ABC Moves Forward with Designing Women Revival

ABC moves forward with Designing Women “sequel”

ABC just handed out a script commitment to its long-in-the-works Designing Women reboot, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The site also reported the series will not be a reimagining, but will serve as a sequel to the hit show that starred Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, Delta Burke and Meshach Taylor.

Original series creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason will pen the script and executive produce alongside her husband, Harry Thomason, which will follow the next generation of Sugarbakers with a whole new team at an Atlanta design firm.

“I’m very excited to be working with ABC. And Sony has always been a great partner for Designing Women. Normally, I’m not a fan of reboots but Designing Women does seem to have the right fengshui for all that is going on right now. We could definitely have some fun,” Bloodworth Thomason told THR.

Designing Women was a multi camera comedy that ran for seven seasons on CBS until its abrupt cancellation in 1993. The show followed a group of women and their day-to-day interactions at an interior designing firm where they all worked. The show often tackled heavy subjects such as AIDS, homophobia and racism via sharp dialogue and deft comedy. It was nominated for multiple Emmys, including best comedy, but never took home the prize.

There’s no word on if any of the original cast will return, though Potts, who played Mary Jo Shively through all seven seasons, recently proclaimed interest in bringing the series back.

“I would love that,” she told EW. “I don’t know when I’d find the time for it, but I think that they could use a show like Designing Women — feisty smart women that didn’t take any B.S. from anybody. Every Monday night was a #MeToo moment for us, and we were talking about it; we were very political. I’m sad that there’s not such a strong voice, I don’t think, in any singular show. Nobody is doing what we did then. So yeah, if [creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason] wanted to write six episodes and do it in my hiatus, I would be there in a minute.”

Unfortunately, the revival will be without two of its leads, as Carter and Taylor died in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Potts continues to work regularly, and is a staple on The Big Bang Theory prequel Young Sheldon, while Smart is a series regular on FX’s Legion. Burke last acted in a 2009 episode of Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva.

Shows and characters from the ’90s are starting to take on new life recently. Last month CBS decided to reboot another classic ’90s sitcom, Murphy Brown. And one of the most well-known series of the late ’90s, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is one of many projects that is getting the revival treatment to introduce the universe to a brand new audience.

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