At this point, it feels like there’s a new television reboot, revival or follow-up series being announced every other day. And now, it looks like a cult classic sitcom is returning to the airwaves. The sitcom in question is Chris Rock's semi-autobiographical comedy Everybody Hates Chris. But unlike most reboots, this will come back in a somewhat unexpected way.
Everybody Hates Chris will be rebooted as an animated series rather than a live-action follow-up to the acclaimed CW sitcom, according to Deadline. The animated reboot is currently being developed at CBS Studios with Sanjay Shah, showrunner for Apple TV+ animated musical series Central Park, who will serve as writer and executive producer.
The addition of Sanjay Shah is an exciting development in the reboot’s journey. It's also been reported that Chris Rock will serve as the narrator for the animated take, a job that he previously held on the original Everybody Hates Chris series. Hopefully, the Spiral star will also lend his voice to a few other characters. As of this writing, it's unclear as to whether any of the show's original cast will be returning to reprise their roles.
For those who are unfamiliar with the sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris was based on the teenage years of SNL alum and comedy legend Chris Rock. The original series was executive produced by Rock along with his writing partner Ali LeRoi.
Despite the series’ critical acclaim and cult status, the family sitcom struggled in the ratings as its original network UPN merged with The WB to form The CW. Its constant timeslot shifts didn’t help its chances, either. The series ran for four seasons from 2005 to 2009, but it wasn't until the show went into syndication that it truly found a following. News of the reboot does come as a bit of a surprise given that Rock seemed to have told the story he wanted to tell.
Last year, original series lead Tyler James Williams seemed unsure about an Everybody Hates Chris reboot. He explained in a Twitter post that the original cast members are busy with their respective television and film careers. Williams is currently set to star in the ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary, while his TV brother and sister, Tequan Richmond and Imani Hakim, star in BET’s Boomerang and Apple TV+’s Mythic Quest, respectively. Their TV dad Terry Crews is busy with America’s Got Talent and has starred onn Brooklyn Nine-Nine for the past several years. And finally, TV mom Tichina Arnold is currently starring on CBS’ The Neighborhood.
The animated Everybody Hates Chris will hopefully offer a fresh take on the cult classic, and having Central Park’s Sanjay Shah on board seems to put the series in a good place, creatively. The original series is regarded as one of the best sitcoms from the past two decades, so it certainly has to live up to major expectations.
Before the animated reboot hits the airwaves, you can stream the original Everybody Hates Chris on Paramount+ or in syndication.