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There may soon come a day when original TV series have been outnumbered by remakes and revamps, but at least there’s the good old fashioned sequel series to make old things feel new again. The latest of these involves the hit 1990s sitcom Coach, which NBC is dragging out of the locker room to tell the further tales of Coach Hayden Fox. And yes, star Craig T. Nelson is coming back to reprise the role. Where’s the big thing of Gatorade so we can throw it on NBC execs?
NBC gave a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes of this updated Coach, which will again be presented as a multi-camera sitcom with a live audience, adding to the network’s stable of similarly presented comedies like Undateable and One Big Happy. At this time, no other cast members have been signed beyond Nelson, who recently wrapped up six seasons of Parenthood, but you can bet that more familiar faces will be back, such as Shelley Fabares, Jerry Van Dyke, and Bill Fagerbakke, who currently voices Patrick on SpongeBob SquarePants.
For this present day story, which predictably picks up 18 years after the series’ Season 9 finale, Hayden Fox is still retired, but not for much longer. According to Variety, Hayden’s son (presumably the adopted Timothy) has gotten a job as the head coach of a Pennsylvania Ivy League school that has just started up a new team. (Not sure if it’s going to be the University of Pennsylvania or just a fictional school made up for the show.) Because you can always count on Dad, Hayden joins his son and takes the job as assistant coach.
This will be interesting, as Coach will pick up right when The League is leaving FXX. So that means NFL players and coaches, as well as NCAA members, will have a place to go to make their football-related cameos. I’d love to see Hayden trading jabs, verbal or otherwise, with Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.
Running from 1989 to 1997, Coach was a hit among audiences for most of its nine seasons, ranking in the top ten shows of the year during the middle of its run. It was nominated for multiple Golden Globes (but won none) and Emmys, taking home the prize once in 1992 for Nelson as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, and once in 1996 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, which went to Tim Conway.
Coach is the latest in a line of older shows that are being brought back to modern TV. Last year saw HBO give The Comeback a long-awaited second season, and even Netflix’s Inspector Gadget is taking place after the original show. And even though it’s a weird twist on the material, the upcoming Friday the 13th project is something of a sequel.
It’s not clear when this new version of Coach will hit NBC, but it would make sense for it to hit this fall, when football season is starting.