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Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos was singing a happy tune Tuesday at the premiere of the multicam sequel series to the ‘90s sitcom Full House.
“Everywhere you look … you see Fuller House,” he told the family-friendly crowd in reference to the show’s famed theme song. “Everyone in the offices knows — they’re laughing because they know I’ve been singing this for months.”
And who could blame him. As Sarandos noted in his opening remarks at The Grove’s Pacific Theatres, the first trailer announcing Fuller House’s Feb. 26 premiere date drew 14 million viewers — the highest of any video from the streaming company that is also home to favorites such as House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and other revivals like Wet Hot American Summer.
Despite Full House‘s continued success in syndication, original series creator and Fuller House showrunner Jeff Franklin noted that he had been pitching the sequel since as far back as 2008. “It took us six years to get it going but we’re so excited to be here,” Franklin said in his opening remarks.
When speaking with The Hollywood Reporter on the green carpet, the word “surreal” was a common utterance among Franklin and the reunited cast, which were all in attendance with the exception of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who do not appear in the revival.
“It’s amazing,” Franklin said. “It’s just so joyous and there’s so much love between all these people. The fact that we get to do this again is such a gift.”
Andrea Barber, who plays D.J. Tanner’s best friend Kimmy Gibbler, shared the sentiment and touched back to the cast’s many off-screen reunions over the years. “It feels like we’ve never left. We picked right up where we left off,” she said. “Its like being together again with your brothers and sisters at your childhood home.”
However, this time the childhood home has some new tenants. Fuller House centers on the next generation, D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and Kimmy as they move into the iconic Tanner family home after the death of D.J.’s husband to help her raise her three children — much like the premise of the original series. “The adults have passed the torch onto the kids and now Candace, Jodie and I are spearheading this show and it’s a lot of pressure,” Barber said.
The premiere is full of fun nods back to the original series and also features several returning cast members such as John Stamos and Bob Saget. However, there are certain updates as well. After all, the original Full House went off the air in 1995, 21 years ago.
“You have to update technology certainly. We all have our phones now, ” said Dave Coulier, who reprises his role as Uncle Joey in several episodes. “Its kind of like Full House 2.0 so we update it for today, but I think fans are still going to love the fact that we still have all those traditional family values. I think it will be video comfort food for a lot of people.”
Although the sequel series shares certain qualities with its predecessor, Sweetin thinks Fuller House will also be able to blaze its own individual path with the 13 new half-hour episodes, which all premiere on the same day. “I’m really excited for fans to see what a great show Fuller House is all on its own and not compare it necessarily to the old Full House, but to watch it for the new show that it is,” she said.
It’s only the first season of Fuller House, but the cast is already looking ahead to season two and beyond. “This doesn’t happen very often in anyone’s lifetime to be able to go back and work with the people you love and have a blast,” Bure said. “We hope we get to do this one for another 10 years.”
Franklin is already looking further down the road, pointing particularly to the new generation of child actors on the show. He said at the screening, “We hit the jackpot again, so don’t be surprised if we’re back here in another 30 years.”
Fuller House premieres Feb. 26 on Netflix.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek