Teletoon Canada plans to air 'Inspector Gadget' reboot

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.”

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