Nickelodeon Brings Back The '90s

Originally published on April 10, 2011 2:30 am

Earlier this month, Entertainment Weekly broke news that TeenNick — an offshoot of the much-loved childhood network Nickelodeon — will be bringing back popular Nickelodeon shows from the early 1990s:

Starting this fall, TeenNick will dust off old faves like Rugrats, Kenan & Kel, Pete & Pete, The Amanda Show, All That and Clarissa and air them in a new midnight-to-2 a.m. programming block dubbed (appropriately enough) The '90s Are All That. The tween cabler came up with the idea after seeing the huge interest in early Nickelodeon programming on social media sites.

So maybe it's not the most newsworthy event this week, but the fact that Tommy Pickles will be making an encore appearance on my TV screen at two in the morning is definitely worthy of a blog post.

When I first saw this news pop up on my Twitter feed I was simply overjoyed. And while much of my pleasure comes from my own selfish desire to once again hear Kel pronounce his undying love for orange soda, I'm even happier for a younger generation, that I believe has been underserved by children's programming.

Sure, Spongebob and the Suite Life of Zach and Cody are decent shows, but they pale in comparison to the hilarity of Nickelodean's shows from the '90s — All That, Kenan & Kel and SaluteYour Shorts.

Today, when I'm flipping through the channels and pause on Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel or Cartoon Network, I am amazed by how dreadful the shows are. Isn't there a point where tweens become exhausted by sassy girls — I'm talking to you Hannah Montana, iCarly, and Zoey 101 — or shows about boys scheming outlandish plots to pick up their crush?

I can recognize my bias in this matter and realize that every generation thinks the shows they grew up with are the best — my mom would argue Mister Ed and The Andy Griffith Show were the greatest kids shows ever, clearly she is wrong. But I stand by my statement. I watch a lot of TV and no shows, from the decade of The Flinstones to today's era of Wizards of Waverly Place, can match the heyday of Nickelodeon shows from the early '90s.

So here's to you Nickelodeon, for bringing back the best era of kids television and allowing my fellow millenials and me to re-live (or rather re-watch) the best days of television — even if it is at two in the morning!

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit