The newest trend in TV is everything old is new again. After scripted revivals of shows such as The X-Files and Gilmore Girls, once-beloved reality series and game shows are now getting in on the action.
After 10 years off the air Trading Spaces will return to TLC. The show, which featured neighbors redecorating each other’s rooms and is often credited with jump-starting the home renovation boom in America, isn’t the only returning fan-favorite: Cash Cab is also returning. Discovery’s game show, which originated in the UK, ran for six seasons between 2005-2012 and featured contestants answering trivia questions in order to win money on the way to their destination in New York City.
No premiere dates for the revivals have been announced, but that got us thinking while taking a walk down memory lane. There are plenty of unique (and beloved) reality and game show properties from the 1990s and early 2000s that are just screaming for a return to the spotlight, like…
If you are a child of the 1990s then you know the intense desire of wanting to appear on Nick Arcade. Getting to be in a video game?! There was no cooler idea. The short-lived series tasked two teams of playing trivia rounds before advancing to the virtual reality video game stage. This was in 1992—imagine what the show would be like now with all the advances in technology? The virtual reality round would be insane.
Another Nickelodeon show that would benefit from the advances made since the ’90s, Guts tasked contestants with competing in “extreme” sporting events. The series could update with added mental challenges in addition to physical tasks to be more well rounded. Plus, we all miss Mike O’Malley and Moira “Mo” Quirk together.
Sure grocery delivery services are all the rage now, but wouldn’t that make Supermarket Sweep—where contestants had a timed race around a grocery store—all the more challenging? It’s OK, you can admit you probably fantasied about being a contestant on the show whenever you were in a supermarket in the 1990s.
Shop ’til You Drop
Why stop with Supermarket Sweep? Let’s bring back the block of game show programming that celebrated commercialism at its finest. Sure, no one really goes to indoor malls anymore, but that’s what would make this ode to late ’80s mall culture such a kitschy throwback!
It wasn’t too long ago that Dancing With the Stars‘ Tom Bergeron was presiding over this game show and its simple premise: contestants play tic-tac-toe, securing a square if they deemed the celebrity was telling the truth in their answers. Hollywood Squares is ripe for viral moments and give a platform to some of your favorite underworked celebs.
The pop culture trivia! The sketch-based question delivery system! The ratty old recliners that sent contestants through the wall if they were eliminated from the game! This MTV classic is ripe for a revival, but perhaps it’s better suited to another Viacom network these days: TVLand.
The Surreal Life
The show that was essentially responsible for all of VH1’s programming in the mid-aughts. Enough time has passed since the last incarnation to have introduced enough D-listers desperate enough to subject themselves to this deranged and debauched “celebrity” version of The Real World.
Work of Art
Bravo and Sarah Jessica Parker‘s attempt at creating a Top Chef or Project Runway for the art world never really took off, with critics claiming art is much too subjective and high-brow for reality TV (though the fact that we’ve never been able to, you know, taste the food on Top Chef hasn’t slowed that show down). But for two glorious seasons, some supremely talented artists were put put to the test, creating some supremely brilliant and challenging art. What we wouldn’t give for Bravo to revive this gem.
See also Next and Blind Date. We just want the trashy one-off dating shows back! ElimiDate, which ended in 2006 and had the best name, was like half a season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette in half an hour, with one man or woman choosing amongst four potential dates and eliminating them one by one after group dates. Everyone was nuts and it was wonderful.
What Not to Wear
The old show, in which hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly trashed participants’ current wardrobes and forced them to buy newer, better-fitting, and occasionally more boring ones, feels a little mean today, but combine Stacy and Clinton’s chemistry with the fun and freedom of expression found in Stacy’s new show, Love, Lust, or Run, and we’d be happy to see that 360 degree mirror again.
The original show, which aired just one season in 2007, was extremely controversial in terms of what kids were given access to and forced to do in order to run their own town without adults, but it was super fascinating. There has to be some safer way to try it again!