Nickelodeon developing ‘Hey Arnold!’ TV movie

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hey Arnold! Revival Is Happening—That’s Right, Football Head Is Coming Back.

Nickelodeon is currently developing a new tale starring the football-headed cartoon good guy that will reintroduce the cartoon to a new generation, Mashable has confirmed. Not long after Nickelodeon has dug into the nostalgia vault to launch the ’90s programming block The Splat, the network has announced a brand new entry for one of its most beloved series. As first reported by Variety, the TV movie would pick up where the original series (1996-2004) left off and deliver some answers to longstanding questions about Arnold’s parents. In the final episodes produced, “The Journal (Parts 1 & 2),” titular, football-headed Arnold was off to find his missing parents, in the jungle that had seemingly consumed them. This could just be the first show Nickelodeon is bringing back for new audiences. “Kids who grew up on these characters are now of the age that they are having kids and families themselves,” Russell Hicks, president of content development and production at Nickelodeon Group, told Variety. “Our library has come to fruition and it’s time for it to start coming back to life.” Nickelodeon said it’s goal isn’t to bring millennials back as viewers, but rather target the current audience and encourage family viewing.

The mystery of Arnold’s parents was one of the longer term threads in the series, most fully explored in the two-part episode “The Journal.” A feature film was also released in 2002. This effort would be separate from — though, likely not unrelated to — what it’s already attempted to do with The Splat, a nightly programming block of classic shows. The network started The Splat programming block on TeenNick that featured all your favorites from the 1990s, including Clarissa Explains It All and Ren & Stimpy.

While Viscardi will oversee creative strategies for key content like “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Dora The Explorer,” he will also mine the network’s vast library of original series to develop new shows for modern audiences. There is currently no target date for the Hey Arnold movie’s release, though, unlike 2002’s Hey Arnold!: The Movie, this film would not be released in theaters. He was a writer on 20th Century Fox’s 2007 reboot of “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” but also has a hand in modern Nick fare, like “Sanjay and Craig,” on which he is an executive producer and writer with longtime creative partner Will McRobb.

Nickelodeon has more than 13 new animated projects in production and “over 40 things in development,” said Hicks. “There is a robust pipeline of new fresh product,” he said. Nickelodeon’s emphasis on wringing new value out of its library comes as the network and its counterpart Nick Jr. have gained in the ratings during the most recent quarter.

Investors have in the recent past expressed concern about Viacom’s Nickelodeon empire as new technologies catering to kids – including subscription-video-on-demand outlets like Netlifx and Amazon – have wooed away some of TV’s youngest viewers. For her part, Hart told us she’s been approached about returning to the character, but it has to be the right pitch. “I think it would have to be done really right. But in recent weeks, according to data from Bernstein Research analyst Todd Juenger, an emphasis on new original programming has helped some of the Nick networks gain ratings share at the expense of rivals. Some series embraced more of a “punk rock” attitude,” while others were “sweeter.” Viscardi said he is not considering just animation He is also open to reviving some of Nickelodeon’s classic live-action series, which over the years included everything from “You Can’t Do That On Television” to “Clarissa Explains It All.” Mitchell Kreigman, the creator of “Clarissa,” recently published a new book, “Things I Can’t Explain,” chronicling the heroine’s life as a young adult in the big city. The network is likely to give first look to properties Nickelodeon already controls, but Hicks and Viscardi said they remain open to considering content that ran on the network that is owned by someone else. “Doug,” an animated series about a pre-teen kid and his friends that aired on Nickelodeon in the 1990s, for example, is controlled by Walt Disney.

But Viscardi said executives see the series “as part of Nickelodeon history.” Not everything is going to get a new day in the sun. “We are very selective about the series, what we go back to, and think about how we can take them and make them special,” said Viscardi. “It’s really important to us to be really consistent with the storytelling that was there long ago on the series but also work to reimagine it , even just a little bit, and make it appealing and thrilling for today’s audience.” In a different case, Nickelodeon is just letting the old stuff out for another airing.

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