ABC is reviving ‘thirtysomething’

Timothy Busfield and Ken Olin in the original “Thirtysomething.” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

It’s been nearly 30 years since the Philly-set ABC drama “thirtysomething” wrapped its initial run, and now ABC has announced a pilot order for a possible sequel series.

Dubbed “thirtysomething(else),” ABC’s updated take follows the children of characters from the initial series, with actors Timothy Busfield (Elliot Weston), Patricia Wettig (Nancy Weston), Mel Harris (Hope Murdoch), and Ken Olin (Michael Steadman) reprising their original roles. ABC has not yet revealed new cast members, or said whether “thirtysomething(else)” would be set in Philadelphia.

“Apparently, raising children (even grown children) never ends, but who could have known how hard it would be for them to raise their parents?” ABC’s description of the pilot reads.

Originally airing on ABC from 1987 to 1991, thirtysomething was created by Ed Zwick and Lower Merion native Marshall Herskovitz, who are also behind the upcoming pilot. The show, which took place in locations like Chestnut Hill and Bryn Mawr, followed couple Michael and Hope as they and their friends advanced into their 30s — a decade of their lives in which their countercultural youth started clashing with their newly middle-class yuppie lifestyle.

Across its four-year run, the show racked up more than a dozen Emmy Awards (out of more than 40 total nominations), and took home two Golden Globes. The series celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017.

Since “thirtysomething’s” premiere, the show has become something of a cultural touchstone for TV drama lovers, and went on to inspire similar dramas such as NBC’s “This is Us,” for which star Ken Olin serves as an executive producer. Co-creators Zwick and Herskovitz, meanwhile, continued working together after their thirtysomething run, including on shows such as My So-Called Life and Nashville.

While “thirtysomething” may have been set in Philadelphia, there’s no guarantee it will stay here. In 2014, scores of Philadelphia millennials were crushed to learn that “Boy Meets World” sequel “Girl Meets World” had moved to Manhattan.

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