Two weeks ago, we told you of Nickelodeon’s public intention of revamping its beloved ’90s library of animated (and live-action) properties. Paramount Pictures took these plans a step further by putting Nicktoons, an Avengers-style crossover film that will bring together characters from said animated properties, into development. But, before these ambitious plans can be put in motion, Nickelodeon will take something of a first step by giving fans of ’90s Nick what they have clamored for (or something they never knew they wanted until now).
As reported by Variety, Nickelodeon will launch a full-on programming block that will see all your favorite ’90s Nick classics (everything from Hey Arnold, Rugrats, and The Wild Thornberrys to live-action favorites like Kenan & Kel and Are You Afraid of the Dark?). Titled ‘The Splat,’ the programming block will make its October 5th debut on the Teen Nick channel as a late-night venture (10 PM to 6 AM). This confirms a previous report about plans to launch a programming block of this kind.
‘The Splat’ won’t just be a place where viewers can relive their favorite memories from times past. The programming block fully intends to embrace the ’90s culture in which many of these shows thrived. Old programming stunts like “Super Toy Run” as well as old promotions and interstitials featuring characters like “Doo-Wop Dinosaur” and “Opera Lady” will fill in the regular commercial space for these shows.
Nickelodeon will also launch a new website that will simultaneously accompany and promote the block. TheSplat.com will house social media conversations about the programming and feature a keyboard with emoticons, stickers, and gifs in addition to typical social media handles like Facebook and Twitter.
While the block bears obvious similarities to Time Warner’s Boomerang outlet (which started as a programming block at Cartoon Network before splitting off to become a separate channel in 2000), the late-night aspect positions the block as Viacom’s answer to Adult Swim and its Toonami block (both of which are also operated by Time Warner).
This is just the latest in a number of moves to keep Nickelodeon on top in an age when viewing alternatives like Youtube and Netflix are now the main draw for a lot of younger audiences. Whether or not this play proves successful will depend on how audiences young and old react to it. That said, the top brass at Nick remain hopeful that ‘The Splat’ will reengage viewers with their childhood favorites in addition to drawing in a new generation.
“We have been listening closely to our first generation of Nick kids that are craving the great characters and shows they grew up with watching Nickelodeon in the ‘90s,” said Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom Kids and Family Group, in a prepared statement. “We designed ‘The Splat’ with fans and their requests in mind, which means we’re bringing together these beloved series and a high level of digital engagement to give fans a retro media experience they can’t get anywhere else.”
What are your thoughts on this development? Will you tune in for ‘The Splat’ on October 5th?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes