Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.
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ABC

Reboots. Revivals. Returns.

It’s hard to classify the craze of TV shows being brought back to life. Some return with all-new casts and storylines, and others pick up exactly where the original show left off as if nothing happened.

But as the new “Roseanne” and other reboots before it have proven, they can be a hit with audiences and critics alike. Even though “Roseanne” was canceled in May after star Roseanne Barr tweeted a racist remark, it premiered in April to over 18 million viewers.

Reboots can also be duds, though.

Business Insider looked at 23 notable TV reboots and ranked them worst to best, based on how well they did with critics (using critic scores from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes).

We based the ranking on the average of the reboot’s available season critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes – most only had one season. We also included the average critic score for the original series, when available, for comparison. In the case of ties, the reboot with the higher audience score came out on top.

Below are 23 notable TV reboots, ranked worst to best by critics:


23. “MacGyver” (2016-present on CBS)

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Lucas Till.
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Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

Critic score of reboot: 26%

Original series run: 1985-1992 on ABC

What critics said: “It is trying very, very hard to fit in. It has the right elements; what it hasn’t yet quite figured out yet, though, is how to combine them into something that will be truly explosive.” – Megan Garber, The Atlantic


22. “Fuller House” (2016-present on Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score of reboot: 33%

Original series run (“Full House”): 1987-1995 on ABC

What critics said: “By lazily throwing everything at the wall without a single element sticking, Fuller House stands as a threat to memories of an older generation and future memories of a younger one. How rude, indeed.” – Ben Travers, Indiewire


21. “90210” (2008-2013 on The CW)

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The CW

Critic score of reboot: 43% (Audience score: 35%)

Original series run (“Beverly Hills, 90210”): 1990-2000 on Fox

What critics said: “Lacking Gossip Girl’s unrepentant edge or The OC’s big heart, the new 90210’s only chance for a long life is if it divests itself of all the skinny teens and concentrates on the second childhood of the class of 91.” – Jonathan Bernstein, Guardian


20. “Heroes Reborn” (2015-2016 on NBC)

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NBC

Critic score of reboot: 43% (Audience score: 57%)

Average critic score of original: 71%

Difference: -28%

Original series run (“Heroes”): 2006-2010 on NBC

What critics said: “Heroes Reborn reintroduces a world clogged with new characters and conspiracies to unravel, but it’s so hell-bent on being convoluted that those mysteries quickly lose their appeal.” – David Sims, The Atlantic


19. “Prison Break” (2017 on Fox)

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Fox

Critic score of reboot: 53% (Audience score: 77%)

Critic score of original series: 68%

Difference: -15%

Original series run: 2005-2008 on Fox

What critics said: “My hope is that this will satisfy whatever itch the show’s die-hards had to elicit this revival, if only to finally put an end to all of this.” – Chris Cabin, Collider


18. “Dynasty” (2017-present on The CW)

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The CW

Critic score of reboot: 53% (Audience score: 85%)

Original series run: 1981-1989 on ABC

What critics said: “The trying-too-hard Dynasty reboot on The CW [is] a show that just doesn’t deliver the sleazy charm of the original.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com


17. “24: Legacy” (2017)

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Corey Hawkins.
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Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Critic score of reboot: 59%

Critic score of original: 88%

Difference: -29%

Original series run (“24”): 2001-2010 on Fox

What critics said: “Maybe this isn’t the time for stereotypes and gunfire. The original 24 came along at precisely the right time, in late 2001. Maybe this 24 should try again later.” – Tom Long, Detroit News


16. “American Idol” (2018 on ABC)

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ABC

Critic score of reboot: 68%

Original series run: 2002-2016 on Fox

What critics said: “This new show doesn’t come at you like the aggressive, pointedly grandiose hit that it used to be. But at a time when real-life events have left audiences hungry for familiar, soothing television, ABC’s version of American Idol just might fit that bill.” – Eric Deggans, NPR


15. “V” (2009-2011 on ABC)

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ABC

Critic score of reboot: 71%

Original series run: 1984-1985 on NBC

What critics said: “The ideas in V are enticing. It’s too bad that they’re floating around in a show that at this early stage, is so slapdash and formulaic in its storytelling.” – Mike Hale, The New York Times


14. “The X-Files” (2016-present on Fox)

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Fox

Critic score of reboot: 72%

Critic score of original: 74%

Difference: -2%

Original series run: 1993-2001 on Fox

What critics said: “After just one episode of the upcoming six, The X-Files feels like a faded relic, barely clinging to what once made it great.” – Ben Travers, Indiewire


13. “Arrested Development” (2013 on Netflix)

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Mike Yarish/Netflix

Critic score of reboot: 75% (Audience score: 78%)

