MTV’s original bad boys are returning to television in the summer of 2011.
The network announced the revival of Mike Judge’s iconic cartoon Beavis and Butt-head at an upfront meeting for the US version of Skins.
Beavis and Butt-head was one of several 90s era cartoons that drew both applause and controversy for raunchy language and themes. The series ran from 1993-1997, and the titular characters became pop culture icons by the time Beavis and Butt-head Do America hit theaters in 1996. Mike Judge, who would go on to make King of the Hill and cult classics Office Space and Idiocracy, created the series and voiced both main characters.
The new Beavis and Butt-Head episodes will be nothing short of a direct continuation of the original series. Decidedly not a reboot or remake, the show will return with Judge at the helm and behind the microphone. The show’s simple animation will also come back, providing stark contrast to more modern adult cartoons – even The Simpsons has transitioned to computer-based programs for its animation. MTV has been promoting reruns and merchandise for the classic episodes, including a new web portal and iPhone app.
The news was broken by none other than the cast of fellow MTV show Skins during the show’s Wednesday upfront. If you don’t know, an upfront is a meeting where potential advertisers have the option of buying sponsorships and commercial blocks for a television show. The story was confirmed on MTV’s official blog, though no further information has been made available.
While fans of the original series will no doubt be ecstatic about its return, the television world of 2011 is very different from that of 1997. The boundaries of raunchy behavior have been pushed and broken, especially on cable networks. Prime among these contemporary challengers is South Park on rival network Comedy Central. South Park premiered just before Beavis and Butt-Head aired its last episode in 1997, and has run continuously ever since. The series has gained critical acclaim and vitriol from conservative, family, and religious groups – not unlike Beavis and Butt-Head.
Even network shows like Family Guy have pushed the boundaries of censorship in recent years and newcomers such as Bob’s Burgers, Ugly Americans, and Archer show no sign of reversing the trend. As a result, one has to wonder how Beavis and Butt-Head‘s formerly shocking antics will play with modern audiences.
Beavis and Butt-Head return to MTV in the summer 2011.