Pinky Malinky, a “social media influenced comedy” starring a hot dog that Nickelodeon greenlit three years ago, produced, and then never aired, is now slated to debut exclusively on Netflix.

The decision to put the show on a competitor’s platform is part of a major strategic shift announced by Nickelodeon’s corporate parent Viacom this week. As Viacom’s various cable networks struggle with an industry-wide decline in viewership, the company is exploring new homes for its shows on digital or linear programmers outside of its own channels.

Here’s the Viacom spin on the shift:

This studio model – under which Viacom will license and produce new episodes of fully owned content for third parties – will present an enormous growth opportunity, as the company’s brands increasingly feed the insatiable global demand for premium content.

The possibilities for third-party licensing and production are practically limitless. Pinky Malinky – which will feature Nick branding at the show open and embodies Nickelodeon’s patented spirit of fun and surprising stories and characters – is just the first of up to a dozen properties that the brand is positioning for reboots or co-productions this year alone.

Last April, Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish hinted at the company’s new “studio model” when he told investors on an earnings call: “Building on the success of Paramount Television and Telefe’s quickly growing production business, we’re going to much more aggressively tap into the huge demand for content and unlock more of our IP and production and creative capabilities to drive incremental revenues from third-party platforms.…There is a lot of interest from SVOD partners in licensing library properties from MTV and Nickelodeon IP for brand-new interpretations. At the same time, we’re also developing new IP for the sector and have already closed deals for brand-new original Nick IP and animation with third parties and we see more in the pipeline.”

Pinky Malinky, produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studios, was co-created by Chris Garbutt and Rikke Asbjoern (The Amazing World of Gumball) and executive produced by Scott Kreamer (Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness).

No date has been announced for the show’s Netflix launch, but it’s expected to be sometime later this summer.

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