Friday, August 14, 2020

‘The Ren & Stimpy Show’ Reboot Greenlit by Comedy Central

As part of a major push into adult animation, Comedy Central has given a series green light to a reimagening of Nickelodeon's cult Emmy-nominated animated series The Ren & Stimpy Show — 25 years after ending the Nicktoons' original run.


The Nickelodeon cartoon that gave the world Powdered Toast Man, Log, Canadian Kilted Yaksmen, Salve, every Christmas' number-one toy, 'Don't Whiz on the Electric Fence', and a shocking number of crudely rendered rubber nipples is set to return in a new form.

Comedy Central has been tapping into IP across ViacomCBS to build an original animated slate around stalwart South Park. The Ren & Stimpy Show will join the recently announced Beavis and Butt-Head reboot from Mike Judge and Daria spin-off Jodie on Comedy Central.

All four shows are being produced by ViacomCBS' in-house production studios, with Nickelodeon — home to the original Ren & Stimpy — overseeing the new take.

a new creative team at Nickelodeon Animation Studios will helm the project.

Update (8/14) - In a bit of a blow to fans, Bob Camp, co-founder of the studio that created Ren & Stimpy and successor to the show after John K's firing from Nickelodeon, will reportedly not be returning for the reboot. Though Camp seems unsurprised by his exclusion from the show's return.

The series followed the adventures of title characters Ren, an emotionally unstable Chihuahua, and Stimpy, a good-natured yet dimwitted cat often referred to by his pal as "EEEDIOT". (Their proper names are Ren Hoeck and Stimpson J. Cat.) It aired for nearly 100 episodes over five seasons on Nickelodeon, ending in December 1995. The following year, the series had a run on MTV.

Billy West, the voice of Stimpy — and of Ren (for three seasons) — is expected to return to the revival, along with several of the original writers.

It will not, however, involve Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi, whom a source tells Variety will have no creative input into and will receive no financial remuneration from the new series. Kricfalusi was accused in a 2018 Buzzfeed article of sexually abusing teenage girls.

Details beyond what was mentioned today are limited, including who is in the writer's room, when it will premiere, and how many episodes are attached.

“I want to thank our partners at Nick Animation as we re-imagine these iconic characters with a new creative team,” said Nina L. Diaz, President of Content and Chief Creative Officer for ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group.

The announcement comes in conjunction with the news that ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group has tapped Marvel Studios and Fox Entertainment alum Grant Gish to lead a newly created adult animation unit. Shows under his oversight include the Ren & Stimpy reboot, Comedy Central’s Beavis & Butt-Head revival, the Tracee Ellis Ross-led Daria spinoff, Jodie, as well as MTV’s reboot of Clone High.

“Grant has incredible instincts and a supercharged passion for animation. Along with his extraordinary reputation and impressive successes with some of the biggest hits in the genre, from Bob’s Burgers to American Dad – his vision is exactly what we’re looking for to lead our adult animation unit,” said Diaz.

“I grew up on MTV’s Animation Studios content where I’d run home from school to watch Beavis and Butt-Head eating pretzels on my couch,” added Gish. “With access to such a vast library of IP that will enable us to break through the clutter coupled with the opportunity to create a fresh slate, I couldn’t be more excited to join the E&Y Group that’s growing in droves under Chris and Nina’s leadership.”

Gish joins ViacomCBS from Marvel Studios, where he launched the Adult Comedy and Animation group within the former Marvel Television division. As VP of comedy and animation Gish spearheaded Marvel’s foray into half-hour comedy and adult animation with the upcoming Hulu series M.O.D.O.K. and Hit-Monkey. Before that, Gish served as VP, Animation Development & Current Programming, 20th Century Fox TV where he helped develop the Emmy-winning series Bob’s Burgers and oversaw American Dad. He also did a stint at Good Humor TV, where he worked on HBO’s animated series The Life & Times Of Tim and helped develop Good Vibes.

“We are thrilled to have Grant lead our new Adult Animation unit as we expedite the rapid expansion of our adult animation content,” said Chris McCarthy, President of ViacomCBS’s entertainment and youth group, in a statement. “Adult Animation is an incredibly powerful asset that truly works on every platform and around the world. It’s also pandemic-proof, which is why we are reimagining many of our beloved iconic [properties], unlocking incredible value.”

