One of Nickelodeon’s most modern characters is getting, well, even more modern.
EW has learned exclusively that Nickelodeon has greenlit a TV movie of Rocko’s Modern Life, the classic ‘90s animated Nicktoon created by Joe Murray.
The one-hour TV special will bring back all of the beloved characters in Rocko’s fictional city of O-Town. Murray will return as executive producer and co-director of the film, which will be produced out of Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank.
“I’m very happy to be rejoining Rocko and my friends from O-Town again,” Murray said in a statement. “What I have found by bringing these characters back is that it’s not so much about nostalgia, but a sense that they still feel relevant and fresh to me, and after 20 years, they can’t wait to comment on modern life in the 21st century. They still have a lot to say.”
Rocko’s Modern Life ran for four seasons from 1993 to 1996 on Nickelodeon. The series followed the wildly ordinary (or ordinarily wild) life of a wallaby named Rocko, his dog Spunky, and his eccentric friends: Heffer, an idiotic steer; Filburt, a turtle with spectacular neuroses; and Mr. and Mrs. Bighead, a middle-aged amphibian couple. The show was known for its surreal aesthetic, copious double entendres, and widespread social satire — which one can only imagine will feel right at home in 2016.
The timing of this announcement is particularly special — Aug. 11 marks the exact 25th anniversary of the Nicktoons brand, which launched in 1991 with Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren & Stimpy Show. (Read EW’s oral history of Nicktoons here.) Rocko was the next official Nicktoon to join the successful line-up in 1993.
TV movie reboots are also in the air for two other big Nick titles: The game show Legends of the Hidden Temple premieres as a live-action scripted movie this fall, while Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie premieres next year, picking up right after the events of the original series.
“Greenlighting a Rocko’s Modern Life special is another strong example of how we are bringing our library content back for both new audiences and the generation that grew up on them in the ’90s,” said Chris Viscardi of Nickelodeon Franchise Properties. “It’s a testament to the strength and appeal of these characters that so many people have loved Nick animation for these last 25 years, and we are excited to bring them back for new stories and adventures.”
No title, casting, or release date has been set yet for the Rocko’s Modern Life TV movie.