NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Doesn't everyone have their favorite TV show that went off the air two, five, maybe even 10 years ago, that they still wish was running?
What if Netflix (NFLX) brought those shows back and continued them where they left off?
Netflix has been getting a lot of media hype over its original content from House of Cards, to Orange is the New Black to its kids-centered Turbo FAST, created in conjunction with DreamWorks Animation (DWA).
However, the idea of reviving old TV favorites is not out of the question. The Internet-TV streaming service has already brought back Arrested Development, which originally aired on Fox (FOXA) for three seasons ending in 2006. Netflix launched a 15-episode fourth season, starring Jason Bateman last May.
With today's consumer propensity to watching multiple episodes of a given show at once, past popular cult shows could provide a good avenue of bringing in more users while at the same time not having to reinvent the wheel at new content for Netflix. A December survey by Netflix found that "binge-watching" was the new normal, with 61% of 1,500 respondents polled by Harris Interactive saying they regularly binge watch shows.
The data found that a majority of streamers prefer to have a whole season of a show available to watch at their own pace. It's also becoming a group activity. Roughly 51% of those surveyed prefer to watch with at least one other person, the survey found.
Course if now-canceled shows were still running today they likely wouldn't have that same charm as they once did, given that everyone in Sex in the City (except Samantha) would be married, so hearing their tales of living in New York City, would turn into more of an urban Parenthood.
But if we could just dream for a moment, here are five shows that would still have a cult-like following if Netflix brought them back today.
Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000)
Who didn't have a Beverly Hills, 90210 calendar in the early '90's?
The Fox show, created by Darren Star, starring Jason Priestly, Shannon Doherty, Tori Spelling and others, centered on the life of a group of high school teens living in Beverly Hills after twins Brandon and Brenda (Priestly and Doherty) move to the posh neighborhood with their parents from Minnesota.
Beverly Hills, 90210 lasted for 10 seasons on Fox and spurred several spin offs, including Melrose Place and the late 2000's revival, 90210. Neither of these shows could top the original Beverly Hills popularity, which topped out at 21.7 million viewers in its fourth season.
Currently, Netflix doesn't offer the teen show via live streaming, nor is it on Amazon (AMZN) Prime. Of course you can buy the full season DVDs if you're so inclined.
Granted the show was never the same after Brenda, TV's ultimate badass character at the time (played by Doherty) left after season four. Yes I know, the newer version of 90210 somewhat attempted to move the story line along, but with the show primarily focused on the next generation of students at West Beverly High, it left something to be desired for purists like myself without the full crew involved.
Brenda and Dylan forever!!!
Six Feet Under (2001-2005)
To this day, I regret missing the series finale of Time Warner (TWX) HBO's Six Feet Under, one of its early successes in pioneering original subscription cable-TV content. Though at this point, I'll likely have to re-watch all of the show's seasons in order to watch the series finale on HBO GO or through Apple (AAPL) iTunes and Amazon (AMZN).
Critically acclaimed and winning multiple Golden Globe awards and Emmy awards, the show was created by Alan Ball (who is also the man behind True Blood and American Beauty) and lasted for five seasons.
Six Feet Under centers on the Fisher family, mourning the loss of the elder Nathaniel Fisher (Peter Jenkins), who bequeaths the family funeral home to his two eldest children, Nate Jr. (Peter Krause) and David (Michael C. Hall). Each episode started out with a particularly untimely or gruesome death - essentially clients for the funeral home -- and sets the tone for the feelings and emotions the characters, which include youngest sibling, Claire Fisher (Lauren Ambrose) and matriarch Ruth Fisher (Frances Conroy) and others, will experience.
The elder Nathaniel Fisher comes back to haunt his family by talking to them from the dead.
Six Feet Under immediately caught viewer's attention with the inner workings of the Fisher family's funeral home, set in California, and of course of the dysfunctional Fisher family. The show was dark, it was deep, it was dirty, it was sarcastic, and most of all, it was funny. The show was about mourning and grief, sex and all those primal emotions that we as humans experience. The anticipation I got leading up to each weekly episode was akin to Sunday nights today, as I patiently wait throughout the week for AMC's (AMCX) The Walking Dead.
And while we know this is HBO-owned content, it would be fun to see the show revived. That said, I really need watch the finale.
Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
"Don't drink that coffee! You'd never guess! There was a fish in the percolator!"
ABC's Twin Peaks had just two seasons to captivate the audience with its dark and everything-is-not-as-it-seems approach to plot and characters. In fact, you could argue it was one of the first TV series that did not hold back on not only making viewers feel creeped out following an episode, but also left them scratching their heads as the storyline went on - and of course, wanting more.
FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is sent to fictional Twin Peaks, Wash., to investigate the gruesome murder of Laura Palmer, a popular teenage girl. There, he is entrenched in the idiosyncrasies of small-town life, finding locals to trust and vice versa while putting the pieces together to one very shady crime.
Twin Peaks had just a short life of just two seasons, but a movie prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me followed up in 1992.
You can already see the original Twin Peaks through Netflix.
Last year, Twin Peaks' co-writer David Lynch was rumored to be in talks with Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC for a revival of the early 90s show, picking up 25 years after the show left off, but apparently that was just a rumor, according to a January 2013 article by the Huffington Post.
That said, Netflix has already nodded that a Twin Peaks revival and continuation is not out of the picture. When asked about it by Stuff in May 2013, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said "Absolutely!"
Twin Peaks came in as No. 25 on TV Guide's "Top Cult Shows Ever."
ABC's Alias lasted for five seasons in which we got to see Jennifer Garner do some major butt kicking and wear some pretty crazy disguises, as she played CIA agent Sydney Bristow in this popular series.
Created by J.J. Abrams, the show reveals that Sydney's family are all international spies - from her dad Jack Bristow (played by Victor Garber) to her mother Irina (Lena Olin) to Nadia, her half-sister (Mia Maestro), and eventual love interest Michael Vaughn (Michael Vartan).
Episodes took Sydney around the world as the audience braced for high-action drama, with a strong female protagonist leading the way.
Garner won the 2002 Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama for her role in Alias.
ABC's hit drama Lost was named the 27th best written TV series of all time by the Writers Guild of America, squished between ER and The X-Files.
Another show created by J.J. Abrams, along with Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof, the premise of the show was that a plane bound for Los Angeles from Sydney, Australia crashes near a remote island in the South Pacific. The 48 survivors of the crash are then subject to strange events and phenomenon on this mysterious island. Some survive, some don't survive the inner workings of the island.
With such a large cast, often times it was hard to navigate the multiple story lines going on at once, and the feeling that sometimes the show was drawn out. Yet, it was slowly revealed that not only were the characters connected to each other but they were on the island to each serve a purpose. Or were they in purgatory? Or who knows if most viewers ever really understood Lost, but given that the amount of off-air conversation the show generated, that could be positive for Netflix.
Lost won the 2006 Golden Globe award for Best Television Series - Drama. It also won numerous Emmy awards over the years. Lost came in No. 5 on TV Guide's "Top Cult Shows Ever."
Believe it or not, the show is coming up on the 10-year anniversary of the series premiere. A reunion is planned for Sunday, March 16 as part of the PaleyFest 2014 held in Hollywood, Calif.
--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.