At this point in TV animation history, if Nickelodeon still hasn’t given you your own pilot, you’re probably doing something wrong.

Continuing its decade-and-a-half long search for “the next SpongeBob,” Nickelodeon has opened up its free-for-all 2016 Animated Shorts Program for submissions. Pitches will be accepted through April 15.

Nick is looking for ideas that are “original, humor-based and character-driven.” So, if you’ve been developing an unoriginal and unfunny idea about a background prop, don’t even think about submitting it.

Creators whose projects are accepted will be provided artistic and production support to complete their shorts. Pitches specific to Nick Jr. should come from a child’s POV, and focus on science, technology, and/or family for a preschool audience.

Nick accepted 950 pitches in its contest last year, from which 22 pilots will be produced, none of which will become “the next SpongeBob.” Talent is something that must be developed, not discovered. All the talent that Nick needs to create its next huge hit is already in front of it. That they are unable to recognize talent and continue funding pointlessly broad pitch programs is both a waste of Viacom’s resources and a diversion from their actual goal, which is to produce successful children’s content.

Shorts from the 2012-2014 Animated Shorts programs can be viewed HERE. Here’s the list of pitches from the 2015 round that will be developed into pilots:

  • Someone Needs to Stop Aunt Phyllis
    Created by Lisa Vandenberg (graduate of 2013 Nick Artist Program, storyboard revisionist on Sanjay and Craig)
  • The Super Dooper Studios
    Created by Sabine Ravn and Stine Buhl
  • Farkel’s
    Created by Greg Kletsel, Valerie Lockhart, and Jaime Bassil
  • Dog and Squirrel
    Created by: Andrea Gerstmann (background artist on Pig Goat Banana Cricket)
  • Girl from Dinosaur Island
    Created by: Celestino Marina (graduate of 2014 Nick Artist Program, storyboard revisionist on Harvey Beaks)
  • Lazybones
    Created by Casey Alexander and Lizz Hickey
  • Space Mission: Danger
    Created by Lynn Wang and Ed Skudder
  • Pig and a Blanket
    Created by Brendon Ingvy Gillas
  • Planet Panic
    Created by Gene Goldstein (background artist on upcoming series The Loud House)
  • Slimelab
    Created by Nick Arciaga (story artist on Pinky Malinky)
  • My Friend Pancake
    Created by Rikke Asbjoern (co-creator of Pinky Malinky)
  • Best Baddies
    Created by Max Wittert (selection from Small Press Expo)
  • Mini Cops
    Created by Nicolette Groome
  • Myth of Robo Wonder Kid
    Created by Joel MacKenzie
  • Monster Taco
    Created by Vincent Scala (designer on Dora)
  • Ramblers
    Created by Brett Jubenville and Morghan Fortier
  • Burger Bros.
    Created by Kevin Li (School of Visual Arts student)
  • PRONTOsaurus
    Created by Evan Sussman and Allison Dressler Kramer (Hero4Hire Creative)
  • Pony
    Created by Ant Blades (Birdbox Studio, UK)
  • Sharkdog
    Created by Jacinth Tan & Raihan Harun (Chips and Toon, Singapore)
  • Trufax: Tot Cop
    Created by Jason and Méabh Tammemägi (Mooshku, Ireland)
  • P.E.T. Academy
    Created by Robert Smith (UK)

(Top: “My Friend Pancake,” a 2015 pilot by Rikke Asbjoern.)

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Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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