Increasing speculation has been focused around possible reboots for the classic Disney and Nickelodeon shows “Hannah Montana” (2006-2011) and “Drake and Josh” (2004-2007), but, unfortunately, the merit behind these claims is still far from concrete.
Earlier in March, Josh Peck and his former co-star Drake Bell briefly mentioned their plans to run a sitcom based on their retired Nickelodeon show “Drake and Josh” and were reportedly excited to share the final product.
Hannah Montana fans can only hope a reboot is officially in the works as Miley Cyrus has released no official plans aside from nostalgic throwback posts and new hair style on social media.
Rumors of potential reboots for current college students’ favorite childhood shows bring about excitement about what the reboots may look like.
Dr. Natalie Winter, professor of marketing and management, said media companies may bring back familiar shows to resonate with their original audiences.
“Overall, media companies try to capitalize on the nostalgia that the original viewers may have, but also try to update it to appeal to new target audiences. There has been mixed success. I don’t know the precise figure, but there is some indication that the market is saturated and new revivals will find it harder to capture an audience,” Winter said.
Winter said encompassing the old viewers who are now in their late teens and early 20s is the primary goal of reboots like these, but they will also try to ensnare the young children of the next generation.
For many millennials, these two shows were staples in their childhood as seen through Caitlyn Rice, freshman graphic design major.
“I always watched Disney Channel. Naturally, ‘Hannah Montana’ was my go-to and I was obsessed with the show,” Rice said. “‘Drake and Josh’ is hilarious and the sense of nostalgia I’d get from watching ‘Hannah Montana’ would bring me so much joy.”
Getting back the support of the college-age students who once watched these shows allows companies to market to other demographics, but relating back to this group could prove to be a problem.
“The two shows mentioned will face a challenge of how to be relevant to their original audience since they’re at a much different stage of life,” Winter said.
“I have read that some members of the ‘Friends’ cast think that a revival would not be successful because the show was about a single person in the city. Now their characters have moved on to a different stage in life, so any revival would not share the same essence.”
These shows were popular with young pre-teens when they were on the air, but many question whether this current group of children will be as infatuated.
“A lot of kids from that generation will watch it because it’s like a throwback for us, but I don’t see kids from today being as receptive to it,” said Ashley Lusk, sophomore pre-nursing major.
Many people would love for their childhood shows to come back, but the risk the networks run is significant based on changing demographics. Some things can never be the same, and that is something to consider when moving forward with these projects.