Nickelodeon Will Launch Imagine’s ‘Astronauts,’ Tyler Perry’s ‘Young Dylan,’ SpongeBob Prequel

SpongeBob SquarePants
Courtesy of Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon plans to launch new series from Imagine Entertainment and Tyler Perry as well as introduce a “SpongeBob Squarepants” prequel series that includes contributions from the voice cast of the original series, all part of its latest bid under top executive Brian Robbins to lure kids and parents to it screens in an era when younger viewers have a dizzying array of other choices.

Robbins, who came aboard as head of Nickelodeon in late 2018, has been eager to inject Nickelodeon with some of the spirit it had when he produced some of its top series, like “Kenan and Kel” and “All That” (He revived the latter series for the network last year). Among his goals has been to launch more programs that can be “co-viewed,”or watched by kids and their parents together; showcase a more diverse range of stories, so that a range of kids from different backgrounds can see themselves in the network’s shows; and expand some of Nick’s already-existing properties.

Nickelodeon unveils its new slate as the media industry gears up for what has in recent years been known as the “kids’ upfront,” a time when ViacomCBS, Walt Disney and WarnerMedia try to call attention to new offerings from Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. The trio often play an important role in the advertising plans of toy marketers; food manufacturers and movie studios.

Nickelodeon intends to launch “The Astronauts,” a ten-episode series co-produced by Imagine Entertainment. The adventure series follows a group of kids who are mistakenly launched into space. The show is executive produced by Imagine Entertainment Chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Imagine Kids+Family President Stephanie Sperber and Daniel Knauf, who also serves as writer and showrunner.  The series is slated to premiere this summer.

The network will also debut “Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan,” a 14-episode live-action series that follows a family that is disrupted by the arrival of an aspiring hip-hop star. The series is currently in production at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Ga., and will premiere Saturday, Feb. 29, at 8:30 eastern. “Big Nate,” a 26-episode animated series, is based on the comic strip by Lincoln Peirce.

Nickelodeon will launch extensions of some of its most popular properties.The network intends to debut a live-action TV movie based on its animated series “The Loud House.” The movie, timed to debut in the fourth quarter around the holidays, is currently casting. “Henry Danger,” which is nearing the end of its run, will live on in the new “Danger Force,” a spin-off series that makes use of some of the original’s best-known characters. And a ten-year-old SpongeBob Squarepants gets the spotlight in the CG-animated “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years,” a 13-episode project.

The network will produce another ten episodes of  the sketch-comedy series “All That,” and commit to new seasons of  “The Casagrandes,” “Blue’s Clues & You,” “PAW Patrol” “Are You Afraid of the Dark,” “Blaze and the Monster Machines,” “Top Elf” and “Bubble Guppies.”