Craig T. Nelson is set to return to Coach, the show is about Minnesota college football head coach Hayden Fox, on NBC. The new series will be a 13 episode follow-up to the original show that ran from 1989 to 1997. The 70-year-old star will reprise his role as Hayden Fox. The show will take place 18 years after the original show ended. The original show aired on ABC and was written by Barry Kemp. Kemp will be returning to write the show for the NBC follow-up. After Nelson’s show Parenthood ended he is freed up to reprise the role. The show will be shot in the original multi-cam format.
Coach ran for nearly 200 episodes on ABC and will run for another 18 episodes on NBC. No additional casting information has been released for the rebooted series, and their have been no announcements made as to when the show will air. The original Coach, produced by Universal, features Shelley Fabares as Nelson’s wife, Christine, Bill Fagerbakke as fellow assistant coach Dauber, and Jerry Van Dyke as Fox’s bumbling assistant Luther. At the end of the series Hayden Fox and his wife Christine adopt a child because they were unable to conceive.
The show will center around Nelson, now retired as head coach, as he becomes an assistant coach for his son. His son was recruited to be the head coach of a Pennsylvania Ivy League school. His son is the child that was adopted at the conclusion of the original series.
The producers were set to pitch the show to other major networks. NBC decided to buy the property after the idea was pitched. After NBC picked the series up for an initial 13 episode straight-to-series run, the producers canceled their meetings with FOX, ABC, and CBS.
Nelson was not originally set to return to the show when the idea of Coach returning to television was first thought up. The project was in the works months before the initial network pitch. Nelson was only approached with the offer to return to the role of Hayden Fox as Parenthood was getting ready to wrap up. When Nelson originally commented on the possibility of his return he had said “We’re talking about it. I’m really at a quandary. But I’ve been approached and we’re thinking about it.”
Reboots have been a big theme for a lot of pilots that have been picked up. Minority Report will be coming to FOX, Uncle Buck will be coming to ABC, and Problem Child will also be coming to NBC. This is because many networks look for proven formulas and stories that people are familiar with. Coach was always a mainstay at the Emmys during its original run, with its cast willing awards in 1992 and 1996. The show was also a big hit as far as ratings go, the show would consistently dominate in the Nelson ratings. Hopefully with Coach returning to NBC, with Craig T. Nelson returning as Hayden Fox, the show will have even more success in the Emmys moving forward.
By James Dixson
Photo by: Genevieve – Flickr License