MTV Studios - a new production unit of the MTV Network - has announced a return to the good old days, as they bring back several classic MTV television series. This revival effort will include the animated high school slice-of-life comedy Daria, the ground-breaking reality series The Real World and a live-action version of the classic action Anime Aeon Flux.
The official announcement by MTV Studios suggests that Viacom - owners of MTV and their extensive library of content - is trying to ride the recent wave of 1990s nostalgia that has brought about the revival of television series such as Roseanne and Charmed. While the live-action Aeon Flux reboot series had been previously announced, the confirmation of a long-rumored Daria revival stunned many. By contrast, the revival of The Real World is more of a rebranding, as the series has run continually since 1992, with the most recent season in Seattle ending in 2017.
Variety reported on the upcoming MTV Studios projects. The studio will also be producing new series in addition to the revivals, with new partners assisting in the production of these revived properties for the first time in MTV's history.
“MTV has the biggest collection of hit youth franchises that spans more than three decades of content and over 200 titles, part of which have fueled our resurgence,” says MTV President Chris McCarthy. “With MTV Studios, we are for the first time ever opening up this vault beyond our own platforms to reimagine the franchises with new partners.”
These partners include some impressive names. The Daria reboot is being overseen by Inside Amy Schumer writer Grace Edwards and will include a more prominent role for Jodie Landon - an overachiever who felt pressure to succeed because of her status as a racial minority at Lawndale High. Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis - who has considerable experience in handling fantastic properties - will be handling Aeon Flux with executive producer Gale Anne Hurd. The following synopses of the new series have also been released.
“DARIA & JODIE” (wt) The iconic animated franchise is reinvented through the eyes of heroine Daria Morgendorffer and one of her closest friends Jodie Landon. These two smart young women take on the world, with their signature satirical voice while deconstructing popular culture, social classes, gender and race.
“AEON FLUX” This cult anime classic is back for a live action remake, as the badass heroine assassin Aeon Flux teams up with a group of biohacking rebels in the not too distant dystopian future to battle a brutally repressive regime and save humanity.
“THE REAL WORLD” The show that invented modern reality television returns to its roots. This reconnection to innocence for the trailblazing series strips away the polarization and cold anonymity of social media, the din of the 24-hour news cycle, and the facades of the instafamous culture to find out what happens “when seven strangers are picked to live in a house…stop being polite and start getting real.”
It is unclear just how successful these revivals will be in finding an audience. While The Real World is unlikely to have lost its fandom after its brief hiatus, the idea of a live-action Aeon Flux is unlikely to attract fans of the original Anime, in much the same way that the live-action film adaptation of the series starring Charlize Theron bombed. A Daria revival may be similarly doomed if Daria's best friend from the original series, Jane, has been replaced by Jodie in a bid to present a more racial-diverse cast - a cynical action that would surely spark a snarky and ironic comment from Daria herself.