We live in an age of ever-present television reboots and revivals, so when it was announced that Sony Pictures Television was working on developing a TV sequel to the hit comedy Designing Women, few were heavily surprised. Now, the follow-up project has taken another big jump forward, with one of the big networks stepping up to help develop the show in hopes of bringing Sugarbaker & Associates back to fans across the country. Should the Designing Women sequel officially happen, ABC will be its new home.
ABC is set to bring life to the Designing Women sequel, which is said to feature the next generation of female designers at the Atlanta-based design firm Sugarbaker & Associates. Fans thankfully don’t have to worry about a completely new creative team taking over, either. The deal, which THR reported has been in the works for months, will see Sony reteaming with series creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason and executive producer Harry Thomason. The series’ sequel distinction is due to early reports saying surviving members of the original cast will stop by, presumably to reprise their original roles, which is likely a big draw for ABC when it comes to decision-making.
Though CBS was the original network where Designing Women aired, ABC’s acquirement appears to be rooted in more than just the network wanting to revive another classic television series. The series was widely acclaimed back in the day for tackling various social issues, and the way it used comedy in bringing to light serious issues like women’s rights, substance abuse, homophobia, and A.I.D.S., just to name a few. Linda Bloodworth Thomason assured fans those topics and others like it would be handled in the revival project, and she explained why she felt now is the perfect time for Designing Women to be back on television.
ABC’s deal for Designing Women does have a small element of surprise going for it, considering the network had a bit of drama with its Roseanne revival earlier in the year. Prior to Roseanne Barr’s tweet controversy, that sitcom comeback had faced criticism for how it handled social and political topics, which ABC president Channing Dungey said would be toned down in later seasons. That said, the complaints about Roseanne‘s revival mainly pointed to the fact that the original series was more effective at using its heavier subject matter to build on tension from the family dynamic itself. Given that Designing Women touched heavily on such charged territory in its original run, viewers will probably be paying close attention to see how that stuff will be tackled.
CinemaBlend will keep an ear to the ground regarding future Designing Women updates, as well as any other interesting television news. Keep track of all that’s happening with television premieres and returns in the coming months with our fall premiere guide.