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.
The one caveat I have is evidently there will be a “new cast” for the show. I think the consensus is that the MST3K faithful would love to have Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff back in their old roles (and possibly J. Elvis Weinstein back as the original Tom Servo; given his attachment to RiffTracks, Kevin Murphy seems unlikely to reprise the Tom Servo voice role). But I’m certainly willing to give the new cast a chance.
In 2001, Fox premiered the live-action version of The Tick. I thought they did a pretty credible effort capturing the comic book’s goofy, off-kilter charm, despite an incredibly modest budget for a live action network show (they couldn’t even hire someone who looked like Jimmy Carter for the pilot).
So naturally, it being on Fox, they cancelled it after nine episodes
Super brief because I need to be back at work, but I wanted to note the passing of Leonard Nimoy at age 83. He was great as Spock, perhaps the best actor in a very fine ensemble cast, and also extremely good in several other roles. A good actor and, by all accounts, a classy, stand-up guy.
A bit more qualified recommendation for the complete 1960s Batman. Every significant dark, gritty Batman of the last 30 years (from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight to the Christopher Nolan trilogy, and even the Tim Burton movie) has been largely in reaction to this show’s campy tone. The show is very much a product of its time, but retains a certain charm for just that reason. Plus the cast of villains (Burgess Meredith, Vincent Price, Julie Numar, Frank Gorshin, etc.) draws from some of the very best character actors of the time.
I’m sure either might make swell Christmas presents for someone you know…
Longtime Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo has died. I think he was the last person who worked on the inaugural season of SNL who stayed on with the show for it’s entire run. (Lorne Michaels went away for five years before coming back to the show.)
He was a great announcer, and he did a lot of work in radio and on TV game shows like Jeopardy.
Here he is on why script writers should use short words:
Don Pardo passed away yesterday. But he will receive some lovely parting gifts.
Williams, along with Richard Pryor, was one of the true authentic comic geniuses of my lifetime. As a stand-up comic, his mind was so quick and his work was so manically innovative that his basic appeal actually survived transition to the straitjacket confines of a prime-time sitcom. He was a solid dramatic supporting actor, but it’s a shame that (unlike Pryor) he never found a movie that served the true essence of his comic genius.