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Nickelodeon Goes By Animated Wayside June 25

WAYSIDE, a new half-hour animated series that takes school to new heights debuts on Nickelodeon on June 25 at 12:30 pm. The 26-episode series about a wacky 30-story grade school will air regularly on weekdays at 12:30 pm. The series is based on the bestselling Wayside School book series by Louis Sachar (SIDEWAYS STORIES FROM WAYSIDE SCHOOL, HOLES) and produced by Nelvana Studios.

WAYSIDE chronicles the adventures of Mrs. Jewls' class on the 30th floor as they navigate their way through the ups, ups and ups of grade school. This world is seen through the eyes of Todd, an average "Joe" who is new to Wayside, as he befriends Maurecia, the tough girl who'd rather express herself with physical actions than words; Dana, the over-emotional, over-achiever; and Myron, the ineptly ambitious politician in a school that, due to a "slight" miscalculation, was built 30 classrooms on top one another rather than the one floor planned. Their classmates include the boy who wears his Halloween elf costume every day, a boy who spends his days upside down and a girl who's always asleep, in addition to the eccentric faculty and the cows that randomly roam the school.

"Generations of readers have enjoyed WAYSIDE tales from Louis Sachar, and now fans can watch their favorite stories come to life as its first-ever TV series joins Nickelodeon's hit animation lineup," said Tom Ascheim, evp/gm, Nickelodeon Television. "The stories are absurdly funny interpretations of how kids perceive the world around them and the issues they face in their daily lives."

In the premiere episode, "Oh, Great Leader," the students try to throw Wayside's principal a surprise birthday party. But Principal Kidswatter mistakenly assumes they are attempting to "overthrow" him, and recruits "new kid" Todd (a.k.a. Agent 344) to spy for him. Todd, feeling a little insecure about his place in Mrs. Jewls' class, questions his new friends and their wacky ways.

"Meet the Pets," the second half of the premiere episode, has everyone bringing their pet to class and leaving Todd, the only kid in class who doesn't have one, to watch their animals while they go out for recess. Chaos ensues when the pets escape, but Todd learns responsibility when a visit from the past encourages him to take control.

Sachar's first book, SIDEWAYS STORIES FROM WAYSIDE SCHOOL, was written in 1976. He has since written more than 20 books for young people, including four more in the WAYSIDE SCHOOL aeries, as well as the Newbery award-winning book, HOLES. His books have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 30 languages. He also wrote the screenplay for the movie, HOLES. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Carla.

Nelvana Studios is a globally recognized animation studio that develops and produces award-winning animated properties and brands, including the literary classics BABAR and FRANKLIN, as well as shows such as JANE AND THE DRAGON and GROSSOLOGY. Nelvana Studios is owned by Corus Ent. www.corusent.com), a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising and digital audio services, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. The company's multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, Movie Central, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms.

Nickelodeon (www.nick.com), in its 28th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. 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's U.S. television network is seen in almost 92 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for almost 12 consecutive years.

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