Michaels, Leguizamo will get into Nick mix

Cabler has more than 15 projects in development for '04

Lorne Michaels, John Leguizamo and “Bruce Almighty” scribe-producer Steve Oedekerk are all developing programming for Nickelodeon.

Kiddie cabler has more than 15 projects in development for the 2004-05 season.

To better reflect issues facing kids today, upcoming series will touch on topics ranging from nontraditional families to how to survive middle school.

“Our new pilots reflect Nickelodeon’s tradition of championing diverse creator-driven, original live-action and animated programming,” exec VP-general manager Cyma Zarghami said. “We anticipate several new hits will break out of this strong mix of series.”

From ‘Freddy’ to ‘Freaky’

“Saturday Night Live” producer Michaels will develop classic children’s series “Freddy the Pig” into an animated skein. Leguizamo will animate characters from his childhood in “Freaky’s World.” Whoopi Goldberg, already producing preschool series “Whoopi’s Littleburg” on Nick Jr., will develop a live-action comedy about a girl’s soccer team. Oedekerk will produce an animated comedy about farm animals.

Live-action highlights include “Unfabulous” from Sue Rose (“Angela Anaconda”), about a teen in New York City trying to get through the day-to-day travails of junior high, and “All Together Now,” about a family adjusting to step-siblings.

Animation slate includes Klasky-Csupo-produced “What’s Cooking,” about a boy who realizes that his deli-owning grandparents are really undercover CIA operatives; intergalactic high school adventure “Crash Nebula” from Butch Hartman (“Fairly OddParents”); and “Kung Fu Spy Troll,” about a troll with martial arts crime-fighting skills.

Also in development is “Tak and the Power of Juju,” introduced earlier this month at this year’s Licensing Show. Series will start out as a videogame this fall before being expanded into a series (Daily Variety, June 9).

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