SpongeBob is Shell-Shocked When His Beloved Pet Gary Runs Away From Home, Leaving No Snail Trail Behind


Half-hour Special "Where's Gary?" Premieres on Veteran's Day Friday, November

11 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon

Patchy the Pirate Sets Off on Weeklong Cross Country Race to Find Gary

Kids Can Play along on Nick.com to Win Trip to Nicktoons Studio in Burbank,


Nov 01, 2005, 00:00 ET from Nickelodeon

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- It's a sad day in Bikini Bottom when
 SpongeBob learns that his beloved pet snail Gary is missing and that he may be
 at fault in the mollusk's disappearance.  In "Where's Gary," a half-hour
 special premiering on Nickelodeon Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), Gary
 runs away from home after feeling neglected by SpongeBob and is "adopted" by a
 new owner.  After realizing the error of his ways, SpongeBob sets out with his
 best friend Patrick to search high and low for his adored pet and bring him
 back to his rightful home.
     Launched in July 1999, the Emmy-nominated series has since emerged as a
 pop culture phenomenon and has held rank as one of the top kids' shows on
 broadcast and cable television since its debut.
     "Kids love their pets and there's certainly some relatability here in the
 relationship between SpongeBob and Gary -- skewed though it may be," said
 Marjorie Cohn, Executive Vice President, Development and Original Programming,
 Nickelodeon.  "It's fun to see Gary express a whole range of emotions using
 only his signature 'meow.'"
     When SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny) forgets to feed Gary for several
 weeks while attempting to beat the paddle-ball world record, Gary becomes
 disillusioned and runs away from home.  While living on the rough streets of
 downtown Bikini Bottom, the down-and-out snail is taken in by a strange but
 kindly old woman (voiced by Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live) who mistakes him
 for one of her other beloved pets.  One week later, when SpongeBob snaps out
 of his paddle-ball obsession, he realizes that he has forgotten to take care
 of Gary, who is now missing.  With the help of his well-meaning but dim best
 friend Patrick, SpongeBob sets out on a town-wide search to find his pet
 mollusk and return him home.  Meanwhile, as Gary is wrapped in comfy blankets
 and indulged in an endless assortment of snacks, he discovers a dark secret
 about this sweet old woman.
     SpongeBob SquarePants has consistently been one of the top rated kids'
 shows on television, with the Saturday play of the series ranking as the
 number one rated program among Kids 2-11.  Nearly 53.7 million viewers tune
 into the show each month, making it the most watched show on Nickelodeon among
 Total Viewers (ages two and up) including 22.1 million Kids 2-11, 12.7 million
 Tweens 9-14 and 12.9 million Adults 18+.  (Source: Nielsen Cume Data -- May
 2005).  SpongeBob's adult viewers also continue to tune-in and have increased
 by 31% since the premiere of the show in 1999.
     Nickelodeon is supporting the special with a month long off-air marketing
 campaign that includes print, outdoor and consumer product partner support.
 For five days leading up to the "Where's Gary" premiere, kids can watch
 Nickelodeon and log onto Nick.com to enter the SpongeBob SquarePants "Where's
 Gary?" Sweepstakes.  Every night on-air, Patchy the Pirate and other celebrity
 guests will search in different locations for Gary.  By visiting Nick.com,
 kids can get a "Trail of The Snail" tracking card and enter the Patchy's
 search locations in order to be eligible to win the sweepstakes.  The grand
 prize is a trip to the Nicktoons Studio to meet the production team of
 SpongeBob SquarePants and the opportunity to sit in on a voice recording
 session with the cast.
     Prior to the premiere of the "Where's Gary?" special, Nickelodeon will
 offer a sneak peek and bonus coverage of the special on Nickelodeon's
 broadband online platform TurboNick, available on Nick.com.
     Kids can also visit Nick.com where a snail-seeking undersea adventure
 awaits in the "Trail of the Snail" Flash game.  In addition, on November 15,
 kids can pick up the SpongeBob SquarePants "Where's Gary" DVD at select
     SpongeBob SquarePants is created and executive produced by Stephen
 Hillenburg, who previously worked as a writer, director and creative director
 on Nickelodeon's animated series, Rocko's Modern Life.  Hillenburg graduated
 from the California Institute of the Arts with a master's degree in
 Experimental Animation and studied marine biology and art as an undergraduate.
 Before beginning a career in animation, Hillenburg worked with kids as a
 science educator and staff artist at the Orange County Marine Institute.
 Hillenburg created and executive produced The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
 which hit theaters in November 2004.
     Paul Tibbitt served as a director and writer on SpongeBob SquarePants for
 all three seasons and is executive producer of the fourth.  He wrote some of
 the show's most memorable episodes such as "Ripped Pants" and "Mermaid Man and
 Barnacle Boy."  Tibbitt is one of the co-writers and storyboard artists on The
 SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.  SpongeBob SquarePants is a Nicktoons Production
 and is produced at the Nicktoons Studio in Burbank, CA.
     Nickelodeon, now in its 26th 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 89 million households and has been the
 number-one-rated basic cable network for more than nine consecutive years.
 Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of
 Viacom International Inc.

SOURCE Nickelodeon