The 1980s cult sitcom Sledge Hammer! is returning.
Series creator Alan Spencer tweeted out the news this past weekend that some sort of revival of the Dirty Harry/tough cop on the edge parody series was in the works.
In this era of remakes and reboots of so many classic movies and TV shows, it does feel surreal after three decades to be signing new contracts for “Sledge Hammer!”
— Alan Spencer (@MrAlanSpencer) November 30, 2018
Although Spencer doesn’t specify in his tweet, it can probably be inferred that Sledge Hammer! will be returning to television rather than a big screen adaptation. There is also no word as to whether series star David Rasche would be returning but it would be hard to see a reboot of the series with someone other than Rasche in the lead role.
The show centered around Sledge Hammer, a tough-as-nails, not-necessarily-by-the-book cop for home the idea of overkill was his starting point. In the series pilot, he took care of a roof sniper by pulling a bazooka out of his car’s trunk and blowing up the building that the sniper was on. He was partnered with the ever patient, and much more competent, Dori Doreau (Anne-Marie Martin). Their superior was the perpetually Pepto-Bismol chugging Captain Trunk (Harrison Page).
Series creator Spencer first conceived the idea for the show at age 16, but as a feature film comedy. Spencer was already writing comedy for such series as The Facts Of Life and One Day At A Time, and had joined the Writers Guild a year earlier. He wasn’t able to sell the spec until 1983, when the release of the fourth film in the Dirty Harry franchise, Sudden Impact, was a box office hit. Although the film version of the idea never was produced, Spencer reworked into a television series that he initially pitched to HBO before eventually finding a home for the series on ABC’s fall 1986 schedule.
Although a hit with critics, the first season of Sledge Hammer! struggled in the ratings. When it looked like a renewal wasn’t coming, the show closed off what they thought would its final episode with Hammer trying to defuse a nuclear bomb but accidentally setting it off, destroying the city. When a second season order came in, thanks to a late in the season ratings surge, the show just reset itself five years earlier and continued on for another season, blithely ignoring the numerous continuity mistakes the move caused.