Different from the Class Reunion, the Reunion Show is an opportunity for the surviving cast of a defunct TV show—off the air for anywhere from 5 to 50 years—to get back together on screen. Usually this is an "in character" story showing how things are "now", but sometimes it can be an explicit reunion of the cast in tribute to the original show.
Unlike a Revival series (such as Still The Beaver and the at-one-time-endless progression of sequels to The Brady Bunch), the Reunion Show is a one-shot event. (Sometimes, though, reunions can spawn sequels.) Oddly, "in-character" comedy reunions tend to turn serious, if not outright dramatic, while most other shows are not altered.
Reunion shows are usually made to cash in on the nostalgia modern audiences can hold for an older program.
Live Action Television
- One of the earlier examples of this would be Father Knows Best, which had a pair of reunion movies in 1977.
- Robert Young's other series, Marcus Welby M.D., also had two reunion movies, in 1984 and 1988.
- Gilligan's Island had three of these in the late '70s and early '80s (Rescue From Gilligan's Island, The Castaways On Gilligan's Island and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island). The ratings success of the first one led to talk of a revival series, but Sherwood Schwartz (concerned with the aging cast doing weekly comedic stunts) preferred two additional movies instead.
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show have both had reunion TV movies since 2000.
- The former was a two-hour TV-Movie titled Mary & Rhoda and only featuring those characters. The latter was instead a single half-hour episode, but it reunited the surviving cast and featured clips of those that had passed on.
- The Bob Newhart Show 19th Anniversary Special (1991) had Bob discussing his crazy dream about being a Vermont innkeeper with his friends and patients.
- To which Howard responded about dreaming of being an astronaut down in Florida.
- In early September 2004, production of a Reunion Show for Happy Days was announced.
- A Reunion Show for Dallas reached the airwaves in October 2004.
- February 2005 saw a Reunion Show for One Day At a Time.
- Get Smart did a reunion movie, Get Smart Again, that was seemingly unconnected to the short-lived sequel series or the theatrical sequel movie The Nude Bomb.
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis did a reunion show with the exceedingly strange title, "Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis".
- The Monkees had Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees in 1997, which featured all four members in their wacky, not-yet-famous TV personas 30 years later, and was written and directed by Michael Nesmith. It was humorous in that their TV show which they “knew” they were on, had continued running, though not been aired, after all these years. The “plot” centered around finding a descent…well, “plot” to finish off the rest of the production money for the show (whilst preparing for a gig at “The Most Prestigious Country Club In the World”).
- The Dukes of Hazzard reunion movie revolved around the wedding of Enos and Daisy Duke.
- A second reunion movie, Hazzard in Hollywood, came in 2000.
- Almost every season of Power Rangers from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy onward will have at least one reunion show where the team from the previous series teamed up with that of the current one to fight a threat from their equally-Enemy Mine minded villains. The most extreme case of this, however, was Forever Red, where all the Red Rangers from all seasons prior to Power Rangers Wild Force teamed up to stop The Remnant of the Machine Empire from rebuilding Serpenterra. More recently, the fifteenth anniversary episode Once a Ranger (in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive) featured one Ranger from each of the past four seasons, led by one from the second season, returned to pinch-hit for the temporarily-depowered regulars.
- Super Sentai: Himitsu Sentai Goranger and JAKQ Dengekitai (the first two series) had a team-up movie, but annual team-ups wouldn't become a tradition until Chouriki Sentai Ohranger; like Forever Red, they had their own multi-season team-ups in the wake of Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger and Go Go Sentai Boukenger (at the expense of the single-season team-up; no Gaoranger vs. Timeranger or Boukenger vs. Magiranger exist. In fact, the Gaoranger team-up screwed any major Timeranger presence over!).
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger is to Super Sentai as Kamen Rider Decade is to Kamen Rider. For the thirty-fifth anniversary the most notable ability of the Gokaigers is to transform into Rangers of previous years. However really ticking this box is the appearance of various characters from previous series as guest stars.
- Kamen Rider did teamups between the present and past seasons for a good 11 years in the Showa era shows, each one having a progressively larger cast. Kamen Rider Ryuki had a Direct to Video team-up between its heroes and predecessor Kamen Rider Agito, even if Agito was a Fake Shemp (the thing turned out to be All Just a Dream anyways). Kamen Rider Den-O & Kiva: Climax Deka is probably the most in the spirit of the trope, featuring the full casts of both shows. The Kamen Rider ZX TV special brought together all of the previous Rider characters, and the first Kamen Rider Decade movie does the same.
- Regarding Decade: Though most characters are replaced with Alternate Universe equivalents played by different actors, quite a few characters are played by their original actors. This includes most of Den-O and Kamen Rider Hibiki's casts as well as key characters from Kiva, plus those summoned by Narutaki and Kivara (the Hoppers, Kaixa, and Ohja).
- The eighth movie in the Den-O series is the movie of the franchise's 40th year and thus brings all main Riders up to Kamen Rider OOO, with particular focus on OOO, Den-O and the Double Riders.
- Like Super Sentai's "Vs." series, Kamen Rider recently started a series of movies of this nature, collectively known as Movie Wars. The most recent saw Kamen Rider Fourze, OOO, Double and the first seven Riders joining forces, though the focus was on the first two.
