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'Mystery Science Theater 3000' launches Kickstarter campaign to reboot the series

'Mystery Science Theater 3000' launches Kickstarter campaign to reboot the series
"Manos: The Hands of Fate" clip from the "MST3K" classic. (Shout Factory)

"Mystery Science Theater 3000" creater Joel Hodgson has turned to Kickstarter to help relaunch the cult classic TV series.

Following the recent crowd-funding success of other much-loved but canceled TV series like "Veronica Mars" and "Reading Rainbow," "MST3K" is reaching out to its fans to help create a new season and to show that there is still an audience interested in seeing new episodes.

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For the uninitiated, the setup of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" is that a mad scientist has launched a human into space to force him to watch terrible B-movies in order to determine how much bad movie watching it takes to drive a person crazy.

In order to stay sane, the human captive -- along with the robot companions he has built -- talk back and mock the movie as it's playing. Think live-tweeting a show you are hate-watching, but remove Twitter from the formula. That's what in "MST3K" talk is known as "riffing."

Considering "hate-watching" is a thing that exists now, it probably is the perfect time for "MST3K" to stage its comeback.

"MST3K" premiered on Minneapolis' local cable access channel KTMA on Thanksgiving in 1988, and its 197-episode run saw it jump to the Comedy Channel/Comedy Central and then Sci-Fi (before it was known as SyFy) before being canceled in 1999. The series' run also saw the original human captive/host of the show, Joel Robinson (played by Hodgson), be replaced by Mike Nelson (played by series writer Michael J. Nelson).

Speaking of Mike, while Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo make an appearance in the Kickstarter campaign, there is no mention of Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Bill Corbett or any other previous "MST3K" writers or actors for the new season.

In fact, Hodgson told Entertainment Weekly that he plans this "MST3K" reboot to feature an all-new cast.

"Basically, I'm trying to blend the old with the new," Hodgson told EW. "'Mystery Science Theater' has already refreshed itself once with a completely new cast, so I think it deserves to do that again. The original cast is going to be invited back to write, produce, and do cameos as their mad science characters, and then there's a new cast with new talent."

But don't worry. Fans who are looking for more classic "MST3K"-like riffs can still check out RiffTrax, a collection of commentaries on films from "MST3K" alums Nelson, Murphy and Corbett. Some other alums joined Hodgson and Beaulieu for movie riffing of their own on Cinematic Titanic.

And speaking of RiffTrax, Nelson took to Facebook express his thoughts and to clarify why he is "not involved at all with the 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' reboot."

Twitter: @tracycbrown

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