So Tormé doesn't have any rights on it? (I know next to nothing about how this kind of things work.) Any idea as to what his involvement might be if there was a reboot?
The traditional (but not universal) arrangement: show creators own 10 per cent of the franchise. It's not a controlling stake; it entitles them to consultancy (the way Torme had an Executive Consultant credit on Seasons 4 - 5 but no control over the show) and a cut of the profits. Torme, as far as I can tell, was not a co-owner in St. Clare Entertainment; that was Robert K. Weiss, John Landis and Leslie Belzberg.
All three members of St. Clare Entertainment ceased to have an active creative role in SLIDERS after the first season due to other commitments. I would speculate that Weiss, in addition to owning 11.1 per cent of SLIDERS via St. Clare Entertainment, also owns 5 per cent via the 10 per cent he'd (presumably) share with Torme or that creator's 10 per cent is folded into St. Clare Entertainment.
Please note that this is entirely speculative on my part.
You seem to exclude the possibility that the original cast would return, is there a reason for that (other than the fact that most of the characters are essentially dead) or am I misinterpreting you?
I don't think there is any story reason to prevent the original cast from returning to SLIDERS, but there could be marketing and situational reasons to impede it. Sabrina Lloyd seems to have stepped back from acting to travel and focus on family. Jerry O'Connell thinks SLIDERS would be best with a young, new cast rather than having him headline the show. A studio and network, if they wanted to reboot SLIDERS, would likely want to start over with Quinn and Wade played by actors from ages 21 - 25 and Rembrandt and Arturo played by actors between the ages of 40 - 50 -- just to get a good, long run out of them should the opportunity present itself.
That said, in 2000, Temporal Flux came up with a very clever way to both reboot SLIDERS and feature the original actors playing their original roles while discovering sliding for the first time. The EarthPrime.com webmaster, Transmodiar, subsequently came up with a very clever way to retrofit this story idea so that the characters wouldn't be doubles but instead the original characters we met in the Pilot -- and yet, still stepping into the vortex for the first time. You can read it here. http://sliders.tv/bboard/viewtopic.php?pid=8527#p8527
I've accepted the fact that Sliders became a "generic character A does x, generic character B does y" type of show.
As for the original cast and how the changes affected the show -- I've said all this before, but for awhile, Transmodiar and I had a debate between us. I took the view that SLIDERS losing the chemistry of Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo rendered SLIDERS pointless because I watched the show to hang out with my four friends.
Transmodiar pointed out that the original cast is hardly a marker of quality given episodes like the incomprehensible "Time and Again World," the energy-sapped "The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy," the noticeably underwritten "El Sid" which seems to be short by about 15 - 20 pages of script. Most alarmingly, there's the escape-capture repetition of "Love Gods" which seems like it was written by a computer program producing script pages through an algorithm.
Transmodiar insists that he's had lunch with Paul Jackson and that these are real people. I remain suspicious and have graduated to suspecting that Transmodiar may in fact be a 90s-era artificial intelligence. He also felt that Seasons 4 - 5 had many gems and that Charlie O'Connell found his feet while getting less and less to do, that Kari Wuhrer had a lot of charm and passion for Maggie and that episodes like "World Killer" and "The Return of Maggie Beckett" and other strong entries show SLIDERS doesn't depend on Jerry, Cleavant, Sabrina and John to function properly.
Another fan, Slider_Quinn21 has gone so far as to say that while he's fond enough of the original cast, it's really the concept of exploring an new alternate history every week that carries the show, not any particular set of actors.
And this debate continued for years until Informant, a former member of this community, pointed out that SLIDERS is fundamentally about its concept but that its concept is intrinsically connected to the original cast.
While Earth Prime is subtly not our Earth (unless Berkeley's campus is now next to Golden Gate Park), it was sufficiently similar that Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo shared a common frame of reference with the audience. They could react to parallel worlds the way the audience would react. Informant observed that with each character being removed from the cast, a central point of connection was lost. The Professor came from our world; his outraged frustration and confusion with parallel Earths spoke to and for the audience.
Maggie does not come from our world or anything like our world; we have no sense of what Maggie's perception of normalcy even is, so we can't react with her and feel like we're on a journey with her. This problem reached another low point in Season 4, Informant said, when Earth Prime was invaded by Kromaggs. There was no Kromagg invasion in our world, so now Quinn and Rembrandt were no longer characters the audience could connect to with a common frame of reference.
However, none of this in any way prevents a MACGYVER style reboot with new actors playing the sliders who would, ideally, come from 'our' world and never find their home Earth invaded by Kromaggs or have their backstories retcon them into Kal-El of ****ing Kromagg Prime.
I'm not sure what's worse, making Quinn a mythic chosen one in an interdimensional war or HIGHLANDER II revealing that immortals are aliens from the planet Zeist. I guess they're all trumped by the NINJA TURTLES comics revealing April O'Neil as a being of pure imagination created by a magic pen.
Robert Floyd was a big casting mistake
How do you mean?
They wanted to hire a Jerry O'Connell lookalike. They found one (although they sheared Floyd's hair so short that all of his facial similarities to Jerry were obliterated). Floyd was also a gifted mimic with an unnatural ability to recreate Jerry O'Connell's voice, body language, line deliveries, facial expressions and screen presence -- although production seemed unaware of this since they didn't have him record the dialogue for Quinn's, "Go! Go!" If you wanted to hire a talented actor who looked like Jerry and could sound like Jerry, Robert Floyd was the absolute best choice.
The mistake was allowing Jerry to leave. In American TV, all regular cast members sign multi-year contracts. David Duchovny was tired of THE X-FILES by Season 2; he was obligated to complete his seven season contract. If an actor leaves, it's either because they are no longer capable of performing their role (like WITCHBLADE where the lead actress going into rehab ended the show) or because, as was the case with SLIDERS, the network and studio were grossly incompetent.
The Sci-Fi Channel foolishly failed to budget for a fifth season of SLIDERS and their contract with Jerry expired before they found the money to renew the show. As a result, SLIDERS found itself needing to replace Jerry and they did so with great casting but an inept story editor who tied himself into knots to explain how Quinn's memories could be present in Robert Floyd's character but then jettisoned the Quinn character before the writers (and the actor) could capitalize further on the dramatic potential. That's writing and production, not casting.