Always on the prowl for innovative non-U.S. kids product for its 142 global kid offerings, Nickelodeon Worldwide Development Group will produce two new half-hour specials/pilots to air on all international Nick channels in spring 2000. NWDG’s mandate is to scout for internationally originated programming and to encourage worldwide prodcos to pitch to Nick.
The Group’s first live-action commission, Who Dares Wayne?, stars an outlandish host who travels the world and acts out kid-originated dares like eating raw eggs and frogs and swimming with sharks. Sporting an Elvis coif and a flaming red jumpsuit, Wayne was first introduced in a Nick Australia show called Hot Chunks. His new vehicle, which targets kids ages seven to 14, will be shot in Japan and Australia.
On the animated side, Toons From Planet Orange II will showcase the six winning storyboard ideas that come out of the Nickelodeon Global Animation Storyboard Competition, which drew submissions from 25 countries. NWDG awards the winners with funding to render the concepts into short cartoons for the special. A panel of global animators (including Sweden-based Happy Life’s Magnus Carlsson and Luis Cook, creative director of U.K. toon studio Aardman Animations) will judge the contest in mid-November. The first Toons From Planet Orange special spawned further development and first look deals around two toons: Snout from Australian prodco Fudge Puppy and Spider and Fly, which was developed into a 10 x one-minute short series by U.K.-based Elm Road.
NWDG is considering developing the two new shows into series depending on the amount of buzz generated from the specials’ spring 2000 global launches. Who Dares Wayne? and Toons From Planet Orange II will also roll out on Nick’s latest channel offerings in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
A co-venture between Nickelodeon and India’s most prominent cable and satellite programmer Zee Network, the 24-hour Nick India debuted on October 16 with staple Nick programming like Rugrats, Catdog and Angry Beavers. Airing similar lineups, the Bangladesh channel launched last month with regional cable distributor Nationwide Communications, while Nick Nepal is a co-venture with Space Time Network. JL