How often do defunct franchises return?

Inspired by the thread on franchises that ended badly, and Blizzard’s recent announcement about StarCraft 2, I’ve been wondering how many times creative works have been resurrected, well after their collapse as continuous franchise, or rebuilt for a modern audience, even just for a last gasp.

I am NOT talking about remakes, where they essentially reuse the original plots, but use current actors and updated technology. I’m talking about works that:

A) Maintain the continuity of the original works, and create a new story to build on it or continue an existing plotline.
B) Insofar as such things can be measured, the new work is created in the ‘spirit’ of the old. That is to say, the Brady Bunch movies wouldn’t count because they were satirical.
Possible Examples I can think of:

The Farscape ‘Movie’
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Family Guy
Star Wars Episodes I,II, and III
Rocky Balboa
The Outer Limits
Any other good examples? What leads to these franchises getting brought back? On average, how does the quality of the new work compare with the old?

Firefly/Serenity, of course.

The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents had 80s incarnations.

Also, Still the Beaver (Leave It To Beaver) debuted in 1985.

Mama’s Family was spawned from a Carol Burnett Show sketch, five years after the Carol Burnett Show went off the air.

And Mama’s Family also came back (with a couple new characters) in first-run syndication 2 years after the network cancelled it.

Just remembered one!

Jeopardy! was revived in 1984 and has been going strong since.

Battlestar Galactica might be a candidate, although the excellent new version owes little to the original series, other than the title and the names of some characters.

“The Cat Who …” books by LJB. The first three were published in 1966, 1967 and 1968. Then she let the series sit for a long time before she started it up again in 1986. She’s published as least one a year since.

Return to Oz, though it is much darker than the original movie. But it starts out after Dorothy returns to Kansas and is more an attempt to revive the book franchise in movies than to continue the movie one. I liked the film a lot, though many didn’t.

Road to Hong Kong revived the successful Hope and Crosby “road” films after a 10-year gap.

Asimov continued his Foundation books thirty years after the original trilogy was completed.

Would Star Trek really count, given how long reruns and other spinoffs went on for after the third season.

Mystery Science Theater 3000, both the movie and the switch from Comedy Central to the SciFi Network.

The Rockford Files, many years after the series

DittoPerry Mason

The Psycho movies

the Many [BGilliGan’s Island** TV Movies

The two Get Smart! movies (although they didn’t really agree with each other)

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. TV-movie

Futurama will be coming back late this year or early next year. I think that the revival was inspired by the success of the Family Guy come-back.

The Children of Hurin by JRR Tolkien was published last month, 34 years after his death.

Again though, hasn’t the LOTR franchise been thriving between the time it was started and the three films? There have been a fair few “History of Middle Earth” books by Tolkien’s son since his death.

Romero’s Zombie movies have had some long hiatuses.

Dragnet, starring Jack Webb originally aired on NBC from 1952 to 1959. It was resurrected in 1967, again with Webb as Friday and with Harry Morgan as his partner, Bill Gannon.

One could also add the 1987 Dragnet motion picture with Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, since Morgan had a supporting role as Gannon.

Of course, I’m leaving out the 2003 remake with Ed O’Neill.

Well, if you want to get technical, I suppose you have a point. But I just wanted to be the first to mention JRRT. :wink:

There’s more – Dragnet started out as a radio drama with Jack Webb.

And there was an earlier movie, also starring Webb and his then-partner Ben Alexander, released in 1954:

It had the advantage of being in COLOR.

For that matter, Allen Funt’s Candid Camera started out on radio (as Candid Radio) before being a TV series. They made two CC movies – What do you Say to a Naked Lady? and Money Talks also with Funt. Then he returned in the 1980s to do Candid Candid Camera for Playboy.

IIRC there was another Candid Camera series after Funt’s death.

I realize that, but I don’t count the first TV airing of Dragnet as resurrecting a defunct franchise. Many other radio shows, such as “Gunsmoke” also became successful long-running TV series.

The 1967 return of Dragnet is what I underood the OP as asking for.