Father Knows Best to get big-screen update, but not really

Father Knows Best to get big-screen update, but not really

In a deal that all but epitomizes current industry thinking, 1950s sitcom Father Knows Best is being developed for a big-screen update—one that would completely ditch the characters and plotlines of the original show for a “a multi-generational story about a father of a suburban family with a modern parenting approach who's thrown for a loop when his own father, with a different attitude, comes to live with them.” Granted, while more specific plot details obviously haven’t been released, it’s ridiculous that this is being called an “update” of Father Knows Best—a show so archetypal in its formula, virtually any middle-class family comedy since could claim that honor.

We suppose it’s possible that this elder, more traditional father could be explicitly a Robert Young-type, thereby providing some sort of flimsy link to the source material—possibly even a meta one, should they go the extra step of actually referencing the show in the film a la Nora Ephron’s Bewitched. (Note: Please don't do that.) But really, this seems like yet another original idea—one from Michael McCullers, best known for Baby Mama and his work on the Austin Powers movies—that’s being desperately shoehorned under an established property for the sake of brand recognition. That decision becomes even more baffling once you consider that the demographic of people who actually remember and might be interested in Father Knows Best is rapidly dying off. It’s enough to make us wish we could sit down on the couch and have a reassuring chat with a guy in a comfy sweater.