The Value of a 'Full House' Reunion for Advertisers (Plus Five More Reunions We Want)
It's not only fans of the iconic 90's sitcom "Full House" who are eager to see the show revived. Advertisers may be just as giddy for the possible return of Jesse Katsopolis, Danny Tanner and Joey Gladstone.
This week reports surfaced that the series, which was the bedrock of ABC's "TGIF" block in the late 1980s through the 1990s, is being primed for some form of a revival led by John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse. Many of the original cast members, including Bob Saget (Danny Tanner), Dave Coulier (Joey Gladstone), Candace Cameron Bure (DJ Tanner), Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie Tanner) and Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler) are expected to be involved in one way or another, according to multiple reports.
News of the potential revival generated the kind of social media buzz that advertisers can't help but notice. For marketers, the reunion could create an opportunity to be part of those increasingly desirable TV "events" that have greater potential to be watched live so viewers can take part in the inevitable social conversation.
"Reunion shows create buzz virally and they give the networks something to promote and get the programs name out there," Billie Gold, VP-research and programming, Carat, said in an email.
Mr. Stamos, Mr. Saget and Mr. Coulier already helped prove the concept in a way by reuniting for a Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt commercial that aired during the most recent Super Bowl. The spot proved one of the most engaging in the entire game, at least by one measure.
"Reunions (just like movie remakes) or bringing movie franchises to TV ("Agents of Shield," "Gotham"), bring one key element, and that is automatic name recognition," said David Campanelli, senior VP-director of national broadcast, Horizon Media, in an email. "With all the clutter out there, bringing something with an immediate brand recognition, has its benefits of attention and sampling."
As if to prove the point, a quasi reunion coincidentally came along this week and generated chatter. The ladies of "Friends" -- Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow -- reunited on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Mr. Kimmel recreated the iconic "Friends" apartment and wrote a skit in which he played the role of Ross Gellar.
Since the spoof aired on Wednesday, it has already generated more than 6 million views on YouTube as of Friday morning.
Disney Channel revived "Boy Meets World" this summer, bringing Ben Savage (Cory Matthews) and Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence) back to star as the parents in the revival, "Girl Meets World." The show bowed to 5.2 million viewers on a Friday night in June.
And the cast of "Veronica Mars" reunited for a movie this summer following a Kickstarter campaign that helped get the film made. The movie pulled in just $2 million on its opening weekend, but most of the "Veronica Mars" cast will also return in September for an online spinoff produced by The CW's digital studio.
And then there was the "Arrested Development" revival on Netflix.
Of course, there are always risks when reviving iconic TV shows -- mainly failing to recreate the magic and disappointing demanding core fans.
Other, perhaps less appreciated reunions have included the "Sex and the City" movies and the original cast of "Beverly Hills 90210" making guest appearances on The CW's "90210" revival.
While we wait to find out whether a "Full House" reunion actually gets made, here's a look at other TV reunions we'd like to see.
Nearly any time Alexis Bledel (Rory Gilmore) and Lauren Graham (Lorelia Gilmore) are interviewed, the question of a "Gilmore Girls" reunion comes up. Fans of the WB (and, later, CW) series have been clamoring for a "Gilmore Girls" movie for years, essentially since the show ended in 2007, when viewers were left deprived of a wedding between Lorelia and Luke that they had been craving. It's time they got one.
"Saved by the Bell"
Lifetime will air its "Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story" on Labor Day, giving us a look at what went on behind the scenes of the show, loosely based on a book by Dustin "Screech" Diamond. While the movie has cast a bunch of Zack Morris and Screech Powers look-a-likes to tell its origin story, what we really want to know is where are they now? Are Zack and Kelly Kapowski still together or did the high school sweethearts inevitably divorce? Does Zack still have his huge cell phone and did "Zack Attack" ever get back together?
"The O.C." went off the air after just four seasons on Fox, and while it's unlikely to lure back stars like Ben McKenzie, who will play Detective Gordon in "Gotham" on Fox this fall, the show certainly ended too soon. Did Ryan Atwood (McKenzie) follow in his foster father's footsteps and become a lawyer? Are Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) and Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) still together? Maybe Mischa Barton's character (Marissa Cooper) can even return from the dead.
Teenage angst at its finest. Sure, it would now be lots of adult angst, but who wouldn't love to return to Capeside, Mass., to catch up with Dawson Leery, Joey Potter, Pacey Witter and Jen Lindley? Of course, Michelle Williams' character (Jen) died in the finale, but they could find a way to bring her back, right?
Whoa -- this would be awesome. What we wouldn't give to hear Joey Lawrence utter this catch phrase yet again. Mayim Bialik, who played the title character, is just as quirky as ever as Sheldon Cooper's girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler, in "Big Bang Theory." Ms. Bialik actually shared photos of the cast all grown up on her Instagram account earlier this summer.