Nickelodeon remakes its 90’s classics with new movies

Cory Thaxton

As part of a presentation to promote its upcoming show and movies, Nickelodeon will unveil a live-action TV movie inspired by its mid-1990s game show “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” as well as a two-part TV movie based on “Hey Arnold!,” one of its best-known animated series that ran between 1996 and 2004.

“There’s a tremendous amount of attention on kids these days. What that says is there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity – not unlike what is going on in the grownup space,” said Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom’s cable networks aimed at kids and families, in an interview with Variety.

“There is just more content everywhere.”

The recent emphasis on reviving old Nick favorites was born out of an idea from interns more than five years ago.

The interns thought the old programs would work well online, but Nick employees  thought they might work well on TV, and put a block of the shows on Teen Nick at night.

As original fans of 1990’s fare adopted social media, Zarghami said, “Interest in the Nick library was becoming louder and louder and louder.”

Now executives hope to revive old concepts that will charm older fans but also spark new interest from today’s youth.

Zarghami declined to reveal more of Nickelodeon’s upcoming projects, but hinted at a growing interesting in sports-themed programming and live events.

The goal, she said, is to turn viewers into fans, who want to keep talking about shows even after an episode ends.

“Once you can convert a viewer into a fan, you can have an ongoing conversation with them,” she said.

In “Hidden Temple,” three siblings must conquer a series of obstacles to remain alive, mirroring the theme of the original game show.

The TV movie, is set to premiere late 2016.

It will pay homage to other elements from the original show, including Olmec, a talking head who knows the secrets behind the temple; the Steps of Knowledge, the entrance to the temple and launching pad for the mission; and cameos from a green monkey, red jaguar and silver snakes, among others.

Isabela Moner, known from her role on Nick’s “100 Things to Do Before High School,” will star.

The TV movie is directed by Joe Menendez and written by Jonny Umansky, Zach Hyatt, and Alex Reid.

The “Arnold” movies are set to premiere in 2017.