One of the most popular children’s series of the 1990s will be getting a new lease on life thanks to Netflix, with word that the streaming giant is resuscitating The Magic School Bus as a 26-episode series titled The Magic School Bus 360°. This new take on the classic animated series will feature computer animation, a modernized flying bus and up-to-date scientific equipment.
It’s unclear whether Lily Tomlin, who voiced teacher Miss Frizzle in the original series, is returning, but the character will apparently be modernized along with the bus.
“‘Magic School Bus,’ the old version, is remarkably popular on Netflix,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement, explaining that it is currently the top educational show on Netflix.
Deborah Forte, president of Scholastic Media, said that she hopes the new Magic School Bus series can make its way into the education system, noting that there has been a void in science education television for elementary schoolers since the end of the original show.
Sarandos spoke highly of working with Scholastic and indicated that the two companies are exploring other ways in which they can collaborate, calling The Magic School Bus 360° “an extension of what I hope is going to be a growing relationship with Scholastic.” Netflix recently acquired rights to multiple Scholastic properties, including Clifford the Big Red Dog and Goosebumps, so we may hear about more returning series in the near future.
Magic School Bus is just the latest series revival for Netflix, which previously brought cancelled Fox comedy Arrested Development back for a fourth season and will provide fans of AMC’s The Killing with a six-episode final season this August. Though the streaming giant has found the most success with original programs like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, it is also being eyed by the creators of many cancelled shows as a potential savior.
The Magic School Bus 360° will begin airing its 26 half-hour episodes in 2016.