Cartoon Network began breaking new ground in 1996. Their World Premiere Toons anthology (later renamed, The What A Cartoon! Show) bore its first fruit with the debut of Dexter's Laboratory, which was farmed out to sister network TBS. Meanwhile, the network also decided to take a chance on reviving a classic hero from the 60's, and welcomed back Jonny Quest.
Reruns of the original series must've brought some big ratings numbers, else CN would never have commissioned The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, which anchored the network's then-new Toonami afternoon-early evening drive block. On one hand, the idea was to upgrade Jonny and his friends to bring them up to speed with the latest technology, and that included introducing them to the internet. Another big surprise was the fact that Jonny and his best buddy Hadji had been---gasp!---allowed to age. They were now teenagers!
Not only that, but they weren't alone anymore. The producers added Jessie Bannon, daughter of family bodyguard Roger "Race" Bannon, to create the potential for romantic tension between Jessie and either Jonny or even Hadji. That was despite the fact that Jonny wasn't exactly interested in Jessie to begin with. Jessie, for the uninitiated, had been introduced a few years prior in a made-for-cable movie.
Unfortunately, a lot of longtime fans were put out by the fact that Jonny & Hadji had reached puberty in the first place. Well, you can't have everything. However, halfway through the season, the producers had to overhaul the cast, if you could believe it. Don Messick, the voice of Bandit, the family dog, and Dr. Benton Quest (succeeded John Stephenson after a few episodes of the original series), was not asked back, and two actors more well known for movies and primetime tried to fill the void. They tried first with George Segal (Just Shoot Me), then replaced him with John DeLancie (ex-Star Trek: The Next Generation), who seemed to be more of a fit. Game show whiz kid J. D. Roth (more recently the host-producer of Endurance) was initially cast as Jonny, then was let go. Film star Robert Patrick ("Terminator 2: Judgment Day") was brought in as Race, after Granville Van Dusen, who inherited the role from a retiring Mike Road in the 1985 series, left. Problem was, Patrick didn't quite fit.
Here's the intro:
Even though one season's worth of episodes were produced, CN played it into the ground for 3 years, during which time it also went into general syndication for a year. Now, it languishes in CN's vaults. Some genius thought a live-action movie starring Zak Efron ("High School Musical") as Jonny might be a blockbuster, but it never got past the talking stage. Thank God for small favors.