So what does Hillenburg’s return mean and how will it change the show? That remains to be seen. But as far as I know, Hillenburg hasn’t had hands-on involvement in the series for many years, leaving the task to his experienced and capable crew who run the show like clockwork. However, he didn’t completely wash his hands clean of the characters and has quietly been involved with SpongeBob Comics, which have been published since 2011 by Bongo Comics.
Fifteen years after its debut, SpongeBob remains Nickelodeon’s top ratings-earner, and it’s safe to say that it won’t be leaving the air anytime soon. At this point in the show’s history, Hillenburg’s return to a creative position can certainly be viewed as a positive development.