The classic 1960s Gothic soap opera Dark shadows is gearing up for a possible return to the airwaves courtesy of the CW.
Deadline is reporting that the network has entered into a deal with Warner Brothers to develop a new Dark Shadows sequel series entitled Dark Shadows: Reincarnation. The pilot script is being written by Mark B Perry, who boasts such series work as Revenge, The Ghost Whisperer and Brothers & Sisters on his resume.
According to Deadline –
The re-imagined show will be a modern-day continuation of the strange, terrifying, and sexy saga of the Collins family of Collinsport, Maine – a mysterious, influential, publicity-shy group hiding a ghastly secret: For the past 400 years, they’ve lived under a curse that bedevils their blue blood with every imaginable supernatural creature and horror.
Among those supernatural horrors is the vampire Barnabas Collins, a distant ancestor of the current family and who had been entombed in the familial graveyard for two centuries before being released.
Perry claims to be a first generation fan of the series, watching when it aired weekday afternoons between 1966 and 1971. As he states in the Deadline piece –
As a first-generation fan, it’s been a dream of mine to give Dark Shadows the Star Trek treatment since way back in the ’80s when Next Generation was announced, so I’m beyond thrilled and humbled to be entrusted with this resurrection. And while I could never hope to fill [series creator] Dan Curtis’ very large shoes, I do aspire to carry them a little farther into the future. I also want to reassure the fans of the original that this version will treat the show’s mythology with the same reverence given to Star Trek, but will also make the show accessible for audiences who aren’t yet familiar with the macabre world of the Collinses. My plan is to take as few liberties as possible with the Dark Shadows canon, while bearing in mind a quote from a 1970s episode delivered by the inimitable Oscar-nominee Grayson Hall as Dr. Julia Hoffman: ‘The Collins family history is not particularly famous for its accuracy.’
At the height of its popularity, Dark Shadows spun off two feature films – House Of Dark Shadows in 1970 and Night Of Dark Shadows a year later. It also launched a short-lived newspaper comic strip, numerous fan magazines and a series of 32 novels.
This is not the first attempt to revive the franchise. In 1991, Curtis oversaw a prime-time revival of the series for NBC, but frequent interruptions for breaking news from the Gulf War and numerous reschedulings of episodes led to declining ratings. The series was cancelled after one 13-episode season. Curtis tried again in 2004, creating a pilot for a new series for the WB network. It was not picked up. Director Tim Burton took a stab at the franchise, bringing it to the big screen with frequent collaborator Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. The film, which tried to put a comedic spin on the characters, failed at the box office and with critics.