Nickelodeon is bolstering its preschool lineup with the July debut of a new series created by children’s TV legends Sid and Marty Krofft and Bradley Zweig, and a third-season order for Blaze and the Monster Machines.
Debuting on July 10, new series Mutt & Stuff is a 20-ep live actioner, created and exec produced by the Krofft brothers and Zweig (Yo Gabba Gabba!, Wallykazam!, The Fresh Beat Band). The series stars 16-year-old Calvin Millan, and his dad Cesar (star of Cesar 911 and Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan), who also serves as an executive producer.
Airing regularly on Fridays on Nickelodeon, the series follows Calvin and his best friend, larger-than-life dog Stuff, as they take preschoolers inside the doors of canine school Mutt & Stuff. The two interact with a cast of real animals and puppets.
Featuring messages of responsible pet care and adoption, the series is part of the Millans’ animal care outreach, including the Cesar Millan Foundation, which supports an elementary school program that teaches kids empathy and compassion for animals. The program has been taught in more than 1,200 school districts in the US and Canada.
The show is also the second recent commission for the Kroffts, who recently inked a development deal with Amazon Studios to make a reimagined pilot of their 1970s classic series Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.
Mixing live actors and puppetry, the Kroffts had several hit shows in the ’70s and ’80s, including H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville and Land Of The Lost.
Nickelodeon has also greenlit a 20-ep third season of preschool series Blaze and the Monster Machine in advance of the second season going to air this fall on the Nick Jr. block.
In the new episodes, Blaze cranks up the power on his monster machine transformations by turning himself into a rocket, a fire engine, a catapult, a cannon and a Formula One-style racer. Celebrity guest voices have also been lined up, including Joe Manganiello (True Blood) as Fire Chief and Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) as Sphinx.