Shout! Factory Acquires 'MST3K,' Plans New Episodes10 Nov, 2015 By: John Latchem
Indie distributor Shout! Factory has acquired proprietary rights to the cult-classic comedy series “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and is working with creator Joel Hodgson to create new episodes.
The series, which aired for 11 seasons on Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel from 1988 to 1999 (after a year on KTMA in Minneapolis), is known for its presentation of bad movies with silhouetted figures making fun of them. Hodgson, who also served as the show’s host for its first five years, Nov. 10 unveiled a Kickstarter campaign at BringBackMST3K.com to raise $2 million to fund a new season.
Shout! Factory announced further plans to support the “MST3K” brand with a long-term growth strategy that entails digital media initiatives, live events, merchandise licensing programs and content syndication to international territories.
Shout! Factory has been releasing “MST3K” episodes on DVD since 2008, in addition to digital and VOD distribution.
In a statement, Shout! Factory founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos called the deal a “momentous acquisition” that has been in the works for several years, and said “there’s still tremendous untapped potential for the ‘MST3K’ brand. We’re looking forward to the next phase of ‘MST3K’ with Joel.”
In regards to the Kickstarter campaign, the Shout! Factory founders stated: "Shout! Factory purchased the MST3K intellectual property from Best Brains for a significant sum and has entered into a new agreement with Joel to produce new episodes. Shout! is not making a profit from the Kickstarter campaign. The raised funds will go toward the production of the new episodes, backer rewards and costs associated with running the campaign."
Hodgson praised Shout! Factory for its long-time support of “MST3K.” Shout! Factory’s founders have been involved with home video distribution of the show since their days at Rhino, which previously held the home entertainment rights.
“It’s been a long time coming and I feel ready for the show’s reboot and hopefully lots of new iterations in different media,” Hodgson said. “I’m also looking forward to working with both creative pros and the loyal fan base who have been inspired by our humble show over the years.”
Hodgson told Entertainment Weekly he hopes to reunite the show’s old creative team while brining in a new on-screen cast.