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Nickelodeon riding popular wave

Cable gives series order to 'Bucket'

Coming off its 16th consecutive year as TV’s No. 1 basic cable net, Nickelodeon is embarking on an ambitious new series run in early 2011.

The kids cabler has just given a series order to the multicam laffer “Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures.” Show joins the previously announced newcomers “House of Anubis,” “Power Rangers Samurai,” “Bubble Guppies” and “Supah Ninjas,” all of which will bow during the first part of next year.

“We’re having incredible momentum,” said Nickelodeon programming/development prexy Marjorie Cohn. “It’s incumbent on us to deliver fresh hits in 2011.”

“Bucket and Skinner” stars newcomers Taylor Gray and Dillon Lane as a couple of surfer teens navigating life in school and at home. Buddy comedy picks up as Skinner drafts his pal Bucket to run for student council — where he winds up competing against the most popular kid in school.

Boyce Bugliari and Jamie McLaughlin (“Kid Notorious”) created the show and exec produce; Jonathan Stark (“According to Jim”) and Tom Lynch (“South of Nowhere”) also produce through Lynch’s production shingle. Show has begun production in Los Angeles and will bow on Nick in January.

“We found what we believe will be new stars,” Cohn said. “And there’s a freshness and originality to this show.”

Among the other new entries, “Power Rangers Samurai” is a new take on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise, while “House of Anubis” is a comedy-mystery series; “Bubble Guppies” is a CG-animated preschool series; and “Supah Ninjas,” from Brian Robbins, is an action-comedy entry.

Nick ended 2010 in first place among total viewers for total day (6 a.m. to 2 a.m.) ratings, driven by hits such as “iCarly” and newcomers “Victorious” and “Big Time Rush.”

Bugliari’s and McLaughlin’s other credits include “The Showbiz Show With David Spade” and “Quintuplets.”

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