“Highway to Heaven” will return to TV, three decades after the death of the man who molded it.
Michael Landon (shown here with Victor French, his co-star) created the show, produced it, directed most of the episodes and starred as a probationary angel, helping people on Earth.
The new version will be on cable’s Lifetime, with key differences: It will be a movie (not a series), planned as the first of several. And this time, the angel will be a Black woman, played by Jill Scott.
“Highway” debuted in 1984 and, for a time, thrived. In its first three seasons, it was No. 19, 13 and 24 in the Nielsen ratings.
But the fourth season slipped; NBC confined the fifth to 13 episodes, most of them airing in the summer. Still, it was a strong, 111-episode run, wrapping up a 30-year stretch at NBC for Landon, who died of cancer two years later.
The reboot, arranged through Landon’s widow and his estate, will star Scott, the singer and actress who drew praise as star of HBO’s “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” Barry Watson of “7th Heaven” plays the junior high school principal she reveals her identity to.