Nickelodeon were the kings of kids' TV for a while in the '90s. Who didn't love Rugrats, Doug or Kenan & Kel?
You might have noticed that the last few years have been all about the '90s coming back: The Spice Girls reunited for the London Olympics, house music came back with a vengeance, hipsters raided their parents' closets and found a bunch of high-waisted jeans and oversized sweaters, and somebody somewhere decided to make Megan Fox the star of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. '90s nostalgia is hot, so the news that Nickelodeon are reviving Hey Arnold! is extremely welcome.
Variety broke the story when President of content Russell Hicks spoke about Nickelodeon's plans to bring Hey Arnold! back as a one-off TV movie:
“Kids who grew up on these characters are now of the age that they are having kids and families themselves ... 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.”
If you need a reminder of just how much this show dripped effortless cool, from the soundtrack to the miniature cap which perches between Arnold's oh-so '90s centre parting, here's a classic episode from the series' original run.
Let's just pray that Helga's monstrous monobrow remains in tact. Hicks' comments touch on the difficulties of reviving classic series and movies for a modern audience: on the one hand, we all love to revisit our childhoods now and then, but on the other, the people who remember shows like Hey Arnold! are now in their late 20s or 30s, and aren't going to be sat at home watching Nick on a weekday afternoon. Their kids might, but that generation doesn't have any memories of the original show and would probably rather be watching something on Disney XD.
Sometimes, '90s revivals entirely miss the point of what the originals so much fun, like with that misguided Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot from last year. Of course, some do capture the DNA of the source material, this year's Thunderbirds Are Go being a great example of how to modernise without losing what made the original special in the first place (and it wasn't just fun for kids, either).
In trying to work out just how much demand there is for new updates from Arnold, the Rugrats or Kenan and Kel, one-off TV movies are probably the best way for Nickelodeon to go - and if reception is strong enough, a full series will most likely get the green light.
Nick exec Chris Viscardi also promised that the network will be "doing more than just ‘Arnold’ in terms of specials", so don't freak out just yet if your favourite '90s cartoon hasn't been dragged kicking and screaming into 2015 - it's probably just a matter of time.
So tell me, football heads: will you be stepping back in time to watch Nick's revived Hey Arnold! special?