'Designing Women' Revival in Development at Sony

Sony is keeping up with its TV reboot aspirations adding a possible revival of CBS series Designing Women, 25 years after the end of its original run.

The seven-season series creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is reportedly behind the reboot, which hails from producers Sony Pictures Television Studios.

The project has been in the works as the indie studio searches for a home for its revival of the comedy about four women (and one man) working together at an interior designing firm in Atlanta, The Hollywood Reporter writes.

Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart and Meshach Taylor starred in the original series, which addressed subjects including women's rights, domestic abuse, homophobia and racism during its run from 1986 to 1993.

A season 2 episode exploring AIDS prejudice, which was inspired by Bloodsworth-Thomason, whose mother died from the disease, earned two Emmy nominations. The series was nominated multiple times for best comedy but never won the Emmy. Burke earned two lead actress nominations and Taylor was also nominated.

Toward the end of the series, Designing Women underwent major casting changes. Julia Duffy and Jan Hooks replaced Burke and Smart in season 6 after Burke was let go from the show in a vote left to the cast after going public with complaints about producers, while Smart opted to exit of her own accord.

Duffy was not brought back for the seventh and final season and replaced by Judith Ivey.

As to where the cast is now? Carter passed away in 2010; Potts is a series regular on the Big Bang Theory prequel Young Sheldon; Taylor died in 2014; Smart is a series regular on FX's Legion; and Burke, who is married to This Is Us favorite Gerald McRaney, last acted in a 2009 episode of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva.

Reboots continue to be in high demand on television. Another one in the works reportedly at Sony is Facts of Life, from producers Leonardo DiCaprio and Jessica Biel.

The original Facts of Life, a spinoff of Diff'rent Strokes, aired on NBC from 1979 to 1988, making it one of the longest-running sitcoms of the 1980s. The show starred Charlotte Rae, who passed away on Aug. 5, as Edna Garrett, a housemother at the fictional Eastland School, an all-female boarding school in Peekskill, New York.


Designing Women should be a nice addition to the current reboot landscape, after the success of Roseanne and the upcoming highly-anticipated Murphy Brown reboot at CBS.