HBOMax is Planning a ‘Vacation’ TV Series

Published on December 16, 2019

The Vacation franchise has seen better days. Years ago, Warner Bros. tried to reboot the classic comedy series with a sequel that didn’t live up to the franchise’s name or glory years.

Audiences and critics weren’t enthralled by the Ed Helms-led movie, either, but it managed to make over $100 million at the worldwide box-office. Not a bad haul for a comedy, but it wasn’t enough to keep the series going with more sequels. So it comes as no surprise that a reboot is cooking, and this time for a streaming service, HBOMax.

Stream a Vacation 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki is a part of the team behind the TV series. Galecki has ties to the Vacation franchise, as he played Rusty Griswold in Christmas Vacation.

The actor is producing the series, but it’s up in the air whether he’ll star in the series, theoretically reprising his role as Rusty. Galecki’s production company, Alcide Bava production, is behind the HBOMax series. Since Galecki wrapped making richie rich money on The Big Bang Theory, he’s been focusing more on producing than acting.

The Story 

The series doesn’t have the greenlight yet, to be clear. It only has a script development deal at the moment, so a Vacation series could easily never come to fruition. If it does ever move forward, though, it’ll tell the story of the Griswold family returning home from vacation and, of course, screwing up massively and running into all sorts of hijinks because the Griswolds never grow and change.

Whether cast members from the past, including Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, will return isn’t set in stone. Casting is a long, long way off, but it wouldn’t be a huge shocker if Galecki found a role for himself in the half-hour comedy series.

A Franchise Refresher 

The Vacation franchise kicked off in 1983 with a miserable trip to Wally World. At the time, Chevy Chase was a star whose skills only sharpened under the direction of the late, great Harold Ramis, who knew how to work with a notoriously difficult Chase better than most filmmakers. Ramis got the best of Chase and his cast, delivering a comedy classic that mostly holds up today. 

In 1985, National Lampoon’s European Vacation became a classic example of a comedy sequel gone wrong in all the wrong ways. Four years later, though, the series reached its peak with a holiday favorite, Christmas Vacation. It never fails to entertain during the holiday season.

Eight years later, Chase’s franchise ended on a whimper with Vegas Vacation. While it’s not without its sporadic laughs, they’re not in the same league as the best gags of the franchise. Chase returned for a small role in the 2015 take on Vacation, but it wasn’t a substantial role or entry in the series.


If anyone is already seeing a nice chunk of change from the in-the-works streaming service HBOMax, it’s Galecki. They invested big in The Big Bang Theory, spending over a billion dollars to acquire the streaming rights. The show, which recently came to an end, is just a piggy bank that never stops pouring out money for its cast, creators, and network.

HBOMax will stream the series from 2020 to 2025. HBO is projecting 50 million subscribers over its first five years in business. 50 million ain’t too shabby compared to Disney+ and Netflix. By 2024, Disney expects 60-90 million subscribers. AT&T invested around $2 billion in HBOMax this year, and they’re expected to drop another billion bucks on it next year.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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