Gish’s hiring fits into ViacomCBS’ move to build content verticals across brands within the Entertainment & Youth Groups and is part of the Group’s broader strategy as they look to evolve from cable to content, developing and producing content for all platforms, including for ViacomCBS upcoming new shared streaming service (currently CBS All Access), linear cable networks, and digital platforms worldwide.

Nickelodeon launched the original Ren & Stimpy alongside Rugrats and Doug in 1991, where it quickly catapulted into the pop culture zeitgeist with its dark humor, vivid imagination and critical acclaim. The iconic dog and cat duo are consistently ranked among the top animated characters of all time.

Despite being a children’s show, Ren & Stimpy didn’t shy away from the dark or grotesque, and incorporated themes and jokes considered more “adult.” The series pushed many boundaries and has long been hailed for its ambitious artistry, but its legacy is controversial. Creator John Kricfalusi was famously fired from the show after repeated clashes with the network over production delays and the offensive content. Nickelodeon also took heat over the lack of educational value the show brought. Multiple segments were edited to remove references to religion, politics and alcohol. Fans would later discover through John K’s own airing of dirty laundry that the network had censored and buried episodes over hidden sex jokes that crossed the line.

The show’s notorious gross-out humor, scathing parody, and a meticulous art style that earned it critical acclaim also led to its downfall; the show eventually flamed out after John K’s dominating work style caused strife with the network and the staff, causing the whole operation to collapse at the height of its popularity.

Other titles from that era of television have been making comebacks in various forms, including the Rocko's Modern Life movie on Netflix, and Rugrats as a new TV series, set to premiere on Nickelodeon in 2021.

Kricfalusi has had a busy career, including the creation of shows like The Goddamn George Liquor Program and The Ripping Friends, numerous commercials and shorts, two The Simpsons couch gags, directing 100 episodes of The Powerpuff Girls, and producing music videos for Miley Cyrus.

John K would go on to try and replicate the success of Ren & Stimpy without the restraint of a kid’s network, churning out Ren & Stimpy’s Adult Cartoon Party, but it turned out the censorship battles made the show what it was. Walking the line was more entertaining than anything explicit. The series aired on the former Spike (now Paramount Network). Six episodes were produced as part of the animated programming block, but only three aired. A failure that put John K on an independent track.

The original cartoon series developed a loyal cult audience, with celebrities including Frank Zappa, Soleil Moon Frye, Mark Hamill and Phil Hartman playing incidental characters. The series also expanded into consumer products, including plush, video games and comics.

In 2018, John K. faced his reckoning: two women accused John K of preying on and sexually harassing them while they were underage, a history of behavior the animator didn’t deny. As many of his former staff say in the upcoming documentary Happy Happy Joy Joy, which chronicles the rise and fall of the series, the misconduct put the entire legacy of Ren & Stimpy in question. The documentary hits streaming services Aug. 14.

“We are excited to reinvent this iconic franchise with a new creative team and our partners at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio,” said McCarthy. “Ren & Stimpy joins our rapidly expanding roster of adult animation including South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head and Clone High as we continue to reimagine our treasure chest of beloved IP for new generations.”

He added: "We are going to give them the edgy, irreverent, comedic voice that defined them but we’re going to tell all new stories and bring in new character."

Comedy Central is already home to the groundbreaking animated series South Park, now in its 23rd season. It’s been renewed through its 26th season, airs worldwide in over 130 countries in 30 different languages and has enjoyed multi-platform success. It was the top animated series on Hulu and now streams exclusively on HBO Max.

Meanwhile, a revival of the cult animated series Clone High (2002-03) will return to sister network MTV with original series creators Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Bill Lawrence.

“We’re not making the same shows,” says McCarthy, president, Entertainment & Youth Group, ViacomCBS. “The world has changed so much. To me they’re not remakes but re-imaginings. Beavis and Butt-Head, for instance, was so defined by GenXers, my generation, who are now having kids and raising GenZers.

This animation push is part-and-parcel of the ratings success enjoyed by corporate parent ViacomCBS, whose portfolio includes Paramount Network (and its hit cable series Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner) and Pop TV, which found its breakout series in the Emmy-nominated comedy Schitt’s Creek, which ended its six-season run in April.

