Following the Hart To Hart remake with a gay couple, which was set up at NBC, Sony TV is rebooting another classic 1970s drama series from the Spelling-Goldberg catalog, Fantasy Island, with a major twist (or two). The project has landed at ABC with penalty.
Written by Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air), the new take goes further in shaking up the original concept — about a tropical island where people pay to go and live out their fantasies — than the 1998 revival, also on ABC. Gone is the island where both series were set, with Fantasy Island as the name of a company that designs and executes fantasies for clients. In another major change, the enigmatic Fantasy Island owner Mr. Roarke, played by Ricardo Montalban and Malcolm McDowell in the two previous versions, will be a woman. The new Fantasy Island centers on a brilliant, dynamic and sexy woman who runs a San Francisco-based company that provides clients with his or her most intimate, dark or outlandish fantasy. Like the original series, each episode is expected to chronicle two fantasies, with an overarching serialized arc involving Roarke and her personal life.
Turner and Jennifer Klein are executive producing through their Sony TV-based Vendetta Prods., reuniting with ABC where the two had pilot The Advocate last season. Also executive producing is Josh Berman.
The original Fantasy Island, created by Gene Levitt and executive produced by Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, ran on ABC from 1977-1984.
CBS recently put in development Moreau, a drama inspired by H.G. Wells’ classic sci-fi novel The Island Of Dr. Moreau, in which the title character also has been changed from a man to a woman. Moreau and Fantasy Island were being pitched at about the same time, with the Fantasy Island deal taking longer to close.
In addition to Fantasy Island and Hart To Hart, other action-adventure TV series getting reboots this season include A-Team and Xena.
Under their recently renewed first-look deal with Sony TV, Turner and Klein have Blood Will Out, a drama based on Walter Kirn’s autobiographical book, set at TNT with Turner and Kirn writing, and surfing drama The 808 at Fox with Turner writing.
Berman is co-writing/executive producing with Carol Mendelsohn In The Line Of Fire drama based on the Clint Eastwood movie for NBC, co-writing/executive producing drama Notorious, inspired by the relationship between famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and veteran news producer Wendy Walker, which has a put pilot commitment at ABC; and also is executive producing Sawyer & Huck drama, which has a put pilot commitment at CBS.
Vendetta and Berman are repped by CAA.