You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nickelodeon Alum Russell Hicks Launches Curiosity Ink Media (EXCLUSIVE)

Nickelodeon alum Russell Hicks has teamed with three other industry veterans to launch the family-friendly content production banner Curiosity Ink Media.

Based in Los Angeles, The company has ambitious plans to venture into TV animation and live-action programs, VR, publishing, and live event production starting in early 2019. Curiosity is also in hunt for vintage cartoon and family entertainment characters and brands that can be brought back into the public eye with TV shows, books, and merchandising. The venture is being financed with the backing of a what is described as a handful of high net worth private investors.

Hicks, the exec who shepherded such hits as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Dora the Explorer” during his 18-year run at Nickelodeon, serves as president and chief creative officer of Curiosity Ink. Brent Watts, formerly creative director of ad agency Struck, is chief strategy officer. Michealene Cristini Risley, a filmmaker and former creative executive with Zynga, has been named CEO. Publishing veteran Jon Rosenberg, formerly with MGM’s licensing arm, is exec VP of publishing, overseeing books and merchandising and other physical content. 

“Attracting the most accomplished and respected professionals in entertainment, digital media, advertising and publishing to bring Curiosity Ink to life reflects our commitment to offering today’s kids and families premium entertainment experiences that reflect both their sensibilities as well as their passion for entertainment on a variety of platforms,” said Hicks.

Curiosity Ink said it is in the midst of setting up partnerships and production pacts for a range of what it described as “safe, wholesome kids content” on an array of platforms. The company is finalizing agreements to publish six children’s books in the fall through its Curiosity Books banner and eventually ramp up to 24 books per year. The company’s initial focus for all content is the U.S. and Canada but there is hope of expanding internationally as well.

Curiosity said it has access to “groundbreaking technology” that can streamline animation production and reduce the long turnaround time typically needed to deliver cartoons. The company plans to unveil the first of its classic IP revival projects in the fall.

“When you combine Russell Hickss unmatched success in developing wildly successful television combined with Michealene Risley’s huge contributions to interactive entertainment and fuse them with Jon Rosenberg’s stellar reputation in publishing, you’ve nailed the recipe for a winning team,” said Watts.

Hicks left Nickelodeon in 2016 after rising to president of production and development. He was a key player in developing such shows as “The Loud House,” “Henry Danger” and the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” revival.

More TV

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content