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'Fuller House' To Satisfy 90s Nostalgia This Week


It's a good year for television reboots. "Twin Peaks," "The X-Files," "Gilmore Girls," and this week, "Full House."


MARY-KATE/ASHLEY OLSEN: (As Michelle Tanner) No way, Jose.

MARTIN: Yes way. The last new episode of the ABC sitcom was more than 20 years ago.


JODIE SWEETIN: (As Stephanie Tanner) How rude.

MARTIN: But now Netflix is bringing it back for a 13-episode spinoff called "Fuller House."


DAVE COULIER: (As Joey Gladstone) Cut it out.

MARTIN: It's true. The updated version will feature most of the original cast.


CANDACE CAMERON BUR: (As D. J. Tanner) Oh, Mylanta.

MARTIN: Along with - we hope - a healthy dose of their favorite catchphrases.


JOHN STAMOS: (As Jesse Katsopolis) Have mercy.

MARTIN: Jeff Franklin created the original "Full House" and is the executive producer of "Fuller House." He joins us now from our studios at NPR West. Jeff, thanks so much for being with us.

JEFF FRANKLIN: It's my pleasure.


OLSEN: (As Michelle Tanner) You got it, dude.

FRANKLIN: (Laughter). I recognize those voices.

MARTIN: Yeah, right? Thanks for bearing with us. We just couldn't resist. There are so many funny one-liners from that cast.

FRANKLIN: I love it.

MARTIN: (Laughter). OK, so for those of us out there - I don't know who they are - but who might not have as much '90s nostalgia as I do, let's just recap this. "Full House" was about a widower named Danny Tanner. And he was raising his three daughters with the help of his brother-in-law and also his best friend, who lived in the basement. And the last we saw of the Tanners, the eldest daughter, D. J., was about to go to prom. And the youngest daughter, Michelle, got her memory back after falling off a horse.


MARTIN: So then what happened? Where does "Fuller House" pick up the story?

FRANKLIN: Well, the new show begins in 2016, 20 years after the old show went off the air.

MARTIN: So what happens when you do that, when you mature people over years? Because it's one thing to remember D. J. and Stephanie and Michelle as these cute girls. And they were getting into, you know, cute girl problems - you know, bad grades or problems with boys. Adult life is way more complicated and sometimes not as funny.

FRANKLIN: Right. Well, the basic premise of this show is certainly not funny. D. J. finds herself widowed. I guess you could call it the Tanner course. She's at a crisis point in her life. It's the first time she's going to have to take care of these three boys by herself at the same time that she juggles a full-time career as a veterinarian. So she really has her plate full. And everybody is sort of taking off. And that's how we open the series, is she's alone with these kids.

MARTIN: So D. J. is in the same position now that Danny was in the beginning of "Full House," right?

FRANKLIN: Correct.

MARTIN: So she's trying to raise her own kids with the help of her larger network.

FRANKLIN: Right, with the help of her sister, Stephanie, and her best friend, Kimmy Gibbler.

MARTIN: Why now?

FRANKLIN: The reason it's on right now is because this is when Netflix bought the show.

MARTIN: (Laughter).

FRANKLIN: I actually started all this back in 2007. So it's taken six years to set this up.

MARTIN: What was the feedback you got then?

FRANKLIN: This was not in the era of reboot fever at all. And I think that even though for me it seemed like a no-brainer - but perhaps they were nervous about having a show rest on the shoulders of three women who had not really been in a sitcom for 20 years. I don't know. Maybe they just thought, oh, this is some, you know, saccharin, cheesy relic from the '80s, and we're too cool for that.

MARTIN: To be honest, when you watch these reruns, they are those things. And that's what we love about them, right? Like...

FRANKLIN: Exactly.

MARTIN: It was a moment. It was a time. And do you then risk creating something new that isn't those things?

FRANKLIN: I think this show will feel a little more contemporary. But in the beginning, it was completely of a sort where you could see any number of shows like "Full House." You know, now "Fuller House" is all by itself. There is no other show on television like this, that is geared for the whole family and that is unabashedly family-friendly and... And it has a live audience. And it feels the same when you watch it as the old show even though, you know, some of the characters are new. And some of the problems are new. And obviously, you know, there are cell phones and computers. And it's not - it doesn't feel like 1987, like the old show does. But now we're all alone. And I'm hoping that there's a place somewhere in the TV landscape for a show like this. I think there is.

MARTIN: Jeff Franklin is the creator of "Full House" and "Fuller House," which premieres on Netflix this week. Jeff, thanks so much for talking with us.

FRANKLIN: Oh, thank you very much.


JESSE FREDERICK: (Singing) Everywhere you look there's a heart, a hand to hold on to. Everywhere you look there's... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.