“We’re really making a dramatic shift on Comedy Central, where South Park is killing it,” McCarthy says. “The nice thing about animation is it helps you take the hard truth of life and process these through funny jokes — even when they’re not funny.

“It’s a visual manifestation of pure insanity… and the rise of adult animation is skyrocketing.”

Comedy Central is also the home of syndicated repeats of adult animated series including BoJack Horseman, Mike Judge's King of the Hill and Seth MacFarlane's The Cleveland Show. (It's worth noting that Judge and co-creator Greg Daniels had "preliminary conversations" with Fox for a King of the Hill revival in 2017.)

This is McCarthy's latest major programming acquisition for Comedy Central since he took over from former network president Kent Alterman as part of a larger ViacomCBS executive consolidation. Since then, Comedy Central has canceled Alternatino With Arturo Castro (which moved to Quibi) and Lights Out With David Spade while renewing its Crank Yankers revival, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens and Tosh.0 (for four more seasons).

Adult animation continues to be a growth genre on broadcast, cable and streaming platforms. In success, shows like Rick and Morty repeat well and bring in younger audiences and can often lead to profitable merchandising lines. Franchises like Family Guy and Bob's Burgers, for example, are considered to be worth billions. What's more, animated series are able to be produced remotely during the (COVID-19) coronavirus pandemic that has shut down hundreds of film and TV projects.

In 2018, Kricfalusi offered something nearing apology to two women who had accused him of grooming them for sexual relationships when they were 13 and 15, blaming undiagnosed bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

"The last thing I want to do is aggravate bad feelings that already exist," he wrote. "These feelings are obviously real and strong and I understand them much better now.

"It’s not pretty to have to stare myself in the face and see myself the way those who I’ve hurt see me. I imagine many other men are waking up and feeling the shame I’ve felt for years. I welcome a social change in our attitudes towards women and how we should treat them with respect and equality."

The Ren & Stimpy Show is currently available to stream on CBS All Access.

Below is Comedy Central's official press release announcing the news!:

Comedy Central greenlights reimagined The Ren & Stimpy Show

Show joins growing roster of iconic adult animation hits at ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group, including South Park and reinventions of Beavis & Butt-Head, Clone High and Jodie

New York – August 5, 2020 – Today, Comedy Central announced a reimagination of the Emmy®-nominated cult hit The Ren & Stimpy Show as it continues to double down on adult-focused animation, unlocking and reinventing a treasure chest of IP across ViacomCBS to complement South Park, including the newly announced Beavis and Butt-Head from Mike Judge and Daria spin-off Jodie.

“I want to thank our partners at Nick Animation as we re-imagine these iconic characters with a new creative team,” said Nina L. Diaz, President of Content and Chief Creative Officer for ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group.”

Nickelodeon launched the original Ren & Stimpy alongside Rugrats and Doug in 1991, where it quickly catapulted into the pop culture zeitgeist with its dark humor, vivid imagination and critical acclaim. Often thought of as an adult series at the time, the iconic dog and cat duo are consistently ranked among the top animated characters of all time.

“We are excited to reinvent this iconic franchise with a new creative team and our partners at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio,” said Chris McCarthy, President of ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group. “Ren & Stimpy joins our rapidly expanding roster of adult animation including South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head and Clone High as we continue to reimagine our treasure chest of beloved IP for new generations.”

###

From CBR:

After Ren & Stimpy's Troubled History, a Reboot Is Still Worth It

The Ren & Stimpy Show is making a comeback, but given the show's troubled history, maybe the reboot shouldn't happen.

Though the pop culture hit The Ren & Stimpy Show is coming back to Comedy Central with a "re-imagined" take on the classic '90s animated series, it's unclear if a resurrection is really worth the trouble because of the show's dark history, However, even though the show comes with some unwanted baggage that Comedy Central would love to leave buried, with a lot of it excluded from the reboot, the pros might just outweigh the cons.

One can't think of iconic '90s cartoons without Ren & Stimpy. The show was a trailblazer, garnering widespread critical acclaim and anchoring Nickelodeon's cartoon block with Rugrats and Doug. The show ingrained itself into pop culture and would actually influence future cartoons such as SpongeBob SquarePants. Considering its impact on a generation of fans and its influence on a newer one, rebooting this series for another generation to enjoy would actually do more good than harm.

