On Monday, Oct. 5, Viacom answered the prayers of ‘90s kids everywhere when it launched “The Splat,” a new cable TV “nostalgia block” that resuscitates many of Nickelodeon’s most popular animated and live action series of the ‘90s.
“We have been listening closely to our first generation of Nick kids that are craving the great characters and shows they grew up with watching Nickelodeon in the ‘90s,” said Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon and Viacom Media Networks Kids and Family Group, in a press release before the launch.
“We designed ‘The Splat’ with fans and their requests in mind, which means we’re bringing together these beloved series and a high level of digital engagement to give fans a retro media experience they can’t get anywhere else.”
The “can’t-get-anywhere- else” aspect is what my fellow Generation Y kids and I find most appealing. In an increasingly digitized, fast-paced world obsessed with the newest fads and lost in the constant desire to remake what many believe needs no revision, it’s nice to see a company like Viacom listening to viewers’ more mundane, nostalgic requests. Nickelodeon’s resuscitation of some of my favorite childhood shows fills me with an inexplicable, almost gleeful happiness that is comparable only to the happiness wrought by watching these shows the first time they aired—and I know I’m not alone.
With a current lineup that includes shows like “All That,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” “Clarissa Explains It All,” “Hey Arnold,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Rugrats” and “The Wild Thornberrys,” among many, many others, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And that’s not all—in addition to the programming block, the “new multiscreen content destination” offers fans seven social media platforms to find content, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, a fan- oriented website and a Splat- branded emoji keyboard with emoticons, stickers and GIFs. New content will be added monthly and based upon both seasonal favorites and trending topics.
Bearing in mind that memes, emojis, gifs and social media were hardly even a thing the last time most of these shows aired, I’m excited to see how the old programming will coincide with modern technology and how it will allow new generations to watch and enjoy the shows I loved as a child.
Although I do not really see myself using much of the aforementioned Splat- branded gimmicks, I can definitely appreciate the drive and dedication behind what promises to be a successful launch month. Contributing most to the success perhaps, are the themes and stunts that coincide with the launch. This week’s theme is “Rugrats Reptar Takeover,” which features the best of the “Rugrats” episodes featuring Reptar. At the end of the month, The Splat will host “Nick or Treat,” a call-in event where viewers can collect door prizes while watching Halloween-themed episodes.
The Splat screens on TeenNick nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. A nightly schedule can be found on The Splat’s official website.