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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Viacom to Revive 'Rugrats' with New Nickelodeon Series, Feature Film

Update - Below is Nickelodeon's official Press Release announcing the news:

“EVERYTHING’S BACK TO NORMAN”: NICKELODEON AND

PARAMOUNT PLAYERS TO BRING RUGRATS BACK FOR THE NEXT

GENERATION OF KIDS WITH AN ALL-NEW TV SERIES AND

FEATURE FILM


Rugrats Movie and Brand-New, Original 26-Episode TV Series Will Feature Everyone’s
Favorite Talking Babies in All-New Adventures


NEW YORK, BURBANK AND HOLLYWOOD Calif.,--July 17, 2018—Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) flagship properties Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures announced today a relaunch of the iconic kids’ TV series Rugrats, with a 26-episode greenlight from Nickelodeon, and a live-action film featuring CGI characters from Paramount Players. Both the TV series and the movie will include new adventures with beloved characters Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie and Angelica, and will also introduce a new world of characters. Original creators Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain will return to the TV series as executive producers. Nickelodeon’s Rugrats will be produced in Burbank, Calif., with production already underway. Additional news of the TV series, airdate and casting--and Reptar sightings--will be announced in the coming months.

The Rugrats movie will be written by David Goodman and is set to be released on November 13th, 2020 by Paramount Players, the division of Paramount Pictures that develops and produces co-branded feature films with Viacom’s leading media networks. Rugrats is the seventh film title announced in connection with this cross-company initiative.

Rugrats is hands-down one of the most celebrated cartoons in TV history, and we are thrilled for a whole new audience to meet these iconic characters in brand-new adventures,” said Sarah Levy, COO, Viacom Media Networks; and Interim President, Nickelodeon. “What was true in 1991 when the original show premiered is still true today: kids are fascinated with the world of babies. We can’t wait for today’s kids to meet Tommy, Chuckie and pals.”

Rugrats joins the recently announced return of Blue’s Clues as the latest classic original series Nickelodeon is bringing back for today’s generation of kids and families. Nickelodeon produced and aired an all-new Hey Arnold! special in 2017, and has announced the return of two more beloved titles as forthcoming specials: Rocko’s Modern Life and Invader Zim.

“Now feels like the ideal time to reintroduce this iconic cast of characters to a whole new generation of young fans,” said Brian Robbins, President of Paramount Players. “Kids who grew up with Tommy Pickles and the Rugrats crew will now be able to share that experience with their own children.”

Rugrats focuses on a group of toddlers, Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, twins Phil and Lil DeVille, and Angelica Pickles, and their day-to-day lives that became adventures in their imaginations. The original Rugrats series launched in August of 1991 and instantly became a groundbreaking phenomenon, spawning consumer products, three hit theatrical releases and cementing its place in pop culture history through its iconic characters, storytelling and unique visual style. Rugrats was in production for nine seasons over the course of 13 years. The series earned four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids' Choice Awards and its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 39th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated kids’ basic cable network for 22 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Players, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

About Viacom

Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling entertainment content – including television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, games, consumer products, podcasts, live events and social media experiences – for audiences in 183 countries. Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land, CMT, Logo, Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (Argentina), Colors (India) and Paramount Channel, reach approximately 4.3 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Paramount Television develops, finances and produces original programming for television and digital platforms.

For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com. Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom's blog at blog.viacom.com and Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/viacom.

# # #

Update (7/18): Nickelodeon has hinted in a post on Instagram that Nickelodeon will premiere the brand-new Rugrats series in 2020!

Update (7/18): TMZ is reporting that Cheryl Chase, the voice of Angelica Pickles, Tommy's older cousin, in the original series and movies, may be in the new series and movie! Chase, who voiced Angelica for over 9 seasons, told TMZ that she's obviously down to reprise her role and that Nickelodeon has already reached out to her to say they'll be in touch very soon!

Also, via Viacom's Corporate Blog:

Fourteen Years Later and Not a Day Older, Rugrats Return to TV, Theater


Over the course of a nine-season, 13-year television run that also included three motion pictures, Nickelodeon’s beloved Rugrats crawled and waddled their way to four Daytime Emmy Awards and a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Now, the beloved tykes are returning to both television and movie theaters via Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures’ Paramount Players division. This cross-brand collaboration, which will maximize Rugrats’ reach across platforms and among varied audiences, is Viacom’s latest effort to tap the value of its deep intellectual property well by fully activating the power of its brand ecosystem in support of marquee franchises and talent.

Rugrats is hands-down one of the most celebrated cartoons in TV history, and we are thrilled for a whole new audience to meet these iconic characters in brand-new adventures,” said Viacom Media Networks COO and Nickelodeon Interim President Sarah Levy. “What was true in 1991 when the original show premiered is still true today: kids are fascinated with the world of babies. We can’t wait for today’s kids to meet Tommy, Chuckie and pals.”

The 26-episode comeback season is already under production at Nickelodeon’s Burbank studio, under the supervision of original creators and series executive producers Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain. The as-yet-untitled fourth Rugrats movie, slated for a November 13, 2020 release, will be a live-action film with CGI characters.

Nickelodeon’s vault holds some of the most iconic names in children’s entertainment, and the network is moving deliberately to resurrect select properties that resonate with today’s audiences, both on Nick’s networks and on third-party platforms. Last year’s Hey Arnold! special sent the Hillwood crew back to television, and an updated Blue’s Clues series is in the works, along with special events featuring fan favorites Rocko’s Modern Life and Invader Zim. Through a studio model that is proliferating across Viacom, Nick will also produce two full animated seasons of infectiously positive teenage hotdog Pinky Malinky for Netflix.

