Get ready — a series that starred Melissa Joan Hart is getting rebooted! And no, we’re not talking about The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina this time. Her breakout 1991 show, Clarissa Explains It All is potentially coming back to Nickelodeon. And more good news: Both Hart and original show creator Mitchell Kriegman will likely be involved in the Clarissa reboot!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Clarissa reboot would feature Hart reprising her role as Clarissa Darling, but this time her family’s mother. Hart and her mother, Paula Hart, will executive produce the series, as will Kriegman. However, things are still in the early planning stages, and deals are still being worked out.
Clarissa Explains It All was groundbreaking for its time. It was the first Nickelodeon show to feature a female lead. The format of the show was also innovative; Clarissa spoke directly to the audience, sort of like Ferris Bueller. But where Clarissa diverged is that Clarissa’s fourth-wall breaks were always accompanied by visual aids in the form of superimposed text, images and comic cutaways (like below).
This isn’t the first time a Clarissa reboot has been in the works. In 2015, Kriegman wrote a follow-up novel, Things I Can’t Explain, which catches up with Clarissa in her late 20s. In the novel, we find out that Clarissa left high school early and became a successful journalist until the stock market crashed in 2008. And then the newspaper crisis hit and Clarissa felt like she was in freefall.
Surprisingly, that book wasn’t the first attempt to check in with Clarissa’s adult life. Clarissa Now was a pilot for CBS from 1995. Though CBS paid for the pilot, it never aired on the network — it eventually aired as a special on Nickelodeon.
In Clarissa Now, Clarissa moved to New York City to work at a newspaper, much like the Clarissa of Things I Can’t Explain. (Oddly enough, in the final seasons of the other big Melissa Joan Hart series, Sabrina, Sabrina worked as a journalist at a magazine. Apparently ink runs through Hart’s fictional veins.)