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TeenNick totally scores with '90s hits

The network sees bumper ratings after responding to fans’ demand for retro favorites including ”Kenan & Kel” and ”Clarissa Explains It All”

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Who knew TV viewers would actually demand to see reruns? A decision to bring back episodes of ’90s faves like Clarissa Explains It All and Kenan & Kel has paid off in spades for TeenNick since July 25. That’s when the network debuted The ’90s Are All That — a weeknight, midnight-to-2 a.m. retro block of programming that has produced a 47 percent boost in viewership (the block is averaging 382,000 viewers). The cabler came up with the idea after seeing huge interest in its early programming on social-media sites. ”Every time I’d bump into a fan, they were like, ‘That was my childhood. Why don’t you play them anymore?’ ” says Kenan costar Kenan Thompson of the run of shows, which also includes All That and Doug. ”Nick was great at creating a world where kids ruled. We had so much fun with it. That’s what came across.” TeenNick has every intention of keeping the party going: The next step is to have viewers vote this fall on other programs to be added to the late-night mix. ”Fans seem to be giving voice to Hey Dude, Rugrats, [and] Are You Afraid of the Dark? It’s a long list of shows,” says Keith Dawkins, TeenNick’s senior VP and general manager. ”It was like a bat to the head — the outpouring has been phenomenal. The audience keeps coming back, so now we have to keep feeding them.”