Series returns to top spot in kids' TV charts

“SpongeBob SquarePants” is marking his splashy return to Chinese TV screens with the introduction of a Chinese-language website.

Nickelodeon’s yellow sponge with a heart of gold, known here as “Haimianbaobao,” went live on Haimianbaobao.net on Sunday, coinciding with Children’s Day in China.

“SpongeBob” returned to Chinese TV on April 1. But despite being pushed into a latenight slot by the authorities, who want to pump homegrown toons, Bikini Bottom’s most famous citizen has already regained his crown as No. 1 among kids aged 4-14 for the period Dec. 25 – Feb. 4 in 15 cities, reaching 20.5 million viewers.

“ ‘SpongeBob’ is a phenomenon in China,” said Mei Yan, prexy of MTV China and chief representative for Viacom Asia.

As in other markets, Haimianbaobao.net will feature “SpongeBob” related games, event updates, wallpapers, printables, icons, character guides, image gallery and widgets.

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