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Nickelodeon Upfront 2011: TMNT, Robot & Monster, Kung Fu Panda, Korra, and More

Nickelodeon has announced their plans for 2011-2012 at their annual upfront presentation. Highlights include a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series (see teaser video here), a pickup of a new animated comedy series Robot & Monster up for 26 episodes, the acquisition of the series Winx Club, a renewal of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness for a total of 52 episodes ordered, and The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra order raised to a total of 26 episodes. Over 100 new episodes will also be added to Nickelodeon’s pre-school lineup, including more orders for Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, Dora the Explorer, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Max and Ruby, and Olivia.

For full coverage of the Nickelodeon upfront including live-action and other initiatives, visit Nick and More.

The full press releases with animation-centric news follow:


TOP-RANKED NICKELODEON DETAILS SEASON
OF INNOVATION AND MOMENTUM ACROSS ENTIRE PORTFOLIO
AT ANNUAL UPFRONT PRESENTATION

Event at NYC’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Featured Appearances by Miranda Cosgrove, Jason Biggs,
Kenan Thompson, Jerry Trainor; and Performances by Victoria Justice, Oscar®- and Grammy Award-Winning Jennifer Hudson and Grammy Award-Winning Raphael Saadiq

Nick to Offer More Than 400 New Animation, Live-Action and Preschool Episodes;
Supercharges Saturday-Morning Block and Adds Friends and Yes, Dear to Nick at Nite


First-Ever iCarly and Victorious TV Movie Event to Air Summer 2011

Nick’s Library of Hits to Bow in “The ’90s Are All That!” Block on TeenNick in 4Q 2011

NEW YORK–March 10, 2011 — During its upfront presentation held today at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, Nickelodeon underscored its leadership position by unveiling plans for brand-new content, more of its top-rated hits and big events that span its entire kids and family portfolio. Punctuated by celebrity appearances and exclusive music performances, Nick’s upfront event opened with Victoria Justice, star of the hit Victorious, debuting her brand-new single, “Beggin’ on Your Knees,” live for the first time. Guest appearances included iCarly stars Miranda Cosgrove and Jerry Trainor–who is also the voice of Nick’s hit T.U.F.F. Puppy; the cast of Victorious; and Nickelodeon alumnus Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live, All That, Kenan & Kel).

The presentation also featured the first-ever sneak peek of footage from the brand-new, CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, revealed by actor Jason Biggs, who will portray the voice of Leonardo in the series. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is currently in production at the Nick Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., and bows in 2012. Nickelodeon also offered a preview of its critically acclaimed, original virtual world for kids, Monkey Quest, which launches April 2. Grammy Award-winning artists Jennifer Hudson and Raphael Saadiq closed the event with an exclusive duet of the Motown classic “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” as well as performances of Hudson’s latest single, “Where You At,” and Saadiq’s latest, “Radio.”

As part of the presentation, Nickelodeon announced an unprecedented roster of more than 400 new episodes of animation, live-action and preschool programming, including: four new animated series as part of the network’s biggest-ever animation order; a new super-charged look and feel to the network’s winning Saturday-morning animation block; an original primetime TV movie event that will bring the casts of iCarly and Victorious together for the first time; the addition of hit comedy series Friends and Yes, Dear to Nick at Nite; details about this year’s annual Worldwide Day of Play, in Washington, D.C., for the first-time ever; and the launch of “The ’90s Are All That!,” a block of Nick’s iconic ’90s series, to air on TeenNick. For first quarter 2011 to date, Nickelodeon is expected to close the quarter as basic cable’s number-one network in total day with kids 2-11, kids 6-11 and total viewers and post its best quarter ever with total viewers.

Nickelodeon Animation
Nickelodeon, the global leader in television animation, will introduce 450 episodes of new animation programming over the next three years, with almost 200 episodes rolling out on Saturday mornings in 2012. Representing the largest amount of animation production in the network’s history, the new roster includes current hits like SpongeBob SquarePants, The Penguins of Madagascar, Fanboy and Chum Chum, T.U.F.F. Puppy, and the brand-new series The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra–a spinoff of Avatar: The Last Airbender; Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness–Nick’s latest partnership with DreamWorks Animation; a new CG series, Robot & Monster; and the Italian import Winx Club. In fourth quarter 2012, Nickelodeon will premiere a new CG-animated version of the wildly popular franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Nickelodeon also will further elevate its powerhouse Saturday-morning animation block this spring with a vibrant new look, including never-before-seen program content, original animated shorts, animated music mash-ups and celebrity guests. The block will originate from the Nickelodeon Animation Studios, allowing viewers to experience the process of how animation is made today and see the celebrity voice talent who come to the studio. Nickelodeon’s Saturday morning lineup (8 a.m.-12 p.m. ET/PT) has been the number-one destination for kids 2-11 for 11 consecutive seasons and currently delivers 3.2 million total viewers each week.

