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The original '80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon returns (finally)

Ahead of the new Mutant Mayhem movie, the Paramount-owned network gets the rights to the series that introduced the TMNT to a generation.

Image credit: Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon has been the home of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for years. The 2012 TMNT series and Rise of the TMNT both aired on the network. However, for all the ooze-laden sewer that Nick has notched, it still didn't own the rights to the very first series.

Until now.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the 1987 series, introduced non-comic readers to characters Donatello, Raphael, Leonadro, Michelangelo and more, kicking of a titanic franchise and unleashing an obsession onto a generation of viewers. Now, the Fred Wolf-produced cartoon, which ran for nine years and totaled 193 episodes, will air on the network who's been handling its legacy for a decade.

The news comes from San Diego Comic Con 2023, during the panel about the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, Mutant Mayhem. According to information learned at the panel and later repeated in a Paramount press release, TMNT 1987 will debut digitally some time later this month. Then, the show will begin airing on Nickelodeon branded channels and digital platforms internationally. The press release did not specify precise dates.

The impact of this show is widespread, with fans including culture-makers such as Seth Rogen, who is part of the team producing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Though the style of the 1987 series is very different from the upcoming film, the show's sense of humor, exciting character designs, and bombastic action could introduce the characters to a whole new audience of kids.

Especially now that their parents have reason to watch it with them.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem releases in theaters August 2.

Popverse saw it and did most of it, and you can find all about our guide to All the big news, magic, and moments from San Diego Comic-Con. And if you want to go to SDCC next year, we have the San Diego Comic-Con 2024 dates as well.

Grant DeArmitt

Grant DeArmitt: Grant DeArmitt (he/him) likes horror, comics, and the unholy pairing of the two. As Povperse's Staff Writer, he criss-crosses the pop culture landscape bringing you the news and opinions about the big things (and the next big things). He has written for Nightmare on Film Street and Newsarama, despite their better judgment. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Kelsey, and corgi, Legs.


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