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Nick Announces "Planet Sheen," "TUFF Puppy," 3 Pilots; Promotes Rawlings

Nickelodeon has ordered seasons for two new animated series: Planet Sheen, a spin-off from Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius from Steve Oedekerk; and T.U.F.F. Puppy, the newest series from Butch Hartman. Planet Sheen has received an order for 26 half-hour episodes, while T.U.F.F. Puppy has an order for 13. Planet Sheen will follow the misadventures of Jimmy Neutron‘s Sheen Guevera Estevez on the far-flung alient planet Zeenu, while T.U.F.F. Puppy will follow the “gung-ho, dim-witted dog” Dudley Puppy in the super-secret crime-fighting organization T.U.F.F. (Turbo Undercover Fighting Force).

Nickelodeon has also greenlit three animated pilots:

  • Robot & Monster: Best Friends Forever, a CG animated buddy comedy
  • The Fleeps, a 2-D animated comedy about two musicians who hitch a ride with an alien warlord and his mother
  • You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum, a 2-D animated adaptation of the book series by Andy Stanton.

Along with the announcement of the new series and pilots, Nickelodeon also announced the promotion of Birkner Rawlings to VP, Animation Development. Rawlings was formerly the Director of Animation Development, where he shepherded the development of several series such as the upcoming Kung Fu Panda.

The full press releases follow. Click on the sample image to enlarge to full-size.


Nickelodeon Greenlights Two Animated Comedy Series,
Planet Sheen and T.U.F.F. Puppy


Plus, Network Picks Up Three Pilots, The Fleeps, Robot & Monster: Best Friends Forever and You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum

Burbank, Calif. – June 10, 2009 -Nickelodeon, the number-one producer of animation in the U.S., is expanding its world-class animation slate with the order of 26 episodes of Steve Oedekerk’s (Bruce Almighty, Back at the Barnyard) Planet Sheen, a spin-off of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius; and 13 half-hour episodes of T.U.F.F. Puppy from Emmy Award-nominated creator Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents). Additionally, the network has greenlit three pilots, Robot & Monster: Best Friends Forever, a CG animated buddy comedy; The Fleeps, a 2-D animated story about two musicians who hitch a ride with an alien warlord and his mother; and You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum, a 2-D animated adaptation based on the series of best-selling books by Andy Stanton.

“Nickelodeon has raised the bar for cutting-edge CG animation by producing shows with a visual quality that is unmatched on television and on par with feature films,” said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. “Following the success of our newest hit, The Penguins of Madagascar, the recent pickups of Kung Fu Panda, Fanboy and Chum Chum and now Planet Sheen and Robot & Monster, Nickelodeon is officially a CG powerhouse.”

Executive produced by Steve Oedekerk, Keith Alcorn (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius) and Jim Hope (The George Lopez Show), Planet Sheen is the intergalactic tale of Sheen Guevera Estevez, the hyperactive, attention span-challenged kid from Nickelodeon’s hit Jimmy Neutron, who, after accidentally “borrowing” a rocket, crash lands on Zeenu. Inhabiting this planet in a world of limited technology, its not-too-bright creatures are ruled by an Emperor fascinated by Sheen. The story follows Sheen as he deals with Zeenu’s bizarre customs and strange-looking creatures including a jealous villain, Dorkus, a 10-foot tall, 2-headed princess with a crush on him, and a NASA-trained, talking chimp, Nesmith, who joins Sheen in his ultimate quest to return home. Planet Sheen features a cast that includes Jeff Garcia (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Back at the Barnyard) as Sheen, Bob Joles (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Nesmith, Rob Paulsen (Pinky & The Brain, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius) as Doppy, Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) as Aseefa, Jeff Bennett (The Penguins of Madagascar) as Dorkus, Candi Milo (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) and Morgan Murphy (Jimmy Kimmel Live!) as Princess OomLout, Fred Tatasciore (Wolverine and the X-Men) as Emperor and Thomas Lennon (creator and star of Reno 911!) as Pinter. The series will be produced by O Entertainment for Nickelodeon.

