An unscripted TV series based on Rodney Dangerfield's 1986 comedy Back to School is on the way. MGM has announced plans to turn the comedy classic into a new reality series where kids will being attending college with their parents. The 1986 movie featured Dangerfield as millionaire Thornton Meloni (later Melon), who enrolls himself in college to prevent his son from dropping out. The comedy is one of Dangerfield's best roles and now the premise is going to be used to put college kids in real-life awkward situations with their parents.
In a time full of remakes and reboots, the Back to School reality show isn't much of a surprise. However, one has to wonder how it will be accepted in the current television landscape. Barry Poznick, MGM's president of Unscripted Television, had this to say about the upcoming Back to School docuseries.
"I am so excited to take the premise of one of my favorite films into the unscripted world. Rodney was a comedic genius and his spirit is very much in the DNA of our show's approach to a dual fish-out-of-water comedic format for audiences to experience along with our parents and kids. I love that grown-ups are going back to school and we are able to capture this with our new series."
A brief description of the Back to School unscripted series declares both parents and their children will experience "the best years of your life" together. There will more than likely be some awkward hazing situations, joining of fraternities, sororities, and other zany moments. However, none of the parents will ever be as cool as Rodney Dangerfield as Thornton Melon and they sure won't have Oingo Boingo on board to sing "Dead Man's Party."
From what it sounds like, the Back to School unscripted series is just taking the surface level idea of the movie to make a new series. With that being said, Joan Dangerfield, the comedian's widow, is on board as an executive producer. MGM Television chief Mark Burnett and Barry Poznick will also serve as executive producers on the upcoming series. There is not a current release date set for the series and it's unclear when they'll start looking for groups of college kids and their parents to embarrass themselves on national television.
Back to School received mostly positive reviews from critics upon its release and is the sixth highest grossing comedy movie of 1986. For Rodney Dangerfield fans, the movie is considered to be one of his best, mostly due to the comedian's perfect sense of timing and pacing. Before the credits role, "For ESTELLE Thanks For So Much," pops up on the screen. This is a message to Dangerfield's long-time manager, Estelle Endler, who was an executive producer on the movie and largely responsible for the comedian's successful career. This news comes direct from MGM Studios.