Nickelodeon Live Action
The network will produce more than 100 new episodes of its hit live-action series, spearheaded by a new original primetime TV movie event, “iParty with Victorious,” which unites the casts of the blockbuster iCarly and the new hit Victorious for the first-time ever, airing Friday, June 10. In “iParty with Victorious,” one cheating boyfriend, plus two scorned girlfriends, equals a night to remember as Carly and Tori plot sweet revenge while the rest of the iCarly and Hollywood Arts gang compete in a lyrical battle royale. Culminating in an ensemble performance of the theme song mash-up, “Leave It All to Shine,” the movie also guest stars Nickelodeon alumnus Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live, All That, Kenan & Kel) as himself.

Additionally, the network will roll out new episodes of hit series iCarly; Victorious; Big Time Rush; True Jackson, VP; House of Anubis; Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary on the air; the afternoon game show, BrainSurge; and The Troop. The season will also feature new episodes of brand-new Nick series debuting later this year: Supah Ninjas and Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures.

Nickelodeon Preschool
Nickelodeon, which is home to four of the top five preschool shows on all TV, has ordered 125 new episodes of the network’s beloved preschool series, including new episodes of the latest hits Bubble Guppies—currently the top-rated preschool program on all television, Team Umizoomi and The Fresh Beat Band, as well as new episodes of the groundbreaking series Dora the Explorer. New seasons of Yo Gabba Gabba!, Max & Ruby and Olivia will also be a part of Nick’s preschool line-up. Additionally, Nickelodeon in conjunction with media content company Chorion (Olivia, Max & Ruby) and publisher Frederick Warne & Co. (owners of the Beatrix Potter™ property), is in production on 26 episodes of the brand-new animated preschool series The Tales of Peter Rabbit. Slated to air in 2012 on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., the series will feature many of the beloved and iconic Beatrix Potter characters, including Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny.

Nick at Nite
Nick at Nite’s line-up of modern comedies will expand to include the complete libraries of beloved comedies Friends and Yes, Dear. Yes, Dear, the 122-episode family comedy that follows two couples with dramatically different parenting styles, stars Mike O’Malley (Glee, GUTS) and bows in 2012. The 236-episode catalogue of Friends, one of the most popular sitcoms of all time that made Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow household names, joins Nick at Nite in September.

“The ’90s Are All That!”
Nickelodeon will launch a new nighttime programming block this fall on TeenNick called “The ’90s Are All That!,” featuring a rotating selection of iconic live-action and animated shows from Nickelodeon’s 1990s library, including All That, Clarissa Explains it All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Rugrats, Rocket Power, Salute Your Shorts, The Amanda Show and Kenan & Kel. “The ’90s Are All That!” has been developed in part as a response to overwhelming demand from fans of Nick’s groundbreaking original series from the 1990s, as there are more than 9 million fans of Nick’s ’90s programming on Facebook alone. Airing Monday through Sunday from midnight to 2:00 a.m. (ET), the block will also feature forthcoming acquisitions and feature films from the decade. TeenNick’s audience will have the opportunity to influence the block’s line-up by requesting their favorite shows via social media sites set up by the network, including a dedicated Facebook fan site.

Worldwide Day of Play
On Sept. 24, Nickelodeon will bring its flagship Worldwide Day of Play (WWDP) event to Washington, D.C., for its biggest celebration of active play in the eight-year history of the initiative. The network will host an entire day of activities and games for kids and their families to encourage active and healthy lifestyles. Additionally, Nickelodeon will once again “go dark” and suspend all programming the afternoon of WWDP to emphasize the importance of choosing an active and healthy lifestyle.

Nickelodeon finished 2010 in first place among all basic cable networks in total day-for the 16th straight year-among total viewers (P2+) and all kid demos, for the year to date (12/28/09-12/12/10) according to Nielsen Media Research. Nickelodeon also closed the year averaging 2.3 million viewers P2+ and a 3.5/1.2 million K2-11, 3.1/680,000 K6-11, 2.3/498,000 T9-14.

Nickelodeon, now in its 31st 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 and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA – News, VIA.B – News).


