Did you know there was a remake of The Fugitive in 2000?
The story worked as a series and a movie, so why not try another series?
Hollywood can't leave the classics alone.
The Fugitive has been a bankable property for a long time. And, unlike many other stories told across multiple mediums, The Fugitive has been compelling on TV and the big screen. There was, of course, the David Janssen Fugitive, which saw Dr. Richard Kimble on the lam from 1963 to 1967. Its four seasons and 120 episodes include some of the most thrilling moments in television history. It was a wholly original idea that bucked a lot of trends. According to Roy Huggins, who pitched the concept, the story upset a lot of TV executives due to the tale's mistrust of the American justice system. Regardless, The Fugitive went on to be a classic.
Then, the story was told again in 1993. This time, Harrison Ford was the cinematic Dr. Richard Kimble, again accused of murdering his wife. The theatrically released Fugitive was a box-office smash and earned enough to be the third highest-grossing movie of the year. It was also incredibly well-received critically, garnering seven Academy Award nominations as well as rave reviews.
CBS attempted to milk the property even further in 2000, to considerably less success. In this reiteration, Wings star Tim Daly was tasked with outrunning the law as Dr. Kimble. The show was part of an exciting slate of CBS premiers which included CSI. Audiences were much more interested in the futuristic, forward-thinking forensics series than they were in another retread of the same old story. Television critics agreed.
"No wonder The Fugitive feels tired," wrote LA Times contributor Howard Rosenberg, "for it and its numerous progenies have been synonymous with prime time for nearly four decades. There are four, perhaps five basic formats that keep recurring in TV drama, one of which stems from The Fugitive, prototype for scores of 'chase' series about innocent characters either on the run or doing the pursuing themselves."
The 2000 version of The Fugitive featured exciting action sequences that couldn't distract from the story's overwrought predictability. Like a flashy car with no engine, this Fugitive didn't have the fuel or mechanism to drive itself in new directions.
"None of this is bad, just rather humdrum and familiar. Just as Daly appears unable to break free from Janssen's underplayed Kimble, so is The Fugitive very much a series of another time."