Headed up by 'Smallville' creators Al Gough and Miles Millar and executive produced by Drew Barrymore, the glossy action show is hoping to emulate the success of the reimagined 'Hawaii Five-0' more than the crash and burn of 'Bionic Woman' and 'Knight Rider.'
Hit the jump for a few brief highlights about the new series, starring Minka Kelly, Rachel Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh.
Gough and Millar are no strangers to tackling well-known properties thanks to their experience on 'Smallville,' and the pair admitted that they turned the 'Angels' reboot down twice before finally being convinced to hop on board.
"There are a lot of similarities to 'Smallville' in that you're rebooting a brand and trying to put a new spin on it," Gough said. "It has to maintain the DNA of the original while bringing something new to the table."
Drew Barrymore's 'Angel' credentials are unquestionable too, and Gough referred to the actress as "The archangel of 'Charlie's Angels'" -- she was deeply involved in the casting process and sends notes on all of the scripts.
That new spin will place greater focus on "making it more grounded and making these women feel more real," said Gough, who pointed to an emphasis on character backstories. "We want there to be something to come back to every week, so we gave [the characters] a past, Charlie is giving them all a second chance -- the show is all about redemption."
In addition to new Angels (the characters, Eve, Abby and Kate, aren't simply mirrors of the original series or movie incarnations) Bosley has been given a makeover, with younger, sexier Ramon Rodriguez acting as the go-between for Charlie and his Angels.
"There will be a lot of backstory revealed as the series progresses, what Bosley's about," Rodriguez teased. "He has a lot of secrets on Charlie, a lot of secrets on everybody. He's got a lot of skill-sets ..."
More than a simple procedural, the producers and cast were eager to point out that it's a "family dynamic" that knits this team together -- "their family business is detective work," Rodriguez pointed out.
As for how beholden the show is to previous incarnations, the producers admitted that the shift to Miami and the focus on being a more "international" team would appeal to new audiences. Taylor admitted that she hasn't even seen the original: "I think for actors it's important to do something fresh, to do an incarnation of 'Charlie's Angels' that is appropriate and fitting for this time. It's high octane and it's exciting but there is a genuine chemistry and a genuine warmth between us that you just can't face."
Ilonzeh, on the other hand, watched both the original series and the recent movies. "The biggest commonality that we have is that there's so much cameraderie and we're a family ... There's a huge family base relationship that we all share, that's what's going to make it relatable," she said.
Rodriguez had three older sisters, who "thought they were the angels; they said I've been preparing for this my whole life," he joked.
Perhaps the biggest change from the original is the greater focus on the Angels "off duty". "We'll see more of their off-the-case relationships -- it's about modern women and how they juggle their personal lives and their jobs," Gough promised.
"We know a show like this has a big target on its back," he pointed out. "Something like 'Hawaii Five-0,' when you do it right, it can work, it was a matter of finding that theme, that emotional hook."
"The stakes are much higher [when rebooting a well-known series]," Millar added. "You have to execute well, you have to cast correctly, finding the Angels was key. We went back and looked at the history -- it worked as a TV series, it worked as a movie series, so if we get enough freshness and charm ... making the angels feel emotionally resonant with our viewers was important to us. Other iterations have been more cartoony or broad, we want them to feel more dimensional, for the Angels to be ladies they can relate to and respond to."
Asked whether any of the previous incarnations of the Angels might make guest appearances in later episodes, Miller and Gough seemed enthusiastic.
"Once we establish our show, there's room down the line from characters from other iterations, as we did on 'Smallville.' [We want to find] a way to honor what's come before and find a new twist on the characters," Gough promised. Paging Jaclyn Smith ...
'Charlie's Angels' premieres Thursday, Sept 22 at 8PM ET on ABC.
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