Nickelodeon brought its annual Upfront presentation to Los Angeles for the first time ever, where it announced new additions to its robust 2010-11 programming slate originally unveiled during its March 11 presentation in New York. Joining six new series and new seasons of 16 returning hits such as top-ranked iCarly, SpongeBob SquarePants and Team Umizoomi, Nickelodeon also will premiere three new TV movies, including: Fred: The Movie, starring Lucas Cruikshank as online sensation Fred Figglehorn; Boy Who Cried Werewolf, starring Victoria Justice and Brooke Shields; and Best Player starring iCarly’s Jerry Trainor and Jennette McCurdy. Nickelodeon also has acquired My Wife and Kids (123 episodes), starring Damon Wayans (In Living Color, Major Payne), which will debut on Nick at Nite this fall.
Also, as previously announced, five brand-new series will bow across Nick’s digital nets, which include TeenNick, Nick Jr. and Nicktoons, during the 2010-11 season. Nickelodeon, the top-ranked basic cable network in total day for almost 16 years, is poised to close 1Q10 as its most-watched quarter ever in its 30-year history.
Held this morning at The Music Box in Los Angeles, Nick’s presentation featured special guest appearances and contributions from: Josh Duhamel, star of Nick’s hit animated series Fanboy and Chum Chum; Catherine O’Hara, star of Nick at Nite’s Glenn Martin DDS; and Victoria Justice, star of the upcoming Nickelodeon live-action series Victorious. The event was capped by a musical performance from Nick’s Big Time Rush, the band featured in the network’s newest live-action hit series of the same name.
Three new television movies will be added to Nickelodeon’s programming line-up this season, including:
Fred: The Movie — Inspired by the Fred Figglehorn character created by Lucas Cruikshank and featured on the record-breaking Fred Channel on YouTube, the film stars Cruikshank as Fred, iCarly’s Jennette McCurdy as Bertha, WWE’s John Cena as Fred’s dad and British teen sensation Pixie Lott as Fred’s long-time crush, Judy. The movie focuses on Fred as he finally succeeds in making it to Judy’s house, only to discover she has moved. He embarks on a journey to find her and hatches a grand scheme that makes him cooler than his classmates could ever imagine. Fred: The Movie is written by David A. Goodman (Family Guy), directed by Clay Weiner and produced by Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett of Varsity Pictures and Gary Binkow and Evan Weiss of The Collective.
Boy Who Cried Werewolf, stars Victoria Justice (Victorious, Zoey 101) and Brooke Shields (Lipstick Jungle). The TV movie follows Jordan Sands (Justice), who along with her younger brother is relocated to Wolfsberg, Romania, by her father David, who hopes to sell the castle their Great Uncle Dragomir Vucovic left them. However, things in Wolfsberg are a bit strange, especially the steely caretaker, Madam Varcolac (Shields), who discourages the family from selling the manor. When an accident in the castle’s secret lab causes Jordan to transform into a werewolf, they discover just how strange Wolfsburg is. Boy Who Cried Werewolf is written and executive produced by Doug Sloan and Art Brown. Executive Producers also include Lauren Levine and Marjorie Cohn. Eric Bross directs and Scott McAboy is producer.
Best Player, starring Jerry Trainor and Jennette McCurdy (stars of Nickelodeon’s hit live-action series iCarly), follows thirty-something Quincy (Trainor) who delivers Chinese food by day and is an online video game master (known simply as Q) by night. Quincy is perfectly happy to live in his parents’ tricked-out basement and dedicate his life to being the best cyber multi-player athlete online, until his world gets turned upside down when his parents decide to move to Florida. His only chance to maintain his perfect life is to enter a gaming tournament and win the prize money to buy his parents’ house. As the current multi-player champion, Quincy thinks it’s a done deal, until he encounters Prodigy (McCurdy), who threatens to annihilate him. Best Player is executive produced by Jessica Horowitz, Lauren Levine and Marjorie Cohn. Damon Santostefano directs from Rich Amberg’s screenplay, which includes a rewrite from Justin Ware. Scott McAboy serves as Producer. Executive Producers also include Sandy Climan and Christine Foy.
Six new series will be added to Nickelodeon’s programming line-up this season, including:
House of Anubis (working title) will debut in fall 2010. From Nickelodeon, in partnership with Belgium-based Studio 100, House of Anubis is a long-form mystery series and the first-ever Nickelodeon live-action show produced in Europe. Originally made for Nickelodeon in Holland, this new global version follows eight students trying to solve a hidden mystery at an English boarding school while dealing with the highs and lows of their teenage years. House of Anubis is produced in the UK by Lime Pictures.
Victorious, starring Victoria Justice (Zoey 101), co-produced by Sony Music and created and executive produced by television hit-maker Dan Schneider, follows Tori Vega (Justice) as she unexpectedly finds herself navigating life at an elite performing arts high school. Featuring an ensemble cast of teens who act, sing, dance and perform to original music, Victorious will premiere on Nickelodeon on Saturday, March 27, right after the 23rd annual Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards.
