Every few years, a TV network launches an internal shorts program in an attempt to identify new talent and show ideas. These initiatives rarely produce the results the networks desire because artists aren’t court jesters who can perform on demand and create show-ready ideas the moment a network asks for one. Talent development is a years-long investment that requires patience, commitment, and yes, failure. To put it simply, the people who run show development today lack the foresight or knowledge of how animation works to adequately develop the immense pool of talent that is already employed at their studios.
Of course, that won’t stop them from launching ridiculous shorts programs that result in ridiculous shorts, and artists who may or may not be cut out for show creation. Last year, Nickelodeon launched yet another in a long line of these in-house network shorts programs. Remember, this is the network that passed on Adventure Time so identifying talent is not their strong suit. They commissioned twelve micro-shorts for the program, and made them available via a Nick phone app. They haven’t promoted them online, but they are posted on the Internet and we’ve gathered links to all of them below.
From these pitches, Nickelodeon recently said in a press release that “six are currently in series development and two will get pilot orders.” One of the ideas that was pitched to the shorts program, but which didn’t get made as a micro-short was Breadwinners created by Gary DiRaffale (aka Gary Doodles) and Steve Borst. That show was recently picked up for a 20-episode order.