Classic ABC Series Switches to NBC for Reboot

A revival of Life Goes On is in development, but not at ABC. According to a report by TV Line, NBC has ordered a pilot for a reboot of the classic 1980s TV show. If it goes to series, it will join a long list of shows shuffling between networks in their second lives.

Life Goes On aired from 1989 to 1993 on ABC, and if this revival comes to fruition, its title will be proven more true than ever. According to NBC, the revival "will revisit a grown-up Becca Thatcher, now an accomplished doctor, and her extended family as she returns to her hometown." In the original series, Rebecca Thatcher was played by Kellie Martin, and was the youngest daughter of the central family in the series. Martin is reportedly on board to reprise her role, but it is not clear if any other cast members will do so.

The Life Goes On revival pilot will be written by Nkechi Okoro Carroll, best known for writing on All American. Carroll will be an executive producer along with Lindsay Dunn, while Martin will be a producer along with actor Chad Lowe, who played Becca's boyfriend Jesse in the original series. Original series creator Michael Braverman will be an executive consultant, but it is not clear who will be th showrunner.

Life Goes On was set in the suburbs outside of Chicago, Illinois, and was a relatively straightforward family dramedy. In the early seasons it centered around the family's middle child, Corky Thatcher (Chris Burke), who has Down Syndrome, but the show drifted away from preaching about Autism and treated Corky like any other character. The family also included mother and father Drew Thatcher (Bill Smitrovich) and Libby Thatcher (Patti LuPone) as well as eldest sister Paige Thatcher (Monique Lanier and Tracey Needham) and Martin as Becca.

Life Goes On was considered groundbreaking in its time for depicting the day-to-day considerations of a family with Down Syndrome, and later for including a main character, Jesse, who was HIV-positive. The show had one episode set 25 years in the future, where a 40-something-year-old Becca was played by Pamela Bellwood. In that episode, she reflected on Jesse's death and all the other memories in her old house. It is not clear if a revival would consider that episode canon since it has now been more than 25 years since the show went off the air.


Right now, Life Goes On does not appear to be available to stream anywhere online. Stay tuned for more updates on the prospective revival.