As this century’s viewers leave traditional television for their computers, tablets, and smartphones, Nickelodeon is making a bid to woo them back with a programming block on its network that will re-air some of last century’s coolest shows.

In October, Nickelodeon will unveil The Splat, a channel dedicated to ’90s standouts like John Kricfalusi’s The Ren & Stimpy Show, Klasky/Csupó’s Rugrats, Craig Bartlett’s Hey Arnold!, and other influential shows that sequenced the genes for much of today’s television animation.

Although details are sparse for now, Nickelodeon confirmed to Cartoon Brew that The Splat’s placeholder site and YouTube channel are formative strands of a larger plan to resuscitate the network’s vintage hits for a new generation.

Which specific shows will make The Splat’s roster could not be confirmed though the trailer above gives a pretty good idea of what’ll end up there initially. The move makes sense for Nickelodeon, and parent corporation Viacom, which have creatively struggled in the face of ratings losses and underwhelming programming. Resuscitating programs from Nickelodeon’s golden age for younger viewers, who perhaps may only recognize its long-running Spongebob SquarePants in a lineup, could ironically inject new life into the network.

The Splat’s nostalgic revival stands apart, at least so far, from Nickelodeon’s reported initiative to retool its classics as standalone movies or specials. That separation likely includes the rumored Avengers-like, live-action/animation hybrid Nicktoons, reported by Cartoon Brew earlier this month.

But even if The Splat is simply reissuing its older cartoons on a dedicated platform, it would be a sign that Nickelodeon is starting to understand that there is really no good reason to hide these beloved shows behind more current programming that is failing to capture audiences. Indeed, less limited viewing alternatives and business models are the primary reasons that the Internet, mobile technology, and streaming media are killing off appointment television, probably for good. Better to evolve with the epoch than face extinction.

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