A “reboot” of The Golden Girls centered on a group of gay men got plenty of buzz when the idea was first floated around. However, now the creators of the new series say that networks keep turning it down.
The sitcom is the brainchild of screenwriters Stan Zimmerman and James Berg, HuffPost reports. Both men penned episodes for the original NBC sitcom starring Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty as a foursome of older single ladies with very different personalities living together in Miami, Florida. Zimmerman and Berg’s new series with a male cast is set in Palm Springs, California, and it’s not titled The Golden Guys; they’re calling it Silver Foxes.
Even though the new series has been described as a reboot of The Golden Girls, Zimmerman says that it’s just “inspired by” the original. The four central characters of Silver Foxes are all gay men, and Star Trek actor George Takei is one of the biggest names to be linked to the potential series. Last June, the 80-year-old actor/LGBTQ rights activist and three other stars — Bruce Vilanch, Todd Sherry, and Leslie Jordan — did a table reading for Silver Foxes. Vilanch, 68, is an Emmy-winning comedy writer who has appeared on Hollywood Squares. Sherry, 55, has had small roles on numerous TV series, including Parks and Recreation, Supergirl, and Life in Pieces. Jordan, 62, is probably most well-known for his Emmy-winning role as Beverley Leslie on Will & Grace. One of his more recent roles was in American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare. He played a quirky psychic named Cricket.
The new series seems to have everything going for it: seasoned writers, a cast of beloved actors, and a premise that will appeal to a large number of pop-culture consumers who can’t resist the powerful pull of nostalgia. The Guardian writes that we’re living in a “uniquely nostalgic era,” which means that everything that’s old is new again. Reboots are all the rage, but sometimes revisiting the classics can get mixed reviews. For example, some fans of the Ghostbusters franchise were furious when the sexes of the spook-hunting heroes were switched in the 2016 movie.
However, Stan Zimmerman doesn’t think that Silver Foxes keeps getting rejected because network executives are afraid that Golden Girls fans will be outraged that the characters in the reboot are male; he believes their sexual orientation is the issue.
“In all my years in television, I’ve never seen a script reading get so much attention. I think this proves that there’s a great interest in seeing a sitcom like ours come to life,” Zimmerman said. “Ageism and homophobia are not only keeping the show from getting picked up, but from even being read by a major network.”
— Fox News (@FoxNewsBreaks) July 28, 2017
While there have been many gay characters on network TV, a sitcom with an ensemble cast of all-gay characters is uncharted territory. However, Zimmerman is right about the fan interest in the Golden Girls reboot.
“What? They were making a gay version of Golden Girls with George Takei? I woulda watched the hell outta that!” reads one recent tweet about the series.
“It would be a hit!” wrote another potential viewer.
Zimmerman told Fox News that he can’t even get one network executive to read a Silver Foxes script. However, he’s not giving up on the show because he believes that it’s something that America needs right now, “especially after a week where we had a president tweeting a trans ban in the army and our own government arguing in court against basic rights for LGBTQ people in housing and employment.”
If the new series inspired by The Golden Girls doesn’t get picked up by a television network, Zimmerman hopes that an online video-on-demand subscription service like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon will listen to fans and give it chance.
[Featured Image by Todd Williamson/Getty Images]