Punky Brewster Reboot - Details We Know So Far

If at any point during your childhood you had the urge to wear mismatched clothes and shoes, dump your parents (not permanently, of course — just when they were being difficult), and run away to live in an abandoned apartment with your dog, then holy macanoli, you'd have Punky Brewster to thank (or blame). Punky Brewster, which ran on television from 1984-1988, introduced a generation or children to real life problems with a sense of gratitude, joy, and unbridled optimism, along with a healthy dose of Punky Power (via Mental Floss).

Punky Brewster had a cuteness that actually hid a pretty gritty storyline. The show introduces us to Punky, whose mother has abandoned her at a Chicago shopping mall but still manages to cheerfully embark on life's adventures, aided and abetted by her dog Brandon and her best friend Cherie. Along the way Punky meets Henry Warnimont — the grouchy building superintendent of the apartment Punky is squatting in — who becomes her foster father, and an endless string of hijinks ensues among the cast. For fans, Punky ended far too soon.

Good news for those who couldn't get enough of Punky, though — there's a reboot in the works, and hopefully some grown-up hijinks to go along with it. Here's everything we know about Punky Brewster 2.0.

What is the plot of the Punky Brewster reboot?

The resurrection of Punky Brewster comes at a time when, let's face it, network television executives seem to have run out of original ideas. But don't expect this reboot to recycle Punky's old storylines. Instead the show reintroduces us to Punky as a single mother of three children who, according to Deadline, is "trying to get her life back on track when she meets a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self." 

We still don't know what themes the new Punky Brewster will adopt, how old Punky's children will be, and what kind of issues the brood will tackle. But with the introduction of an almost mini-me, Punky is likely to spend the show reacquainting herself with the values that made her an icon decades before.

Who is in the Punky Brewster reboot cast?

Punky is close to Soleil Moon Frye's heart, and she will not only be returning to star as a grown-up Punky, she's producing the show, too. Cherie Johnson will also return to reprise her role her Punky's BFF. "To Punky's kids, she's 'Aunt Cherie.' Her life-long friendship with 'Punky' inspired her to become a social worker, helping orphaned kids," The Wrap reports.

The big mystery around the reboot's casting involves who will play Punky's three children, as well as the girl who plays the 21st century version of the single mother's younger self. Frye herself is a mother of four children, so it will be interesting to see whether she might consider bringing in her offspring to take up one of the junior roles. Having one of Frye's real-life children play alongside her could certainly bring added spice to the reboot.

One character we are not likely to see is Henry Warnimont. George Gaynes, who played Henry on the original series passed away in 2016. We hope Punky pays tribute to her foster father in some special way as the show unfolds.  

When does the Punky Brewster reboot take place?

Because Frye will be reprising her role as Punky, producers will almost certainly be taking the story into the present day, where single mom Punky will likely be dealing with the same issues that we face as parents today. But unlike us, expect Punky to be that much cooler. 

As Frye told Parade, "I have so many incredible memories of Punky, and I really hold her so close to my heart. She will always be a part of me, she was a true trendsetter. I loved that she really was such a style icon. I look at so many designers today and their inspiration of Punky in the mismatched shoes and colorful '80s experience. I just love her. She was old school before old school was old school! She was hip-hop! She's all about expressing individuality." We're sure the rebooted character will have her own unique style, no matter what year the show takes place.

What is the Punky Brewster reboot release date?

Producers have thus far kept mum over the exact date of the rebooted Punky Brewster debut, but as the show will be carried by NBC's Peacock, we're not likely to catch a glimpse of grown-up Punky before April 2020, which is when the new streaming service fans it's colorful tail. 

Punky Brewster joins a lineup of new and other rebooted shows which NBC says is a "homage to NBCUniversal's rich legacy of creating beloved films, TV series, characters, and franchises that have been at the epicenter of pop culture and will continue to define the future of entertainment." Other NBC classics which are also being given facelifts for the 21st century include Battlestar Galactica and Saved by the Bell (via NBCUniversal).

Is there a trailer for the Punky Brewster reboot yet?

Other than revealing a logo and a summary of its lineup, NBC's Peacock service has revealed few hints about the look and feel of its new streaming service, which joins an already crowded field of video-on-demand providers including trailblazer Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, HBO Now, and Disney+. With the service set to debut in April 2020, we probably shouldn't expect the new Punky Brewster to make an appearance until at least spring of 2020, with a trailer teasing fans shortly before. Until then, we'll be keeping an eye out. Punky Power!