Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Nickelodeon went all out at its 2009 upfront presentation to media buyers this morning in New York, unveiling plans to launch seven new series, including the first project from Michael Eisner’s Tornante Animation.
Amid the glitz of celeb appearances and presentations, and the appointment of hip-hop artist Nick Cannon as honorary chairman of TEENick, Nickelodeon highlighted its plans to add seven new series to join the roster that includes top-rated SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly. The new series, a range of live-action and animated shows, TV movies and game shows, will target all kid-friendly audiences, from preschoolers to family-friendly entertainment and the net will unveil details in the coming months.
The one Nick did talk about was Glenn Martin, DDS, a stop-motion action comedy slated to premier on Nick at Nite this summer, from ex-Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s Tornante Animation. The series revolves around title character Glenn the dentist and his family as they abandon suburbia for a life of road-tripping across the US in their dental-mobile.
Nick at Nite is looking to strengthen its programming with co-viewing entertainment, said Marjorie Cohn, EVP of development and original programming, as the block has seen 16 consecutive months of double-digit, year-over-year growth in audience delivery.
Nickelodeon proper now attracts 45% of the K2-11 share of viewing among the three major kidnets in total day for Q1 2009 to-date, according to Nielsen Media Research. The net also holds the top position on Saturday mornings with 81% of kids two to 11, 74% with kids six to 11, 77% of tweens nine to 14, and 78% with teens 12 to 17.
The kidnet is also planning to unify all its TV channels – Noggin, The N, Nicktoons Network – and various websites under the Nickelodeon brand, starting in Q4. Noggin, as previously announced, is being renamed Nick Jr. and The N will take on its new moniker TEENick.
As for Nick Cannon, he’ll serve as creative consultant in his new chairman role on TEENick, lending his vision to several projects for the net and its development slate. He’ll also have an on-air, online and behind-the-scenes presence, working with the respective teams to execute new ideas across multiple platforms.
Among the projects, Cannon is hosting and executive producing TEENick’s Halo Awards (working title), a new hour-long special that celebrates ordinary teens who make a difference in the world. Cannon and his celeb friends will be travelling the US to find everyday teens doing great things for their community to help inspire young viewers. Production on the series is slated to begin this summer, and makes its small-screen debut in winter 2009.
Cannon will also serve as executive producer on a new original two-hour TV movie for the kidnet, currently in development.
Finally, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products unveiled a chain-wide retail exclusive with Wal-Mart that’s aiming to celebrate SpongeBob SquarePants’ 10th anniversary. For the month of March, the retail behemoth is hosting ‘The Happy Place’, which will feature an array of SpongeBob merch, including exclusive apparel, limited-edition DVDs, a new CD and exclusive SpongeBob plush and toys.