Disney Is Bringing Back ‘Bug Juice,’ Its First Reality TV Show

Disney Is Bringing Back ‘Bug Juice,’ Its First Reality TV Show

Alyssa Girdwain

Wish summer could last forever? You’re in luck: Get ready to live vicariously through tweens at summer camp, because Disney Channel’s 90s cult classic “Bug Juice” is coming back.

“Bug Juice” was Disney Channel’s first unscripted series and brought reality TV to a young audience for the first time. The show ran for three seasons, from 1998 to 2001 (which seems to be the golden era of TV shows that nostalgic grownups are resurrecting twenty years later). The reboot season takes place at the same location the first season of “Bug Juice” was filmed: Camp Waziyatah in the rural northeastern town of Waterford, Maine.

“These are the true-life adventures of kids at summer camp,” a voice intoned at the beginning of each “Bug Juice” episode—making the series sound an awful lot like a tame version of MTV’s “Real World.” Both series capitalized on the drama of the “true story” and the intimacy of lots of people living together in one small dwelling. Just trade “Real World’s” endless flow of booze for, well, bug juice—and the house hookups for shy smiles from across the mess hall.

The contemporary take will still follow tweens (plus the crush-worthy teen camp counselors) as they embark on the summer of a lifetime, navigating outdoor adventures like zip lining and team building games by day, bunk talks about crushes, cussing and cliques by night.

“‘Bug Juice’ took viewers on a journey of adventure and self-discovery,” Susette Hsiung, executive vice president of production for Disney Channels Worldwide said. Can you think of anything more pure?
Oh, and for those who never watched “Bug Juice” or had the luxury of their parents shipping them off to sleepaway camp come summer: “Bug juice” is a camp term for a concoction of different powdered drinks — like five flavors of Kool-Aid.

The company behind the original seasons, Evolution Media, is back to develop the revival. Executive producers Douglas Ross, Alex Baskin, Tina Gazzero Clapp and Toni Gallagher also all previously worked on the series.
“Bug Juice” is currently in production and is slated to debut in early 2018 on Disney Channel.