Before being Spider-Verse producers, the guys from Lego Movie, the 21 Jump Street guys, or even the Cloudy with a chance of meatballs guys, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – with Scrubs Guy Bill Lawrence – were the creators of the wonder of an MTV season Clone High. And now the trio are back on the network to revive the 2002 cult favorite.
“We are delighted to join Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Bill Lawrence to re-imagine this cult classic as we rapidly develop our portfolio of beloved and iconic adult animation series,” said Chris McCarthy, President of ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth Group, in a press release. Writer and producer Erica Rivinoja (The last man on earth, Clone High) will be the showrunner for renewal, which is currently in development, with Lord, Miller and Lawrence producing.
If you missed Clone High the first time, don’t worry. The low-budget animated series was set in a single season of 13 episodes from 2002 to 2003, before being canceled in part because of the reaction against its depiction of a clone of Mahatma Gandhi. A DVD version of the full season was produced, but was only available in Canada.
The show itself was about teenage clones of historic characters going to high school together, struggling to live up to the legacy of their genetic background while experiencing dramatic dramas for typical teenagers. Show manager Abe Lincoln, for example, was placed in a love triangle with his best friend, Joan of Arc, and the school’s hottest girl, Cleopatra. For her part, Cleopatra was often torn between her feelings for Abe and her relationship with the more socially advantageous idiot, JFK.
From a less granular point of view, the series was a loud parody of the teen soap opera trend that dominated the 1990s. Specific references to shows like Dawson’s Creek abounded, and each episode in the series began with a grim narrator saying, “Tonight, on a very special episode of Clone High … ”
Many episodes of Clone High were dispatches of the fierce attempts that teen dramas addressed “real life problems,” with episodes that “explored” underage drinking, smoking, and living with ADHD. For example, there is a whole episode where, thanks to an appearance by Jack Black, all the children become addicted to raisins and try to overthrow the leadership of the school in a parody of rock opera, and Gandhi leaves for a three-day drug trip.
At the age of Riverdale, Pretty little Liars, and 13 reasons why, it will be interesting to see what aspect of teen media Lord, Miller and Lawrence choose as a new must-have target. And it will be interesting to see if they finally manage to resolve the end of the first season of cliffhanger.
I mean … Joan of Arc slept with JFK at the winter ball!