Created and executive produced by Nickelodeon hit-maker, Butch Hartman, T.U.F.F. Puppy 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). Aided by his smart and sassy feline partner Kitty Katswell, Dudley makes his way through caper after caper as he protects his hometown of Petropolis against the evil animal organization, D.O.O.M. (Diabolical Order of Mayhem), which will stop at nothing until Petropolis is overthrown. T.U.F.F. Puppy features a cast that includes Eric Bauza (El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera) as Dudley, Grey DeLisle (Wow Wow Wubbzy!, The Mighty B!) as Kitty Katswell, Jeff Bennett (The Penguins of Madagascar) as Keswick, Daran Norris (The Fairly OddParents) as Chief, Matthew Taylor (Open Season) as Snaptrap and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Sesame Street) as Peg Puppy. The series will be produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.

Nickelodeon’s newly ordered pilots will be overseen by Birkner Rawlings, who has just been promoted to Vice President, Animation Development, for Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. They include Robot & Monster: Best Friends Forever, a buddy comedy featuring a relentlessly ambitious robot and a pathologically positive monster. The project was created by Dave Pressler (Los Luchadores!), Jeffrey Ventimilia (That ’70s Show), Joshua Sternin (That ’70s Show) and will be directed by feature animation veteran Sam Levine. Additionally, The Fleeps, created by Tim McKeon (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) and directed by Dave Wasson (Making Fiends) follows two naïve musicians, an alien warlord and his mother on a madcap road trip through space. Also picked up is You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum, an offbeat comedy about a crotchety old man who dislikes children, animals, fun and corn on the cob and children – especially Polly, the one girl in town who’s plucky enough to stand up to him. Andy Stanton, who wrote all five books in the ‘Mr. Gum’ series, created, writes and executive produces the pilot, with Andy Bobrow (Malcolm in the Middle) as executive producer and writer and Damon Ross (Nacho Libre) as producer.

Steve Oedekerk’s Planet Sheen and Butch Hartman’s T.U.F.F. Puppy join Nickelodeon’s successful slate of animated series including pop culture phenomenon and number-one-ranked SpongeBob SquarePants (celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year); the latest hit series, The Penguins of Madagascar; Emmy Award-nominated The Fairly OddParents, also from Hartman; The Mighty B! co-created by and starring actress/comedian Amy Poehler; and Emmy Award-nominated Back at the Barnyard, also from box-office chief Oedekerk.

About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 30th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 98 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 14 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).


Birkner Rawlings Promoted to Vice President, Animation Development, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group

NEW YORK – June 10, 2009 – Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group has upped Birkner Rawlings to Vice President, Animation Development. In this role, Rawlings is responsible for overseeing the development of all new animated series at Nickelodeon. His department is charged with seeking out new projects, cultivating talent and guiding creators from concept to completed pilot. The announcement was made by Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, to whom he reports.

“Birk is a true animation fan, with terrific development skills and instincts. He will bring a wealth of new talent and creators to Nickelodeon as we try to break new ground and develop more hits,” said Johnson

Most recently, Rawlings was Director of Animation Development, where he oversaw the development of a diverse slate of projects including Kung Fu Panda, which was recently greenlit for 26 episodes by Nickelodeon. In conjunction with this announcement, Nickelodeon also announced the pick-up of three pilots, which will continue to be overseen by Rawlings, the CG animated buddy comedy Robot & Monster: Best Friends Forever, the 2-D comedy The Fleeps and a 2-D animated adaptation based on the series of bestselling ‘Mr. Gum’ books, You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon in November, 2006, Rawlings was the Director of Creative Affairs at Walt Disney/Pixar Feature Animation where he assisted with the development of more than a dozen feature films including: Fraidy Cat; Chicken Little; Meet the Robinsons; and the upcoming Princess and the Frog. Rawlings began his career with Fresco/Madaro Pictures and has held production and development posts with Spyglass Entertainment and The Economic Journal. He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in Film and Television Production from Chapman University.
Nickelodeon, now in its 30th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 98 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for more than 14 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

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