CBS is preparing to reboot a bonafide classic for modern sensibilities, this time adjusting the focus for more of a female perspective. The network is bringing back the classic Jackie Gleason sitcom The Honeymooners, re-imagining the 1950s sitcom with "a feminist twist."
The original series was created and starred Gleason, joined by Audrey Meadows and Art Carney in an adaptation of a recurring comedy sketch from Gleason's variety show. The sitcom only aired for one season on CBS in 1955, mostly emanating from the Brooklyn apartment of the Kramdens, with best friend Ed Norton constantly popping in (played by Carney).
The updated series is being written by Lindsey Shockley from Mixed-ish and will be directed by Kelly Park. As Deadline reports, the new reboot will be "female-driven" and update the working-class sitcom by focusing on Ruth, her husband Alex and their desire to be "true equals" in their marriage.
Two Shakes Entertainment, founded by Damon Wayans Jr. and Kameron Tarlow, joins with CBS Studios to bring the series to air. The hope is to catch the magic of the original series within the new one with modern eyes watching on. Gleason's Ralph Kramden and Audrey Meadows as Kramden's wife Alice represented the working-class dynamics that hadn't been seen on television before and would influence countless series in the years to follow.
The series has been adapted at least twice before, once unofficially and once on the big screen. The Flintstones has long been viewed as an animated copy of Gleason's series, with Fred and Wilma mirroring the Kramdens and neighbors Betty and Barney Rubble filling the Nortons role. Gleason had debated suing Hanna-Barbera over The Flintstones but relented because he didn't want the title of "guy who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air."
The Honeymooners would later jump to the big screen with a more faithful adaptation starring The Neighborhood's Cedric the Entertainer in Gleason's role and Mike Epps appearing as Norton. Gabrielle Union and Regina Hall filled out the other lead roles, though it wasn't enough star power to win over critics.
The CBS reboot has no official premiere date yet, but can likely be expected within 2022. Will it join the network's successful slate of reboots and revivals or will it join many other attempts across television? We'll have to tune in to see.