Neither the writer-director of the 1989 comedy feature Uncle Buck, John Hughes, nor its star, John Candy, are still with us. But, speaking for their loved ones, the families of Hughes and Candy have voiced their disapproval over a planned Uncle Buck TV series in a statement to Deadline.
The multi-camera project from Universal TV, whose feature sibling produced the hit movie, was recently set up at ABC. The families object to the idea of remaking the movie, noting that Hughes opposed the previous sitcom remake by CBS, which only ran for one season, and would’ve likely not been supportive of the latest redo attempt. Additionally, the families express disappointment that nobody from Universal TV had reached out to the estates of the two comedy greats to inform them about the plans, so they had to find out about the series from our story.
Being blindsided was the main objection of Cameron Crowe, who also found out from Deadline that his 1989 movie Say Anything was getting a follow-up series. Facing strong disapproval from him, 20th Century Fox TV, which was behind the reboot, scrapped the project. Here is the Hughes and Candy families’ reaction:
Disappointment has been expressed by both the John Hughes and John Candy families over the conduct and decision by the ABC Network and Universal Television to develop a comedy series based on the feature film Uncle Buck. Rather than either entity providing advance information to the Estates, the families learned of the project’s potential via the media.
The families feel a strong attachment to the original film which symbolized the great and unique collaboration between Hughes and Candy. Recalling that the director was displeased with first Uncle Buck TV show effort which failed on CBS in 1990, it is well expected that he would not be supportive of this current attempt.
There are likely no legal ramifications for Uni TV as studios are within their rights to exploit titles from their libraries without the filmmakers’ consent, which is what apparently happened with the panned CBS Uncle Buck series, which got on the air over Hughes’ objections. Still, getting the blessing of the key original auspices is considered good form and the right thing to do because of their emotional attachment to their project.
Last season, Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury spoke publicly against NBC’s plan to remake that classic series with a new character played by Octavia Spencer. While her comments did not have a direct impact on the network’s development of the project, it ultimately didn’t go forward.
Like the movie, the proposed Uncle Buck series, written by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, will center on a childish man, played in the film by Candy, who learns how to be an adult by taking care of his brother’s kids in a very childish way. Cragg, Bradley and Will Packer executive produce.