Nickelodeon is reviving its classic animated TV series Hey Arnold! with a new TV movie, which could pave the way for other beloved shows to return. Variety reports that the Hey Arnold! movie will take place after the events of the original series, which ran from 1996 to 2004, and will resolve unanswered questions such as the whereabouts of Arnold's parents. Here's what Russell Hicks, president, content development and production, for Nickelodeon Group, had to say about this new TV movie in a statement.
"Kids who grew up on these characters are now of the age that they are having kids and families themselves. Our library has come to fruition and it's time for it to start coming back to life. You have to remember people who are going to watch really don't have a recollection of Hey Arnold!. You have to make it relevant to them but also nod to the audience that is going to be interested."
The original series followed the everyday life of Arnold, a 4th-grader in a nameless city that resembles Brooklyn, who lives in a multi-racial boarding house with his grandparents and a motley assortment of neighbors and friends. The show also spawned the 2002 theatrical film Hey Arnold! The Movie. Original series creator Craig Barnett will return as a writer and executive producer on the Hey Arnold! TV movie. The writer-producer was actually pitching a different series to Nickelodeon, when they started talking about how the Hey Arnold! characters were being resurrected through fan fiction and YouTube short films.
Nickelodeon has brought on Chris Viscardi, who co-created the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete, to serve in the new role of senior vice president of content development for franchise properties. He will be responsible for mining the network's classic TV shows such as The Ren and Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life or The Wild Thornberrys, which could be revived through this initiative, although the network wouldn't discuss specifics on any other project besides Hey Arnold!. Here's what Chris Viscardi had to say in his statement, adding the network is reaching out to unspecified creators of older Nickelodeon shows.
"We are very selective about the series, what we go back to, and think about how we can take them and make them special. 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. We are in discussions with them now and will probably have more to say in the next few months. There's a good likelihood we'll be doing more than just Arnold in terms of doing specials."
The news comes just a few months after Nickelodeon announced The Splat, a new programming block dedicated to its classic animated TV shows such as Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, The Ren and Stimpy Show and much more. Splat launched on October 5, airing from 10 PM to 6 AM daily, along with the new website TheSplat.com. What do you think about Hey Arnold! coming back with a new TV movie?