But oh man, Mako was awesome. Aku? An expy of Milton Friedman on the West Wing? UNCLE MOTHERBUCKIN' IROH? And that barely even scratched the surface of the guy's career. The guy was acting all the way back to the 50s.
As for other shows that disappeared for a long time and came back stronger, what about Star Trek? The gap between TOS and TNG was pretty substantial.
And if Star Wars 7 is good we can put that one up there too.