A wave of nostalgia is going to be washing over television during the next year or so. Days after Fox announced it was reviving The X-Files for a six-episode run (which will film this summer, with no premiere date yet announced), news broke of NBC bringing back the sitcom Coach, picking up the series for 13 episodes.
If you’re a fan of the original show, which aired on ABC from 1989 to 1997, and are worried that this new version of Coach is going to be a reboot — with new actors playing familiar characters or entirely new characters using the popular name of an old show — do not fear. This is a sequel to the original sitcom, and Craig T. Nelson is back as football coach Hayden Fox. The story takes place 18 years after we last saw Fox, with the coach being asked by his son to come out of retirement and join his staff as an assistant. Fox’s son coaches at an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania that is starting a football program from scratch.
But despite Nelson being back as Fox, the new Coach probably won’t just be a TV show reunion that gets the band back together. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter‘s Lesley Goldberg that it was “unlikely that any other original castmembers will return.” It’s uncertain if Fox’s wife, Christine (played by Shelley Fabares), would be a part of the show. And since Fox is an assistant on his son’s staff, there would presumably be no need for his former coaches, Luther Van Dam (Jerry Van Dyke) and Dauber Dybinski (Bill Fagerbakke).
Which characters will be part of the show is speculation at this point, however. According to THR‘s report, no scripts for Coach have been written yet. NBC bought the series based solely on the pitch from producers and Nelson being attached. Had the network not picked up the show in that meeting, producers were set to pitch to CBS, Fox and Coach‘s old home at ABC.
Like the original series, Coach will be shot in a multi-camera format, presumably in front of a studio audience. Single-camera shows — such as The Office or Modern Family — had been the norm in recent years, but the older sitcom style that many of us grew up with is apparently making a comeback. Besides, the style isn’t a total relic. Seinfeld and Friends were multi-camera shows.
A premiere date has not yet been given for Coach, but given the timing of the announcement, a fall or midseason debut seems likely. Will this version have a nearly 200-episode run in it, as its predecessor did?