When Beavis and Butt-head return to the couch and watch television beginning Oct. 27 on MTV, there will be far fewer music videos for the boys to critique. They will be commenting on the network's current fare -- "Jersey Shore," "16 and Pregnant," Teen Mom" -- and pop culture phenomena such as vampire movies and shows, and getting in shots at musical acts on a less frequent basis.
Creator Mike Judge tells Billboard.biz that's driven by the desire to go through proper channels on these new editions of the show coming 15 years since we last saw the boys in the film "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America."
"It's licensing," Judge says, noting that the premiere was pushed back six months primarily because of two issues -- final animated sequences and approval to use music videos. Deadmau5, MGMT, Yolanda Be Cool and T-Baby's off-key "It's So Cold in the D" have been licensed as have UFC fight scenes and some movie clips.
"We're working on Lady Gaga," Judge said at a Television Critics Association panel for MTV shows. B&B will take a shot at becoming Siskel and Ebert, vampires, tech support workers and re-enact Morgan Spurlock's "Super-size Me" diet in the new edition of the series.
Licensing of the show's full content became an issue a decade ago when attempts were made to release the cartoons on DVD and producers had only secured broadcast rights. When Sony issued its first collection of episodes in 2005, many of the videos were deleted and episodes had to be edited, frustrating fans of the series. The second and third volumes were more in line with the way the shows were broadcast.
"Beavis and Butt-Head" ran on MTV from 1993 to 1997 and was criticized and revered for its violent content and the idiotic behavior of the lead characters. In returning this year, the show will be set up as it was initially with mostly two-part shows and the occasional full half-hour. The boys will still be wearing their AC/DC and Metallica T-shirts. And nebbishy Stewart will still be donning Winger T-shirt.
"I thought (Kip Winger) had a problem with the show, but it turns out he was OK with it," Judge told Billboard.biz. "We tried other bands (logos) but nothing worked as well (as the originals)."