Earlier this week, I ended a post regarding ABC’s development of a sitcom based on Uncle Buck by suggesting that the project was likely to go forward because—unlike the director and cast of Say Anything—John Hughes and John Candy were no longer around to protest. But in my rush to finish the article before the next sitcom adaptation of an old movie could be announced, I neglected to consider that, while Hughes and Candy remain tragically dead, they both had families. And just like relatives who stumble into the room while you’re trying to have sex with your boyfriend, then threaten them with power tools, those families are now making their own well-intentioned interruptions.
In a joint statement issued to Deadline, the Candy and Hughes clans make clear their feelings about the project, saying they were blindsided by learning about it from the press, and avowing that neither the late actor nor director would be happy about it. They also get in another posthumous sideswipe at CBS’s failed Uncle Buck sitcom in 1990 starring Kevin Meaney, who has probably spent the past few days excitedly opening his Google Alerts then becoming crestfallen. Sorry, Kevin.
The statement in full:
Disappointment has been expressed by both the John Hughes and John Candy families over the conduct and decision by the ABC Network and Universal Television to develop a comedy series based on the feature film Uncle Buck. Rather than either entity providing advance information to the Estates, the families learned of the project’s potential via the media.
The families feel a strong attachment to the original film which symbolized the great and unique collaboration between Hughes and Candy. Recalling that the director was displeased with first Uncle Buck TV show effort which failed on CBS in 1990, it is well expected that he would not be supportive of this current attempt.
As Deadline points out, Universal TV is still within its legal rights to move forward with the show. But as with the Say Anything situation, it definitely reflects poorly on your remake project to have the original’s beloved creators—or, possibly even worse, those who have to speak for the creators, because the creators aren’t around anymore—express scorn so publicly. Anyway, it remains to be seen whether ABC will similarly put the brakes on Uncle Buck, or just add it to the scorn already being heaped upon it by those exhausted with reboots in general.