“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is the most recent Viacom throwback getting a new life.
Comedy Central announced Wednesday that it has ordered a revival of the ’90s animated series. The move comes amid a significant push into adult animation at ViacomCBS’ entertainment and youth group, which comprises most of the company’s cable brands and is headed by Chris McCarthy. The unit also on Wednesday revealed that Grant Gish, a veteran of Marvel Studios and Fox Animation, would join as head of adult animation.
The “Ren & Stimpy” revival follows orders for new versions of other classic animated comedies from the erstwhile Viacom’s cable library, including Mike Judge’s “Beavis and Butt-Head”; Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Bill Lawrence’s “Clone High”; and “Jodie,” based on the former MTV series “Daria.”
At Fox Animation, Gish developed “Bob’s Burgers” and oversaw “American Dad.” At Marvel, he led the company’s push into adult animation, developing upcoming Hulu series “M.O.D.O.K.” and “Hit-Monkey.”
“Grant has incredible instincts and a supercharged passion for animation. Along with his extraordinary reputation and impressive successes with some of the biggest hits in the genre, from ‘Bob’s Burgers’ to ‘American Dad’ – his vision is exactly what we’re looking for to lead our adult animation unit,” said Nina L. Diaz, president of content and chief creative officer for ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group.
The original “Ren & Stimpy” aired on Nickelodeon beginning in 1991, and enjoyed enormous popularity — not just with children, but also with adults.
The new version will be adult-oriented. It will not, however, involve “Ren & Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi, whom a source tells Variety will have no creative input into and will receive no financial remuneration from the new series. Kricfalusi was accused in a 2018 Buzzfeed article of sexually abusing teenage girls.