MTV Studios is traveling back in time to the glorious claymation days of ‘90s MTV, with a reboot of their smack-down phenomenon Celebrity Deathmatch, with executive producer Ice Cube set to star. MTV Studios is planning to shop the project as a weekly series to various networks and streaming services. The studio is also planning to develop Daria, Undressed, Made, and Aeon Flux as reboot projects.
Originally running for 75 episodes from 1998-2002, the show’s creator Eric Fogel will now co-executive produce alongside Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz through production company Cube Vision. Additional announcements regarding showrunners and voice talent are expected shortly.
“Happy to once again be working with Viacom and MTV on a fan favorite like Celebrity Deathmatch and to continue our success together.”
– Ice Cube
As part of what many say was MTV’s creative apex for original programming, Celebrity Deathmatch pitted celebrities from the past and present: from actors and musicians to politicians, the show spared no one when it came to the stop-motion satire. Chris McCarthy, President of MTV, VH1 and CMT, explained the impact of the show on contemporary pop culture.
“We’re excited to grow our partnership with Ice Cube and Cube Vision to reimagine this fan favorite. Deathmatch was the meme before memes, remains a hot topic on social media and will be a smart, funny way to tackle the over-the-top rhetoric of today’s poop culture where it belongs – a wrestling ring.”
– Chris McCarthy, President, MTV, VH1 and CMT
The original Celebrity Deathmatch featured commentators Johnny Gomez (Maurice Schlafer) and Nick Diamond (Len Maxwell) doing play-by-play, with famed boxing referee Mills Lane (supplying his own voice) officiating the matches. The show featured a mix of guest commentators and interviewers like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, WWE owner Vince McMahon, and Debbie Matenopoulos, who voiced their clay counterparts. Even MTV’s Beavis and Butthead faced off against each other in a crossover episode that saw their creator Mike Judge making a guest appearance.
In 2006, Celebrity Deathmatch was revived for MTV2 but it was cancelled in 2007. MTV2 announced a separate reboot series in 2015, but the project never made it to series.