It’s been 21 years since “Full House” was on the air, but the Tanners are about to be back at the family-friendly sitcom game.
Netflix greenlighted 13 episodes of “Fuller House,” a spinoff series featuring oldest daughters DJ (Candace Cameron-Bure) and Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) as well as DJ’s best friend Kimmy Gibler (Andrea Barber) all living in the same house, raising their children together.
It’s the exact same premise of “Full House,” which debuted in 1987 on ABC and ran for eight seasons, and most of the familiar faces, including Bob Saget’s Danny Tanner, John Stamos‘ Uncle Jesse and Dave Coulier’s Joey, are back for the spinoff series’ first episode.
Below, “Full House” and “Fuller House” creator Jeff Franklin talked to TheWrap about having everyone back for the first episode, the Olsen twins’ decision not to return, and how he modernized the 90s sitcom for a much more cynical TV-viewing audience.
TheWrap: How important was it to get everyone back for the first episode? Jeff Franklin: This show is designed to be about the three women, all grown up, as mothers and adults with their own lives, but I really wanted to have a reunion at the same time. I wanted everyone back. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but that was always the plan … to have the original cast drop by now and then and be a part of the show. Not series regulars, but this is a family, and I want that family feeling to be there. I’m thrilled that everyone, with one exception, decided to come back and be a part of this.
At what point did you realize this wouldn’t be a full reunion show, and would only focus on the girls?
I don’t think the guys would have come back, honestly, as series regulars. John, Bob, they all have their own projects going on and I don’t think there was an appetite from them to come back on a full time basis. But I was thrilled they were happy to step back into those characters to bring “Full House” back to life. Even if it’s not every episode, they’re very much a part of the show. That made me really happy.
It was always intended to be about the next generation. I can’t take much credit for having the idea to just flip the original premise. It’s so simple. The truth is, we had three guys raising three girls, now those three girls are grown up, so let’s have three girls raise three boys, and that just seemed like such a no brainer.
You mentioned the whole cast is back with one exception, so was the original concept that it would be DJ, Stephanie and Michelle?
No, I don’t think I ever thought the Olsen twins would come back and be on the show full time, but I was very hopeful that they would come back and visit. I’m still hoping that happens sometime.
Any movement on that front?
No news on that front. Michelle [Mary-Kate and Ashley’s character] is very much a part of the series though. You’ll see Michelle on the show, you’ll just see an earlier version of Michelle.
How often can we expect to see the “adults” appear?
The first season, they’re in about half the shows. And I hope that continues. I hope the show gets picked up and then my expectation is that they’ll continue to pop in.
Could we see them show up for extended arcs or just mostly fun cameos?
That’s a good question. I don’t know because I haven’t started thinking about Season 2 yet. Season 1 hasn’t even gone on the air. But I think that’s a good idea!
How did you modernize the show for 2016?
Well it takes place in 2016, there’s cellphones and computers and we didn’t have any of that back then. The kids have grown up in modern times. It’s a very contemporary show, but it has that “Full House” vibe for sure. It’s got heart, it’s about family values, it’s a traditional sitcom. So in a way it’s a throwback, but it clearly takes place today. It seems unique to me because there’s nothing else like it out there. The world has changed since 1987. Kids are more sophisticated, audiences are more sophisticated, so we’re rolling with the times.
How does being on Netflix change things? It’s been interesting. We don’t have any time restraints, they said make the shows as long as they need to be or as short as they need to be. So they range from 23 minutes to 35 minutes … that’s been refreshing. There are no act breaks, we never go to black. There are no commercials. That’s really cool. We’re telling stories that are more serialize than we used to. There are plotlines that move from episode to episode in a way that we didn’t do before.
Do you see “Fuller House” running for as long as “Full House” did?
I don’t see why the show couldn’t run for eight years. We need a full run so that in 20 years, we can do “Fullest House.” The kids can grow up and have their own kids. I know there won’t be many people doing that.
“Fuller House” premieres on Netflix on Friday, Feb. 26.
55 First Looks at New and Returning 2016 TV Shows (Exclusive Photos)
"Galavant" (ABC): ABC's quirky musical comedy is back for even more absurdity, with a meta first episode titled "A New Season aka Suck It Cancellation Bear."
“The Bachelor” (ABC): The 20th season of the popular dating reality show sees Ben Higgins, who was rejected by the latest “Bachelorette” Kaitlyn, as the newest single catch fending off and deciding between twenty-one new contestants.
"Teen Wolf" (MTV): Scott and Stiles will have to put aside their differences when MTV's hit series returns for the second half of Season 5. Stiles' dad, the Sheriff, is still in grave danger, and there's tons of new mysteries to solve. BFF drama can wait.
"The Shannara Chronicles" (MTV): The home of "Teen Wolf" dives deep into high fantasy with this adaptation of Terry Brooks' bestselling series of YA novels. Young heroes are tested as the dying Ellcrys tree inflects deadly demons upon the earth.
"Mike and Molly" (CBS): Melissa McCarthy returns for one final season of CBS' hit sitcom. The shortened 13-episode final season was announced by co-star Rondi Reeds, prompting McCarthy to share via Twitter that she too was "shocked and heartbroken" upon learning of the cancellation.
“Shades of Blue” (NBC): Jennifer Lopez makes a rare return to scripted television in this event series, also starring Ray Liotta, about a group of tough Brooklyn cops who are not afraid to sometimes step outside the confines of the law in order to protect their city.
