NEW YORK, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 8 a.m.-12 p.m. time period).
- 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).
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