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Nickelodeon Gets Nine New Series for 2004-05 Season

Nickelodeon has picked up nine new live-action and animated series for the 2004-05 season, Cyma Zarghami, president, Nickelodeon Television, announced March 16, 2004, during the nets upfront meeting with advertisers. GO, DIEGO, GO!, an animated preschool series centering on the cousin of popular Nick Jr. Latina heroine DORA THE EXPLORER is amongst Nicks new animated entries.

Nickelodeon will add to its number-one kids' schedule a wide-ranging programming slate of live-action and animation including NED'S DECLASSIFIED SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE, a live-action comedy offering first-person, insider tips on how to survive middle school; THE POWER STRIKERS (working title), a live-action comedy about the adventures of an all-girl soccer team created and exec produced by Whoopi Goldberg; UNFABULOUS starring 13-year-old Emma Roberts (Julia Roberts' niece) as a tween who navigates life using her own music as a compass; a new comedy series starring ALL THAT cast member Jamie Spears (title TBA) as an independent young teen attending a co-ed boarding school; and AVATAR, an animated action-adventure series about a young boy who reluctantly faces his own destiny to restore the world order.

For the preschool set, Nick Jr. will expand its award-winning roster with five new visually innovative, play-to-learn series: GO, DIEGO, GO!, an animated spin-off of the popular preschool series DORA THE EXPLORER starring Dora's eight-year-old, rough-and-tumble cousin Diego; THE BACKYARDIGANS, an animated musical adventure series about five high-spirited preschool friends who rely on their imaginations to embark on amazing adventures; LAZY TOWN, a comedy/health-fitness show set in the laziest town on earth; and the animated series MISS SPIDER'S SUNNY PATCH FRIENDS, based on the award-winning children's book by David Kirk and starring Kristin Davis (SEX AND THE CITY) as the voice of Miss Spider.

Nick Jr. also will premiere BLUE'S ROOM, a series of five literacy-based specials spun off from the ground-breaking preschool series BLUE'S CLUES, in which Blue is transformed into a puppet and is able to speak to viewers.

"This is our most varied lineup ever, offering our audience everything from animated action-adventure to coming-of-age comedies that will launch Hollywood's next generation of stars" said Zarghami.

Nickelodeon is picking up more than 125 additional episodes of the network's popular current series ROMEO!, (20 episodes), DRAKE & JOSH (14 episodes) and animated series THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS (30 episodes), ALL GROWN UP (22 episodes), MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ROBOT, CHALKZONE and THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS (20 episodes), totaling more than 60 hours of original programming.

New original series slated to premiere on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. in the 2004-05 season include:


UNFABULOUS (13 episodes)A live-action series from Sue Rose (ANGELA ANACONDA, PEPPER ANN) who is creator and exec producer. Emma Roberts stars as Addie Singer, a typical 12-year-old, trying to get through junior high school one day at a time. Addie uses her extraordinary talent to write songs to understand and underscore the unexpected, unwelcome, uncomfortable and sometimes unexplainable events in life, which affect everyone and everything around her. UNFABULOUS marks the television debut of 13-year-old Emma Roberts who, following in the footsteps of her famous aunt, Julia, and father, Eric, has already starred in feature films.

AVATAR (13 episodes)When the hostile Fire Nation threatens to enslave the Water, Earth, and Air Nations, a reluctant and irresponsible boy must face his destiny as the Avatar, the Chosen One who can restore the world order. This new animated action series centers on 12-year-old Aang, who must forgo his selfish wandering to learn to master his latent powers over the elements so he can conquer the Firebenders, the evil magi who threaten the world. Creators are Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino (KING OF THE HILL, FAMILY GUY, MISSION HILL, INVADER ZIM).

Nick JR:

GO, DIEGO, GO!, (20 episodes)An animated play-along series starring Dora the Explorer's cousin, Diego Marquez, an eight-year-old, rough-and-tumble action-adventure hero with an intense love of nature and the animals around him. The series will take 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 will be 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 BACKYARDIGANS (20 episodes)THE BACKYARDIGANS is Nick Jr.'s animated musical adventure series about five high-spirited preschool friends who rely on their vivid imaginations to embark on amazing, epic adventures. In every episode, the backyard transforms into a new fantastic, photoreal landscape that serves as the backdrop for completely original, story-driven musicals. Broadway-caliber music spanning a variety of genres and cutting-edge 3D dance choreography propel the stories forward. The series will inspire children to sing and dance along with these lovable characters and stretch their imaginations as they climb up mountains, slide down glaciers and sail across oceans. Created by exec producer Janice Burgess (LITTLE BILL), THE BACKYARDIGANS is also exec produced and directed by Robert Scull (LITTLE BILL, WHOOPI'S LITTLEBURG).

MISS SPIDER'S SUNNY PATCH FRIENDS (20 episodes and two specials)Based on the best-selling book series by children's author David Kirk, MISS SPIDER'S SUNNY PATCH FRIENDS is a delightful series featuring the eight-legged charmer, Miss Spider, her hubby Holley and their Sunny Patch Kids. The Sunny Patch bugs are a hodge-podge of creatures of every size, shape, color and personality, who strive to all get along and accept each other despite their differences. The series, produced by Nelvana, features the voice of Kristin Davis (SEX AND THE CITY) as the voice of Miss Spider.

BLUE'S ROOM (five specials)This series of five literacy-based specials spun off from the groundbreaking preschool series BLUE'S CLUES unlocks the door to a whole new world for preschoolers. In BLUE'S ROOM, their beloved animated puppy is transformed into a loveable puppet who can now talk with them. Every BLUE'S ROOM special is the ultimate play date, as preschoolers talk, play, pretend and imagine with Blue and her playroom friends. The series is created and exec produced by Traci Paige Johnson (BLUE'S CLUES) and Angela Santomero (BLUE'S CLUES).

Nickelodeon, celebrating its landmark 25th anniversary in 2004, 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.