Kung Fu Panda: The Series, Nickelodeon’s second collaboration with DreamWorks Animation, chronicles the further adventures of Po, the energetic, enthusiastic, always hungry martial arts panda as he protects the Valley of Peace from threats of all kind. Based on DreamWorks Animation’s hit feature film Kung Fu Panda, the Nick animated series is executive produced by Cheryl Holliday (King of the Hill, Still Standing, Father of the Pride) and produced at Nickelodeon’s Burbank, Calif. Animation Studios.
Planet Sheen, executive produced by Steve Oedekerk, Keith Alcorn (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius) and Jim Hope (The George Lopez Show), is the intergalactic tale of Sheen Guevera Estevez–the hyperactive, attention span-challenged kid from Nickelodeon’s hit Jimmy Neutron–who crash lands on Zeenu and deals with bizarre customs and strange-looking creatures as he tries to return home. Planet Sheen is produced by O Entertainment for Nickelodeon.
T.U.F.F. Puppy, created and executive produced by Nickelodeon hit-maker Butch Hartman, follows the gung-ho, dim-witted dog named Dudley Puppy who is thrust into the role of “hero” when recruited by the super secret crime fighting organization, T.U.F.F. (Turbo Undercover Fighting Force) to protect his hometown against the evil animal organization, D.O.O.M. (Diabolical Order of Mayhem). T.U.F.F. Puppy is produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.
Bubble Guppies is a new interactive, animated variety show for preschoolers set in a vibrant 3D, CG-animated underwater classroom. Bubble Guppies–created by Robert Scull and Jonny Belt (The Backyardigans)–has an emergent curriculum: ideas that emerge from preschoolers’ own discoveries. Each episode will delve into a preschool topic from a variety of angles as the cast and viewers explore the swaying kelp forests, coral reefs and undersea gardens of their aquarium-inspired surroundings.
Brand-new seasons of 16 hit blockbuster series will be featured in Nick’s 2010-11 schedule:
iCarly, basic cable’s top kid series; True Jackson, VP; BrainSurge; and the award-winning Nick News with Linda Ellerbee. Big Time Rush, Nick’s newest live-action, record-setting series; and The Troop, which have been picked up for second seasons.
SpongeBob SquarePants and The Penguins of Madagascar, the top two programs with kids 2-11 on television; and The Fairly OddParents. Additionally, Nick at Nite will premiere the second season of the family favorite Glenn Martin, DDS, on Father’s Day, June 20, 2010. Fanboy and Chum Chum, which has been picked up for a second season.
Team Umizoomi, the number-one preschool show on all of television in February; Go, Diego, Go!; The Wonder Pets; and The Backyardigans.
Dora the Explorer, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with four prime-time specials; an original documentary produced by Academy Award-nominated Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture); new online Dora content; and the Beyond the Backpack pro-social campaign championing overall school readiness for preschoolers.
Nick’s digital netsTeenNick, Nicktoons and Nick Jr.–will also add a total of five new shows:
Gigantic, coming this season to TeenNick, is the network’s second collaboration with award-winning production company Reveille. The half-hour series takes a fictional look at the glitzy, chaotic and often outrageous life of being a Hollywood it kid. Shot at various locations around Los Angeles, Gigantic features an ensemble cast that includes Grace Gummer and Gia Mantegna as two of the lead characters.
Voltron Panthera Force will premiere on Nicktoons this season. The series follows the exploits of a group of five young cadets brought together under trying circumstances to form a newly appointed Voltron Lion Squad dubbed the Panthera Force. Voltron Panthera Force is a World Events Production in conjunction with Kick Start Production.
Dragon Ball Z Kai, premiering on Nicktoons in May 2010, follows the last descendants of an evil race of warriors, known as the Saiyans, on their collision course with Earth. Goku–the strongest fighter on the planet–is all that stands between humanity and extinction and must face the villainous Saiyan warlord. Dragon Ball Z Kai is developed by Funimation Entertainment.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, debuting this season on Nicktoons, is based on four mutant turtles–trained in the art of Ninjitsu–who battle evil from the New York sewers. The animated series was recently acquired by Nickelodeon and is jointly produced by 4Kids Entertainment and Mirage Studios. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is considered one of the most popular kids’ television programs and was created in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird as a successful comic book series.
Dino Dan will premiere fall 2010 on Nick Jr. The new original series combines live-action with CG-animation to create an adventure-filled modern day world where dinosaurs roam freely. Developed and produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment and directed by J.J. Johnson, Dino Dan will deal with relatable kids’ issues and teach preschoolers scientific information from new species to dinosaur vocabulary. Dino Dan was co-developed by real life palaeontologist-in-training, 11-year-old Daniel Cook.
Nickelodeon is approaching its 16th straight year as basic cable’s top network in total day with kids 2-11, 6-11 and total viewers. Its 1Q 2010 to date performance will mark Nick’s 60th consecutive quarter as basic cable’s top total day network for kids 2-11, 6-11 and total viewers–the longest run of its kind. Nickelodeon also leads its direct competition with boys 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14 by double-digit percentages. For the quarter to date, Nickelodeon boasts six of the top 10 programs for kids 2-11, four of the top 10 programs for kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14, and the top five preschool programs on broadcast and basic cable television (source: NMR, Live+7 Blended with Live +SD 12/28/09-2/28/10, Live + Same Day data 3/1/10-3/14/10).