"Dragnet" and "Adam 12" have been sold in Canada, and the producers are currently shopping the show in the United States. The only firm commitment is from WOR in New York, a cable superstation owned by MCA. One insider suggested that MCA is reviving old titles merely to create fodder for their national cable network--a charge MCA-TV president Schwab denies.
"The marketplace has been very clear as to what they're comfortable with," Schwab said. "We as program developers and distributors react to what's going on in the marketplace, and that's currently nostalgia. The marketplace responded clearly when we announced the 'Munsters' and 'Lassie,' and we expect them to do the same with 'Adam-12' and 'Dragnet.' "
Not everyone sees that as a positive sign. "The market is ruthless, and it's getting harder than it's ever been to launch an interesting and innovative show," producer Goldberg said. "The problem with many television executives is they see something that works and then they want to do a dozen of those things."
Schwab and his fellow revivalists dismiss criticism that the audience would be better served by creative and adventuresome new programs rather than recycled hits.
"As far as I'm concerned, many of the old television shows are entertainment, whether they're done 20 years ago or today," Hayes, the "Mission: Impossible" executive producer, said. "That's why we're in this business--to entertain. And people want to watch shows that entertain. The final judgment rests in the hands of the audience."