“Going green”… these days, everybody’s doing it.
Or at least saying they’re doing it.
And judging by how often we see the same actors in new shows every fall, we already know TV executives like to recycle more than Ed Begley Jr.
So we’ve got an eco-friendly suggestion for them: Take some of our favorite TV characters from yesterday, and recycle them into the shows of today.
We had a blast digging through TV’s junkyard and salvaging our old favorites—here’s our top 12.
12. Ralph Hinkley (The Greatest American Hero) on Heroes
Even in its prime, Heroes was never exactly a laugh riot. Why not lighten the mood a little with the klutzy physical humor of Ralph and his malfunctioning superhero suit? The Heroes can save the world while the hapless Ralph triggers the laugh track by flying into the side of a building… it’s a win-win. (And while they’re at it, they should recycle that “Believe It Or Not” theme song, too—that was the BEST.) Watch full episodes of Heroes here.
This looks like a classic good cop/bad cop situation to us. First, Dr. Cal Lightman uses his human-lie-detector skills to tell if suspects are lying… and if that doesn’t work, Sipowicz can always barge into the interrogation room and beat the truth out of them. Forget Batman and Robin: Criminals don’t stand a chance against this dynamic duo. Watch full episodes of Lie To Me here.
Finally, a way to get our favorite TV doctor (the original McDreamy) back on the small screen. Dr. Ross has nobly dedicated his life to emergency pediatric medicine—doesn’t he deserve a break? We’re thinking a sabbatical in sunny L.A. consulting on breast augmentations with McNamara/Troy could do the trick. Heck, we might even lure Clooney back to TV with that one.
9. Fran Fine (The Nanny) on Supernanny
A natural fit, right? Now we’re not suggesting they bring in this sassy Queens girl every week. But on those especially hard-to-crack cases, when the kids are truly out of control? We say bring in Fran and her supersonic cackle to do the dirty work. The kids will be perfect angels—if only so they never have to hear that laugh again.
8. Hank Kingsley (The Larry Sanders Show) on 30 Rock
Larry’s show has been off the air for a full decade, so like a lot of folks right now, Hank Kingsley is in need of a gig. And knowing him, he’s burned so many bridges in the industry that the only opportunity he can get is as an announcer on Liz Lemon’s sketch show. Of course, Hank would tout his vast broadcasting experience to try to finagle an on-air role on the show—and probably hit on Liz, Jenna, Cerie, and any other female with a pulse in the process. Hey now, indeed. Watch full episodes of 30 Rock here.
7. Sam Malone (Cheers) on Californication
Every good ladies’ man needs a wingman. And who better to keep up with Hank Moody’s lady-killing adventures than our favorite barkeep, good ol’ Sam Malone? Sam could hand Cheers over to Woody, take a job coaching baseball at the university where Hank’s teaching this season—and chat up some coeds alongside Hank at the campus bars. Parents, lock up your daughters.
6. Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls) on Cougar Town
We know, we know: Lauren Graham’s already been cast on NBC’s Parenthood. But it doesn’t start until midseason; that gives us at least a couple more months of Lorelai, right? We see Lorelai giving up on the whole Luke thing (again), leaving Stars Hollow, and joining Jules on the cougar prowl. They could even call Rory and see if she can bring some of her young male friends over… rowr. Watch full episodes of Gilmore Girls and Cougar Town here.
We think TV’s been a little less erudite ever since Frasier’s brother bid us adieu, and a little less enjoyable because of it. So we’d love to see him join the kids of McKinley High as the opera-loving school psychologist—and occasional glee-club vocal coach. The inevitable verbal sparring with Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester is reason enough for us to tune in. Watch full episodes of Glee here.
4. Bill Haverchuck (Freaks & Geeks) on The Big Bang Theory
Our favorite geek from the past joins the biggest geekfest on TV. We see Bill all grown up, graduated from Caltech, and working as a physicist one lab over from Leonard and Sheldon. They could bond over their shared love of highly technical textbooks and their general fear of women. We can almost hear them now, passionately debating all night over who’s hotter: Wonder Woman or The Bionic Woman.
3. Angela Chase (My So-Called Life) on Gossip Girl
Let’s face it: The glossy, go-go world of Serena and company could stand to get a little more… real. Enter the flannel-clad queen of teenage angst herself, Angela Chase. We see Angela enrolling in the fine arts department at NYU, harboring a secret crush on Nate from afar—and rolling her eyes at every superficial comment the other girls make. Watch full episodes of Gossip Girl here.
2. Karen Walker (Will & Grace) on Desperate Housewives
Oh, Karen fits in here like a glove, doesn’t she? Her catty zingers and problem drinking feel right at home on Wisteria Lane. She could fill the void left by the departure of Edie, hurling insults at her fellow housewives and shamelessly flirting with their men. Let’s hand her a bottle of vodka (okay, a case of vodka) and watch her wreak havoc. Watch full episodes of Desperate Housewives here.
1. George Costanza (Seinfeld) on The Office
This is a match made in heaven (or corporate hell): We can’t imagine a better hire to join the rarely-working employees of Dunder-Mifflin than the ultimate procrastinator, George Constanza. Sure, he has no background in the paper business, per se… but his importing-exporting experience is top-notch. And Michael Scott always needs a buddy to help him avoid his inbox; we can see him and George becoming BFFs in no time. Watch full episodes of The Office here.
We know you’ve got a few more characters you’d love to recycle. So toss them into the recycling bin… er, we mean, the Comments.