By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES, Aug 5 – Beavis and his sidekick Butt-Head are all grown-up, while dim-witted feline Stimpy is getting new worlds to explore.
Animated comedies for adults that were first aired in the 1990s are getting 21st century reboots as television companies seek to attract old and new fans with content that is both familiar and easier to make in a global pandemic.
“The Ren & Stimpy Show,” the dark Nickelodeon series about a Chihuahua and a cat that was known for its sexual and political humor, is the latest to be re-imagined for a new era for Comedy Central, the network said on Wednesday.
“We are going to give them the edgy, irreverent, comedic voice that defined them but we’re going to tell all new stories and bring in new characters,” Chris McCarthy, president of the ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group, told Reuters.
The announcement is the latest in a series of reboots announced in recent weeks that include “Beavis and Butt-Head” on Comedy Central; MTV’s “Clone High”, about a high school populated by historical figures such as Gandhi, Cleopatra and Abraham Lincoln; and a “Daria” spinoff series for Comedy Central called “Jodie” in which Tracee Ellis Ross will voice a young black college graduate entering the workplace.
Lovable slackers Beavis and Butt-Head will be depicted in their 40s, grappling with a whole new world, McCarthy said.
“Adult animation is one of those genres that really works everywhere. It works on linear, it works on streaming and it works around the world,” said McCarthy, pointing to the success of long-running “The Simpsons” on Fox and “South Park” now on HBO Max.
In an era when the coronavirus has complicated or shut down television and film production, animation is also an attractive option.
“It’s almost pandemic-proof. We can build animation studios and set people up in their homes or individual units and they don’t have to work in big groups,” said McCarthy. (Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Richard Pullin)