- Cheers had its reunion show in the form of one episode of its Spin-Off Frasier.
- The Return of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair
- Green Acres had a reunion show in 1990 called "Return to Green Acres," which showed Oliver and Lisa still living on the farm. Most of the original cast was in it, but it was way too sappy and serious, especially when contrasted with the absurdist humor of the original series.
- The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage came several years after the show's end.
- Return to Mayberry (1986) successfully reunited almost the entire cast and crew of The Andy Griffith Show.
- Happens at the end of pretty much all reality shows, especially those airing on VH-1.
- Something Completely Different Christmas Episodes of Blue Peter, in which the presenters do a Panto or Musical of some sort, often rope in previous presenters to round out the cast.
- The Wild Wild West did two: The Wild Wild Revisited and More Wild Wild West.
- Ultraman Mebius and its tie-in movie Ultraman Mebius and the Ultra Brothers is this for the Ultra Series.
- And an example within an example which involves the class from Ultraman 80 getting back together before their old school is closed down.
- Seinfeld didn't have a real reunion show; however, in the series Curb Your Enthusiasm, where co-creator Larry David plays a fictionalized version of himself, there was a storyline in which he reunited the cast (who played themselves, and themselves playing the Seinfeld characters) for a reunion show.
- Growing Pains had two (that don't quite match up).
- Eight Is Enough had two reunion movies in 1987 and 1989.
- Return of the Mod Squad (1979)
- Back to the Streets of San Francisco (1992)
- The Rockford Files had several reunion movies in the '90s.
- I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later (1985) had all the original cast save Larry Hagman, who couldn't participate due to his role on Dallas; instead, Wayne Rogers served as The Other Tony.
- A second reunion movie, I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991), kept Tony offscreen.
- The Dick Van Dyke Show
- The Facts of Life
- Drake and Josh's Christmas Special was made 18 months after the show ended. It may not seem like a long time, but because the show dealt with teenagers, it was obvious that they were too old for the show. Making it worse was that the movie was only supposed to take place a few weeks after the Grand Finale.
- M*A*S*H had a 20th anniversary special in which the show's producers and surviving cast members gathered to reminisce.
- Allo Allo did a reunion show in 2007 called The Return of 'Allo 'Allo!.
- The 1957-66 Perry Mason television series had one, in the form of Perry Mason Returns (1985), featuring returning leads Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale. And another, in the form of Perry Mason: The Case of the Notorious Nun (1986). And another, in the form of Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star (1986)... and a staggering 27 more Made For TV Movies made afterwards until 1995 (with Burr dying in 1993 and paving the way for several Suspiciously Similar Substitutes for the last four, with the umbrella title rechristened A Perry Mason Mystery).
- The Daily Show had a reunion show in 2002...reflecting on the first 10 minutes of the episode.
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture for the cast of the original Trek and arguably a re-re-union for the next five Trek movies.
- The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman had three reunion movies in the late '80s and early '90s; "Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman", "Bionic Showdown"(which included some 'Next Generation' bionic operatives) and "Bionic Ever After", (in which Steve Austin and Jamie Sommers finally got married).
- The XYZ Affair's video for the song "All My Friends" is an odd example, as it serves as a reunion more of a channel's era than of a single show. Mike Marrona (Big Pete), Jason Zimbler (Ferguson) and Danny Cooksey (Budnick) team up with the XYZ Affair against |Marc Summers, who here plays the band's irritated neighbor. Zimbler hits it off with a girl wearing a shirt reading "Ferguson is my Darling" and Summers ends the video by throwing green slime at everyone.
- In another Nickelodeon example, |Marc Summers and John Harvey reunited on an episode of NBC Philadelphia's The 10! Show in late 2010, and the two participated in a |Double Dare-esque challenge. The interview portion is here, the challenge portion is here.
- The seventh season of Digimon brought us a brief meeting of Taichi, Daisuke, Takato, Takuya, and Masaru.
- There has been confirmed to be a 15th anniversary movie that will feature the leader of every season (that's seven, for those counting), coming in June.
- Kingdom Hearts was a Reunion Game for the voice casts of several Disney classics through the last century; most of the original cast returned (including people such as James Woods as Hades, and BRIANBLESSED as Clayton as well as the original voice of Alice and Wendy a good 50 years after the initial films came out). Some of the cast of The Nightmare Before Christmas returned, as did most of Aladdin (save Robin Williams, who was already recast since the TV series in the 90's), |Hercules, The Little Mermaid (save Samuel E. Wright), Tarzan, and Beauty and the Beast (save Jerry Orbach who had since passed away). The most no-shows were The Lion King with only Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa and Cheech Marin as Banzai, and Pirates of the Caribbean where the entire cast was shooting the sequels and couldn't make it (although Johnny Depp supposedly really wanted to do it).
- Tiny Toon Adventures' Spring Break Special, and later, Night Ghoulery.
- One could say the Powerpuff Girls' 2009 special, Powerpuff Girls Rule, is a reunion of sorts as it includes virtually every main villain within the show and as well as brings back all the VAs who worked on the series.
- Recess had the crossover special with Lilo & Stitch: The Series in 2005. By then, the show was over, and the cast was back to reprise their roles (except T.J., who had to be done by the same kid who did him in the DTV movies.