ViacomCBS has another revival of an early-aughts animated series in the works.
The company’s MTV Studios is developing a “reimagined” version of the 2002 MTV show Clone High. Creators Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Bill Lawrence will executive produce, and South Park veteran Erica Rivinoja, who was a writer on the original, will serve as showrunner.
Clone High‘s revival follows that of Beavis and Butt-head, which creator Mike Judge is revamping for the 2020s at Comedy Central, and Daria spinoff Jodie starring Tracee Ellis Ross, also at Comedy Central. Clone High doesn’t have an outlet attached yet.
Those two shows, like Clone High, hail from MTV Studios, the in-house division launched two years ago by ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth Group president Chris McCarthy with a larger goal to monetize the company’s vast library and sell to third-party buyers. With McCarthy now overseeing Comedy Central, MTV and a slew of other cable brands at the company, he’s turning the studio into a content supplier of his own.
Adult animation has seen a boom in business in the past several years as streaming platforms and linear channels look to shows like Rick and Morty, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers to attract and retain young viewers. Animated shows have also been able to continue production during the novel coronavirus pandemic, keeping content flowing at a time when many live-action shows are idled.
“We are thrilled to reunite with Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Bill Lawrence to reimagine this cult classic as we rapidly grow our portfolio of beloved and iconic adult animation series,” said McCarthy.
Like the original, Clone High will follow prominent historical figures who have been cloned and placed back in high school, including Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and John F. Kennedy, as they face the trials and tribulations of normal teenage life.
The original series ran for a single season on MTV in 2002 but became a cult favorite. It was Lord and Miller’s first series as creators; the duo have gone on to helm feature films Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street and win an Oscar for producing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. They’re also executive producers of Fox’s Bless the Harts and The Last Man on Earth.
Rivinoja is a two-time Emmy winner as part of the producing team on South Park; her credits also include The Last Man on Earth and Girls Trip. Scrubs and Cougar Town creator Lawrence has Apple’s Ted Lasso up next.
Lord and Miller are repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham. Lawrence is with ICM Partners and Morris Yorn.