With its TV ratings down, kids leader Nickelodeon used its upfront presentation to advertisers to talk about the new content it would be adding, the 10 screens over which that programming would run and other new ventures.
It also announced that the unit that works with marketers was being rebranded as Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions.
The company said it would be producing more than 600 episodes of new and returning services. At the same time familiar faces would be appearing in new places. SpongeBob SquarePants might be headed to Broadways as the star of a musical; spinoffs are being considered for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles francise, and Nickelodeon Sports is growing as a franchise.
“The proliferation of platforms and massive amounts of new content are having an unprecedented impact on entertainment, and we are using these opportunities to super-serve our audience with fresh content, new formats and innovative storytelling,” said Cyma Zarghami, president, Viacom Kids and Family Group. “We remain laser-focused on using all of the screens and tools in our ecosystem to deliver the biggest audience of kids and families, and creating hits and building franchises that thrill our audience and deliver unrivaled reach.”
Nickelodeon’s Inside Out Solutions group is designed to create branded entertainment opportunities to marketers across media platforms, social media, consumer products and other marketing experiences.
“Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions signals our commitment to collaborative partnerships,” said Pam Kaufman, chief marketing officer and president of consumer products, Nickelodeon. “We’re opening our doors to clients so that we may work better together to leverage the full power of the Nickelodeon ecosystem, with all of the possibilities for building and marketing our partners’ messages now in one place.”
New Nick projects include:
• Game Makers (working title), just picked up for 26 episodes, is the newest creation from hit-maker Dan Schneider. It’s a live-action sitcom about two 12-year-old girls who start a multi-million-dollar gaming company and take on rap superstar Double G as a business partner. As part of a multi-platform experience, the games seen in the episodes will be released through apps and online. Schneider will also serve as executive producer.
• Make It Pop, picked up for 20 episodes, is a comedic, music-infused daily strip about three unique girls who come together to start their own K-Pop-inspired band. Randomly selected to room together at boarding school, bookish Corki, fashion-forward Jodi and social media maven Sun Hi meet and bond over music. With the help of fellow boarding school classmate and DJ hopeful, Caleb, the girls grow from roommates to bandmates as they become a school-wide sensation and compete for a place in the upcoming school musical. The series, which will feature original songs and performances in every episode, is cocreated by Thomas W. Lynch and Nick Cannon and produced by DHX Media. Make It Pop is executive produced by Lynch and Cannon, together with Steven DeNure and Anne Loi for DHX Media.
• Talia’s Kitchen (working title), just picked up for 40 episodes, is a live-action series inspired by the daily telenovela format that follows 14-year-old Talia who moves in with her grandmother and starts spending time in the kitchen of their family-owned restaurant. There, she discovers her true calling: cooking. With the help of her special "salt and pepper sense" — and her late father's magical spices — Talia is able to infuse emotion into her food and cook just what each customer needs. Talia’s Kitchen is created by Catharina Ledeboer and produced by Viacom International. Tatiana Rodriguez will serve as executive producer.
• Mutt & Stuff, which has just been picked up for 20 episodes, is a live-action preschool series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft. Set in a unique school for dogs, the series stars Calvin Millan, The Puppy Whisperer and son of The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, interacting with a cast of real dogs and puppets. Mutt & Stuff is filled with unbelievable dog tricks, adorable puppies and alternating moments of heart and comedy. The series is created and executive produced by Sid and Marty Krofft and Bradley Zweig. Cesar Millan also serves as executive producer.
• Roll Call (working title), which is currently in development, is a single-camera comedy series shot in a mockumentary style that follows an eclectic group of kids navigating their way through middle school. Roll Call is executive produced by Sharla Sumpter Bridgett and directed by Ian Pfaff.
• Nick also said that among the 600 new episodes it will be rolling out in include: School of Rock, a live-action show based on the hit movie, and Nick’s first collaboration with Paramount Television; Harvey Beaks, an animated show about a good kid who has never broken the rules, and his two best friends, who have never lived by any; and Shimmer and Shine, an animated, curriculum-based preschool series about twin genies-in-training who unintentionally cause chaos in their attempts to grant wishes for their best friend, Leah.
• Nick’s returning series feature second seasons of new live-action hits Henry Danger, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and Max & Shred; season four of the live-action, daily series, Every Witch Way; plus more new episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Thundermans, Bella and the Bulldogs, Sanjay and Craig, Breadwinners, The Fairly OddParents, PAW Patrol, Wallykazam!, Dora and Friends and Blaze and the Monster Machines, among others.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.