Nickelodeon is bringing The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! (pictured) to linear for the first time, following its Broadway run. The kidsnet will film the live show for TV and broadcast it on Nickelodeon this December, with the official air date to be announced in the future.
In the musical created and directed by Tina Landau and written by Kyle Jarrow, a volcano is set to erupt in SpongeBob’s hometown of Bikini Bottom and the characters have to find a way to save the day. Produced for TV by Austin Shaw with television direction by Glenn Weiss, Nickelodeon execs Paul Medford, Susan Vargo, Doug Cohn and EVP of unscripted and live events Rob Bagshaw serve as EPs on the live show.
The Broadway musical launched in 2019 and went on to earn 12 Tony Award nominations. Despite the accolades, the live show closed after being on Broadway for less than a year. The musical has since hit the road and a North American tour is ongoing.
In other Nickelodeon news, the kidsnet picked up another 13 episodes of its rebooted ’90s sketch-comedy All That (bringing the first season to a total of 26 episodes). Executive produced by Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Kevin Kay, Jermaine Fowler, Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert, the live-action show is shot in front of a studio audience. Launched in 1994 and spanning 171 episodes across 10 seasons until 2005, All That is Nickelodeon’s longest running live-action series and the kidsnet announced it was being brought back at its upfronts in February.
Disney Channel has ordered a fourth season of its family sitcom Raven’s Home, with production starting later this year. The kidsnet has not announced how many episodes the new season will have, but it will be joining the show’s existing 60 x 22-minute episodes airing on Disney Channel and Disney XD in the US. A spinoff of Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven, which ran from 2003 to 2007, the new series sets the psychic character Raven as a single mom of teen twins who share their mother’s gift to be able to glimpse the future. Developed by Scott Thomas and Jed Elinoff and created by That’s So Raven creators Michael Poryes and Susan Sherman, the series is produced by Disney-owned It’s a Laugh Productions.
London-based distributor Jetpack picked up international distribution rights to CBBC’s Katy. The live-action drama series (three x half-hour episodes or one 90-minute film), is based on the eponymous book by English writer Jacqueline Wilson (Tracy Beaker series). For eight- to 11-year-olds, the show is written by Tom Bidwell and explores what happens when tomboy Katy falls from a makeshift swing and suffers serious spinal injuries.
Jetpack has also snagged the rights to Malaysian studio Lil Creature Workshop’s 60 x five minute series Buck + Buddy. In this 2D-animated non-dialogue comedy a beetle and a stick insect search for objects to help them survive while competing, living and playing together.
Big Jump Entertainment
Ottawa-based animation studio Big Jump Entertainment is partnering with Australian kids TV producer Moody Street Kids and Irish prodco Telegael to co-produce the animated series Big Words, Small Stories. The 65 x five-minute 2D-animated show is based on a book series published by Corus-owned Kids Can Press. Written by Judith Henderson and illustrated by T.L. McBeth, the book is about four kids and their anthropomorphic pets who learn new words through their adventures. Production will begin in Q1 2020 with delivery scheduled for Q4 2020 or early 2021, according to a Big Jump spokesperson.
Australian licensing agency Haven Global has signed a deal with popular YouTube brand Vlad and Nikita (27.8 million subscribers) to develop new content and a global consumer products program. Launched in 2018, the kid-focused YouTube channel combines animation with live-action and follows the kids Vlad and Nikita as they sing, play with toys and do different challenges. The social media stars’ most popular videos include “Vlad and Nikita Ride On The Bus” with 392 million views and “Vlad and Nikita Ride on Toy Sportbike & play with toys” with 304 million views.