Coach was a long running sitcom on ABC that starred Craig T. Nelson and Jerry Van Dyke. In April of 2015 NBC went forward with a 13-episode order of a Coach reboot written by the original creator Barry Kemp. The show would follow Craig T. Nelson’s TV son Tim Fox as he becomes the head coach of the fictional Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (PIST). Through some gentle persuasion the head coach decides to call upon his father Hayden Fox to join the team as the assistant head coach.
Craig T. Nelson revives the character of Hayden Fox as this over-excited-out-of-retirement assistant coach at odds with his son’s position as Head Coach. Adding to the conflict Hayden and Tim’s wife Shelby are at odds on how to raise her son Cody.
Michael “Dauber” Dybinski played by Bill Fagerbakke and Hayden Fox’s arch nemesis Judy Watkins aka “Dumb Judy” played by Pam Stone make an appearance in the pilot script.
The pilot script sets up the situation fine, but lacks the comedy. This script relies heavily on Hayden Fox’s over the top delivery of simple lines he was known for in the original series. For the other characters it seemed the script would have been punched up several times before being shot. The first episode was filmed in front of a live studio audience, and the end result received mixed reviews. While audiences always seem to enjoy the Hayden Fox character and Craig T. Nelson as an actor, the show it self was labeled as “dated.” Lucky for Nelson he was paid for the entire 13-episodes, the other actors were only paid for the pilot.
We would agree with NBC on this script. As popular as the show was back in the 90’s we never felt it had the same cult following as something like Full House. Netflix is bringing that show back next year with Fuller House, because they believe that show has a built in audience that wants to see more DJ Tanner and Jesse Katsopolis. Other reboots include Xena, X-Files, MacGyver and Star Trek.
While Coach is being shopped around we are wondering what shows from the 80’s and 90’s would you like to see rebooted?
Script vs Screen Grades:
Alex: Script C- / Screen D
Jason: Script C / Screen C
Pop Culture Show Notes:
Deadline Article – One Man’s Practical Joke is Another Man’s Hit Show
Malcolm Barrett’s IMDB
Andrew Ridings’ IMDB