×

The '90s are coming: Nick teases new TV channel, maybe

The Splat
Source: The Splat

Children of the '90s, rejoice. Your childhood is about to resurrected.

Or so it seems…

Nickelodeon, the cartoon powerhouse behind "Hey Arnold!," "Rugrats" and "The Wild Thornberrys," could be in the process of developing a channel strictly for classic '90s TV shows.

Speculation from social media users has been growing since August, when Russell Hicks, president of content and development for the media company, revealed his interest in bringing back classic Nicktoons.

"We are looking at our library to bring back ideas, shows that were loved, in a fresh new way," Hicks told Variety last month.


Nickelodeon has remained tight-lipped about the project, releasing veiled messages on social media with the hashtag #TheSplatIsComing.

"They all follow the same pattern," Ken Harris, managing partner at Cadent Consulting Group, said in an interview with CNBC last week. "They will monitor social media closely and they'll turn people on to the process. The whole goal is not to spring something on people, but rather to have them anticipate it."

The question is: What is "The Splat"?

Whether the network plans on creating a new channel, expanding programming blocks or implementing streaming services has yet to be determined.

There's also the question of format. Nickelodeon could rebroadcast episodes from each series or create standalone specials or movies based on the classic material.

The company declined to comment.

While specific information on "The Splat" remains unknown, the project is gaining massive attention on social media.

On Tuesday, there were more than 12,000 tweets mentioning Nickelodeon on Twitter. In comparison, the company averaged 2,700 tweets in the last 30 days, according to Topsy.

Google searches for "The Splat" were up by 2,250 percent in the last week, jumping 350 percent on Tuesday after rumors circulated that the program could launch as early as October.


This wouldn't be the first time the Viacom-owned network dipped into the archives. It created the TV Land channel in 1996, which broadcasts classic television series from the 1960s to the 2000s. The channel is home to shows such as "Golden Girls," "Walker, Texas Ranger" and "Roseanne."

This time around, the company would be catering to a niche audience of millennial consumers—instead of boomers—and, once again, introducing old programming to a new generation of viewers.

"Any nostalgic brand can hit a chord with a consumer base that is interested because they remember it fondly," Harris said.

That has been the case with several revitalized classics in the last year. Universal Pictures' reboot of the "Jurassic Park" franchise reaped big rewards at the box office in June, taking in $1.6 billion globally. New installments of "The Terminator" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" both grossed more than $400 million globally, according to Box Office Mojo.

And more are on the horizon.

Sony Pictures is releasing a "Goosebumps" film in October, based on R.L. Stine's novels that were popularized in the '90s, and Lions Gate is bringing "The Power Rangers" to the big screen in 2017.

DISCLAIMER: Universal Studios is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.