‘Fantasy Island’ is Coming Back to TV for the Third Time, with a Woman in Charge

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ABC hopes that the third time will be the charm for Fantasy Island, as they’ve picked up a new reboot of the ’70’s hit series.

According to The Hollywood Reporter , the 21st century version of the series will feature a woman version of Mr. Roarke — originally played by Ricardo Montalbon — who runs a San Francisco-based company that helps people live out their “most intimate, dark or outlandish” fantasies. (While there’s no word yet, I’d be willing to bet that the island and/or Tattoo, Mr. Roarke’s assistant, will be virtual.)

Up in the Air screenwriter Sheldon Turner will write the pilot and co-produce the show with Jennifer Klein and Drop Dead Diva executive producer Josh Berman.

The original Fantasy Island ran on Saturdays from 1977 to 1984 in tandem with The Love Boat. The series was revived in 1998 with Malcolm McDowell playing Mr. Roarke, but was cancelled halfway through its first season, with the final episodes playing out on UPN, then the Sci-Fi Channel. (There was also a failed attempt to turn the series into a reality show.)

The original Fantasy Island was very campy and ran for seven seasons. The reboot tried to get serious and needed three networks to make it through one season. There is a lesson to be learned here: Let’s just hope ABC learns from the series’ history.