In the age of reboots, revivals and reunions, another memorable TV series is going to get revamped for primetime. Once a major part of ABC’s iconic TGIF lineup in the late ‘80s going into the '90s, the classic sitcom Perfect Strangers is getting a reboot, and some big changes are on the horizon.
Perfect Strangers, ABC's hit fish-out-of-water sitcom starring Mark Linn-Baker and Bronson Pinchot, is flipping the genders and races of its main characters, with Black female comedians Robin Thede and London Hughes tapped as the leads. The project is in development through HBO Max, rather than its former broadcast network home, and will be written by Thede, who also created the pitch-perfect A Black Lady Sketch Show for HBO. While not greenlighted to go to series just yet, the streamer has reportedly given the half-hour, multi-camera comedy a script development deal, so the ball is certainly rolling.
The series, much like the original that ran for 150 episodes from 1986-1993, will follow the initial strangers Deja (Robin Thede) and Poppy (London Hughes), who discover they are actually half-sisters when they inherit a one-bedroom apartment located above a yoga studio in Brooklyn. Polar opposites through and through, the two must learn how to live and work together. It doesn't sound like it'll be quite as stereotypically outlandish as the original series, starred Mark Linn-Baker as Midwesterner Larry Appleton and Bronson Pinchot as his wacky distant cousin from a faux European country. (Catchphrase: "Don't be ridiculous.")
The always hilarious Robin Thede will also be executive producing the new reboot via her company For Better or Words, which comes as part of her overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. Despite the reboot, Thede is still keeping busy, as A Black Lady Sketch Show recently aired its second season and was renewed for a third for HBO. The actress is also currently writing the HBO Max feature Fashionably Black with Christa Gatewood, and is writing the Amazon action zombie-comedy Killing It, which is also being produced by Thede’s For Better or Words.
Meanwhile, London Hughes recently hosted The Netflix Afterparty and is also developing the comedic feature Hot Mess with Will Packer Productions and Universal. She developed an NBC single-camera comedy with Larry Wilmore in 2019, who, coincidentally, worked with Thede when she was the head writer for Comedy Central’s late night series The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.
Perfect Strangers is only the latest series to get a reboot/revival treatment, following the new Paramount+ series Rugrats and iCarly, as well as The CW’s upcoming Legends of the Hidden Temple reboot and the potential Powerpuff Girls series. Moreover, this marks the latest venture for HBO Max, as the streamer had reunion specials for both Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends, with a Bel-Air reboot drama currently in development. While it’s currently unknown just who else will be in the new series or if Linn-Baker and Pinchot will make any cameo appearances, it will be interesting to see what happens.
There is no telling how similar the new Perfect Strangers reboot will be to the original, or if HBO Max will even give it a full series order, but with Robin Thede behind it, you know it's going to be funny. Seeing that it’s only just the latest TGIF classic to get a reboot, it likely won’t be the last, either.