Nickelodeon Moves Forward with ‘Hey Arnold!’ TV Movie, Delighting Football-Heads Everywhere
Trends devour themselves and spit themselves back out and try to eat the spat-out remnants, all in search of extant bits of pop-culture ripe to be capitalized on. No force exerts more potent influence over consumer buying power than nostalgia (except for maybe sex, or the promise of a shared cinematic universe) with its ability to transport the audience to a simpler, kinder, more innocent time in their lives. Damn near everything popular between 1985 and 1999 has been rebooted, reimagined, reworked, or remade in the studios’ relentless efforts to wring every last drop of earning potential from existing creative properties. Some efforts have been more successful than others, but either way, Nickelodeon has moved to throw their own hat into the ring.
An exclusive from Variety announced that the ubiquitous children’s entertainment company would be mounting a revival of the beloved series Hey Arnold! in the form of a TV-movie. The network has opted to play their cards pretty close to the vest on this one, offering zero supplemental information on when audiences can expect the Hey Arnold! movie, or any hints at other classic Nickelodeon properties that might be facing reboots in the future. The fellow handling this new wave of resurrected properties will be Chris Viscardi, once known as the co-creator of seminal Nick program The Adventures of Pete and Pete, now working as Nickelodeon’s senior vice president of content development for franchise properties. The title was made up specifically for him, and its many words just mean that he is king of reboots.
Hey Arnold! captured youthful imaginations with its combination of mature inner-city storytelling (Vietnamese refugee Mr. Hyunh reunited with his long-lost daughter, deadbeat Oskar combatted adult illiteracy) with kooky kid-friendly antics such as a bid to build the world’s largest pizza puff and a quest to catch a prehistoric leviathan from the town pond. With enthusiasm for the program still alive and well in millennial populations, there shouldn’t be any difficulty for this planned TV movie to find an audience.