MTV turns the big 3-0 on Monday and, like many who approach such a milestone, has nostalgia on the brain.
This not-unwelcome development was obvious at MTV Networks’ two-hour session at the Television Critics Association on Friday afternoon, at which Mike Judge touted the return of “Beavis and Butt-head” and TeenNick praised the success of its new “The ’90s Are All That” programming block, which includes former Nickelodeon staples “Rugrats” and “Clarissa Explains It All.”
Adding to the nostalgia kick happening at MTV Networks is MTV2’s relaunch this Saturday night of its sister channel’s long-running alternative music showcase “120 Minutes” and VH1’s upcoming “Pop-Up Video” revamp.
When Judge was asked if the juvenile violence that his ’90s animated classic is known for might face increased scrutiny in the era of helicopter parents, he jokingly referred to MTV’s more salacious programming and said, “I don’t think so. I mean, look what they’ve got on.”
The new episodes will be pretty much the same old “Beavis and Butt-head,” only now the boys will make fun of more than just music videos. A recent teaser found them ragging on MTV hits “Teen Mom” and “The Jersey Shore,” and Judge said that they’ll also provide their signature commentary on UFC fights and “Internet stuff” as well as review movies a la Siskel and Ebert.
MTV president Van Toffler, who sat next to Judge on the “Beavis and Butt-head” panel and was instrumental in its revival, said that no one from his other shows had called to complain about being lampooned — yet.
“I think MTV has been self-deprecating since its inception in 1981,” he said. “We got a lot of calls from bands back when ‘Beavis and Butt-head’ started saying they didn’t want anything to do with it. And I’m sure ‘The Jersey Shore’ cast will be calling Mike Judge in a few months.”
Toffler also hinted that he’s considered reviving “Daria,” another beloved 1990s animated series which has done well in reruns on MTV2.
Of course, MTV also has plenty of new shows to pimp, including “Awkward,” its new John Hughes-style teen dramedy about a high-school girl having a very bad year. And it also showcased “Good Vibes,” a new animated series that stars an all-star voice cast of “Book of Mormon's” Josh Gad, “Arrested Development's” Tony Hale, and Danny McBride.
Nickelodeon also announced that reruns of “Friends” will begin airing on Nick at Nite on Sept. 6 and MTV said that it had renewed “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew” for a seventh season.