Last year, TeenNick brought back Nickelodeon classics from the '90s for a late night block of programming called "The '90s Are All That" and viewers were ecstatic. For the first time in years, fans of All That, Kenan & Kel, Rugrats, The Secret World of Alex Mack, and Salute Your Shorts could watch reruns on television. It was a dream come true for the young adults who remember a time when the Big Orange Couch was a staple in every Nickelodeon commercial and when kids got slimed daily, not just at the Kids' Choice Awards. Fans flooded to social media shortly after TeenNick announced the new schedule in July, which was no surprise. '90s nostalgia is big online. Numerous Facebook pages and groups exist devoted to the decade and Twitter handles, @The90sLife and @90sgirlproblem, have more than 270,000 followers respectively. The beloved decade is represented well online, however, Nickelodeon seems to be the only network capitalizing on nostalgia.
As the story goes, a group of Nickelodeon interns in the summer of 2010 convinced the network to rebroadcast the old shows after demonstrating the potential for gaining a large viewership. They were right. TeenNick doubled its ratings in the midnight to 2AM time slot after its first night of reruns. Nostalgia proved to be economical -- so why haven't other television networks walked down memory lane? Let me be more specific. Why hasn't the Disney Channel brought back the '90s?
The Disney Channel has a wide collection of original television shows and movies from that decade locked away in the magical vault covered in Tinker Bell's fairy dust. It is time to break them free and relive the days when The Mickey Mouse Club and Zoog Disney dominated the channel. Fans want to root for their favorite soul skaters in Brink!, investigate the paranormal with Fiona, and sing along to Protozoa's song, "Supernova Girl." They want Wish Upon a Star, Escape to Witch Mountain, Susie Q, So Weird, Flash Forward, and The Famous Jett Jackson.
The Disney Channel has the potential to achieve the success TeenNick has and draw a wide audience of '90s fans and viewers who want to see their favorite celebrities as young performers. Before Elisabeth Moss was Peggy Olson on Mad Men, she was a twin with magical powers in Escape to Witch Mountain, and before Christina Aguilera was seated in her red swivel chair on The Voice, she was a Mouseketeer performing alongside famous singers Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and JC Chasez. Even Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling appeared in two original programs, The Mickey Mouse Club and Flash Forward, which starred Ben Foster (The Mechanic, 3:10 to Yuma, X-Men: The Last Stand) and Jewel Staite (Firefly, Wonderfalls, Stargate: Atlantis). Disney Channel original movies and series are yearbooks for singers and actors still working today, making it easy to attract viewers for the block of programming. So what are you waiting for Disney Channel? Bring back the '90s classics and fans will exclaim "Zedis Lapedis!"
What original show would you like to see return to television?
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