Everything old is new again, at least on MTV. First, earlier this year the network announced that it would be rebooting the original reality show The Real World. Now, even more MTV classics are returning to grace screens everywhere. Punk'd and Singled Out are coming back to MTV, so get ready for a huge dose of nostalgia.
The two shows were stalwart standbys on MTV during the 1990s and early 2000s, making them both prime material for millennial throwback culture. But the new versions of both shows are entering this decade with a new twist that makes perfect sense for today's audiences. Instead of airing on MTV, both shows are going to premiere on Quibi, which is a new mobile-first digital streaming service. There will be 20 episodes of each series, but each of those episodes will be only 10 minutes long. That means that fans will be able to get their daily dose of MTV easily in a format that's made perfectly for their phones.
In a statement, MTV President Chris McCarthy said, "This deal builds on MTV’s strategy of reinventing our iconic shows to reach new audiences on pioneering new platforms like Quibi."
Singled Out originally aired on MTV from 1995 to 1998. Chris Hardwick and Jenny McCarthy co-hosted the dating game show until Carmen Electra took over for McCarthy about halfway through the series' run. Punk'd was the Ashton Kutcher-led hidden camera show that set out to prank celebrities during its run 2002-2007, and in 2012 and 2015. Based on the official synopses from MTV networks, it sounds like the reboots of the series will follow similar formats. Here's the synopsis for Singled Out:
While downloading a dating app has never been easier, sorting through the singles is harder than ever. Singled Out narrows down the dating field, as less choice means more real connections. In this reimagined version, anyone and everyone can find love no matter their sexual preference. Who will be swiped out and who will be Singled Out?
The official synopsis for the new version of Punk'd highlights the added flair today's technology will give the show:
The show that coined the verb “punk’d” dared to go where no show had gone before. Now that technology can really augment reality, we’re back to pull the boldest pranks on the biggest stars in Hollywood. This time around, no one is safe.
In some ways, both Singled Out and Punk'd inspired a lot of today's pop culture. Singled Out was a dating show that had participants ask a series of questions to their potential partners. It was very similar to the way people date with profiles and questionnaires on apps like Hinge and Bumble today. Meanwhile, the on-camera pranking that Kutcher did on Punk'd is very similar to a lot of the prank videos that attract immense audiences on YouTube. Would Logan Paul be as popular as he is if Punk'd hadn't come before him? Since Singled Out and Punk'd were so influential on today's culture, it makes sense that these reboots will be a big hit with today's audiences.