The collaboration among Viacom cable networks is stepping up a notch with Nickelodeon handing a 10-episode order to a kid-centric spin on Spike TV’s “Lip Sync Battle” franchise.
“Lip Sync Battle Shorties” will feature everyday kids competing to perform pop songs in lip-sync challenges. The grown-up version, which features celebrities at the mic, has become Spike TV’s most-watched original series ever since its 2015 debut.
Nickelodeon test-drove the concept in December with a “Lip Sync Battle Shorties” special that drew more 2 million viewers and has had legs on YouTube and in social media. The order for the half-hour series was unveiled Thursday during Nickelodeon’s upfront presentation to advertisers in New York. Nickelodeon has yet to specify a premiere date.
“Lip Sync Battle Shorties’ is so illustrative of how kids have changed,” said Nickelodeon Group president Cyma Zarghami. “Our research tells us this generation believes they are all one step away from being famous. This show celebrates real kids with real talent, but more importantly a passion to perform and the confidence to do it.”
“Shorties” will emphasize the creativity that the kid contestants bring to their moment in the spotlight as they design the choreography and staging of their performance. Each seg will feature three contestants and the Shorties Dance Crew. A host for the series will be announced soon.
The dawn of “Shorties” as a series reflects the mandate by the new management regime at Viacom for the cable networks to work more closely together and share programming and talent resources. The success of “Lip Sync Battle,” which has traveled the world as a format, has been a bright spot during what has generally been a rough few years for Viacom’s cablers.
“Shorties” hails from the original “Lip Sync” team of Casey Patterson Entertainment and Matador Content. John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant and Eight Million Plus Productions are exec producers.