Netflix Brings Back ‘Mystery Science Theater’

Netflix is reviving cult comedy Mystery Science Theater 3000, with Joel McHale and Dan Harmon attached to the project as writers. Original creator Joel Hodgson will be joined by comedian Jonah Ray as the new host, and Felicia Day as “Kinga Forrester.”

From the original cast, Mary Jo Pehl (“Pearl Forrester”), Bill Corbett (“Crow T. Robot”) and Kevin Murphy (“Tom Servo”) will reprise their roles.

Elliott Kalan, former head writer of The Daily Show, will be head writer on MST3K.

Netflix said a Kickstarter starter campaign, spearheaded by Hodgson and Shout! Factory, surpassed the goal of funding 14 new episodes. At presstime, 48,270 backers pledged $5,764,229 to bring back the show.

Mystery Science Theater debuted in 1988 on station KTMA in the Twin Cities, and shifted to Comedy Central precursor Comedy Channel in 1989. In 1997, Mystery Science Theater started the first of three seasons on the former Sci-Fi Channel.

The show features a human host trapped by mad scientists with his two robot sidekicks and forced to watch an endless run of awful movies. The robots offer a running dialogue of put-downs directed at the movies.

The reboot is executive produced by Hodgson, Kalan, Richard Foos, Bob Emmer, Garson Foos, Jonathan Stern and Harold Buchholz, along with Satellite of Love, LLC, Alternaversal Productions and Abominable Pictures.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.