The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may not be doing well on the big screen (last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows underperformed at the box office, and it looks like a third installment in the franchise is unlikely to happen), but the long-running franchise is still a big hit on the small screen. Since the original animated series of 1987, the turtles have rarely been off the air.
Nickelodeon nabbed the turtles in 2012, and created the current CGI series, introducing a whole new generation of fans of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael. Now, the network has announced that they will reboot the show, taking it back to its roots with a 2D animated series.
As reported by Variety, the reboot was announced for 2018 at the Nickelodeon upfront presentation earlier this week and will be titled Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The new series will be co-executive produced by Andy Suriano (Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (who works on the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and will premiere in the fall of next year. Announcing the show, Nickelodeon Group President Cyma Zarghami reveals that the new series will have a younger, lighter feel:
"The Turtles is a property that has reinvention in its DNA, which keeps it fresh and relevant to every new generation while satisfying the demand from its adult fans. ’Turtles’ has been an incredibly important franchise for us since we reignited it five years ago, and we’re excited for the new series to take the characters in a different direction with more humor, a younger and lighter feel and all-new dimensions to explore."
This is far from the first time the long-running series has been rebooted. Since the beginning, these characters have gone from comics to animated series to video games and onto the big screen (more than once). The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seem to have an ongoing appeal, and the current series has received critical acclaim, including multiple Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
It will be interesting to see the show revert to a 2D animation format, and this could be the perfect way to capitalize on the current trend for nostalgia viewing and TV reboots. Nikelodeon is obviously aware of its adult fans, and a move toward more humor in the series (along with the addition of Suriano to the team) suggests that the upcoming series will be very lighthearted, and appeal to kids and adults alike.
Of course, there are those who may wonder why Nickelodeon would want to reboot such a successful (and award-winning) series when it is still doing so well. Presumably, this is an attempt to boost an already-successful franchise, and it could allow for the rebooted series to explore new avenues that the current series does not. There will be plenty of fans who are still sad to see the existing series end, but there is one final season of the current show left to enjoy ahead of the revamp.