Nickelodeon is kicking off the holidays with a SpongeBob SquarePants special premiering on November 25 in the US. SpongeBob MerryPants follows along as the famous sea sponge and his pals blast through space, where they encounter Santa Claus after a toy explosion, with actor and producer Lewis Black (Inside Out) voicing the jolly old Christmas icon.
Produced by Viacom Digital Studios, Nick is also launching a new seven-episode series called Bikini Bottom Mysteries on Facebook Watch and YouTube this month. It focuses primarily on secondary characters from the franchise, such as Frank the Fish, Purple Doctor Fish, Harold and Mable.
SpongeBob SquarePants first premiered on the channel in 1999, and is now in its 11th season on air, with a master toy partner, fashion collaborations and two movies keeping the brand’s public profile up. A third SpongeBob film is due for release in 2020, with oversight from the kidcaster’s newly appointed EVP of animation Ramsey Naito, who originally worked on the project with Viacom’s Paramount division. The franchise will also be one of 14 featured properties at Nick’s first indoor theme park, which is opening in Chongqing, China in December 2020.