Nickelodeon unveiled plans for an unprecedented 650 new episodes of both brand-new content and returning hits.
Press Release from Nickelodeon:
NEW YORK --
Nickelodeon, at itsannual upfront presentation held at Jazz at Lincoln Center, unveiled plans for an unprecedented 650 new episodes—the top-ranked network’s most ever—of both brand-new content and returning hits, as well announcing premiere details for the highly anticipated animated series The Legend of Korra; a stop-motion SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas special; original primetime TV movies; casting for the new Nick at Nite series Hollywood Heights (formerly Reach for a Star); an original animated series based on the Raving Rabbids video games; and new projects with UK pop sensation One Direction, iCarly/Victorious show creator Dan Schneider and iCarly star Jennette McCurdy.
The presentation was punctuated with appearances by Nick Cannon, Keke Palmer, One Direction and musical performances by Nick’s own Big Time Rush and How to Rock’s Cymphonique Miller and Gravity 5, making their live-performance debut. Nick’s newest star, Rachel Crow of The X Factor fame, capped the evening with a performance of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You.” The evening also featured an exclusive look at a previsualization (3D storyboard) of Paramount Pictures’ highly anticipated live-action Ninja Turtles feature, presented by producer Michael Bay. The feature film will bow in 2013, following this year’s fall TV premiere of the brand-new CG-animated TMNT series on Nickelodeon.
“Kids have a ferocious appetite for new content and it is our intention to serve them more, innovative work than ever before,” said Cyma Zarghami, President of Viacom’s Nickelodeon Group. “We are tapping into new sources and proven hit-makers to maintain our position as the top entertainment brand for kids and families.”
Details of Nickelodeon’s new content slate include:
Nickelodeon, the top producer of television animation in the US, will roll out a new roster of over 300 new animated episodes in 2012 which includes:
- New episodes of returning hit seriesincluding SpongeBob SquarePants, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, The Penguins ofMadagascar, The Fairly OddParents and The WinxClub.
- The Legend of Korra, in whichthe mythology of the beloved animated franchise from Avatar: The LastAirbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzkocontinues. The series centers around a new Avatar named Korra, a17-year-old headstrong and rebellious girl who continually challenges andbucks tradition on her quest to become a fully realized Avatar in a worldwhere benders are under attack. The half-hour series will debut onSaturday, April 14, at 11:00 a.m. (all times ET/PT), as part ofNickelodeon’s Saturday morning block (8AM-Noon), which has been thenumber-one destination for Kids 2-11 for 12 consecutive years andcurrently delivers more than three million total viewers each week. The Legend of Korra will air regularly on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
- Raving Rabbids, which willjoin the net’s animation line-up in spring 2013, brings to television thehysterical physical comedy that has become so popular in Ubisoft’s RavingRabbids video games. Nickelodeon has secured global broadcast rightsfor 26 new CG episodes of Raving Rabbids, which will be produced byUbisoft.
- Monsters vs. Aliens,theall-new animated television series marking the third partnership betweenNickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation. Green-lit for 26 episodes andbased on the popular characters from the 2009 blockbuster hit feature film($383 million worldwide gross); the new series will continue to follow thefunny escapades of the beloved, well-meaning monsters.
- Robot & Monster, which willalso be hitting Nickelodeon’s air for a 26-episode run for the 2012-2013season. Created by Josh Sternin, Jeff Ventimilia and Dave Pressler,this CG-animated buddy comedy is set in a unique world where gangs ofHowling Cyber Monkeys roam the streets at night, everybody loves bacon,and robots and monsters live side by side, but typically don’t getalong.
- It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! - Nickelodeon’sfirst full-length stop-motion animated special is inspired by the classicRankin/Bass (Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus isComin’ to Town) specials, and the popular SpongeBob songreleased in 2009, “Don’t Be a Jerk, It’s Christmas,” written by Tom Kenny(voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley. In “It’s A SpongeBobChristmas!,” Plankton vows to get his Christmas wish – the Krabby Pattyformula – by turning everyone in Bikini Bottom bad by feeding them hisspecial jerktonium-laced fruitcake. The special features JohnGoodman as Santa Claus, and will air in December 2012.
- Seven new animation pilots picked up forthe 2012-2013 season, including four pilots helmed by hit-maker ButchHartman (The Fairly OddParents, T.U.F.F. Puppy).
As part of the overall 650 new episodes the network is rolling out this year, Nickelodeon’s live-action slate will include:
- More new episodes of hit live-action hitseries-- iCarly, Victorious, Big TimeRush and Supah Ninjas.
- A 26-episode pick-up of Marvin, Marvin,an original new series starring internet sensation Lucas Cruikshank (AKAFred). Executive Produced by Jeff Bushell and The Collective, thehalf-hour comedy follows the exploits ofMarvin, an alien teen,living with a human family, while trying to fit into life on earth.
- The third installment of the hit Fred movies–Fred Goes to Camp, as well as a pick-up of28additional 11-minute episodes of FRED: THE SHOW.
- A development project for UK popsensation One Direction, who will next collaborate with Nick whenthey perform live at Nickelodeon’s 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards in LosAngeles on March 31.
- Rags, amusic-infusedmodern-day fairy tale debuting this spring. The two-hour original TV moviecenters on Charlie Prince (Max Schneider), an orphan living with hisacerbic and unloving stepfather and spoiled stepbrothers, whose dream ofbeing a singer might come true once he meets pop star Kadee Worth (KeKePalmer). Rags is executive produced by Nick Cannon, directedby Billy Woodruff (Beauty Shop, Honey) and features originalmusic by Rodney Jerkins and choreography by Rosero McCoy (America’sBest Dance Crew),
- A Fairly Odd Christmas, a sequel to2011’s hit live-action TV movie, A Fairly OddMovie: Grow UpTimmy Turner, which will bow this holiday season. The originalTV movie follows the exploits of Timmy Turner (Drake Bell), and his wellmeaning fairy godparents, as he tries to save Christmas, but first he’sgot to get himself off the naughty list.
- Figure it Out, a contemporary revival of the hit ‘90sfamily friendly game show.The show, which begins production in LosAngeles this April, will launch later this year with 40 brand-newepisodes. Figure It Out features a panel of celebrities trying toguess kid contestants’ unique talents and skills by asking ‘yes’ or ‘no’questions while being bombarded by messy visual and tactile clues.
- Casting for the new Nick at Nite series HollywoodHeights (previously titled Reach for a Star), a dailyscripted series based on the wildly popular Televisa telenovela, AlcanzarUna Estrella. The 80 one-hour episodes currently in productionwill star Brittany Underwood, Melissa Ordway, Cody Longo Anthony andJustin Wilczynski. Hollywood Heights is a co-production withTelevisa and is being produced by Sony Television and will debut inprimetime on Nick at Nite in June.
Nickelodeon President Zarghami also highlighted several live-action projects currently in development, including pilots for Nick at Nite with Scott Baio (Daddy’s Home); Wendell & Vinnie, a comedy about a goofball uncle (Jerry Trainor from iCarly) who becomes the guardian to his conservative 12-year old genius nephew; and a new Nickelodeon series from hit-maker Dan Schneider that will star Jennette McCurdy from iCarly; and a series starring The X Factor sensation Rachel Crow.
Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd 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 United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 17 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA - News, VIA.B - News).
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.