‘Good Times’ Reboot? Jimmie Walker Has the Best Idea

Kimberly Potts
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Ralph Carter as Michael Evans, Esther Rolle as Florida Evans, John Amos as James Evans, Jimmie Walker as J.J. Evans, and BernNadette Stanis as Thelma Evans in ‘Good Times’ (Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

Roseanne, Will & Grace, American Idol, Dynasty, Tremors, Battle of the Network Stars… these are all series that have reboots coming to a screen near you.

And when Yahoo TV talked to Jimmie Walker — who will compete in ABC’s Battle of the Network Stars reboot this week — he shared an idea for a new version of his own classic sitcom, Good Times, that is one of the best reboot ideas we’ve heard.

“We could be the first reboot to do it in animation,” says the comedian, who turned 70 on June 25. “[People have] talked about doing a reboot of our show. Obviously we don’t look the same way we looked 40 years ago, and then I said, ‘Well, I don’t think they want to see us the way we are now,’ and I came up with the idea of animation. No one has done that. We would be first out there with that, and I think that’s a great idea. We would still look the same, we would still have our same voices, it would still, I think, be a relevant subject to do.”

“It hasn’t really been pitched fully, but I would pitch it,” Walker continues. “I’ll be glad to go in and talk to Debbie Allen or Ice Cube, or any of those [producers] who do those kind of things.”

Walker, who competed multiple times in the original Battle of the Network Stars series, and is on a team of (former) “TV Kids” that will compete on ABC’s reboot, thinks a Good Times reboot should be a modern version of the groundbreaking 1974-79 original that was produced by Norman Lear.

“It’d be the same show, except for Esther [Rolle, who played Evans family matriarch Florida and passed away in 1998] wouldn’t be in it,” said the comedian, who continues to travel and perform stand up 300 days a year. “Nobody had done a show like ours up until that point. We covered every area, you know, because we were a Norman Lear show, and Norman, that’s his thing. We covered seniors and healthcare. We did seniors eating dog food, we did crime, we had gangs, obviously, J.J. gets shot… We did racial discrimination of all types, banking discrimination, people getting short term/long term loans. Nobody ever did anything like that, and I think we fit right in there today.”

Battle of the Network Stars premieres Thursday, June 29 at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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