A 'Clarissa Explains It All' Reboot Might Actually Be Happening — But, Wait, There’s More


Joining a slew of other nostalgic series that have received the same treatment recently, Clarissa Explains It All may be set for a reboot. The project is still in early discussions, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, some familiar faces seem interested in signing on. There's original star Melissa Joan Hart, who's eyeing a return as and older-and-wiser Clarissa Darling. (She'll be able to explain it all and more, this time around.) Word is, Hart would now star as the matriarch of her own family instead of the precocious eldest daughter she played the first time around. Which, by the way, was almost 30 years ago — you're officially old.

And while it's good news all around, it's also important to note that THR reports Nickelodeon has thus far declined to comment on the talks. So don't get too ahead of yourself, as exciting as the idea of a reboot would be.

Clarissa Explains It All initially premiered on Nickelodeon in 1991 and was a groundbreaking way for a typical American teenager to speak directly to the audience. Clarissa was going through exactly the things that her audiences were going through, all the pains of adolescence that didn't always get spoken about elsewhere. We're talking acne, crushes, how annoying your family can be, schoolwork, puberty — all of it. She was someone who viewers could turn to for reassurance that all the crazy stuff they were feeling was normal, in an accessible, friendly, and funny format.

The show provided the launching pad for Hart's career, and also featured early opportunities for other soon-to-be-famous faces. Michelle Trachtenberg played Elsie Soaperstein, a spoiled kid whom Clarissa must babysit, and James Van Der Beek cropped up as a boy pursuing Clarissa's alter ego Jade in Season 5, and even gave Hart her first on-screen kiss.

Even after just five seasons that finished airing 24 years ago, the show has remained memorable to many. That's all thanks to a combination of Hart's acting and the hard work done in the writers' room on the one hand, but a lion's share of the credit has to go to series creator Mitchell Kriegman. Which is why you'll likely be pleased to hear that he's reportedly being wooed for a return as well, to write and executive produce the reboot. Clarissa Explains It All spent 1991 to 1994 on the air, and Kriegman has kept busy in the industry ever since.

He created the children's show Bear in the Big Blue House, which aired for five seasons between 1997 and 2006, including a three-year hiatus, and also created 15 episodes of It's A Big Big World spanning 2011 and 2012. So he's definitely picked up some more experience when it comes to showrunning, and he's stayed connected to what kids are watching these days. When and if the reboot does in fact materialize, he's in a perfect position to return to the helm and guide the new version to even greater success.

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But Kriegman reportedly won't be steering this ship by himself, if he does reprise his old role. According to THR, Hart will also executive produce through her own Hartbreak Films, which the website describes as a "family friendly film and television production company." And "family friendly" for more reasons than one — Melissa Joan Hart runs the banner with her real-life mom, fellow industry producer Paula Hart.

If Hart does return to star and produce, it will mean a busy career resurgence for her. Another of the 41-year-old actor's starring vehicles, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which will be rebooted at Netflix this year. And although Hart will not be acting in the dark reimagining of the original, she has expressed interest in directing. Who knows if that will pan out, but if it does — acting, producing, and directing all at the same time, on two of the biggest projects of her career is a lot on one plate. Good thing we'll soon have Clarissa Darling back to explain how the heck that's even possible.