MST3K's new season will be on NETFLIX! Plus: the return of Pearl, Bobo and Brain Guy!
Dear MST3K Revival League,
Joel here. How is everyone? I hope you all had a good weekend.
This update took a few days longer to write than I wanted, because I had a few personal matters come up just after San Diego Comic-Con, so I'm just getting home.
But, you know, even if you weren't able to "tune in" last Saturday night when we posted it, I'm hoping you've now heard the big news that we announced, because it seems like it got around pretty fast.
After going to a lot of meetings with a lot of networks, and talking with lots of board rooms full of open-minded executives, we've finally reached a deal I'm thrilled about:
I'm really happy to tell you that Mystery Science Theater 3000 has found a new home with our friends at Netflix!
Now, we just wrapped up this deal last Saturday – just a couple hours before our panel – so I don't have all of the details and answers for you just yet. But the most important thing I can tell you is that this is a really great outcome for our show. I'll tell you more in a second, but here are a few other specific details you might want to know:
- WHERE: We've reached a deal with Netflix to distribute MST3K in what our lawyers call "the English-speaking territories," which means you'll be able to watch Mystery Science Theater on Netflix in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland. This is huge, because we’ve actually never been available outside of North America before.
(Now, if you're not in one of those countries, don't get too worked up yet. We're still looking at more international options. And no matter what, I promise: if your Kickstarter rewards include the new episodes, you will get them at the same time as everyone else, no matter where you live. We're not going to make you wait. You're not second-class citizens! You’re first class all the way.)
- WHEN: The official announcement said that the new episodes will be released in "the not-too-distant future", and of course, I want to get them to you as soon as we can… but like I said earlier this year: I want to get these new episodes right, even if it takes a little longer to finish them. So, we don't have an official date yet, but we'll tell you as soon as we do.
Also, some of you are wondering what this means for your Kickstarter rewards, like the live-stream, the digital downloads of the new season, and the DVDs. But don't worry, my friends: We're going to do right by you. We made sure that Netflix knew about all of our Kickstarter promises, and made sure we'd still be able to honor them. So, even though the new season will be available on Netflix, it won't change when you get your rewards.
There are a lot of reasons that helped us decide Netflix was the best home for Mystery Science Theater, but I just want to tell you a few of the big ones.
I think one of the biggest reasons I'm glad we're on Netflix is length. See, MST is a lot longer than most television shows, because each episode includes most of a cheesy feature film. Back when we were first making MST3K, that wasn't a problem. In fact, it was really an advantage, because on KTMA, The Comedy Channel, Comedy Central and even Sci-Fi, there was a lot of unused airtime to fill up. So, having two-hour episodes was a good thing back then. But these days, broadcast and cable programming is really competitive, and it's a lot harder to keep one show on for two hours every week.
When we started talking to all of the different networks in December and January, there was a lot of enthusiasm about the show, but I think we figured out pretty fast that it would be best for MST3K to live on a digital platform. That way, no one would be worried about cutting the episodes in half or finding enough advertisers. Plus, the digital platforms are a little more comfortable with shows that are kind of weird, you know? Like, you don't have to be able to fit into quite as neat a box. That's good for us too.
Anyway, once we realized that Mystery Science Theater would work really well on a digital network, Netflix seemed like the best choice. They're kind of the 800-pound-gorilla in this space, and they've done a great job helping bring back some other cancelled shows. Also, I've been using Netflix for the past four or five years, and I think it’s great from a user perspective. And, even more important, lots of people already have Netflix – they're in over 80 million homes worldwide – which means that this gives us a really great chance for more people to discover our little show. And if more people start watching, it gives us a better chance of being renewed for more new seasons, which was always the goal.
Plus, Netflix is available in so many countries around the world, which made it easier to get the new episodes into a lot of those "English-speaking territories" at the same time, instead of trying to find a different network for each country. And you know, a lot of you wrote in over the last six months to tell us that you thought Netflix was the best new home for MST3K, so I felt pretty good about that, too.
And listen, I know there are probably still more questions about how this will all work, and what it will mean for the show. We’re still working through some of those details with Netflix, but as soon as I know more, I’ll tell you. For now, I just wanna say this again: I think this is a really, really good thing for us. I think Netflix will be a great place for Mystery Science Theater, and if they see enough people are watching the new episodes, I think it's really likely we'll be able to make more new seasons. So, I'm really happy about this, and I hope you are too.
But that's not all... I've got some more good news for you!
During our panel last Saturday, I was really happy to finally announce something we've been working on for a while:
The wonderful Mary Jo Pehl, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett have agreed to visit and help out with the new season of MST3K!
Now, looking at some of the questions and comments on Facebook and Twitter, I think there was a little confusion about what this meant, so I'll tell you exactly what I announced at Comic-Con:
- Mary Jo Pehl will guest star as Pearl Forrester.
- Kevin Murphy will guest star as Professor Bobo.
- Bill Corbett will guest star as Brain Guy.
And, to show our new team how the pros do it, Mary Jo and Bill have also joined the writing team for some of the new episodes, to make sure we've still got that "Original MST3K Flavor."
I'm really excited to have them back writing and on set with us, so it's great that we were able to make this work with their schedules. We're also in the process of working with other original cast members to see if we can get more of them to come back, because my goal has always been for all of the original cast to make it back to MST3K. If it doesn't happen this season, then hopefully it will happen in Season 12...
Now, there's a lot more fun stuff to show you and talk about from Comic-Con, but I want to write a little more about all of that, so I think I'm going to roll out the rest of it over the next few updates.
Before I finish, though, Ivan asked me to remind everyone:
All Kickstarter Reward Order Forms are due NOW, so if you haven't filled yours out, please finish it right now.
I guess we can't start making all of your rewards until we get most of the forms filled out, and there are still about 4,750 missing. And listen, I'm really pleased with all of the stuff we're making for you, so I want to make sure you get everything you paid for as soon as we can. Also, I think Ivan's going to go a little insane if we don't get this done... so, you know, help a brother out!
Okay. Have a good week, everyone.
Cheers & Thanks,