Mystery Science Theater 3000's 12th season is premiering in the not-too-distant future. New episodes will stream on Netflix starting on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018, The A.V. Club reports. That's just in time for the 30th anniversary of the show's original premiere on Minneapolis local television—Thanksgiving Day, 1988.
Thanksgiving has always been tightly associated with MST3K. Not only did the show originally air on Thanksgiving, but marathons of the show around Thanksgiving are customary. The 12th season was announced by creator and original host Joel Hodgson during a livestreamed marathon last Thanksgiving.
"Thirty years ago on Thanksgiving Day 1988 is when we premiered Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the Minneapolis market," Hodgson told The A.V. Club. "We were competing with 60 Minutes for the same time slot, and I think history has shown which is the better show."
The new season will run for six episodes, and, as is usually the case with Netflix shows, all six of them will be available to stream right away. The entire season 11 cast will return to reprise their roles, including Jonah Ray Rodrigues as the everyman host, Felicia Day as the villain, Patton Oswalt as her sidekick, Baron Vaughn as Tom Servo, Hampton Yount as Crow T. Robot, and Rebecca Hanson as Gypsy.
The premiere will be preceded by a 30th anniversary live tour across the United States, during which the cast will live-commentate very bad, no-good movies. A similar tour occurred last year, with the cast riffing on fan favorite classic Eegah as well as the never-previously-riffed Argoman the Fantastic Superman.
If you're not familiar, MST3K is a show about telling jokes, riffing on, and otherwise live-commenting on extremely bad movies. It has had three hosts—Joel, Mike, and now Jonah—and all three have offered different takes on an average-joe persona for the audience to relate to. That's key, because the two other characters commenting on the movies are robot puppets. And then there is a villain and a henchman, the host's captors who are subjecting him to all these movies "for science." (And if you're wondering how the host eats and breathes and other science facts, just repeat yourself, "It's just a show, I should really just relax.")
As noted, the series started out on local television in the Midwest and was eventually picked up by Comedy Central, where it ran for several seasons. After that, the Sci-Fi Channel picked it up, but it was ultimately canceled there, too. Additionally, it ran in syndication, attracting a cult following. After well over a decade off the air, Hodgson launched a Kickstarter to bring it back. The Kickstarter raised more than $6.3 million, and the eleventh season that resulted was picked up by Netflix.
The last season ended on a cliffhanger, with Jonah's fate uncertain. But given that he's clearly billed to return for all six new episodes, we're pretty sure he survived.