If someone says that TV is out of good ideas, well, it's a little hard to argue with them.
The networks continue to announce and produce pilots based on series that failed a decade or two ago.
ABC just announced that veteran TV director David Nutter will direct the pilot for "The Witches of Eastwick," which failed as a series in the 1990s after it itself was based on the hit Jack Nicholson film.
In addition, "Parenthood" is coming back to the small screen after failing as a sitcom several years ago despite being based on the hit Steve Martin comedy.
I have seen the pilot for "Cupid," which is a remake of the original, brilliant but short-lived Jeremy Piven series from the early 1990s, and the new "Cupid" is certainly solid. But what makes ABC think it will work a second time around, especially without Piven?
Now it's true that one of TV's best shows is "Battlestar Galactica," a re-imagining of the late 1970s cult sci-fi series that lasted two years on ABC. But as good as that show is, some of the same producers and cast members tried to remake "Bionic Woman" last season, and it was a complete bust.
In addition, the networks are also pulling in spinoffs/sequels to old series, that are essentially the same series with different packaging, such as "Knight Rider" or "90210."
Throw in the remakes of all the ideas stolen from foreign TV shows ("Ugly Betty," "Life On Mars," "Eleventh Hour") and it's easy to accuse the networks of being either lazy or skittish in trying to develop new material.
The problem with trying to develop a "re-imagining" of a series that was successful is that no one would buy into a remake. No one can really imagine a new "M*A*S*H" or "All In the Family" with current young actors.
So the networks are turning on to series that didn't work and that no one remembers or saw the first time around. True, there are some good concepts there, but there are reasons why they didn't work the first time around.
Again, I'm not entirely against the concept of remakes. After all, AMC is remaking one of my favorite all-time series, "The Prisoner," but that's a series that could be redone with a 21st century take and stand alone.
It's also the rare exception of cable getting in on the remake craze since all of the best, original programming is now on cable channels and not on the networks.
MONDAY'S BEST BETS: When I was at the Austin Film Festival a couple of years ago, I was privileged to hear writer Chris McQuarrie's ("The Usual Suspects") pitch on a movie about the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth. Despite having interest from Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in making the movie, the studios ultimately passed on the project, proving that people who run the studios are idiots. I bring this up because "American Experience" (PBS, 9 p.m.) does a special on the manhunt, one of the most interesting and unknown chapters of American history.
President Obama's first presidential TV address is pre-empting a lot of the normally schedule stuff on all of the networks. It's scheduled to run from 8-9 p.m., meaning we likely won't be getting new episodes of shows like "Chuck" or "House" for the week.
"How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) is still on the schedule, as are the rest of the CBS sitcoms for the night, but that could change. "CSI: Miami" is also new at 10 p.m.
"24" (Fox, 9 p.m.) is new, as is "Heroes" (NBC, 9 p.m.) and "Medium" (NBC, 10 p.m.). ABC hasn't announced its plans for the evening, but my guess is that "The Bachelor" will be pushed back an hour to 9 p.m. and "True Beauty" will be yanked for the week.
On cable, "Trust Me" (TNT, 10 p.m.) follows an all-new "The Closer" at 9 p.m.
ABC Family has "Secret Life Of An American Teenager" at 8 p.m. and "Kyle XY" at 9 p.m.
Finally, the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show begins tonight on USA at 8 p.m.