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In a television era of reboots and remakes, plenty of big screen hits are being redone for the small screen. One project that really seems like it doesn’t need to happen is the upcoming three-hour Dirty Dancing remake on ABC. The original 1987 movie has so many iconic moments with iconic actors that any remake seems sure to pale in comparison. Only time will tell how it turns out, but the song-and-dance remake has made a killer casting choice that definitely gives us reason to be more optimistic, as Katey Sagal of Sons of Anarchy fame will be playing Vivian Pressman.
The “bungalow bunny” Vivian Pressman of the original movie was a rich, gorgeous and bored wife who used her stay at the Kellerman’s resort as a way to cheat on her husband with hunky dance instructor Johnny. Hell had no fury like a Vivian scorned, and she framed Johnny for stealing after he spurned her advances because he’d fallen for Baby.
The Vivian Pressman of the ABC remake will be different, according to TVLine. Katey Sagal’s Vivian will be a recent divorcee who introduces Baby’s mom Marjorie to the opportunities of the single life, which then prompts Marjorie to question her marriage. Assuming that the remake follows the fundamentals of the original plot, we can count on Vivian’s shenanigans messing things up for Johnny and Baby as well as Marjorie.
Katey Sagal may well be positively perfect for the part. She even looks enough like Miranda Garrison of the 1987 movie that Dirty Dancing purists might not have too hard a time loving her in the role. Sagal has a background in drama as well as comedy, so she should be able to tackle everything that Dancing has to throw at her. Her big drama break into the mainstream came via her gash-bashing performance as Gemma on FX’s Sons of Anarchy, but she was first best known for playing Peg Bundy on Married…With Children. Futurama fans will definitely recognize her voice as the unforgettable one-eyed Leela. After a recent stint on the short-lived Bastard Executioner, she’s been cast in an untitled CBS pilot with the potential to bring her back to a regular TV gig.
Sagal joins a cast already filled with solid enough performers to possibly allow the remake to stand on its own despite inevitable comparisons to the original. Cast members include Abigail Breslin as Baby, dancer Colt Prattes as Johnny, Billy Dee Williams as Tito, and Debra Messing as Marjorie.
I have to say that Katey Sagal being cast has made me somewhat begrudgingly excited for the Dirty Dancing remake. It sounds like the plot will be different enough that we won’t see Breslin and Prattes trying to recreate everything that Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze managed, and giving Vivian a bigger part as the bungalow bunny troublemaker could make everything all the more exciting. The remake hasn’t been given a premiere date just yet, but hopefully news will continue to trickle out.