Critic score of original: 87%

Difference: -12%

Original series run: 2003-2005 on Fox

What critics said: “There’s still a plethora of fresh homonym-friendly wordplay, surprising parallels, and witty allusions to delight and preoccupy us until the series pulls off its next magic trick.” – Nick McCarthy, Slant


12. “Dallas” (2012-2014 on TNT)

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TNT

Critic score of reboot: 75% (Audience score: 92%)

Original series run: 1978-1991 on CBS

What critics said: “The plot is thin, the acting is what you’d expect.” – Adam Vitcavage, Paste Magazine


11. “Star Trek: Discovery” (2017-present on CBS All Access)

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CBS

Critic score of reboot: 82% (Audience score: 56%)

Critic score of original: 78%

Difference: +4%

Original series run (“Star Trek”): 1966-1969 on NBC

What critics said: “While Discovery is fundamentally quite different from much of the Trek that’s come before, its engagement with the franchise, and willingness to both celebrate and examine its core values, keep it true to that spirit.” – Liz Shannon Miller, Indiewire


10. “Roseanne” (2018 on ABC)

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ABC

Critic score of reboot: 82% (Audience score: 68%)

Original series run: 1988-1996 on ABC

What critics said: “[The show’s use of politics], in ultra-divisive 2018, is a somewhat revolutionary idea, one that will get even more interesting if the sitcom allows Roseanne to continue grappling more openly with her own philosophical contradictions.” – Jen Chaney, New York Magazine/Vulture


9. “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” (2016 on Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score of reboot: 85%

Original series run (“Gilmore Girls”): 2000-2006 on The CW

What critics said: “A Year in the Life manages to connect its complicated present to that wonderful past often enough to be worth the visit.” – Alan Sepinwall, Uproxx


8. “Will & Grace” (2017-present on NBC)

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NBC

Critic score of reboot: 86%

Original series run: 1998-2005 on NBC

What critics said: “Will and Grace are Sisyphean sitcom figures, rolling the rock for romantic love, only to wake up at the end of every story arc back at the bottom of the mountain, making pop culture jokes with their besties instead.” – Willa Paskin, Slate


7. “Hawaii Five-O” (2010-present on CBS)

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CBS

Critic score of reboot: 87%

Original series run: 1968-1980 on CBS

What critics said: “The story and the chemistry work, but periodically the action feels rushed.” – David Hinckley, New York Daily News


6. “The Tick” (2016-present on Amazon)

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Amazon

Critic score of reboot: 90%

Original series run: 2001-2002 on Fox

What critics said: “It takes Serafinowicz and Newman a couple episodes to settle into the necessary chemistry between The Tick and Arthur, but they do find it. Which is really what matters.” – Glen Weldon, NPR


5. “Twin Peaks: The Return” (2017 on Showtime)

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Showtime

Critic score of reboot: 94%

Average critic score of original series: 93%

Difference: +1%

Original series run (“Twin Peaks”): 1990-1991 on Showtime

What critics said: “This is a completely new Twin Peaks, a show both aware of its cultural impact and its importance to fans, but also something that has completely evolved to embrace all the things that have changed in its world since it last aired.” – Cheryl Eddy, io9


4. “Queer Eye” (2018 on Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score of reboot: 96%

Original series run (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”): 2003-2007 on Bravo

What critics said: “The reboot is fine company in several contexts, for instance, when it is lending ambient zhuzh to your home while you’re picking up around the place. Half-watching any of its eight episodes, the viewer feels its aspirational anima infuse the room.” – Troy Patterson, New Yorker


3. “Battlestar Galactica” (2005-2009 on SyFy)

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NBC

Critic score of reboot: 97%

Original series run: 1978-1979 on ABC

What critics said: “The political maneuvering and philosophical debates have relevance for our own time, but there’s more than enough action to keep the show from getting preachy.” – Terry Kelleher, People


2. “One Day at a Time” (2017-present on Netflix)

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Adam Rose/Netflix

Critic score of reboot: 98%

Original series run: 1975-1984 on CBS

What critics said: “One Day at a Time acknowledges this pain, processes it, and offers a warm, welcome escape-a spot on the couch in front of the TV. Its defiant optimism and earnestness make it compulsively watchable.” – Melissa Leon, Daily Beast


1. “Samurai Jack” (2017 on Adult Swim)

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Adult Swim

Critic score of reboot: 100%

Original series run: 2001-2004 on Cartoon Network

What critics said: “The way that a show like this ends is less of a problem than the sad knowledge that we won’t witness any more from it. At the close of all his years, Jack has found an honorable way home.” – Melanie McFarland, Salon