While the networks and Netflix are busy trying to capitalize on the current obsession with older projects coming back, Nickelodeon may take this possibility a step further, bringing back well-liked programs from the past for new audiences. And we’re not just talking airing old cartoons like Hey Arnold! and Rugrats, we are talking about potentially retooling classic cartoons and bringing them back for series, movies or specials.
Currently, it still seems as if the plan is in the early stages. Nickelodeon’s president of content and development Russell Hicks is staying mum about exactly which shows could get retooled. Plus, if shows do get retooled, it seems as if the network hasn’t locked down what sort of format the shows will get, either. Hicks simply told Variety that the network is looking at its past programming to inform its future:
However, the outlet suggests that some of the shows Nickelodeon could be looking at include nineties classics like the aforementioned Rugrats and Hey Arnold. The piece also mentions that some of the network’s “oldest classics” are in consideration, which could theoretically include The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Hey Dude, Double Dare (this isn't the first time we've heard about a comeback for this show, either), Legends of the Hidden Temple, Salute Your Shorts or even All That. There are a lot of different possibilities should the channel choose to go this route.
Nickelodeon has also had a pretty good programming run in recent years, so there would be room to potentially bring former Nick stars back to the channel with TV specials. Ariana Grande, after all, got her start on Nickelodeon’s Victorious, and a program featuring her (if Nick could afford it) could potentially do major ratings. But Hicks does seem more concerned about bringing the nostalgia factor out for older fans who are already sharing eighties and even early nineties cartoons with their young children.
Is there anyway we can vote on this stuff? While I think Rugrats is probably a shoe-in here, there are some hardcore advocates for Double Dare and Legends of the Hidden Temple out there. Plus, now that Melissa & Joey has been cancelled, Melissa Joan Hart is definitely looking for work. And while she absolutely cannot play a young teenager, I’m envisioning a spinoff similar to Fuller House, in which Hart plays a mom whose daughter “explains it all.” It’s simple yet effective. I can't believe people are getting paid to come up with this stuff.
Obviously, Nickelodeon is still in the early stages of coming up with a plan to capitalize on the audience's obsession with the past, but since the network is already speaking out about the possibility, I wouldn’t be shocked to hear about some projects moving forward soon. When it happens, we’ll keep you posted. For now, what would you like to see return to TV?
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.