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Proving print isn't quite dead yet, CBS orders reboot of '90s fantasy series 'Early Edition'

The original show starred Kyle Chandler as a man who mysteriously receives newspapers from the future.

By Josh Weiss
Early Edition GETTY

Early Edition — the '90s-era fantasy show starring a pre-Friday Night Lights Kyle Chandler — is back in the headlines once again. Deadline reports that CBS has placed a pilot order for a gender-swapped reboot of the classic property from executive producers Melissa Glenn (the Hawaii Five-0 and Zoo vet is also serving as writer), DeVon Franklin (Masters of the Universe), and Bob Brush (developer of the original series). Jenna Nicholson of Franklin Entertainment is on board as a co-executive producer.

Created by the trio of Ian Abrams, Patrick Q. Page, and Vik Rubenfeld, Early Edition ran for a total of 90 episodes across four seasons between 1996 and 2000 on CBS. Its story revolved around Gary Hobson, a regular Chicago man (played by Chandler) who starts receiving tomorrow's edition of the newspaper. Armed with this knowledge of what's to come, Gary sets out to change the future in a Quantum Leap-ish sort of way.

"What a break that was for me," Chandler said of the role in a retrospective on his career for Entertainment Weekly. "My daughter had just been born, we had just bought a house, and I got this show. The first thing I did was add up [my salary] for the season. I was like, 'Wahoo! We're not going to starve. There's a big film community in Chicago, and the crew all knew each other so well. A lot of them were brothers, cousins, uncles. And in Chicago, someone says something wrong to you, you start pounding on each other, so there would be fights. But they were all related, so it was great. They'd come back inside with their arms around each other."

Shanésia Davis-Williams, Fisher Stevens, Kristy Swanson, and Billie Worley rounded out the supporting players. The series also featured several guest stars (many of whom would go on to be major stars in their own right) like Michael Shannon, Louis Gossett Jr., Jane Krakowski, Felicity Huffman, Robert Picardo, and Cynthia Nixon.

The female-led revamp will center around an ambitious journalist who finds herself in a similar situation to Hobson's: "changing the news instead of reporting it," writes Deadline. Casting has yet to take place. SYFY WIRE reached out to Ian Abrams who declined comment.

The Washington Post gave Early Edition a semi-positive review when it first premiered back in '96, writing: "The Touched by an Angel sentimentality is slathered on with a trowel. Fortunately, Gary Hobson, who gets the early editions, is played by a very likable actor, Kyle Chandler (of ABC's long-ago Homefront), and he does his best to keep Hobson's chumpiness from going totally sap-happy."