Beverly Hills -- Some shows refuse to die, and "Charlie's Angels" would, by any measure, be one of them. There was, of course, the ABC series ('76-81), followed after the welcome space of two decades by the pair of theatricals. Now, back from the afterlife, this: A remake starring Rachael Taylor (Abby), Minka Kelly (Eve), Annie Ilonzeh (Kate) and Ramon Rodriguez (Bosley) that looks an awfully lot like the original but what critics were assured will be an awfully lot different.
For starters, this remake will take place in Miami, while the voice of Charlie remains a work in progress. (Robert Wagner had been chosen, but backed out; the original Charlie was of course, John Forsyth.)
Leonard Goldberg, 77 -- the legendary producer who along with Aaron Spelling was showrunner on the old ABC Velveeta cheese factory that starred Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith -- said this from the stage of the Beverly Hilton yesterday: "We wanted to try and preserve what was great about the original and find something new."
He found, in fact, two new producers, Al Gough and Miles Millar, a pair of respected showrunners, most recently overseers of "Smallville." Because this is such a visible reboot, Gough said yesterday, "we know the show has this big target on its back," which is why he wanted some distance from the original.
Their version "is a show about redemption, a show about second chances. Each episode will be character-revealing," while "one of the angels will be at the emotional tip of the spear" of each episode.
He elaborated: "The movies were you know, in their era, ten years ago, were kind of like superhero movies for girls. Obviously they were post “Matrix.” They had a lot of wire work. What we sort of wanted to bring to the table was making it more grounded, making these women feel real, giving them sort of backstories, because again, if you’re going to launch into a television series, which you all know, in success, as you’re following these characters, you want there to be something to come back to every week. So we gave them each a past, and the show’s really about Charlie giving them a second chance, and it’s about kind of redemption. And I think Rachael actually had the best description of the show, which she said if Jack Bauer and Carrie Bradshaw had a love child, it would be “Charlie’s Angels.”
Goldberg was asked about the bad old days, when critics saw "Angels" as some sort of apocalyptic moment in American culture. "We were very successful and the other networks found ways to disparage us" with terms like "eye candy" and 'jiggle TV."
"A lot of publications gave us bad reviews [too] but as soon as the show hit, they were anxious to put us on the cover of everything." (Yes, he'd love to have the same problem this time too.)
The show bows this fall.