Nickelodeon Picks Up 'SpongeBob' for Ninth Season

SpongeBob will be returning to his
pineapple under the sea for a ninth season.

Nickelodeon Monday announced it
has picked up the hit animated series SpongeBob
for an additional 26 episodes. With that order, the childrens'
series will reach its 200th episode in 2012.

SpongeBob has been
the top TV program with kids 2-11 for 10 consecutive years, according to the

success in reaching over 200 episodes is a testament to creator Stephen
Hillenburg's vision, comedic sensibility and his dynamic, lovable
characters," said Brown Johnson, president, animation, Nickelodeon and
MTVN Kids and Family Group, in a statement. "The series now joins the club
of contemporary classic Nicktoons that have hit this benchmark, so we're
incredibly proud."

The series is executive produced by Hillenburg and Paul