Nickelodeon unveiled four new live-action series at its upfront presentation in New York on Thursday, along with plans for its first original animated TV movie.
The Viacom cabler touted its plan to roll out more than 650 episodes of new and returning series this year. The performance of Nickelodeon and Viacom’s core cable channels have been under scrutiny amid the broader corporate turmoil at the parent company in recent months.
Two of Nickelodeon’s new series are tied to sports. “Jagger Eaton’s Mega Life” is a 20-episode documentary series that follows the 15-year-old skateboarder of the title as he skates around the world and meets his idols. The show will begin production this spring. Meanwhile, New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX Champion and Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski will host “Crashletes,” a 20-episode viral sports clip series featuring guest personalities from the worlds of sports and entertainment, along with the funniest, craziest clips and user-generated content. Both series are exec produced by Rob Dyrdek and Shane Nickerson of Superjacket Productions.
“Albert” is Nickelodeon’s first original animated telepic. It tells the story of a tiny Douglas fir tree named Albert who loves Christmas more than anyone, but whose miniature size keeps him from taking part. He travels across the country with his two best friends, a fun-loving palm tree and a rambunctious weed. Max Lang is set to direct, with Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb exec producing. The property is created and written by Aaron & Will Eisenberg
Other specials include “Lost in the West,” a three-part original TV movie that follows two teenage step brothers, Chip and Dave, who get transported back in time to 1885 after one of them accidentally invents a time machine. It’s produced by Galdo Media and directed by Carlos Gonzalez. Nickelodeon will also debut a two-part movie that revives its animated series “Hey Arnold!” as well as a movie concept based on its game show “Legends of the Hidden Temple.”
Nickelodeon will renew “Henry Danger” for a third season; “Game Shakers” for a second season; “The Thundermans” for a fourth season; “SpongeBob SquarePants ” for a 10th and 11th season; and “Harvey Beaks” and “Pig Goat Banana Cricket” for second seasons. Nickelodeon will air more episodes of animated series “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “The Fairly OddParents,” and “Alvinnn!!!! and the Chipmunks.” The company said it would air more episodes of preschool series “Shimmer and Shine,” “Blaze and the Monster Machines,” “Mutt & Stuff,” “PAW Patrol,’ “Wallykazam!” and “Dora and Friends: Into the City!”
Other new live-action series include “Ride,” which follows the adventures of Katherine “Kit” Bridges, who relocates to England when her father joins the faculty at Covington Academy, an elite equestrian boarding school. It is produced by Canada’s Breakthrough Entertainment and Buccaneer Media in the U.K. “The Other Kingdom” follows fairy princess Astral, who takes human form and enters the mortal world for 90 days. The series is created and exec produced by Thomas W. Lynch and produced by DHX Media. Steven DeNure and Anne Loi.
New animated series include “The Loud House,” about chaotic life in a huge household; “Bunsen Is a Beast,” about the first beast to attend human grade school; “Mysticons,” a half-hour action series licensed from Nelvana about four girls who transform into warriors and fight an evil queen; “Welcome to the Wayne,” which chronicles the adventures of two 10-year-old boys exploring their New York City apartment building; and “Pinky Malinky,” a mockumentary series that depicts the everyday life of the title character, a hot dog living in a human world.
New preschool series include “Rusty Rivets,” which shows the animated adventures of Rusty as he invents his way out of challenges by using repurposed parts and objects to create contraptions; and “Sunny Day,” which follows the best hairstylist in town who solves problems with determination and creativity.
(Pictured: “SpongeBob SquarePants”)