NICKELODEON BUILDS ON ANIMATION LEGACY BY ADDING UNPRECEDENTED 450 EPISODES OF NEW ANIMATED PROGRAMMING
TO SCHEDULE OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS

Network Greenlights New CG-Animated Series Robot & Monster and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Saturday-Morning Animation Block Gets Super-Charged with Celebrity Guests, New Content

NEW YORK–March 10, 2011–Nickelodeon, the global leader in television animation, will introduce 450 episodes of new animation programming over the next three years, with nearly 200 episodes rolling out on Saturday mornings in 2012. Representing the largest amount of animation production in the network’s history, the new roster includes current hits like SpongeBob SquarePants, The Penguins of Madagascar, Fanboy and Chum Chum, T.U.F.F. Puppy, and the brand-new series The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra–a spinoff of Avatar: The Last Airbender; Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness–Nick’s latest partnership with DreamWorks Animation; a new CG series, Robot & Monster; and the Italian import Winx Club. And in fourth quarter 2012, Nickelodeon will premiere a new CG-animated version of the wildly popular franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“For 20 years animation has been a comic mainstay of the Nickelodeon DNA,” said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. “Smart characters and great stories have made our shows number one for kids, and these pick-ups exemplify the continuing evolution of our animated programming. They complement our successful live-action offerings perfectly.”

Further cementing its leadership position in television animation, Nickelodeon will elevate its powerhouse Saturday-morning animation block this spring with a vibrant new look, including never-before-seen program content, original animated shorts, animated music mash-ups and celebrity guests. The block will originate from the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., allowing viewers to experience the process of how animation is made today, as well as see the celebrity voice talent who come to the studio. Viewers will also be able to engage with the block’s interactive features like online games, trivia challenges and watch-and-win opportunities. Nickelodeon’s Saturday morning lineup (8 a.m.-12 p.m. ET/PT) has been the number-one destination for kids 2-11 for 11 consecutive seasons and currently delivers 3.2 million total viewers each week. On Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., SpongeBob SquarePants is the number-one program on all of TV with kids 2-11 (Source: NMR, Live + 7 Day data 12/27/10-2/20/11, Live + Same Day data 2/21/11-3/6/11, Sat 8a.m.-12 p.m. time period).

New Series:

  • Based on the iconic hit franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been greenlit for 26 episodes and will be executive produced by Ciro Nieli, Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia. This half-hour CG-animated action-comedy series breathes new life into the wildly popular band of reptile brothers. The new series begins as the turtles emerge from their hidden lair in the sewers for the very first time, ready to confront the wondrous and hostile world of New York City and face enemies more dangerous and pizza more delicious than anything they could have imagined. Funnier and ninja-ier than ever before, the show will explore the camaraderie of four teenage brothers learning to rely on themselves and one another as they unravel the mystery of their existence and grow to become the heroes they are destined to be.
  • Created by Dave Pressler, Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia, Robot & Monster has been picked up for 26 episodes. The animated buddy comedy is set in a unique world where gangs of Howling Cyber Monkeys roam the streets at night, everybody loves bacon, and robots and monsters live side by side, but typically don’t get along. A self-proclaimed genius and amateur inventor, Robot is convinced he is capable of great things, an opinion that is shared by absolutely no one else except Monster. Monster believes good things happen to good people and that all people are good. Together, they prove you can handle anything with your best friend at your side.
  • Winx Club (52 episodes) is an animated action and fantasy series set in the mystical dimension of Magix, where three schools educate modern fairies, witches and supernatural warriors from all over the universe. Bloom, a young fairy in training from Earth, and five of her schoolmates form the Winx Club to combat their arch enemies. Winx Club first debuted in Italy six years ago and quickly became a hit that has generated international popularity, as well as a CG feature film.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness has been picked up for 26 additional episodes (for a total of 52) and will debut later this year. Nickelodeon’s second collaboration with DreamWorks Animation, the series 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 Peter Hastings.
  • From Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra (picked up for 14 more episodes for a total of 26) continues the evolution of the animated franchise and its mythology. The Legend of Korra takes place 70 years after the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender and follows the adventures of the Avatar after Aang – a passionate, rebellious, and fearless teenaged girl from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra.

SpongeBob SquarePants, Fanboy and Chum Chum, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Robot & Monster, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra are produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif. The Penguins of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness are co-productions with Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation SKG and also produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios. Winx Club is a co-production with Rainbow S.p.A. and Nickelodeon, and it is produced in Italy.

Nickelodeon, now in its 31st 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 and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).


