Friday, May 17, 2013

From Primetime to Daytime: The Tomorrow People (1973)

England's Thames Television is best known for having introduced risque comedian Benny Hill to American audiences in the mid 1970's. Hill's self titled sketch comedy series was part of a program exchange initiated between Thames and WOR of New York, which also included the crime dramas Special Branch & The Sweeney, and the sitcom, Father, Dear Father, among others.

What you may not know is that Thames also introduced America to a science fiction series that will be making a comeback this fall.

The Tomorrow People first premiered in England in 1973, arriving in the US a few years later with the introduction of the cable network Nickelodeon. The concept centered on some youths with extraordinary powers, not quite unlike the popular American comics franchise, X-Men. The series lasted six years, and, if memory serves, when Nickelodeon launched, it was around the time the first series came to an end. The Rage TV uploaded the open to the original version:

In 1992, nearly 20 years after he'd created the series, Roger Price relaunched Tomorrow People, this time producing it himself through an independent studio, and this time in conjunction with Nickelodeon. Condenetwork uploaded a sample:

As the series marks its 40th anniversary this year, The Tomorrow People are returning one more time, this time in primetime, and this time on a broadcast network. The CW announced Thursday that they had acquired the rights to Tomorrow to air this fall, Wednesday nights, in back of the returning Arrow. However, what the CW failed to mention was the fact that this is not a completely original series. They've successfully rebooted other shows, such as Beauty & The Beast, but their ignorance here will be answered by fans of Tomorrow between now & September, you can be sure of that. I'd not be surprised if Nickelodeon, meanwhile, dusts off the earlier series to air on Nick or TeenNick this summer.

No rating. Never saw the show.


magicdog said...

I definitely remember the original "Tomorrow People" when it aired on Nick. I'm sure it was circa 1981.

IIRC, the premise was the kids were the next level of human evolution, which explained their powers. I also remember a character named, "Ginge" and I remembered thinking what an odd name for a boy!

I'm curious how the latest reboot will turn out.

hobbyfan said...

Nickelodeon pre-dated MTV by about a year or two, as memory serves, so I was thinking they had acquired Tomorrow People in time for the launch. Oh, well.

As noted, the new series will air in back of Arrow on Wednesdays. We'll see how this plays.