×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Producer Brian Robbins Tapped to Lead Nickelodeon

Viacom named producer Brian Robbins as the new head of its Nickelodeon, its largest operation, a bid to steady the kid-focused cable channel even as it has been struggling with declining ratings and shifts in viewing habits among its target demographic.

Robbins, the founder of Awesomeness TV, has most recently been based at Viacom’s Paramount Pictures as head of its Paramount Players genre pic division.

“Brian is a creative powerhouse who has spent his career on the frontlines of our industry, anticipating and driving changes in television, film and digital media,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish. “With his unmatched credentials in kids’ entertainment and his firsthand knowledge of Nickelodeon, I have asked Brian to drive the innovation and transformation that will ensure the brand remains the dominant force with young audiences.”

Robbins is the first new executive to lead Nickelodeon in years. He replaces Cyma Zarghami, who was named president of the flagship network in 2004 and then given oversight of a Viacom’s broader suite of networks aimed at kids and families in 2006. She resigned in June, after Viacom gave Sarah Levy, chief operating officer of its entertainment networks, supervision over some of Nickelodeon’s business functions, such as research and production management.

Viacom said Robbins will manage the creative and business operations at Nickelodeon and work to make the home of properties such as “Paw Patrol,” “Henry Danger” and “Dora the Explorer” more relevant to younger audiences, who have grown increasingly accustomed to getting their favorite programs on demand or via streaming services. Viacom said Robbins would accelerate a Nickelodeon “push into next-generation platforms and feature film.” Under Bakish, Viacom has placed new emphasis on developing intellectual property into a range of formats. Robbins is expected to remain involved in the development, production and marketing of all Nickelodeon co-branded films with Paramount Players.

Viacom said it would start “a comprehensive search for a successor”  to lead Paramount Players. In the interim, Wyck Godfrey, president of Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group, will oversee day-to-day operations, with support from Robbins during a transition period.

Prior to leading Paramount Players, Robbins co-founded Awesomeness, originally a YouTube channel, in 2012 and served as its CEO. Robbins also co-founded the production company Tollins/Robbins Productions and was the founder and president of Varsity Pictures.

He has much knowledge of all things Nickelodeon, having been involved in the production of network mainstays like “Kenan and Kel” and “All That.” He has also worked on the production of Disney Channel series such as “Sonny with a Chance” and “So Random,” as well as CW series like “Smallville” and :”one Tree Hill.” His film credits include Disney’s “Wild Hogs,” DreamWorks’ “Norbit” Sony Pictures’ “Radio.”

And he brings a unique perspective to the job. Robbins started his career in the entertainment business as an actor, having a role in the sitcom “Head of the Class.”

More TV

  • Friends From College

    'Friends From College' Canceled by Netflix

    Netflix has canceled comedy series “Friends From College” after two seasons. “Friends from College will not return for a third season,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “We’re grateful to creators Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco for creating a wise, funny and supremely relatable show. We also want to thank the hard-working crew, [...]

  • Mandy Moore

    Mandy Moore Opens Up About Her Marriage to Ryan Adams: ‘I Was So Sad’

    Mandy Moore opened up about her marriage to Ryan Adams on Monday’s episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. While the interview was taped before the publication of the Feb. 13 New York Times report in which multiple women, including Moore, accuse Adams of sexual misconduct or emotionally abusive behavior, she speaks freely about the “unhealthy dynamic” in [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • Desus Nice The Kid Mero

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of Feb. 18, 2019: Academy Awards, 'Desus & Mero'

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, the Academy Awards air and Desus & Mero make their debut on Showtime. [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BBC Takes Stake in New Company Set Up by ‘Luther,’ ‘Bodyguard’ Exec

    BBC Studios has taken a minority stake in Firebird Pictures, the new drama indie being set up by BBC execs Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Craig Holleworth. Kilgarriff’s credits include “Luther,” “Poldark,” “McMafia” and upcoming Richard Gere-starrer “MotherFatherSon.” She commissioned breakout drama hit “Bodyguard.” Holleworth will be the new company’s COO, having run business and operations for [...]

  • Punisher Jessica Jones

    Marvel's 'The Punisher,' 'Jessica Jones' Canceled at Netflix

    The last of Netflix’s Marvel shows are officially ending. “The Punisher” has been canceled after its second season, and the upcoming third season of “Jessica Jones” will be its last, Netflix confirmed on Monday. The announcement comes after Netflix gave the ax to its other Marvel series: “Daredevil,” “Iron First,” and “Luke Cage.” “Marvel’s ‘The Punisher’ will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content