Rugrats, which last aired new episodes in 2004, has always proved popular with moviegoers. The trio of Paramount Pictures-distributed films – The Rugrats Movie, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, and Rugrats Go Wild – grossed nearly $300 million in total box office between 1998 and 2003. The forthcoming film will be the seventh project announced by Paramount Players, which develops and produces co-branded feature films with Viacom Media Networks.

“Now feels like the ideal time to reintroduce this iconic cast of characters to a whole new generation of young fans,” said Paramount Players President Brian Robbins. “Kids who grew up with Tommy Pickles and the Rugrats crew will now be able to share that experience with their own children.”

--Ends--

Original post:

The iconic series will return to Nick with 26 new episodes, while Paramount Players will bow a live-action feature with CGI characters in November 2020.


Viacom is bringing Rugrats back to both the big and small screen!

The media conglomerate announced Tuesday that it is reviving the children's television series for a 26-episode greenlight at Nickelodeon and greenlighting a new live-action feature film featuring CGI characters for Paramount Players.

The TV series and movie will include new adventures with original characters Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie and Angelica while also introducing a new world of characters.

Original creators Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain will return for the Nickelodeon series as executive producers. Production on the new animated series is already underway in Burbank, California with casting, a premiere date and more announced in the coming months.

The Rugrats feature will be penned by David Goodman and released by Paramount Players on Nov. 13, 2020. Paramount Players is a division of Viacom's Paramount Pictures that develops and co-produces co-branded feature films with Viacom’s flagship cable networks. Other Viacom brand getting the feature treatment from Paramount Players are Dora the Explorer (with the show airing on Nickelodeon from 2000-14) and Are You Afraid of the Dark? (which originally also ran on Nickelodeon). All told, Rugrats is the seventh feature on the Paramount Players slate, joining Nobody's Fool (due Nov. 2), Eli (Jan. 4), What Men Want (Jan. 11), Dora (Aug. 2, 2019), Body Cam (TBD) and Are You Afraid of the Dark (Oct. 11, 2019).

The Rugrats revival arrives as the kids-focused cable network finds itself in new territory after 30-year-plus Viacom veteran Cyma Zarghami exited her post as president of the Nickelodeon Group. Sarah Levy is running the brand in the interim as a replacement has not yet been determined.

To compete with fellow cable and streaming outlets (Netflix, Apple) that have entered the kids programming space, driving up the price and demand for content, Nickelodeon, like other high-end scripted destinations, is leaning on reboots and spinoffs to compete and cut through the cluttered landscape. Rugrats joins other recently revived projects at Nickelodeon including Double Dare, Blues Clues, Rocko's Modern Life and Invader Zim and a potential reboot of Clarissa Explains It All with original star Melissa Joan Hart, as well as the already aired Hey Arnold! and Legends of the Hidden Temple television movies.

"Rugrats is hands-down one of the most celebrated cartoons in TV history, and we are thrilled for a whole new audience to meet these iconic characters in brand-new adventures," said Levy, chief operating officer at Viacom Media Networks and interim president at Nickelodeon. "What was true in 1991 when the original show premiered is still true today: kids are fascinated with the world of babies. We can’t wait for today’s kids to meet Tommy, Chuckie and pals.”

Rugrats originally ran for nine seasons and 172 episodes from 1991 to 2004, debuting alongside Doug and Ren & Stimpy as one of the original Nicktoons, earning four daytime Emmys and six Kids' Choice Awards, among others, its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and launching a slate of consumer products. The success led to three features, starting with 1998's The Rugrats Movie, which introduced Tommy’s younger brother Dil, followed by Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000), which introduced Kimi and Kira, and Rugrats Go Wild (2003), a crossover film with fellow Klasky Csupo series The Wild Thornberrys, They grossed $100 million, $76.5 million and $439.4 million, respectively. The series also spawned a number of spin-offs, including All Grown Up! and Pre-School Daze.

Rugrats focuses on a group of toddlers, Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, twins Phil and Lil DeVille, and Angelica Pickles, and their day-to-day lives that became adventures in their imaginations. The original Rugrats series launched in August of 1991 and instantly became a groundbreaking phenomenon, spawning consumer products, three hit theatrical releases and cementing its place in pop culture history through its iconic characters, storytelling and unique visual style. Rugrats was in production for nine seasons over the course of 13 years, earning four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids’ Choice Awards

"Now feels like the ideal time to reintroduce this iconic cast of characters to a whole new generation of young fans,” said Brian Robbins, president of Paramount Players. “Kids who grew up with Tommy Pickles and the Rugrats crew will now be able to share that experience with their own children."

Mining its library on both the film and TV side is part of a larger plan by Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to help revitalize the media behemoth amid dwindling linear ratings and increased competition. The company's MTV recently unveiled MTV Studios, which will mine its library to reboot some of its iconic series for other outlets. Along with MTV, it has been among the most active Viacom networks in bringing back well known series as part of the new Viacom mandate.

Originally published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

Original source: The Hollywood Reporter; Additional sources: TVLine, Deadline, Wikipedia, Business Wire; H/T: ToonZone Forums PinkiePie97.
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