You're going to the temple! Ok, maybe not you. But someone is. Nickelodeon has decided to bring back their classic 90s kid's game show, Legends of the Hidden Temple, as a fictional TV movie. And hey, guess what? Hey Arnold! is getting revived too.
It's true, Variety is reporting Nickelodeon will announce the news as part of their advertising upfronts this week. Legends of the Hidden Temple ran from 1993-1998 on the network and had a rather odd premise as far as game shows were concerned. The game took place in what was meant to be a Mayan temple (and surrounding areas like a giant moat) and teams of kids (one girl, one boy) had to solve both mental and physical challenges in order to progress. Did I mention there was a giant talking Olmec head?
The head was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, who also did double duty as the announcer, and the host was Kirk Fogg. Kids had to be 11-14 years old to audition and if they made it through the physical and written tests they went on to slowly be eliminated in the show until only one team of two were left. If the kids were able to make it through the Temple Run (and get past the Temple Guards jumping out to scare them), they could consider themselves among the chosen few. Barely anyone made it because it was tough as hell (and Nickelodeon might have cheated?). I would almost say it was like the precursor to American Ninja Warrior but for kids.
Here's a great summary created by Great Big Story earlier this year which reveals a bit of the behind-the-scenes action.
So, what kind of movie can we expect Nickelodeon to produce? Think Night at the Museum meets Zathura.
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. The “Arnold” movies are slated to appear in 2017.
Moner is of Peruvian/American descent which puts my fears to rest that the movie would be a bunch of white kids causing trouble in a non-white environment.
No other info was given about the Hey Arnold! project except that it will actually be two movies. Variety explains where this nostalgia rehash idea came from via Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom”s cable networks aimed at kids and families:
The recent emphasis on reviving old Nick favorites was borne out of an idea from interns more than five years ago, she recounted. The interns thought the old programs would work well online, but Nick execs thought they might work well on TV, and put a block of the shows on Teen Nick at night. As original fans of 1990s fare adopted social media, she said, “Interest in the Nick library was becoming louder and louder and louder.” Now executives hope to revive select concepts that will charm older fans but also spark new interest from their children.
So, what do you think? Honestly, I never thought I'd see Legends of the Hidden Temple get a resurgence but I think this could be a fun project for both young and old. Here's hoping for a lot of puns!