NICKELODEON GREENLIGHTS MORE THAN 100 NEW EPISODES
OF TELEVISION’S LEADING PRESCHOOL SERIES


New Episodes of Returning Favorites Bubble Guppies, Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi,
The Fresh Beat Band, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Max & Ruby and Olivia, Plus New Series
The Tales of Peter Rabbit to Roll Out in 2011-2012

NEW YORK-March 10, 2011-Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids, has ordered 125 new episodes of the network’s top-rated preschool series, including new episodes of the latest hits Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi and The Fresh Beat Band and new episodes of the groundbreaking series Dora the Explorer. The network, which is home to four of the top five preschool shows on all TV–including top-ranked Bubble Guppies- has also ordered new seasons of Yo Gabba Gabba!, Max & Ruby and Olivia.

“Over the years, our preschool shows have introduced a wide range of educational concepts, from Spanish and Mandarin language and culture to mathematics and music,” said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids & Family Group. “All have found that magic mix of educating and entertaining our audience, and we’re excited to continue creating content with great storytelling, that delivers on our commitment to give kids and parents what they really want.”

In addition, Nickelodeon in conjunction with media content company Chorion (Olivia, Max & Ruby) and publisher Frederick Warne & Co. (owners of the Beatrix Potter™ property), is in production on 26 episodes of the brand-new animated preschool series The Tales of Peter Rabbit. Slated to air in 2012 on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., the series will feature many of the beloved and iconic Beatrix Potter characters, including Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny.

Nickelodeon’s new preschool episodes rolling out across 2011-12 include:

Bubble Guppies
Bubble Guppies, currently in its first season and picked up for 20 new episodes, is the number-one preschool show on television year to date. From the Emmy Award-winning team behind The Backyardigans and Little Bill, this musical comedy set in a vibrant 3D underwater environment follows a group of diverse preschoolers with colorful fish tails who go on adventures discovering their world. Bubble Guppies is set to a soundtrack of catchy pop songs, and the series infuses the core elements of kindergarten readiness, including: math, literacy, the arts, science and socio-emotional development.

Team Umizoomi
Team Umizoomi, picked up for 20 new episodes, is currently in its second season and is one of the top preschool shows on TV. Created by Blue’s Clues alumni, Team Umizoomi features a tiny team of superheroes who use their mighty math powers to help little kids solve big problems. The series combines action-adventure missions with an interactive math curriculum designed to help kids develop self-confidence in their math abilities and appreciate the many ways in which math shapes their world.

Dora the Explorer
Dora the Explorer, picked up for 20 new episodes, is currently in its sixth season. Off the heels of its landmark 10th anniversary this past summer, Dora continues to rank as one of the top preschool shows on all TV. Dora the Explorer, which can be seen in 151 markets and is translated into 30 languages, has been honored with many awards, including the Peabody, NAACP, Alma, Imagen, Latino Spirit, Gracie Allen, Parents’ Choice Award, Television Critics Association Award and has received 16 Daytime Emmy nominations.

The Fresh Beat Band
The Fresh Beat Band, picked up for 13 new episodes, is currently in its second season. The Fresh Beat Band centers on four best friends – Kiki, Marina, Twist and Shout – in a band who attend music school together and love to sing and dance. Set to original pop songs, the half-hour series teaches preschoolers about music appreciation and how to express their feelings through movement, song and instrumental music. In each episode, preschoolers sing and dance along as they help The Fresh Beat Band solve everyday challenges.

Yo Gabba Gabba!
Yo Gabba Gabba!, picked up for 13 new episodes, is currently in its third season. The critically acclaimed series infuses retro-style and beat-driven music to teach simple life lessons. The series and the live show stars DJ Lance Rock and a cast of colorful characters, including: Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Toodee and Plex. Yo Gabba Gabba! has broad appeal among preschoolers, parents, teens and adults and has featured some of the most popular names in movies, television, music and sports.

Max & Ruby
Max & Ruby, picked up for 26 new episodes, is currently in its fourth season on Nick Jr. and consistently ranks as one of the top preschool shows on TV. Each half-hour episode of Max & Ruby consists of three stories that celebrate the universal nature of sibling relationships. The series follows Max, an enthusiastic and determined preschool bunny, and his big sister Ruby, a very smart and goal-oriented seven-year-old, through their everyday lives in the village of East Bunnyhop.

Olivia
Olivia, picked up for 13 new episodes, is currently its second season on Nick Jr. The half-hour series invites children into the life—both real and fantasy—of an adventurous, can-do 6¾-year-old girl named Olivia. Based on acclaimed author/illustrator Ian Falconer’s award-winning titles, Olivia captures the book series’ trademark humor and the irrepressible personality of its heroine. Olivia’s confidence and positive nature inspires kids everywhere to think boldly and follow their dreams.

Nickelodeon, now in its 31st 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 and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA – News, VIA.B – News).

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