If you were a ’90s kid, chances are you were obsessed with the Nickelodeon competition program Legends of the Hidden Temple. Hosted by Kirk Fogg, the program had six teams of two kids (one boy, one girl) competing to retrieve historical artifacts from an ancient temple. Tasks involved physical stunts and trivia, testing the knowledge and prowess of the team members—who were categorized into colors, with fun animal names like “Purple Parrots” and “Blue Barracudas.” The whole game was watched over by a large stone face with glowing red eyes named Olmec (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker).
Basically, it was a lot of wild fun, and an iconic part of ’90s kids television. And now, thanks to The CW, it’s coming back.
Earlier this month, Deadline reported that the reboot will come to the CW as part of their effort to big-up more non-scripted original programming. They’ve already developed American versions of British panels shows Would I Lie to You? and Killer Camp. And indeed, they resurfaced the American version of the British improv comedy pioneer, Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Now, Deadline has released a new synopsis of the reboot, which we first saw at Comicbook.com.
This supersized, adult version of LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE is taken out of the studio into a “jungle” and scaled up with tougher challenges and much bigger prizes on the line. It preserves the original Nickelodeon series’ favorite elements including: “Olmec” (the giant talking Mayan head), the“Moat Crossings,” “The Steps of Knowledge,” the “Temple Run,” and of course, the iconic team names: “Purple Parrots,” “Blue Barracudas,” “Orange Iguanas,” “Red Jaguars,” “Silver Snakes” and “Green Monkeys.”
Every episode is a hero’s journey through a mysterious jungle. Five teams begin the journey, but only one is “strong enough and smart enough” to enter the ominous Olmec’s Temple, avoid the “dreaded” Temple Guards, retrieve a lost treasure, and return it to its rightful owner. Based on the original game show created by David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone and Stephen R. Brown, LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE is produced by Stone & Company Entertainment and Nickelodeon. The series is executive produced by Scott A. Stone and Marcus Fox (“Paradise Run”).
The CW’s EVP, Development Gaye Hirsch recently told Deadline, “We’ve always been incredibly interested in the alternative space but we do sense that there’s even more opportunity. We’ve been aggressively looking in the marketplace.”
Only a year ago, the new (and now defunct) short-form content streamer Quibi had announced a version of Legends of the Hidden Temple which never came to fruition before the collapse. The Quibi version was to be for adults specifically; that appears to be a holdover trait here. Furthermore, Comicbook.com reports that The CW has put out a casting call seeking contestants aged 21-and-over.
The original run of Legends of the Hidden Temple aired from 1993 to 1995, so the new competitors will be Millennials who watched the show as kids. That’s a pretty interesting twist, and one that has us interested enough to tune in.
Legends of the Hidden Temple is produced by Nickelodeon and Stone & Company Entertainment. One of the show’s original creators, Scott A. Stone, is producing. “Bringing back Legends for Quibi is a dream come true,” Stone said in press release last year. “I have been so lucky to be part of this defining millennial show, and now there is a defining millennial platform to go with it. I couldn’t be more excited.”
This isn’t the first time Legends of the Hidden Temple got a reboot. Back in 2016, Nickelodeon aired a TV film based on the series. It starred Kirk Fogg as a fictionalized version of himself, and brought back Dee Bradley Baker as the voice of Olmec (with Michael Benyaer as Olmec’s human form). It also featured elements from the show, like the Steps of Knowledge, and featured cameos from animals who lend their names to the competition teams.
There’s no formal release date for this new, adult-sized version of Legends of the Hidden Temple just yet, but we’ll bring you updates as they become available.
Originally posted December 16, 2019. Updated March 10, 2020 and May 11, 2021.