‘Little House on the Prairie’: One Actor Shut Down Idea of Reboot, Said Show Wouldn’t Work Today

by Evan Reier
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Times change and people change. Nothing stays forever, and the same goes for Little House on the Prairie says Melissa Sue Anderson.

Melissa Sue Anderson portrayed Mary Ingalls on the iconic television show for seven years before eventually departing in 1981. In the years since the show’s wrap, the actress has opened up on everything from her relationship with costars to what life has been like afterward.

In an interview with PopEntertainment.com in 2010, one of many topics that came up was the idea of the show existing today. While many Little House on the Prairie fans might still be interested in new content from one of America’s favorite shows, Anderson said that if feels unlikely.

“People ask me all the time if I think the show would be a hit now, and I think no,” Anderson said. “The audience is too sophisticated now in the sense that the stories would move too slowly. To air a show like ours, it has to be at a slower pace.”

It’s a fair point. Entertainment is made for the audience of its time, and we’re now almost 40 years since the show ended. The passage of time means that the setting and message of the show may not connect.

Anderson on Why Little House on the Prairie Couldn’t Exist Today

Anderson’s points about the modern day aside, it’s hard to imagine we couldn’t use a program like Little House on the Prairie. Family values, cooperation and moral dilemmas make for great television and education.

But despite all that, there’s still a major issue for Anderson: no Michael Landon.

“I don’t know if people want to invest in something that’s slower now when you’re so used to everything being fast,” Anderson said. “And without Mike Landon, it wouldn’t happen. The whole reason that Little House sold as a pilot and went to a series was because of him. It certainly wasn’t the rest of us. I mean, we were all fine, but he was a huge star with great charisma. Recently they tried to redo that new Little House show and it didn’t work out.”

She doesn’t outright mention what she’s referencing. But it appears as if she’s referring to the mini-series that Disney put out in 2005.

But, despite the star’s comments, that isn’t stopping the reboot train.

Little House Reboot in the Works

According to Entertainment Weekly, a reboot is, in fact, being worked on. Per EW, Paramount TV Studios is working with Anonymous Content on a one-hour “dramatic series” rebooting the show.

To reiterate, the above interview came from 2010, so a decade passing has seen the landscape change. Primarily, the son of the original show’s producer Ed Friendly, Trip, is looking to produce and make it happen.

This comes on the back of a failed film that never made it out of production. Sony was looking to put it out. Per EW, Trip Friendly said the timing is right and they are planning to make it happen.

“Fans are eager to see Little House on the Prairie come back to the screen, and we agree the time is right,” Friendly said. “We feel optimistic that this will happen.”

Outsider.com