With all of the focus on the all-female 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, there is an often overlooked corner of the franchise which actually was the first attempt at bringing a new generation of fans into the fold. That attempt was called Extreme Ghostbusters, an animated series that ran for 40 episodes in the latter half of 1997.
It was essentially meant to be Ghostbusters: The Next Generation, set years after the end of The Real Ghostbusters series with a pony tailed Egon Spengler as the last remaining OG (original Ghostbuster) leading a new college-aged team of Ghostbusters against meaner and badder paranormal entities with updated equipment and extreme attitudes.
Unlike other cartoon series at the time, there was a conscientious decision to keep Extreme Ghostbusters in the same timeline as The Real Ghostbusters. Many of the creative folks behind the first series returned to work on the new series; most notable voice actor Maurice LaMarche who returned to voice Egon Spengler.
Extreme Ghostbusters ran in syndication for just one season; but was supported by a toy line from Trendmasters which featured several action figures, vehicles and even role playing toys. Oddly enough there were three video games based on Extreme Ghostbusters, one each for the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance and PlayStation consoles.
Having gone back and watched few episodes of Extreme Ghostbusters I can see why it did not catch on. The tone of the show was a bit darker and seemed to skew more to the adolescent set who were probably more apt to be watching South Park or shamefully watching Pokemon after school.
As a concept, it looked great on paper. Reinvigorate the franchise and get new fans hooked and maybe sell a few new toys as well. Eventually Extreme Ghostbusters was cancelled and sentenced to purgatory, but not before seeing home release on VHS and DVD along with a smattering of reruns across several different channels.
If you really want the authentic Extreme Ghostbusters experience circa 1997, you can check out the official website that is somehow still operational in 2015. There you can take a tour of the firehouse, download some kick ass screen savers or even get the low down on the lastest Ghostbuster Gizmos!