Kickstarted ‘MST 3000’ on Netflix

Kickstarter has rescued – or should we say returned – Joel Hodgson and his wisecracking robot sidekicks to B-movie oblivion.

KickStarter

Hodgson, the original creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Shout! Factory led a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised funding for 14 new episodes of the cult favorite dedicated to skewering film classics. The new episodes will debut on Netflix in the “not-too-distant future.”

Hodgson will be joined by comedian Jonah Ray as the new co-host and Felicia Day as Kinga Forrester. Mary Jo Pehl returns as Pearl Forrester, Bill Corbett as Crow T. Robot and Kevin Murphy as Tom Servo.

Joel McHale, former host of The Soup and star of Community, will be one of the writers. Former Daily Show head writer Elliott Kalan will be lead writer for the new episodes.

As of this writing, more than 48,000 backers had pledged more than $5.7 million on Kickstarter to reboot the show. Netflix claims the campaign “set the world record as the highest-funded film and TV crowdfunding campaign in history.”

Mystery Science Theater 3000 broadcast 198 episodes on Comedy Central (originally known as The Comedy Channel) and later on Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) from 1988 to 1999.  The premise: mad scientists maroon a human host and his two robots aboard the “Satellite of Love,” forcing them to endure an endless marathon of B movies. Luckily for viewers, the man and his bots add a special layer of commentary that offer a fresh take on films that otherwise would be relegated to Alpha Centauri.

Some episodes are available for streaming on Amazon Video. For example, you can watch Forrest Tucker in the The Crawling Eye (1958) for $2.99. You can also rent MST’s one and only theatrical release, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996), for $3.99.

Netflix also has a new distribution agreement with 20th Century Fox Television that gives the service “exclusive global streaming” rights to FX’s, American Crime Story. The first season will be available in 2017, with subsequent seasons available after their broadcast windows.

Variety noted that the first season, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, was “cable’s most-watched new series of 2016.” Starring John Travolta, Cuba Good Jr. and Sarah Paulson, it dramatized the behind-the-scenes prosecution and defense of the NFL hero for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman, a restaurant waiter who was also Nicole’s friend. The second season will deal with Hurricane Katrina.

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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