“Angel From Hell” (CBS): The network's newest sitcom follows Jane Lynch as Amy, a colorful, brassy woman who insinuates herself into Allison's (Maggie Lawson) organized and seemingly perfect life, claiming to be her "guardian angel."
"Shameless" (Showtime): Frank discovers religion on Season 6 of Showtime's popular dark family dramedy following the Gallaghers. The new season finds the scrappy family struggling with change and the possibility of growing apart.
"Shadowhunters" (ABC Family): Cassandra Clare's bestselling YA novels get a makeover adaptation in this series about Clary Fray, who discovers she's destined to be a protector of the human race from demons that lurk around every corner.
"Second Chance" (Fox): Formerly known as "The Frankenstein Code," then "Lookinglass," Fox's newest science fiction drama is about a morally corrupt cop who's brought back to life decades later in a newer, younger, stronger body - and the consequences of that.
"DC's Legends of Tomorrow" (The CW): Heroes and villains of "Arrow" and "The Flash" team up to travel through time and take down an immortal villain, Vandal Savage, who just may conquer the planet should they fail in their mission.
"The 100" (The CW): The third season of the post-apocalyptic drama picks up three months after the catastrophic events of the Season 2 finale. Clarke is on the run and in danger, and Bellamy is trying to hold things together back at Camp Jaha. And a certain AI is still out there somewhere with a warhead that could destroy what's left of humanity.
“Baskets” (FX): Zach Galifianakis stars in this new comedy as Chip Baskets, who sets out to conquer his dream of becoming a professional clown. Flunking out of a prestigious Paris clown school, Chip finds himself working at a local rodeo in Bakersfield, CA instead.
"The X-Files" (Fox): Mulder and Scully are back to give it one last shot at solving the mystery of aliens and government cover-ups. But they'll have time for a side case or two, as most episodes of the revival event series will feature standalone stories.
"Lucifer" (Fox): The latest DC comic book adaptation sees the devil himself doing some good. Lucifer, bored with hell, moves to Los Angeles (where else) and teams up with an LAPD detective to solve crimes. "Gotham" crossover anyone?
"The Fosters" (ABC Family): The third season of the acclaimed blended family series sees everyone settling into a new dynamic now that Callie is permanently adopted, while medical problems, secrets and relationship drama threaten everyone's happiness.
“Suits” (USA): The second half of Season 5 returns to see the repurcussions of Mike behind bars, five seasons of lies and deception finally caught up to him. But don’t expect the mystery of who turned him in to be solved right away. The Patrick J. Adams-led drama has already been renewed for a sixth season.
“The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX): Ryan Murphy takes his anthology series prowess to dramatically retell the Trial of the Century, following the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and subsequent trial of former NFL star O.J. Simpson. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Simpson, with Sarah Paulson, John Travolta, David Schwimmer and more starring.
"11/22/63" (Hulu): A schoolteacher, Jake Epping, discovers he can travel back in time - and decides to try to stop the JFK assassination. The 10-hour adaptation of Stephen King novel stars James Franco.
(Premieres at midnight on President's Day, Feb. 15)
"Vikings" (History): The cable network bolstered its hit action series, adding four episodes to the fourth season of the Travis Fimmel-led show. The first 10 episodes air in February, with another 10 set for later in 2016.
“Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” (CBS): The latest “Criminal Minds” series follows the International Repsonse Unit, the FBI division which is tasked with solving crimes and coming to the rescue of Americans who find themselves in danger while abroad.
“Of Kings and Prophets” (ABC): The Ray Winstone drama is described as an epic biblical saga of faith, ambition and betrayal as told through the eyes of the battle-weary King Saul, the resentful prophet Samuel and the resourceful young shepherd David — all on a collision course with destiny that will change the world.
"Underground" (WGN America): The 10-part miniseries is described as a pulse-pounding journey with revolutionaries of the Underground Railroad and tells the unflinching story of a group of courageous men and women who band together for the fight of their lives – for their families, their future and their freedom.
(Premieres Wednesday, Mar. 9)
"The Catch" (ABC): ABC’s latest Shondaland drama stars Mireille Enos as a fraud expert who finds herself being conned, by her own fiance, who’s been working with his real lover in stealing all her money. This one underwent a bit of a makeover with the recasting of two of its leads. Peter Krause and Sonya Walger replaced Damon Dayoub and Bethany Joy Lenz, respectively.
"Hap and Leonard" (Sundance TV): Based on the series of stories by Joe Lansdale, this anthology series follows the adventures of best friends Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. The two are chronically single, perpetually broke and guided by an old fashioned sense of honor and morality – but the similarities end there.
(Premieres in March on Sundance TV)
"Jackie Robinson" (PBS): The two-part Ken Burns documentary explores the life of the Brooklyn Dodgers legend who broke baseball's color barrier.
"Hunters" (Syfy): Based on Whitley Strieber’s best-selling novel "Alien Hunter," Syfy's latest comes from "Walking Dead's" Gale Ann Hurd and follows an FBI agent on the trail of a shadowy terrorist organization, who may or may not be from this world.
"12 Monkeys" (Syfy): Cole and Cassie do more time traveling and end up in the 1940s for at least some amount of time in Season 2 of Syfy's adaptation of the film of the same name - though the series is decidedly its own thing at this point.
"Containment" (The CW): "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals" showrunner Julie Plec adds another project to her plate with this drama set in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic viral outbreak.