Well, that was a quick turnaround. We've had a year and a half with only the vaguest of information about this in-the-making show, and in one day, it's all over the internet. Why? Because Teletoon Canada has issued an official announcement and press release about the upcoming Inspector Gadget TV series, as well as two press pictures which have been circulating online along with that announcement. (Click on the pictures to see Gadget in super-large size!)
The second picture is, of course, the full version of the low-res image that I found on DHX Media's site on May 9, confirming that it was indeed from the new series (in fact, the low-res version is still viewable through DHX's image url). But let's get on to the new information - first of all, Teletoon's announcement and full press release! It can be found on a ton of news sites online, but I thought I might as well link to Teletoon Media's official site, which is probably where it originated. First, the formal announcement...
Inspector Gadget Reboot Tops Off TELETOON Canada’s Latest Original Production Slate
TELETOON Canada announces two new original series, Inspector Gadget and Pirate Express, as well as the renewal of four others
June 09, 2013 - (...)
TELETOON Canada Inc. today announced its latest original production slate, featuring a brand new CGI version of the beloved Canadian animated series Inspector Gadget and swashbuckling new series Pirate Express, as well as the renewals of Rocket Monkeys (Season 2), Endangered Species (Season 2), Total Drama (Season 6) and Johnny Test (Season 7). This announcement was made from the Banff World Media Festival, where TELETOON is a proud sponsor of the Kids and Animation program for the fourth consecutive year. (...)...and then - the most interesting part - the actual info about the new series:
DHX Media • 26 x 11 minutes
Premiere Date TBC on TELETOON
MAD Agents, look out! Criminals, beware! Bystanders … take cover! Inspector Gadget is back to battle Dr. Claw with all-new gadgets – and all-new gadget-related chaos. But the loveable, bumbling, accidentally-destructive Inspector is not alone in the fight to take down MAD. His ever trusty police-dog, Brain, is still by his side and he's getting extra crime-fighting help from his new partner, Inspector-in-training Penny. With MAD more powerful than ever and with the arrival of Dr. Claw's evil-genius (and totally crush-worthy) nephew, Penny and Brain will need to use every ounce of their training to keep the world safe from Dr. Claw … and Gadget.
So, the new show's episodes will be 11 minutes in lenght rather than 22, Dr Claw has an evil-genius (and totally crush-worthy?!?) nephew, Penny is Inspector Gadget's official partner... There are a lot of changes to the original concept here which I honestly hadn't been expecting. In fact, pretty much the only thing from the press releases that I had been expecting was that the new series would be CGI-animated. At least that prediction turned out to be correct.
The following article from The Canadian Press (here via Yahoo! Canada) goes a bit in-depth about the development of the new show, as described by Alan Gregg, Teletoon's director of original content:
Teletoon Canada plans to air 'Inspector Gadget' reboot
By: Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM
BANFF, Alta. - Go-Go-Gadget reboot.
The clueless cyborg police inspector along with his catchy theme song, niece Penny and dog Brain are being dusted off and brought back to TV by Teletoon Canada and DHX Media (TSX:DHX).
The original "Inspector Gadget" was introduced to audiences from 1983-86 and used the vocal talents of Don Adams, who is best-known as secret agent Maxwell Smart on the '60s sitcom "Get Smart."
The series also spawned a 1999 movie of the same name starring Matthew Broderick.
The network said the longstanding popularity of the franchise, which has run for years in reruns, serves a dual purpose.
"We had been speaking with the programming department about finding brands that already resonated well ... particularly with adults," said Alan Gregg, Teletoon's director of original content, at the Banff World Media Festival on Tuesday.
"It's a challenge because parents tend to not watch so much animation but we thought there's an opportunity with Inspector Gadget to sort of trade on the nostalgia factor — all the people who loved Inspector Gadget 30 years ago now have kids of the age who are watching our network."
The reboot will stay true to its roots, said Gregg, but the latest version will be in CGI and the storyline and the characters will be updated just a bit.
"The theme song is a huge part of Gadget and everyone loves the theme. I was just searching the other day and realized it is actually based on a classical piece by a Norwegian composer (Edvard Grieg) in 'In the Hall of the Mountain King,'" he chuckled.
"We would like to get a major Canadian composer or songwriter to do a reboot of that theme song which would be true to the original but contemporarize it a little bit."
The character of Penny will be a few years older and the bad guy will be the nephew of Gadget's original nemesis, Dr. Claw.
It's too early to say who will do the voice but it won't be Adams, who died in 2005.
Gregg said the show will be weekly and divided into two mini 11-minute segments. It could be ready to hit the airwaves in late 2014.
Although Teletoon Canada is primarily thought of as a children's channel, Gregg said there are plenty of adult viewers — especially later in the evening. The new Gadget will likely run later in the family viewing timeframe as a lead-in to the more adult programming.
"We're an animation channel first and foremost and a great deal of our programming is for kids but post 9 o'clock, we go to adult content like 'Robot Chicken,' 'Futurama,' 'Archer,' and 'American Dad,'" Gregg said.
"All the key components are there. Anyone who looks at the new Gadget will be happy that we didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The show will be more contemporary and the stories more compelling."
For a moment, while reading the part with "...the bad guy will be the nephew of Gadget's original nemesis, Dr. Claw", I was wondering if Dr Claw himself would not be in this new series at all - he is, after all, only described as Gadget's original nemesis. However, a shorter write-up from The Canadian Press (via News1130) seems to confirm Dr Claw as a character in the new show:
‘Inspector Gadget’ making a return
No premiere date yet for new CGI version
The Canadian Press June 11, 2013 9:29 am
TORONTO (NEWS1130) – Go-Go-Gadget reboot!
Teletoon Canada says it plans to air a new CGI version of the 1980s Canadian children’s animated series “Inspector Gadget” from DHX Media.
The show features a bumbling cyborg detective who launches bionic gadgets in his body with the command “Go-Go-Gadget.”
The cartoon sleuth originally debuted in 1983.
Teletoon Canada says the new incarnation, which doesn’t have a premiere date yet, will also include original characters Dr. Claw, Brain the dog, and sidekick Penny.
As you've probably noticed, Teletoon Canada is the one who's making pretty much all the announcements at the moment. On DHX Media's side, there's only been a short news article so far. It doesn't tell us anything that we didn't already know from the Teletoon quotes, but it's nice to hear the news from DHX as well, so here it is:
DHX to produce new Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test
2013-06-11 10:41 ET - News Release
Mr. David Regan reports
DHX MEDIA COMMISSIONED TO PRODUCE NEW INSPECTOR GADGET SERIES AND 7TH SEASON OF JOHNNY TEST SERIES
DHX Media Ltd. has received an order from Teletoon Canada Inc. for a new CGI (computer-generated imagery) series of the classic kids cartoon, Inspector Gadget, and a seventh season of the hit children's series, Johnny Test. In addition, Teletoon Canada will be premiering Johnny Test, season 6, fall 2013.
I'll be posting my own thoughts about all of this shortly (hopefully later today or tomorrow)... but for now, what do you think about all the new announcements?