What would a reboot of The FBI be like?

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While doing work on THE FBI EPISODE GUIDE, we got to thinking what a reboot of the 1965-74 television series might be like.

Background: The show was an idealized version of the real life U.S. agency. In fact, the bureau had script approval and veto power over guest stars of the series produced by Quinn Martin and Warner Bros. The real-life FBI exercised that power on occasions, including vetoing Bette Davis as a guest star in the second season.

Anyway, a few thoughts:

DOING A REBOOT AS A PERIOD PIECE: The general public knows a lot more about J. Edgar Hoover, the bureau director for 48 years, than it did when the television debuted. It’s not a very pretty picture, including wire taps on Martin Luther King Jr.

If a reboot of The FBI were done as a 1960s period piece, we’d likely see Inspector Lewis Erskine (Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in the original show) as a conflicted figure, aware of things the bureau shouldn’t be doing. He’d be portrayed as someone loyal to the bureau but aware of its failings.

DOING A REBOOT TIMESHIFTED TO THE 21ST CENTURY: Erskine’s assignments would be much different than the original series.

Instead of dealing with bank robbers, the mob and those behind major crimes, Erskine likely would be dealing with terrorists. In the show, we’re told Erskine’s wife was killed in an ambush meant for the FBI man. With a reboot, we might see the doomed Mrs. Erskine killed during the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks, explaining why he’s such a driven figure.

At this point, such thoughts are only speculation. The FBI TV series was something of its time and nobody has shown any interest in reviving it.

 

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3 Responses

  1. That last comment is actually incorrect. It was revived for a one season run starring Mike Connors as THE NEW F.B.I.

  2. @Bryan: No. The FBI was a joint production of QM Productions and Warner Bros. Today’s FBI (Not The New FBI) was produced at Columbia Pictures Television. Also, Today’s FBI did not have to seek bureau approval for scripts and guest stars. Finally, Today’s FBI did not have the character of Inspector Erskine.

  3. Also, while we’re at it, the theme for The FBI was by Bronisau Kaper while the theme for Today’s FBI was by Elmer Bernstein.

    Here’s what the main titles were like for Today’s FBI.

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