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Nickelodeon upfront gives kids more comedy, curriculum and community


TeenageMutant

Kidcaster Nickelodeon unveiled a new slate of content at its upfront presentation yesterday that directly targets today’s generation of kids – known as post-Millennials -   with more comedy series, educational preschool programming and mobile and online-integrated content.

According to new Nickelodeon research, the post-millennial demo, which is comprised of kids born later than 2005, is more tied to family life than ever before, with 90% of kids believing their parents are their heroes. Research findings also show that today’s kids crave more comedy in their lives.

In appealing to the masses, the network has introduced a lineup of new animated and live-action comedy series. Among the new animated projects is Sanjay & Craig, an animated series about a boy and his snake, from creators Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi (The Adventures of Pete & Pete) and newcomers Jim Dirschberger, Jay Howell and Andreas Trolf. New series Breadwinners features two booty-shaking ducks who operate a bread delivery service out of their rocket van.  Additional new animated projects include the previously announced Rabbids, based on Ubisoft’s successful Rabbids video games, and Monsters vs. Aliens in partnership with DreamWorks Animation.  Nickelodeon also greenlit a third season of its animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which debuted last year and has since spawned a multi-category licensing program.

On the  live-action front, two new family comedy series were announced, including The Haunted Hathaways, created by comedy writer-producer Robert Peacock (Reba, The Jeff Foxworthy Show), and The Thundermans, from Jed Spingarn, who most recently served as co-executive producer of the Nickelodeon series Big Time Rush. The latter is about the sibling rivalry between twins in a family of superheroes. These two series join the previously announced live-action series Sam & Cat and the recently launched Wendell & Vinnie.

For preschoolers, the network is adding four brand-new educational series to its 2013-2014 season that include Dora spinoff Dora and Friends, literacy-based series Wallykazam!, Blaze and the Monster Machines, which follows the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum, and the CG-animated Peter Rabbit.  In addition, Nick will premiere new episodes of mainstays Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi and Dora the Explorer.

Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami also unveiled the network’s strategy for more innovative modes of content delivery. Featured on the recently released Nick App, an interactive platform that has garnered roughly 400,000 downloads since launching last week, is content from a new live afternoon daypart called Nick Studio 10. Beginning this spring, content created on the show will also migrate from on-air to the app, and content from the app will also be featured on the series. Nickelodeon is also partnering with Brian Robbins (Smallville, One Tree Hill, Coach Carter)  to co-develop a new half-hour sketch comedy show that features a mix of new and existing content from the popular tween-targeted online channel AwesomenessTV.

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