The nostalgia train soldiers on, with the announcement that Nickelodeon is going to be reviving its mid-90s game show Legends of the Hidden Temple as a TV movie. But unlike many misguided attempts to capitalize on my generation’s endless fascination with our childhoods, this idea actually sounds like it could be really, plausibly good.
The reason is because Legends already has a built-in mythology that could easily become a kind of Indiana Jones-like franchise for kids. (In fact, that’s exactly what our own Dave Trumbore said in his Adapt This! article on it from a few years ago).
As far as the plot, according to Variety,
“In “Hidden Temple,” three siblings must conquer a series of obstacles to remain alive, mirroring the theme of the original game show. The TV movie, slated to appear in the fourth quarter of 2016, will nod to other elements from the original show, including Olmec, a talking head who knows the secrets behind the temple; the Steps of Knowledge, the entrance to the temple and launching pad for the mission; and cameos from a green monkey, red jaguar and silver snakes, among others. Isabela Moner, known from her role on Nick’s “100 Things to Do Before High School,” will star.”
It sounds, at least, like it’s not going to follow some dour dystopian formula, and instead just be a lot of fun (er, even though their lives are still in peril). In fact, Variety went on to say that that is all part of Nickelodeon’s new agenda: positive programming, particularly relating to reality shows (most of which will focus on sports. Remember when kids actually participated in sports competitions for game shows like Legends, GUTS, Wild & Crazy Kids, and more?) Nickelodeon’s viewership has also been on the increase in the last year, while other Viacom properties (including MTV and Comedy Central) have been struggling.
While Legends of the Hidden Temple is slated to air late in 2016, a 2-part Hey Arnold! movie is also being put on the schedule for 2017. The idea for resurrecting more Nick content on TV and not just online came, apparently, from interns 5 years ago. Sounds about right. My people, you did the Lord’s work. Now let’s hope Nickelodeon doesn’t ruin it by making it lame. In Nick We Trust, but there are still so many questions. Will these kids also be terrible at putting together the Shrine of the Silver Monkey? Will the Temple Guards still be legit terrifying? Is Kirk Fogg going to have a role?? We’ll update you with more as we know it.