Seeing as this isn't the first time a Ren & Stimpy reboot has been attempted, there definitely seems to be a market for this innovative program. This time, however, Comedy Central can get this reboot right and avoid the same mistakes that the previous incarnations had suffered through. There's no reason why a new generation can't enjoy classic characters like Mr. Horse, Muddy Mudskipper and Powdered Toast Man without thinking of the baggage of the previous two series.

One of the main reasons for that is most of the toxicity behind Ren & Stimpy won't be returning. The show's creator, John Kricfalusi, won't be involved with the reboot after a slew of sexual harassment accusations, meaning his constant disagreements with Nickelodeon that caused episodes to be late or shelved are a thing of the past. On top of that, many of the show's original writers, including the original voice of Stimpson J. Cat, Billy West, are expected to return.

However, on a slightly disappointing albeit surprising note, Bob Camp, co-founder of the studio that created Ren & Stimpy and successor to the show after John K's firing from Nickelodeon, will not be returning. Though Camp seems unsurprised by his exclusion from the show's return, many fans believe the show will lose its appeal without his involvement. Although, the 2003 reboot Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon had John K's fingerprints all over it and that reboot couldn't even survive more than three episodes before Spike TV pulled the plug, meaning the old creative team may not have the charm it used to.

Sure, without Ren & Stimpy's original creators, the show may lack some of its original pizzazz, but in the long run, losing them may actually be another positive. Many original series episodes under Camp's direction were so bad that not even the History Eraser Button can remove them from memory. To put it simply, without Bob Camp and John K's influence, the new Ren & Stimpy should be an improvement.

With that being said, though, despite all the positives of a reboot, the show's behind-the-scenes chaos may be too much for Comedy Central to overcome. While it's great that he no longer has anything to do with the show, the stigma that John K left will undoubtedly linger over the reboot series. At a time where people have had enough of abusive people being in power, bringing back a show one had a hand in creating is a difficult thing to sell.

In addition to past controversies hanging over the show, it's fair to wonder if people really want more Ren & Stimpy. Reboots of Beavis and Butt-Head and Clone High are already in the works, as well as a spin-off of Daria, creating what would seem to be an overabundance of remakes, all stemming from Comedy Central. Unfortunately, reboots tend to be frowned upon as of late, with fans and critics alike panning them as unoriginal. Hopefully, that isn't the case with Ren & Stimpy, as the show has a lot more to offer audiences than the drama it has become synonymous with.

###

More Nick: Nickelodeon to Bring 'Rugrats' Back for the Next Generation of Kids!

Originally published: Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 19:07 BST.

Sources: Deadline (II), TheWrap, The New York Post, Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Ponygon, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Animation World Network, Chortle; H/T: Special thanks to @WalterSalmon13 for the news!; Additional source: ZeeEllToons95, PennLive.

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'Glitch Techs' Creators Release 'The Glitch Techs Crew Fanart Collection' eBook

To celebrate Netflix releasing the next batch of brand new Glitch Techs episodes Monday, August 17, 2020, and the Glitchcord - the official Glitch Techs Discord server - reaching 1000 members, Dan Milano, a co-creator of Glitch Techs has unveiled an amazing gift for Glitch Techs fans: The Glitch Techs Crew Fanart Collection, a brand new eBook full of Glitch Techs fanart created by the show's production crew!


The amazing Glitch Techs art book can be downloaded as a PDF for FREE by clicking HERE, and it's a must have for fans of the show!

Action, mystery, and a brand new recruit--that's just a little bit of what is going on at Hinobi HQ! Glitch Techs Season 2 comes to Netflix August 17. Click the following link for more info!: http://nickalive.blogspot.com/2020/07/netflix-to-release-glitch-techs-season.html

More Nick: Netflix and Nickelodeon Form Multi-Year Output Deal to Produce Original Animated Films and Series!
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Nickelodeon to Premiere New Episodes of 'Power Rangers Beast Morphers' Season 2 in September 2020

New episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers Season 2 will finally hit American screens next month.


If you’re a Power Rangers fan in the U.S., you’ve been in a drought. There hasn’t been a new episode of Power Rangers Beast Morphers, the current series of the long-running franchise, aired in the country since April of 2020! That’s been four months without new Power Rangers - but thankfully fans will be seeing new episodes soon. As part of Hasbro’s Fan First Friday, it was revealed that Power Rangers Beast Morphers would be returning to Nickelodeon “next month.” We don’t know when in September it’ll be - with fans speculating that it could be Saturday, September 12 - but at least we have a vague idea of when the show will be back on Nickelodeon.

