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‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ Acquired by Shout! Factory, Kickstarter Launched for New Season

Shout! Factory has acquired cult comedy series “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” Variety has learned.

The news of the acquisition comes the same day Joel Hodgson, the creator and writer of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new season of the show.

With the new deal, negotiated by Shout’s David McIntosh, Shout! Factory now has the proprietary rights the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” from Best Brains, Inc., including all brand assets and global intellectual property. The media company is partnering with Hodgson and his company Alternaversal, LLC on future endeavors surrounding the “MST3K” brand, including plans for new content development, digital media initiatives, live events, merchandise licensing programs and content syndication to international territories.

“’Mystery Science Theater 3000′ is a true cult-classic comedy series that continues to attract fans till this day,” said Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos. “This is a momentous acquisition for us. We’ve been pursuing this deal for many years, and we’re thrilled that it’s finally coming to fruition. We see that there’s still tremendous untapped potential for the ‘MST3K’ brand. We’re looking forward to the next phase of ‘MST3K’ with Joel.”

Hodgson commented, “I am thrilled to team with Shout! Factory, one of ‘MST3K’s’ greatest supporters, to once again pick up the creative mantle. It’s been a long time coming and I feel ready for the show’s reboot and hopefully lots of new iterations in different media. I’m also looking forward to working with both creative pros and the loyal fan base who have been inspired by our humble show over the years…Actually, I’m not sure if there really is such a thing as a humble show, let me check on that.”

The show’s original producer Jim Mallon added, “Fans of ‘MST3K’ can celebrate as Shout! Factory begins a new ‘MST3K’ adventure with the Crow, Tom Servo, and Gypsy reuniting with Joel Hodgson. Shout! Factory is perfectly placed for this next chapter as they have been our partner and excellent stewards of ‘MST3K’ for the past seven years.”

“Mystery Science Theater 3000,” created by Hodgson and produced by Mallon, first aired on KTMA-TV in Minneapolis for its freshman season, then heading over to Comedy Central (then Comedy Channel) where it ran for seven seasons, and wrapping up with its final three seasons airing on the Sci-Fi Channel. Over its eleven year run, 198 episodes and one feature film, the series won a Peabody Award in 1993 and was nominated for two writing Emmys.

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