Award-winning classic to relaunch as Nickelodeon and Paramount announce production on 26-episode animated series and live-action / CG hybrid feature.
NEW YORK, BURBANK AND HOLLYWOOD – Everyone’s favorite talking babies are set to return, 14 years after their last original episode aired, as Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures have officially announced a relaunch of the iconic kids’ TV series Rugrats, with a 26-episode series greenlight and a live-action film featuring CGI characters from Paramount Players. Both the TV series and the movie will include new adventures with 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. The new series 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 new Paramount Pictures division 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.
The previous Rugrats feature film trilogy saw diminishing box office returns, as each subsequent release was unable to match the first film’s success: 1998’s The Rugrats Movie grossed $100.5 million domestic / $40.4 million foreign, 2000’s Rugrats in Paris: The Movie grossed $76.5 million domestic / $26.8 million foreign and 2003’s The Wild Thornberrys crossover Rugrats Go Wild grossed $76.5 million domestic / $26.8 million foreign.
Rugrats joins the recently announced return of Blue’s Clues as the latest classic original series Nickelodeon is bringing back into production. Nickelodeon produced and aired an all-new Hey Arnold! special in 2017 and has announced the return of two other beloved titles as upcoming TV specials: Rocko’s Modern Life and Invader Zim.
“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.”
“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 chronicled the lives of 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. A total of 172 Rugrats episodes were produced 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.
Source: Nickeledeon and Box Office Mojo
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.