This past TV season the big gamble was on serial dramas, with numerous ones falling flat on their face – though one or two like “Heroes,” “Jericho” and “Ugly Betty” have become major hits.
Next year though there’s two trends – British series remakes (“Life on Mars,” “Footballers’ Wives,” “Blackpool”) and the revival of familiar properties.
Amongst the later are TV series versions of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “The Terminator” films, the resurrection of 30’s noir detective Phillip Marlowe, and a revival of the old “The Bionic Woman”.
The team behind the bionic babe’s return however have an even more ambitious plan in the works – bringing “The A-Team” back to the screen. Casting notices have gone out for a four-hour NBC mini-series to air next February which would serve as a backdoor pilot for a new series starting next Fall should it rate well.
The move makes sense considering the show remains one of NBC’s most widely recognisable properties. Whilst the beleaguered network has had a few hits this year, it needs a few more household name shows (esp. in the key demographic) to shake off its lacklustre image of recent years.
What’s surprising though is those casting notices have revealed some unexpected changes to the formula. The premise remains the same with four wrongly convicted Special Forces personnel escaping custody and now working as mercenaries for hire who help the oppressed.
Some changes are to be expected, like the updating of them being veterans of the Iraq war rather than the Vietnam war. Others are welcome ones – the series looks like it will spend time reflecting on the darker side of their new life as mercenaries, some of the brutality, isolation and betrayal that comes with the work they do.
What’ll surprise people is the character changes – specifically the fact that one of the four will be a woman this time. No it’s not Faceman, Dirk Benedict has escaped another gender reimagining, rather it’s the one and only B.A. Baracus. The role made famous by Mr. T is being recast with a woman in mind, and rapper Lil’ Kim is said to be in talks for the part.
Finally other characters from the pantheon, including Lynch and Stockwell, appear in the mini-series and will serve as regular antagonists should a full series order be given.