The Hollywood remake machine continues to churn, as studio executives continue randomly clicking on
IMDB TV.com show pages to see what's available. Charlie's Angels, Prime Suspect, Free Agents, and Bosom Buddies (disguised as ABC's Work It) are all returning to television with makeovers this season, and next year we may see the classic Bewitched get the same treatment, thanks to CBS.
Bewitched ran from 1964 'til 1972 on ABC, and starred Elizabeth Montgomery (meow!) as a witch named Samantha who married an advertising executive named Darrin (played by a couple of Dicks, York and Sargent, who sported some of TV's best chins ever) and tried to become a normal suburban housewife. "That's not a cauldron, that's a bathtub!" and other wacky shenanigans ensued.
Montgomery's Samantha is a TV icon. And CBS needs to be picky when choosing her modern-day replacement. Obviously, she needs to be funny. And hot. Hot witches are extra hot. No one is going to watch a sitcom about a witch with scraggly hair and a giant wart on her honker. Finally, she has to be blonde. This is nonnegotiable. Let's consider a few potential candidates, both perfect and ludicrous.
Please excuse the shoddy Photoshop work. L to R, clockwise: Andrea Anders, the original, Rebecca Romijn, Alicia Silverstone, Betty White.
The Obvious Choices
These are the ones who are going to immediately spring to mind. Any one of them would be nice, safe bets to carry a show.
Rebecca Romijn: Isn't she, like, the perfect choice? She's already played a witch in Eastwick, which means she might even still have a pointy hat and broom lying around somewhere (instant savings for the prop department). But what really works here is her image: She just looks like a 2011 version of Samantha. Bonus: Real-life hubby John Stamos could play Darrin!
Alicia Silverstone: Ummm, has anyone seen Alicia lately? Someone call her agent and get her out of retirement. The Clueless star is ripe for a comeback, CBS loves to reinvigorate careers, and I still have a The Crush poster hanging over my bed. Seriously, what happened to this girl?
Andrea Anders: She might be a little young for the role, but the former Better Off Ted star is flat-out funny and girl-next-door enough to play up the suburban housewife portion. Plus she's got one of the best, most-twitchworthy noses in the business.
Additional obvious choices: Portia de Rossi, Kristin Chenoweth, Jenna Elfman, Christina Applegate, Bridgette Wilson, Ali Larter, Becki Newton. Plus countless more—feel free to list 'em in the comments!
The Stupid, Crazy Choices
We're including these options simply to prevent this list from being completely boring, in an attempt to entertain you. (Key word: "attempt.") The rules above do not apply.
Scenario #1: Imagine this... Instead of relaunching the series from the beginning, why not do something CRAZY and pick up the show as if time had moved on? Now we see Samantha, 40 years older and still up to her witchy ways, but with a horribly stereotypical twist. She's using her powers to cheat at Bridge, make her Rascal scooter levitate, and keep her unpredictable bowels in check. Obviously there is only one person for this job. Samantha will be played by the red-hot Betty White. CBS loves this, as an elderly Sam jives nicely with the network's primary demographic. (Note: We know Samantha doesn't really age, but let's just pretend that all the energy she uses keeping her digestive system from spraying all over the place takes means she can't stay looking young. This also opens up a great single-episode plot where she goes back to looking young but can't control her bowels. Jenny McCarthy will play young Sam as she hangs onto the toilet for dear life.)
Scenario #2: Imagine this... Instead of relaunching the series with the same premise, why not do something STUPID and throw in a gender role reversal! Samantha is now Sam, a male witch who falls for a female bartender at LA's The Magic Castle! And who better to play the male spell-caster than the self-professed warlock himself, Charlie Sheen? New show name: HeWitched.
My Personal Favorite Choice
If I were in charge of the Bewitched re-do, this is what I'd be, err, re-doing. A lot of remakes think they can just throw some hot young actress into the main role and BAM! the magic will happen. That doesn't work—just wait 'til you see the new Charlie's Angels. So we're gonna skew older and put the emphasis on the show being actually funny. And what is it that makes the show funny? It's the loving husband-wife dynamic between a mortal and a witch, and the awkward scenarios that arise from it. Which leads me to the one actress who can pull off weird marriage and awkwardness better than anyone else: Curb Your Enthusiasm's Cheryl Hines! She's incredibly funny, she's got that weird sex appeal, and she's the perfect age (45) to headline something at CBS. Make it happen!
Who would you like to see play Samantha?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom