What are the odds of these 8 cancelled TV classics actually coming back?

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Hannibal, Firefly, Torchwood, Dexter

Nostalgia’s big in TV right now, with everything from Gilmore Girls to Twin Peaks on the comeback trail. Revisiting old favourites is a common pastime in 2016, so it’s no surprise that almost every TV gem of yesteryear is subject to rumours of a revival.

But which are the pipe dreams, and which are the very real possibilities? Join Digital Spy as we attempt to separate the credible from the claptrap.

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1. Hannibal

It’s obvious there’s still an appetite (no pun intended) for Bryan Fuller’s gruesome, gorgeous take on Dr Lecter, and it’s not just the Fannibals who are hungry for more (pun intended that time).

In fact, less than a month after Hannibal was originally axed in June 2015, Amazon Video was said to be keen on ordering more episodes, but it wanted them delivered sharpish and Fuller wasn’t convinced he could meet those deadlines.

18 months on, Fuller told us that “everybody involved wants to come back and continue telling the stories”, and that includes series leads Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy. We even have a provisional date set by Fuller on which talks could resume: August 2017.

Our instinct is that a Hannibal revival will happen at some stage. The creatives are all willing, the storylines are all but written and, crucially, there’s proven interest from streaming services. There just needs to be a big enough gap in everyone’s diaries.

Odds: evens

2. Friends

Friends Cast: Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow
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The One with the False Hope. The cast and creative team behind the biggest sitcom of the ’90s have been trying for years – very politely – to tell us that a reunion is not on the cards, if only we’d been willing to listen.

“I don’t think there is going to be a reunion,” said Matthew Perry.

“I don’t think it will ever happen,” said Lisa Kudrow.

“There’s no plans for anything like that,” said Matt Le Blanc.

“There’s no way it would be satisfying and it’ll never happen,” asserted Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman earlier this year. “I don’t know how many ways we can say no!”

Yeah. Our take-away? Probably not gonna happen.

Odds: 100-1

3. Constantine

“I felt that when the show got cancelled, there was a little bit of unfinished business – that we were just getting started,” John Constantine actor Matt Ryan told us. “I’d be up for playing him again if an opportunity came along.”

But the cold, hard truth is that NBC dropped Constantine last year (after just 13 episodes) due to viewer apathy, and unlike Hannibal, there wasn’t a great rush of interest from other networks.

Rightly or wrongly, the show was written off as a dud, so a full-fledged revival seems unlikely. Besides, Ryan’s now committed as a series regular to ITV’s new glitzy period drama The Halycon.

Much more probable, following Constantine’s appearance on Arrow last year, is a recurring guest role in DC’s extended TV universe. “There’s all these rumours going around that he’ll turn up on some of the other DC shows,” Ryan acknowledged. “You could drop him into any of those universes and he’d hold his own.”

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We heard back in August that DC was “internally examining what they want to do” with Constantine. But even if they opted to take the character back to the movies, that doesn’t rule out more TV appearances – we’ve already got two different versions of The Flash, and a pair of Supermen…

Odds: 5-1

4. Firefly

Nathan Fillion & Adam Baldwin in Firefly

Joss Whedon’s sci-fi opus has been the subject of revival rumours ever since it went off the air after a troubled run in 2002.

And while we can all agree that Firefly really didn’t get a fair shake of the stick, and was subject to baffling levels of network interference, the odds of a comeback 14 years on feel incredibly slim.

“I loved every minute of it,” Nathan Fillion (space pirate Mal Reynolds) said a few months back. “[So] it’s really hard to look at that kind of stuff and say ‘Give me more’, because enough is enough. Oh my God, it was everything. It was everything. How can everything not be enough?”

Besides (and this hurts to say because we love the show, but…) Firefly is kind of a tainted brand. The TV series got cancelled and the movie spin-off Serenity barely made back its budget at the box office. It’d take a big leap of faith for anyone to invest in more based purely on the passion of the hardcore fans.

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Odds: 50-1

5. Torchwood

John Barrowman talks a good game, but we fear that might be the extent of it when it comes to bringing back Torchwood.

Back in September, he’d heavily implied that it was Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat who was holding up a revival of the spin-off, only for a rather narked Moffat to hit back, saying: “I haven’t blocked it. I wouldn’t block it. I wouldn’t even be able to block it.”

The whole thing feels like Barrowman trying to keep the fires burning for fans, but ultimately, the decision to resurrect Torchwood would lie with someone else – and that’s Russell T Davies.

RTD’s certainly not turned his back on the show – in fact, he has creative oversight over the current range of Torchwood audio plays which pick up where the television series left off.

But unlike Barrowman, he’s not talking up a revival. Instead, his next TV project is expected to be a drama about the AIDS outbreak of the 1980s. So if he does plan to return his attentions to Torchwood, it certainly won’t be for a while.

Odds: 15-1

6. Scrubs

Scrubs cast

The prognosis on this one? Surprisingly good…

No-one was even really talking about resuscitating Scrubs until Zach Braff declared just last week that it “could happen” and that there had been talks about a possible revival.

With the exception of Janitor actor Neil Flynn (cleaning up with his sitcom The Middle) none of the rest of the cast have managed to follow up Scrubs with another long-running success, which means they’d all potentially be free for a limited series run sometime in the next few years.

Series creator Bill Lawrence is developing a new comedy pilot for The CW, but is only attached as an executive producer, so might well have time to juggle both.

Just like how the Gilmore Girls revival attempted to erase all memories of its original, underwhelming finale, so a Scrubs comeback might take away the bitter aftertaste left by a misfiring final season that couldn’t decide if it was a continuation or a sequel or a spin-off.

Odds: 5-1

7. Dexter

A rogue tweet from the show’s official Twitter last year sparked speculation that Dexter Morgan might be sharpening his knives. But network Showtime was blunt with us, insisting that there were absolutely no plans for a comeback.

Of course, Dexter‘s original ending in 2013 (which saw the character escape justice and start a new life… as a lumberjack) was more than a little controversial. So a redemptive revival isn’t necessarily a bad idea.

But Showtime’s president David Nevins has insisted there’s no show without Michael C Hall (quite right too) and Hall didn’t sound overly enthused about the idea back in 2014.

“I can’t even wrap my mind around that,” he said. “It’s hard for me to imagine what that would be. Yeah, as far as playing Dexter again for an undefined amount of time, that’s a little daunting to consider.”

Our verdict? There’s less life in this than in one of the Bay Harbor Butcher’s victims.

Odds: 50-1

8. Will & Grace

Will & Grace reunion

What a rollercoaster this has been. First, out of nowhere, it looked as though NBC was bringing back Will & Grace (and Karen and Jack) for a reunion but it later turned out to just be a 10-minute skit based around the US Presidential election.

Then, off the back of the sketch, credible word broke that an actual revival series was in the works with the original cast and writing team.

That was back in October. But just last week, Megan Mullally hinted that the project was still in the pipeline even if there was “nothing official” to report.

This one actually appears to have some juice behind it. The biggest obstacle would be a commitment by Eric McCormack (Will) to the sci-fi series Travelers (check it out on Netflix), with the other major players all coming off TV or stage gigs.

If McCormack can carve out some time in his schedule, after all the buzz surrounding the skit, this one could be a goer…

Odds: 4-1

Hannibal, Firefly and Torchwood
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