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SpongeBob SquarePants 4th Season Premieres on Nick May 6

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS returns for a fourth season premiering with a new half-hour episode, Fear of a Krabby Patty/Shell of a Man, on May 6, 2005, at 8:30 pm on Nickelodeon (ET/PT). This episode about working stress is the first of 20 all-new adventures to premiere on Nick in 2005/2006.

A favorite of viewers of all ages, the series launched in July 1999 and has held rank as the number-one kids show on broadcast and cable television for three years. New SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS episodes will continue to air on Fridays at 8:30 p.m.

In the season opener, the Krusty Krab is now open 24-hours-a-day, causing its employees to have to work round-the-clock without a break. At first the ebullient SpongeBob finds the prospect a dream come true, until the relentless schedule takes its toll, and SpongeBob develops an inexplicable fear of Krabby Patties, preventing him from doing his job. Plankton disguises himself as SpongeBob's psychiatrist in an attempt to extract the patty's secret formula from the stressed-out sponge.

In Shell of a Man, Mr. Krabs is excited about a big reunion with his old seafaring buddies until he suddenly molts his shell. Years of owning a fast food restaurant have wreaked havoc on Krabs' waistline. His armor-like shell no longer fits, leaving Krabs quivering, shell-less and pink. To avoid ridicule, Krabs disguises SpongeBob in his old shell and forces him to go to the reunion in his place.

Were excited to bring SpongeBob fans all-new antics and adventure from Bikini Bottom to our air, said Marjorie Cohn, evp, development and original programming, Nickelodeon. With the original cast and crew onboard, the fourth season brings more of the same comedy and unique sensibility that has made SpongeBob the most beloved spatula-toting sponge in the world.

The Emmy-winning show has become a pop culture phenomenon. Launched in July 1999, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS has been the number-one kids show on television for almost three years or 11 consecutive quarters. The cablenet reports that more adults are watching SPONGEBOB than at any other point in the shows history, increasing the shows adult viewership by 62% compared to its premiere.

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS is a Nicktoons Production, created and exec produced by Stephen Hillenburg with his United Plankton Pictures, and is produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, California.