Nick Slates Five Animated & Whoopi Goldberg Live Series For 2005

Nickelodeon will roll out six new live-action and animated series for the 2005-06 season, and premiere 248 episodes of 18 returning hit Nick and Nick Jr. series, totaling 124 hours of new, original programming. Cyma Zarghami, president, Nickelodeon Television, announced the ambitious slate during the networks upfront meeting presentation to advertisers in New York City.

Nickelodeon will add to its number-one kids' schedule: CATSCRATCH, (September), an outrageous animated tale about three wealthy fumbling felines who carry on in a world of humans, POWER STRIKERS (working title, September), a live-action comedy exec produced by Whoopi Goldberg chronicling the swift soccer moves, fast friendship and bumpy adolescence of four diverse players on a winning girls' team; and THE X'S (November), about a family of highly trained secret spies living in the suburbs.

Nick Jr. will expand its award-winning roster with three new play-to-learn series: GO, DIEGO, GO!, (October) an animated spinoff of the popular preschool series, DORA THE EXPLORER, starring Dora's eight-year-old rough and tumble cousin Diego; THE WONDER PETS (2006), a combination live-action/animated series about three, brave opera singing classroom pets who become superheroes after school; and WUBBY WIDGET AND WALDEN (2006), an animated series about three indefinable creatures who each approach and solve problems in a different way.

"These new series will continue to build on last year's crop of hit shows, serving up even more new, original programming for our audience," said Zarghami. "Our track record over the past year has been strong and we anticipate that several more hits will break out of this diverse mix of series."

Orders for 18 current Nick and Nick Jr. series total more than 124 hours of original programming. Pickups on returning hit series include: ZOEY 101 (13 episodes), NED'S DECLASSIFIED SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE (20 episodes), UNFABULOUS (13 episodes), DRAKE & JOSH (10 episodes), ROMEO! (10 episodes), ALL THAT (13 episodes), SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (20 episodes), THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS (10 episodes) DANNY PHANTOM (20 episodes), CHALKZONE (10 episodes) DORA THE EXPLORER (24 episodes), THE BACKYARDIGANS (10 episodes), MISS SPIDER'S SUNNYPATCH FRIENDS (12 episodes) and LAZYTOWN (20 episodes).

New, original series slated to premiere on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. in the 2005-06 season include:

NICKELODEON:

CATSCRATCH (13 Episodes - Premiering in September 2005)A wealthy mistress wills her fortune, mansion and butler to her beloved three cat brothers, Mr. Blik, Gordon Quid and Waffle. Free to do whatever their furry hearts desire, they rarely agree on exactly what that is. The series features Wayne Knight (SEINFELD, JURASSIC PARK) as Mr. Blik, Rob Paulsen (THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS) as Gordon Quid and Kevin McDonald (THE KIDS IN THE HALL) as Waffle. CATSCRATCH is created and exec produced by Doug TenNapel, creator of EARTHWORM JIM, PROJECT GEEKER and the CD-ROM game NEVERHOOD. TenNapel is also the author and illustrator of the popular comicbook series GEAR.

POWER STRIKERS (working title - 13 episodes - premieres September 2005)This live-action series centers on the swift soccer moves, fast friendship and sometimes bumpy road through adolescence of four players on a winning girls' team called the Power Strikers. Exec producers are Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis, David Brookwell and Sean McNamara. POWER STRIKERS is a collaboration of Goldberg's Lil' Whoop Productions (STRONG MEDICINE, WHOOPI'S LITTLEBURG, WHAT MAKES A FAMILY, THE PIANO MAN'S DAUGHTER) and Brookwell-McNamara Productions(PHIL OF THE FUTURE (pilot), THAT'S SO RAVEN, EVEN STEVENS), in association with Nickelodeon. Brookwell and McNamara also each served as producers on Nickelodeon's THE SECRET WORLD OF ALEX MACK.

THE X'S (13 episodes - premieres November 2005)Trained at the finest top secret organization, the X's are unleashed to protect the world as an undercover family of super spies. Living incognito in suburbia, the X's must fight the forces of evil without upsetting the neighbors (if the theme sounds familiar, remember THE INCREDIBLES were not supposed to be fighting crime. Wendie Malick (JUST SHOOT ME) stars as Mrs. X, with Patrick Warburton (SEINFELD) as Mr. X, Lynsey Bartilson (GROUNDED FOR LIFE) as Tuesday X and Stephen Root (NEWSRADIO) as Homebase. Creator is Carlos Ramos, Annie award-winning designer and creator of the OH YEAH! CARTOONS shorts A DOG AND HIS BOY, TWINS CRIMSON and THOSE AMAZING ROBOTS.

GO, DIEGO, GO (20 episodes - premieres September 2005)Nick Jr. introduces GO, DIEGO, GO, an animated play-along series starring DORA THE EXPLORERs cousin, Diego Marquez, an eight-year-old rough and tumble action-adventure hero with an intense love of nature and the animals around him. Diego takes viewers on high stakes animal rescue missions while encouraging them to jump, clap, cheer and speak in English and Spanish each step of the way. Diego is joined by his 11-year-old sister Alicia, along with a loving group of loyal animal friends who will encourage kids to use scientific thinking and investigative strategies to help the animal in trouble. The series is created and exec produced by Chris Gifford (DORA THE EXPLORER) and Valerie Walsh (DORA THE EXPLORER).

THE WONDER PETS - (20 episodes - premieres 2006)This combination live-action/animated show is about three special pets -- Linny the Guinea Pig, Ming-Ming Duckling and Turtle Tuck -- who live in a classroom at the neighborhood preschool. After the students have gone home, the trio becomes The Wonder Pets, courageous superheroes who sing opera and travel the world using teamwork to help save young animals in distress. Josh Selig (OOBI) is creator/exec producer.

WUBBY WIDGET AND WALDEN (26 episodes - premieres 2006)This animated series is about three indefinable creatures with different approaches to life. Wubby sees the world through childlike eyes and always looks for the simplest solution. Widget loves to solve problems with her tool box and sometimes makes things more complicated than they have to be. And Walden is a quirky, inquisitive thinker who approaches everything with a wildly original point of view. The three friends demonstrate there are always different ways to approach and solve a problem. Created by Bob Boyle (THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS).

Nickelodeon, now in its 26th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. The company includes television programming and production in the U.S. and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.

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