Ryan Reynolds brought ‘ALF’ back to TV on his new channel

Still from new 'ALF' short on Maximum Effort channel
YouTube/Ryan Reynolds

Though the NBC ATV show only lasted for four seasons, “ALF” still holds a grip on the pop-cultural memory.

And now, for all of you who’ve been aching to introduce your kids to the snarky, cat-hungry alien, he’s coming back. Actor and businessman Ryan Reynolds is bringing the original series to his new TV project, the Maximum Effort Channel.

And if “Maximum Effort” sounds antithetical to the Gordon Shumway ethos — ALF really hated to work — don’t worry. Reynolds is a longtime fan.

The show isn’t back as a full sitcom. Instead, Reynolds’ network is creating shorts that highlight specific brands. He’s even brought original “ALF” producer and voice actor Paul Fusco on board to create the short, sponsored videos starring the alien himself.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

“At Maximum Effort, we love taking risks and blurring the lines between shows and sponsorship because we believe both can be equally entertaining,” Reynolds said in Entertainment Weekly. “Besides my irrational love of ‘ALF’ growing up, one of the reasons we licensed this show was precisely because Paul, Shout! Studios and our intrepid brand partners wanted to plot with us to bring ALF back to life.”

The shorts, called “Maximum Moments,” will air like commercials, interspersed with old episodes of the show. The Maximum Effort Channel is available to stream for free on services like Tubi, Freevee, Fubo and Plex.

As the channel says on its website, Maximum Effort is a collection of “classic and original shows, movies and commercials created to lower the blood pressure of Ryan Reynolds and viewers like you.”

Here’s one of the shorts, advertising Reynolds’ Mint Mobile service.

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“ALF” ran on NBC from 1986 to 1990, telling the story of the alien who is the last survivor of his planet. One fateful day, he crash-lands into the average suburban garage of average suburban family, the Tanners.

Naturally, the adults are disturbed. But the kids are thrilled! The family names him ALF — for Alien Life Form — and invites him to secretly live in their home. Little do they know, ALF/Gordon fancies himself a comedian, and loves to hang around the house cracking jokes. (“Ha! I kill me,” is a famous catchphrase.)

There’s also a running gag where ALF tries to eat the family cat — cat’s a delicacy on Melmac — but mostly he just hangs out and roasts everyone else.

“ALF” ended up with 102 episodes, along with 21 episodes of an animated spinoff called “ALF: The Animated Series,” another animated show called “ALF Tales,” and a wrap-up TV movie called “Project: ALF.” Fans may be seeing more of ALF, too, as Shout Factory, who owns the distribution rights, has been looking to give the character more exposure.

”ALF” began airing on Maximum Effort on July 29.

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About the Author
Kathleen St. John
Kathleen St. John is a freelance journalist. She lives in Denver with her husband, two kids and a fiercely protective Chihuahua. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kathleen's work.

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