Nickelodeon has greenlit two live-action comedy series for 2009-10 that will be co-productions with Sony Music and feature original songs.
The cabler has ordered 20 episodes apiece of “Victorious,” which will reunite teen actress Victoria Justice and exec producer Dan Schneider (“Zoey 101”), and an untitled project from exec producer Scott Fellows (“Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”).
The comedies are the first onscreen result of Nick’s 2007 agreement with Sony to collaborate on music and TV projects.
Dan Schneider and Scott Fellows “both pitched ideas with music elements, and we shaped them to be more compatible with the Sony relationship,” Nick exec veep of development and original programming Marjorie Cohn said.
Fellows’ series, bowing in the fall, will star Kendall Schmidt, Carlos Pena, James Maslow and Logan Henderson (relative unknowns cast from a nationwide talent search) in a four-buddy comedy about a boy band that wins an “American Idol”-style contest.
“I don’t think we’re going to be going back to the ’90s,” Cohn said of the show’s music. “It’s very hip and cool, and one of the great things about working with Sony is they know their business, and we’re going to depend on them to find a unique sound for our band.”
In “Victorious,” Justice plays the new girl at a performing arts high school. Series will premiere in early 2010.
“Victorious” will be “in keeping with Dan Schneider shows,” Cohn said. “They’re character comedies, sitcom format. Dan has just tapped into what kids think is funny and relatable.”
Nickelodeon and Sony recently produced and distributed a soundtrack album for “iCarly” (also exec produced by Schneider) and are in production on the first solo release for series star Miranda Cosgrove.