There’s a lot to look forward to, with the promised return of not only the Dino Charge Rangers but original Mighty Morphin Red Ranger Jason! We’ve only seen brief glimpses of this much anticipated team-up but all we know for sure is that alongside Jason we’ll be seeing Tyler, Chase, Koda, and Sir Ivan from Dino Charge unmorphed. While of course we’d love to see more old Rangers it’ll be great to enjoy the ones we’re getting. But who knows, the season could have more secrets to reveal!

If you’re looking up new information about the rest of Power Rangers Beast Morphers Season 2, be wary! The rest of the second season already aired in the UK back in June so if you see any clips floating around of the return of Jason or other characters from old seasons, that’s where they came from. If you want to remain unspoiled be sure to watch the tags such as #BeastSpoilers on your favorite social media platform.

What are you most looking forward to when Beast Morphers returns to finish out its run? Is it the big Dino team-up? Is it the possible return of other characters? Seeing what’ll happen with Devon’s dad after his possession by Evox? That was the biggest dangling cliffhanger at the end of the last episode aired so we’re ready to see how that resolved! Do they save him? Will he still be possessed by Evox for the rest of the episodes? There’s a good chunk of content left in the season so we’re excited to see where the show goes.

We also have Power Rangers Dino Fury, the next season, to look forward to! With Beast Morphers long having finished, that show is currently ramping up for production, with filming scheduled to commence in Auckland, New Zealand in October. Dino Fury is slated to premiere on Nickelodeon in 2021, but it's currently unknown whether the late-filming of Dino Fury, which was delayed due to the on-going COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, will have a effect on the usual Spring premiere of Power Rangers.

More Nick: 'Power Rangers' Season 28 to be Titled 'Power Rangers Dino Fury'; To Premiere on Nickelodeon in 2021!

Source: Den of Geek.
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Toon Island Contestants ft. SpongeBob, The Louds and Horrid Henry | Nickelodeon UK

Toon Island Contestants ft. SpongeBob, The Louds and Horrid Henry | Nickelodeon UK


What brought SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Horrid Henry, and The Louds to Toon Island? Watch this video to find out!

Catch more Toon Island, the whole of August, on Nicktoons!

More Nick: Nickelodeon UK to Premiere 'Dorg Van Dango' in August 2020!
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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run | Behind The Scenes Featurette | Nickelodeon Movies

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run Behind The Scenes Featurette #1


Some Behind The Scenes Of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run


Catch The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run in Canadian theatres today!

In the U.S., the film will debut digitally via premium video on demand in early 2021 and then move exclusively to CBS All Access. For fans outside North America, the movie will debut on Netflix. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will also stream on Netflix Canada after its theatrical run.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run sees best friends SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star venture out of Bikini Bottom and head to the Lost City of Atlantic City on a rescue mission to save SpongeBob’s trustee snail Gary. Its the third SpongeBob film, after 2004’s The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and 2015’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Those movies were commercially successful, earning over $450 million globally combined.

In Sponge on the Run, after SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary is snail-napped, he and Patrick embark on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring Gary home. As they navigate the delights and dangers on this perilous and hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there’s nothing stronger than the power of friendship.

Sponge on the Run will see the cast of SpongeBob SquarePants reprise their respective roles: Tom Kenny (SpongeBob and Gary), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), Douglas Lawrence (Plankton), Jill Talley (Karen), Mary Jo Catlett (Mrs. Puff), and Lori Alan (Pearl). An actor named Antonio Raul Corbo will be voicing young SpongeBob.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will feature a raft of guest stars, including: Keanu Reeves (as a tumbleweed named Sage), Awkwafina, Reggie Watts and Snoop Dog (as a Zombie Cowboy). Cyndi Lauper (The SpongeBob Musical) has written original songs for the film.

Based on the TV series created by Stephen Hillenburg, The SpongeBob Movie is written and directed by Tim Hill, and produced by Ryan Harris, with Stephen Hillenburg exec producing. Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies present, in association with MRC A United Plankton Pictures production.

More Nick: CBS All Access to Premiere 'Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years' During Early 2021!
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