Nickelodeon Unveils Plans at Annual Upfront for More than 650 New Episodes Across Every Genre

Announcements Include Premiere Date for Highly Anticipated The Legend of Korra; Original TV Movies; a SpongeBob SquarePants Stop-Motion Christmas Special; a Raving Rabbids series; and Development Projects for UK Pop Sensation One Direction, Hit-maker Dan Schneider and iCarly star Jennette McCurdy –Special Appearances During Presentation Made By Nick Cannon, Michael Bay, Keke Palmer, One Direction; With Performances by Big Time Rush, How to Rock‘s Cymphonique Miller and Gravity 5, and Rachel Crow

NEW YORK, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Nickelodeon, at its annual upfront presentation held today 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:

[Editor's Note: Press release edited to only show animated fare.]

ANIMATION:

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 series including SpongeBob SquarePants, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Fairly OddParents and The Winx Club.

The Legend of Korra, in which the mythology of the beloved animated franchise from Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko continues. The series centers around a new Avatar named Korra, a 17-year-old headstrong and rebellious girl who continually challenges and bucks tradition on her quest to become a fully realized Avatar in a world where benders are under attack. The half-hour series will debut on Saturday, April 14, at 11:00 a.m. (all times ET/PT), as part of Nickelodeon’s Saturday morning block (8AM-Noon), which has been the number-one destination for Kids 2-11 for 12 consecutive years and currently 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 will join the net’s animation line-up in spring 2013, brings to television the hysterical physical comedy that has become so popular in Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids video games. Nickelodeon has secured global broadcast rights for 26 new CG episodes of Raving Rabbids, which will be produced by Ubisoft.

Monsters vs. Aliens, the all-new animated television series marking the third partnership between Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation. Green-lit for 26 episodes and based on the popular characters from the 2009 blockbuster hit feature film ($383 million worldwide gross); the new series will continue to follow the funny escapades of the beloved, well-meaning monsters.

Robot & Monster, which will also be hitting Nickelodeon’s air for a 26-episode run for the 2012-2013 season. Created by Josh Sternin, Jeff Ventimilia and Dave Pressler, this CG-animated buddy comedy is set in a unique world where gangs of Howling Cyber Monkeys roam the streets at night, everybody loves bacon, and robots and monsters live side by side, but typically don’t get along.

It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! – Nickelodeon’s first full-length stop-motion animated special is inspired by the classic Rankin/Bass (Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town) specials, and the popular SpongeBob song released in 2009, “Don’t Be a Jerk, It’s Christmas,” written by Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley. In It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!, Plankton vows to get his Christmas wish – the Krabby Patty formula – by turning everyone in Bikini Bottom bad by feeding them his special jerktonium-laced fruitcake. The special features John Goodman as Santa Claus, and will air in December 2012.

Seven new animation pilots picked up for the 2012-2013 season, including four pilots helmed by hit-maker Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, T.U.F.F. Puppy).

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  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron B.

    After seeing what Disney unveiled at their programming Upfront event, I think the media estimations that Disney is usurping the creative territory of Nickelodeon is becoming more and more of a reality.

    KORRA will be the only title on this list that jumps out at people, but a stop-action SPONGEBOB title sounds pretty awesome to me.

    • Sarah J

      Agreed, The Legend of Korra is really the only thing on this list I’m looking forward too. Everything else is just “meh”.

  • Jow

    It’s A SpongeBob Christmas Sounds Promising.

  • Scarabim

    God, Nick’s crappy nowadays. No wonder Disney’s eating its lunch. The only show that sounds good is Korra. That good news, however, is balanced out by more brain-dead dreck from Butch Hartman. He hasn’t produced anything actually funny for years, yet Nick keeps buying from him. He’s like a burned-out professor with tenure. Yeesh.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/Tigercat919?feature=mhee Michael F.

      Butch Hartman is the animation industry’s equivalent to Joss Wheldon – he has a big contingent of loyal fans who will stick by him no matter what he does. No matter what you feel about his work it only makes sense from a business standpoint to stick with him. At least I hope they take a look at what he wants without automatically accepting it simply because his name is on it (I’m looking at you, Fox).

  • Scarabim

    Yes, you’re probably right, but I’ve got a hunch that the loyal fans you speak of are primarily made up of obsessed fangirls still mooning over that dippy Danny Phantom. :P