D’oh! Somebody’s been rifling through their VHS tapes from the 1980s again! If you’re wondering why Neil Patrick Harris is, it’s because of the 1989 sitcom Doogie Howser, M.D. in which he played a brilliant teenage doctor. Well, like everything else that you ever liked growing up, it’s getting a reboot with a modern, multicultural spin.
A Doogie Howser reboot is in the works (via Variety) over at Disney+ from Fresh off the Boat writer Kourtney Kang. The series, which is going under the working title of Doogie Kealoha, M.D., will focus on a half-Asian, half-white 16-year-old girl from Hawaii, which happens to be where Kang is from. On board as producers are Jesse and Dayna Bochco, the son widow of original series co-creator (and TV legend) Steven Bochco. Jumanji director Jake Kasdan is also set to exec-produce, which is interesting and makes you wonder if he’ll direct an episode or two.
Doogie Howser ran through four seasons on ABC (hence the Disney connect) from 1989-1993, and made Neil Patrick Harris a cultural icon. Any smart, young white professional kid may still find himself nicknamed “Doogie” as a result of the series, and Harris frequently will make callbacks to his time playing the character. Turning the tables by casting a multiracial female is a smart way for the new version to go, although I have doubts it’ll capture the zeitgeist like the original.