Networks seeks a ratings boost
Nickelodeon announced that it has greenlit 14 live-action, animation and TV movie projects Friday, including spinoffs from "iCarly" and "Victorious" and the new Nick at Nite series "Wendell and Vinnie."
The announcements came within an hour of Viacom chief Philippe Dauman's earnings-call promise to analysts that Nick would emerge from its ratings dive. He said the network was rebuilding one timeslot at a time. The new projects will give the company plenty to fill them.
The new shows will begin rolling out this fall and into 2013. They include "Sam & Cat" and "Gibby," featuring "iCarly" and "Victorious" characters, as well as the pilot "Instant Mom" for Nick at Nite. The Nick TV movies "Swindle" and "Nicky Deuce" will begin production later this year.
The CG-animated series "Monsters vs. Aliens" and 2D-series "Sanjay & Craig" have also been greenlit and will be based at Nickelodeon’s Animation Studio in Burbank, Calif.
Nick preschool, meanwhile, has added the animated series "Monty and Norville" and the pilot "Blaze and the Monster Machines."
Here are details of Nickelodeon’s new projects, as provided by the network:
Wendell and Vinnie (Nick at Nite series) – iCarly’s Jerry Trainor stars as Vinnie, a lovable, goofball uncle who becomes the guardian to his buttoned-up 12-year-old nephew Wendell (Buddy Handleson, Shake It Up). Nicole Sullivan (The King of Queens, The Penguins of Madagascar) also stars as Vinnie’s high-strung older sister Wilma. The comedy series, greenlit for 20 episodes, was written by Jay Kogen (Frasier, George Lopez) and will be executive produced by Aaron Kaplan (GCB, Terra Nova).
You Gotta See This (Nickelodeon series) – Nickelodeon combines the best of the web, behind-the-scenes footage, celebrity interviews, pranks and bloopers in its new series You Gotta See This, premiering this fall. Hosted by Chris O’Neal and Noah Crawford (stars of How to Rock), the half-hour series rolls all the must-see clips of the week into one hilarious package. Nickelodeon is currently in production on this 20-episode series in Los Angeles.
Swindle (Nickelodeon movie/working title) – With daring heists, crazy disguises, pie fights and sumo wrestlers, the network greenlights Swindle, an original TV movie featuring an impressive ensemble cast of Nickelodeon stars. When an evil collector cons Griffin out of a million dollar baseball card that could have saved his best friend’s home, he unites a ragtag group of his classmates who need to work as a team to take down the swindler. Swindle is based on a popular children’s book by Gordon Korman. Production will commence this fall in Vancouver, Canada.
Nicky Deuce (Nickelodeon movie/working title) – Based on a popular children’s book by The Sopranos’Steve Schirripa and Charles Fleming, Nicky Deuce stars iCarly’s Noah Munck as Nicholas Borelli II, a nerdy, over-protected teen who transforms into the title character. Nicholas gets caught in the adventure of a lifetime when he spends the summer with an uncle he never knew he had. Production on this original TV movie will commence this summer in Montreal, Canada.
Sam & Cat (Nickelodeon pilot/working title) – In the comedic spin-off Sam & Cat, from iCarly andVictorious crea
Gibby (Nickelodeon pilot/working title) – Noah Munck reprises his role as Gibby in the spin-off from iCarlycreator Dan Schneider. In the comedy pilot, Gibby takes a job at The Bixby, a recreational center where kids of all ages hang out, socialize, play sports and take unique classes. Gibby becomes a mentor to four quirky middle-schoolers, helping them break out of their shells and embrace life in true “Gibbehhh” style.
The Haunted Hathaways (Nickelodeon pilot/working title) — Life in The Big Easy gets a little more complicated and way more spirited when the Hathaway siblings move into a house occupied by a family of ghosts. The pilot is written by Robert Peacock, who served as writer/producer on several series over the last decade including Reba, The Jeff Foxworthy Show and Coupling.
The Thundermans (Nickelodeon pilot/working title) – Written by Jed Spingarn, The Thundermans follows 13-year-old Phoebe Thunderman, who just wants to be normal, but that’s impossible when she comes from a family of superheroes. While most superheroes are lucky to have one power, Phoebe happens to have 12. So much for normal! A longtime producer for Nickelodeon, Spingarn most recently served as co-executive producer of the hit series Big Time Rush and prior to that, produced on Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Johnny Bravo.
Instant Mom (Nick at Nite pilot/working title) – Instant Mom centers on a 25-year-old party girl who trades in Cosmos for carpools when she marries an older man with kids. The project is executive produced by Aaron Kaplan (GCB, Terra Nova) with Warren Bell (Ellen, According to Jim, What I Like About You) and Jessica Butler (According to Jim, In Plain Sight) serving as writers/executive producers.
Nickelodeon, the top producer of television animation in the U.S., is in production on three new series and two new pilots.
Sanjay & Craig (Nickelodeon series) – A classic tale of boy meets snake, this 20-episode, 2D-animated series follows two best buds who dedicate their lives to becoming the coolest, most rebellious dudes in the neighborhood. Sanjay & Craig is created by Jim Dirschberger, Jay Howell and Andreas Trolf, and executive produced by Nick alumni Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi (The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Alvin and the Chipmunks).
Monsters vs. Aliens (Nickelodeon series) – An extension of the blockbuster movie, the all-new CG-animated television series features the lovable monsters and a whole new group of nefarious aliens living and working together at Area 50-something. Greenlit for 26 episodes, the series will be executive produced by Bob Schooley, Mark McCorkle and Brett Haaland (The Penguins of Madagascar).
Monty and Norville (Nickelodeon preschool series/working title) – Monty and Norville follows the adventures of a five-year-old troll named Monty and his dragon friend Norville. With the help of viewers at home, Monty can use his magic stick to make incredible things happen as long as he uses the right words. The new animated 26-episode series, created by Adam Peltzman (head writer, Blue’s Clues, The Backyardigans), will introduce a literacy curriculum to Nickelodeon’s preschool audience.
Bad Seeds (Nickelodeon pilot) – From SpongeBob SquarePants alumnus and Chowder creator Carl Greenblatt, Bad Seeds is about a good bird running with the bad crowd… and having a great time!
Blaze and the Monster Machines (Nickelodeon preschool pilot/working title) – Blaze and the Monster Machines is a CG-animated, interactive program about an eight-year-old boy named AJ and his incredible monster truck Blaze. AJ, Blaze and their friend Maddie fight their arch nemesis Crusher along with a fleet of other trucks. The series features a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum and is created by Jeff Borkin (head writer, Team Umizoomi, Little Einsteins) and Ellen Martin (producer, Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans).