The original series ran for five seasons (65 episodes) on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1994 and starred Hart as Clarissa, a teenager who spoke directly to the audience as she dealt with problems including school, boys and family successfully breaking the 4th wall. Jason Zimbler, Sean O’Neal, Elizabeth Hess and Joe O’Connor co-starred. The series was credited with being Nick’s first with a female lead. Its success led to other female-fronted series, including The Secret World of Alex Mack (which we wish they’d revive because we still need more closure) and more.
Kriegman revisited the series in 2015 with a novel, Things I Can’t Explain, which served as a sequel to the series and followed Clarissa, now in her late 20s, trying to navigate life as an adult.
For Nickelodeon, the decision to reboot Clarissa comes as the Viacom cable network recently announced plans to revive Blues Clues, handing out a 20-episode order for the animated preschool hit with a live-action host. The kids-focused cable network has been one of Viacom’s most stable and successful brands. While its ratings were flat this past year, competitors including Disney Channel saw a 24 percent drop in total viewers last year.
Reboots remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered landscape expected to top 520 scripted originals this year. Key to them is having the original producers attached, which Clarissa does with Kriegman. Though we’re personally skeptical of reboots ever since Girl Meets World kind of failed at Disney at least for those of us who were true fans of the original show we just felt Disney never gave the show it’s chance to be what it should have been. Will Nick do the same thing with Clarissa? We hope not. It was one of our favorite shows along with “Hey, Dude!” and “Salute Your Shorts” all of which they could honestly bring back and we’d be fine with it, but we get it kids and times change so we’re guessing this may not be as nostalgic as we’d hope it would be.
How do you feel about 90’s tv show reboots? Are you a fan or would you rather they just leave the past alone? Let us know in the comments below.