As we already were openly theorizing recently, thanks to former cast members implying that the show would not be returning for a third season, the MST3K revival experiment at Netflix has seemingly come to an end. Confirmation has now come along from series creator Joel Hodgson that this is indeed the case, ending the process that originally began with more than $6 million raised on Kickstarter to bring the show back to life. It’s a bittersweet moment, but nothing that MST3K fans haven’t faced before. As Joel says:
As some of you might have guessed, we won’t be making new seasons of the show for Netflix. However, I want you to know that we’ve had a wonderful time working with the Netflix team, and will always be grateful to them. After all, they gave us the opportunity to spend the past few years aboard the Satellite of Love, and made it possible for new generations to discover the joys of riffing cheesy movies with your friends.
I couldn’t be more grateful or proud to our incredible cast and our wonderful crew for bringing this incarnation of the show to life, and hope that we’ll get the chance to continue collaborating on MST3K as we enter our next chapter. And, I’m pleased to confirm that The Return and The Gauntlet – along with a healthy selection of classic episodes – will continue to stream on Netflix, bringing some of the show’s best episodes to cheesy movie lovers around the world.
Now, I know you might have questions about the future of Mystery Science Theater, but as you’ve seen over the last four years, we are just as dedicated to keeping MST3K alive as ever. And I want to remind you that there are still lots of options for us to explore in the years to come. This isn’t our first rodeo! So, while this might be the end of the first chapter of bringing back MST3K, don’t worry: it’s not the last chapter.
It’s hard to imagine that after the sheer amount of fan interest that was invested in the show to bring it back for the first time in more than 20 years, that it would simply disappear again now. We can’t help but think that there’s probably another streamer eager to get their hands on Mystery Science Theater 3000, or perhaps a fledgling cable network, bringing the story of the series full circle.
The two revival seasons of the show were anchored by host Jonah Ray, and primary robot voices Hampton Yount (Crow T. Robot) and Baron Vaughn (Tom Servo). They were received fairly warmly by the MST3K faithful, eager as they were for the show to return in any form, even though some fans did gripe about the pace of Netflix-era episodes and the reliance upon upgraded production values and celebrity cameos. You can see our rankings of all the season 11 episodes here, as well as season 12, and our massive overall ranking of all 197 existing episodes of MST3K. If ever the show returns again, you can be sure we’ll keep adding to that master list.
In the meantime, classic MST3K can be viewed via the newly established Twitch channel, in a handful of classic episodes on Netflix, on a 24/7 Pluto TV Channel, and in many other places online. Keep on circulating the tapes, fans. We have a feeling this isn’t the last act for MST3K.