The popular ’90s medical drama Doogie Howser, M.D., is back for a gender-bending reboot on Disney+ after 31 years.
The streamer announced that it has ordered a series focused on a 16-year-old medical doctor based on ABC’s Doogie Howser, M.D. from 1989.
The Disney+ version, however, will be called Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. and will be set in present-day in Hawaii. The updated show will center on Lahela “Doogie” Kameāloha, a mixed-race child prodigy who balances her medical career and her teenage life.
Doogie’s mom is Irish while her dad is a local. Kourtney Kang, who is also biracial, will serve as the series’ head writer, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Set to resonate with Disney’s audience
Disney+ picked to reboot Doogie Howser, M.D. believing it will resonate with the streamer’s global audience. The original series came from Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley. Bochco’s widow, Dayna, as well as his son, Jesse, will board the project as producers, along with 20th TV.
“Doogie Howser, M.D. is beloved by everyone at our studio,” Carolyn Cassidy, the president of 20th TV said. “We knew that if we were going to reinvent it for a new generation, we had to have both the blessing and participation of the Bochcos and a creator with a fresh, new take that made us lean in.”
Casting announcements for Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. are set to follow along with the filming protocols and schedule amid COVID-19.
Will Neil Patrick Harris cameo?
Incidentally, Kang worked with Neil Patrick Harris, the original Doogie Howser, on How I Met Your Mother. The actor has yet to say anything about the reboot but a cameo can likely happen given his working relationship with Kang.
In 2019, Harris reflected on his experiences on Doogie Howser, M.D. to mark the 30th anniversary. Like his character, he was also in his teens and was still learning how to be an actor when he was cast for this unforgettable series.
“My life lesson was, I learned good skills of how to act on a set,” Harris said. “It wasn’t a sitcom with a bunch of laughing audience members. I learned a lot of [medical] dialogue and [even] how to suture, how to hit marks, regurgitate dialogue.”
Harris said that Doogie Howser, M.D. was a remarkable chapter in his life. The show ran for four seasons, from 1989 to 1993. The show also starred Max Casella, Lisa Dean Ryan, Belinda Montgomery, Lawrence Pressman, Kathryn Layng, Mitchell Anderson, Markus Redmond, Lucy Boryer and James B. Sikkin.
Image courtesy of DetSonnyCrockett/YouTube