In a world where it’s all too easy to look around and say, “I hate this place,” we could use a hero like Daria Morgendorffer. It looks like the animated intellectual misanthrope may be returning just when we need her the most, as MTV is launching a new TV studio with the intention of rebooting the iconic late ’90s cartoon Daria and more of the network’s classic programs.
MTV Studios is being developed with the express goal of rebooting old franchises from the network’s heyday for distribution on other networks and streaming outlets. The idea is that while scripted programs like Daria and reality shows like The Real World still hold cultural cache, they don’t fit into the modern MTV programming.
Coming from writer Grace Edwards (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), the new Daria will be a reimagining called Daria & Jodie. It’s said to focus on Daria and Jodie Landon, Lawndale’s token black girl who’s intelligence and self-awareness makes her the poster child for the suburban town’s “diversity.” Together, they’ll deconstruct the current state of the world with their trademark sarcasm and satire. The original Daria spun off from Beavis and Butthead and ran for five seasons from 1997 to 2002.
“[The new show is] about Daria and Jodie and two close friends taking on the world today and what’s happening in our culture at large,” MTV Network president Chris McCarthy told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s less about the monetization and more about telling great stories.”
Also in the works are new takes on The Real World, a pre-Big Brother reality show; Made, a teenage makeover series; and a live action version of Aeon Flux, about a biohacking rebel who becomes a hero in a dystopian future. Teen Wolf showrunner Jeff Davis is penning the Aeon Flux script and executive producing alongside Gale Anne Hurd from The Walking Dead. Hurd was previously involved in the 2005 bomb of a film adaptation staring Charlize Theron.
MTV Studios will also create some original programming that fit the mold of the network’s past hits. There’s the Nogales, Arizona-set docuseries The Valley, for example, which follows in the footsteps of The Hills and Siesta Key. There’s also MTV’s Straight Up Ghosted, which is kind of like Catfish but in reverse.
All these shows will be developed by MTV Studios as they seek distributors. McCarthy notes that none of the programs have been formally picked up by any networks or streaming services, “but we’ve been having informal conversations.”