Nickelodeon made its annual Upfront presentation to advertisers earlier this morning, announcing the addition of 700 new episodes of programming from new and returning series to its schedule. Read on for the highlights.
• Heading up the list of brand-new shows is an interactive series that incorporates kid-created content. iCarly is a live-action comedy featuring a lead character who hosts her own web show. The series will launch in September 2007 and star Drake & Josh‘s Miranda Cosgrove. In each episode, Carly will give viewers a specific assignment that relates to the storyline. Viewers will then be directed to a web portal where they can post their own videos to be incorporated into future eps. Nick greenlit 13 half hours of this ‘show within a show.’
• Nick also announced three new animated series for the 2008 schedule.
The Umizumiz will premiere on Noggin featuring an ‘urban repair squad’ that fixes preschoolers’ problems and teaches basic skills such as counting, estimating and recognizing patterns.
Toon entry Bubble Guppies takes a variety show approach to the preschool genre. Set in a CGI underwater classroom full of kelp forests and fantastical coral reefs, the series was created by Robert Scull and Jonny Belt, the minds behind Nick Jr. hit The Backyardigans.
Making Friends emerges from Nick’s TurboNick broadband platform, where it first appeared as a series of shorts. It’s a Flash-animated concept about two girls with opposite personalities. The show is based on Amy Winfrey’s popular online films and will air on Nickelodeon.
• New seasons of The Naked Brothers Band, Just Jordan and new eps of SpongeBob SquarePants, Zoey 101, The Fairly OddParents and Dora the Explorer are also in the offing.
Finally, the web is also a sales focus for Nick’s ad team this year, and new numbers show why.
According to just-released internal stats, Nick.com reached 16.8 million unique visitors in February, up 20% from January and 28% over the same period last year. Meanwhile, Neopets logged 100 million game plays, with 215 million going to sister sites AddictingGames and Shockwave.
Throughout March, Nick will be feeding all of its portals with new content, including a number of tie-ins to the 20th annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31.