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TV News Roundup: Nickelodeon Orders ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Season 12

In today’s roundup, Nickelodeon has ordered a 12th season of “SpongeBob SqaurePants,” The History Channel has commissioned a one-hour Watergate special, Investigation Discovery is airing a documentary special about Bill Cosby’s downfall, and production has begun on Cartoon Network’s “DC Super Hero Girls.”

RENEWALS

Nickeloden has ordered Season 12 of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” the number-one animated series across all TV with kids. The 26-episode pick up will further the nautical adventures of SpongeBob and his Bikini Bottom friends Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs, Plankton and Squidward, and is scheduled to premiere in 2019, the series’ 20th anniversary year. Season 11 debuts later this summer. Nickelodeon has also greenlit a third SpongeBob film for release in 2019 as well. “Spongebob Squarepants” is executive produced by creator Stephen Hillenburg.

CASTING

Richard Kind has been cast in the guest starring role of Benny Konopka in Electric Entertainment’s series “The Librarians,” which will run for a fourth season on TNT this winter. “The Librarians” is a supernatural fantasy series that follows a group of “librarians” who fight supernatural forces and solve impossible mysteries. Kind has also starred in Amazon’s “Red Oaks” and is also known for roles in “Argo,” “A Serious Man,” and “Inside Out.” He is repped by Innovative Arts and Forster Entertainment.

DEALS

Dorsey Pictures has finalized a deal with veteran unscripted TV producer Matt Assmus and his shingle MTA Media Company for the expansion of their development and current production team. Assmus has been a producer on shows such as “Fear Factor” and “Pimp My Ride.” Whitney Hayes was also upped to development coordinator for Dorsey Pictures after three years as casting producer.

DATES

PBS will return to live television with a three-part television event in conjunction with BBC titled “Wild Alaska Live,” which will air July 23, 26, and 30 at 8 p.m. ET as part of its “Summer of Adventure” lineup. The special will shed light on the natural spectacle of Alaska’s summer feast, in which orcas, bears, wolves, moose, and eagles all gather to take advantage of the summer bounty. “Wild Alaska Live” will be hosted by Emmy award-winning brothers and zoologists Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt. Liz Bonnin and Steve Backshall will join as on-air correspondents. The special will also explore the challenges of preserving Alaska’s wild frontier, with scientists, photographers, and other experts tell some the area’s wildest stories. All three broadcast episodes will live-stream simultaneously on PBS.org and will be simulcast on the new PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream, which is provided by member stations across the country on TV and streaming on digital platforms.

Investigation Discovery‘s “Bill Cosby: An American Scandal” will premiere Monday, June 5 at 9/8c. The one-hour special takes a comprehensive look at Cosby’s rise to fame, his shocking family drama and the allegations that perpetuated his downward spiral. Notable interviewees include Sharon Brown, Cosby’s former girlfriend; Gloira Allred, an attorney representing 33 of Cosby’s accusers; Chuck Vinson, a director for “The Cosby Show;” and Beth Karas, a legal analyst. “Bill Cosby: An American Scandal” is produced for Investigation Discovery by Weinstein Television, American Media, Inc., and Jupiter Entertainment with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Patrick Reardon, Stephen Land, Allison Wallach, Matt Sprouse, David Pecker and Dylan Howard as Executive Producers. For Investigation Discovery, Pamela Deutsch is senior executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is Group President of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.

DEVELOPMENT

Production has begun on Warner Bros. Animation’s “DC Super Hero Girls,” an animated series for Cartoon Network that features characters from DC Entertainment like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Batgirl as they navigate their way through high school while simultaneously protecting the world from school-age supervillians. Produced by Lauren Faust, “DC Super Hero Girls” will come to Cartoon Network in 2018.

The History Channel has commissioned a documentary series about the Watergate scandal and its impact on American culture from Academy Award-winning director Charles Ferguson. “Watergate” will tell the full story of the conspiracy led by Richard Nixon and his administration, which ultimately resulted in the downfall of the presidency and jail time for over 40 people. The series will include new interviews with journalists, senior Nixon Administration officials, members of Congress, and prosecutors. This material will be combined with existing archival material including the taped conversations recorded by Nixon and other members of his administration, footage from Congressional hearings, interviews conducted during the investigation, transcripts from criminal trials and Supreme Court arguments other legal proceedings, and written first-person accounts from people involved in the scandal. “Watergate” is produced by Representational Pictures for History. Charles Ferguson is director and producer. Krista Parris is producer. Jana Bennett is executive producer. Molly Thompson and Michael Stiller are executive producers for History.

Gavin Purcell has signed on as showrunner and executive producer of the upcoming Sarah Silverman series “I Love You, America.” The ten-episode weekly half-hour show, produced by Funny Or Die, will stream on Hulu later this year. Silverman, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Amy Zvi are also executive producers. Silverman will use the series as an attempt to reach out to Americans via humor who may not share her personal political views and prove that Americans are all the same at heart. Purcell was most recently head of video at Vox Media. Prior to joining Vox, he was producer of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” where he led all aspects of on-air production in addition to a special focus on interactive elements.

SPECIALS

TCM and FilmStruck will celebrate Pride Month this June with extensive programming dedicated to highlighting LGBT cinema. TCM will spotlight “Gay Hollywood,” hosted by author and historian William Mann and entertainment journalist Dave Karger, every Thursday in June, honoring a number of actors and artists whose talents helped them overcome roadblocks they faced due to their orientation or gender identity. FilmStruck will present a “Gay and Lesbian Cinema Showcase” hosted by film critic Alonso Duralde, which will include films such as “The Watermelon Woman,” “Parting Glances,” and “Victim.”

 

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