Even before its service became streaming-aware last fall, Disney's known the importance of the phrase, "content is king" (though in 2020, it's more like "rights to intellectual properties are king"). Disney+ subscribers learned that again on Wednesday with news that ABC's 1989 half-hour medical comedy-drama series Doogie Howser, M.D. will be getting a reboot and reimagining. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Doogie Kealoha, M.D. (working title) is being developed for the streamer, with a female lead being sought for the series stemming from Kourtney Kang (How I Met Your Mother, Fresh Off the Boat) and 20th Century Fox TV. Set in Hawaii, Doogie Kealoha, M.D. centers on a 16-year-old half Asian, half caucasian girl who works as a doctor while trying to maintain some aspect of a "normal" teenager's life.
Dayna Bochco, and son, Jesse Bochco, are set to executive produce the reboot alongside Kang as well as Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar. 20th Century Fox TV will serve as the producing studio, where Kang, Kasdan, and Mar have overall deals. Kang was a co-executive producer on ABC and 20th TV's Fresh Off the Boat, which Kasdan and Mar also executive produced. Fans of CBS and 20th TV's How I Met Your Mother should be familiar with her work, as the writer-producer worked on the long-running ensemble comedy during its entire nine-season run.
Premiering in 1989, ABC's Doogie Howser, M.D. starred Neil Patrick Harris and ran for four seasons. Created by legendary television showrunners Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, the series was an effective blend of a hospital drama, coming-of-age drama, and comedy, making it a "dramedy" before we started using the expression. While it's been close to three decades since the series first aired, the series itself still has a solid spot on the pop culture landscape. During this presidential election cycle, we've read and heard the name "Doogie Howser" being used for candidates considered to be too young to be running for office (but has been used in all aspects of society, from sports to medicine). Doogie Kealoha, M.D. is only the latest in a number of franchises getting a reboot or a restart, joining a list that includes Turner & Hooch, The Mighty Ducks, and a Beauty and the Beast spinoff.