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Nickelodeon’s ‘Sam & Cat’ To End Run After One Season

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 11:18am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Nickelodeon’s ‘Sam & Cat’ To End Run After One SeasonAfter being put on a “permanent hiatus” in April following some behind-the-scene drama, Nickelodeon hit comedy series Sam & Cat has been being officially cancelled, with promos for the last produced episode, No. 36, #Getting Wiggy, calling it a series finale. “Nickelodeon will not be producing more episodes of Sam & Cat,” the network said in a statement. “We are very proud of the show and its very talented cast and we wish them all the best.”

Sam & Cat had been a runaway success by any measure. The series, from proven hitmaker Dan Schneider, brought together two popular characters from two popular Nick series – iCarlys Sam Puckett and Victorious‘ Cat Valentine — played by two of the network’s best-known stars and best friends, Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande, respectively. The series has been a ratings hit, quickly becoming Nickelodeon’s highest-rated series. Last July, only a month into Sam & Cat’s run, Nick doubled its freshman order from 20 to 40 episodes. Its hourlong Jan. 18 episode drew 4.8 million total viewers.

But as production went on for Sam & Cat‘s 40-episode first season, rumors started circulating about discord on the set, with emotions running high and McCurdy and Grande sometimes showing up late. The grueling, 40-episode shoot had been taxing on everyone. Additionally, McCurdy had been going through a difficult time in her personal life for the past six months and recently had to deal with the leak of racy photos, while Grande’s music career … Read More »

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Netflix Lands Former Nickelodeon SVP Brian Wright

By | Monday July 7, 2014 @ 10:50am PDT

Netflix Lands Former Nickelodeon SVP Brian WrightEXCLUSIVE: He waited just over a month to make his next move and now Brian Wright is making his home at Netflix. The former Nickelodeon SVP of live-action development will lead the charge on original kids and family programming for the streaming service, I’ve learned. In his senior exec role, Wright will report to Cindy Holland, who is Netflix’s VP, Content Acquisition/Original Series. Wright’s new duties will see him overseeing exclusive live-action, animated and pre-school series for Netflix and Netflix Kids like DreamWorks Animation‘s Turbo FAST series.

BRIAN WRIGHT EXECAs my colleague Nellie Andreeva reported on May 27, Wright exited Nickelodeon that day after 7 years at the kid’s basic cable network. His exit came just four months after Nickelodeon upped head of casting Sarah Noonan to SVP Live Action Content, overseeing live-action development and production. Previous to joining the Viacom-owned Nickelodeon, Wright was at Lifetime as well as Greg Berlanti’s production company at WBTV.

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PBS, Led By ‘Sesame Street’, Tops The Daytime Emmy Creative Arts Winners

PBS, Led By ‘Sesame Street’, Tops The Daytime Emmy Creative Arts WinnersThe 41st Annual Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held Friday night at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles drawing 1,200 attendees for The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences gala.  Among networks, PBS chalked up the most wins at 12, followed by Nickelodeon (10), syndicated shows (10), CBS (8), HUB Network (6), TOLN.com (5), ABC (3), Cooking Channel (3), Cartoon Network (2), MeTV (2), YouTube (2), Disney Channel (1), HGTV (1), MTV (1), mipromise.com (1) and OWN (1).  Among TV shows, the wins were as follows: Sesame Street (6), The Ellen DeGeneres Show (5), The Bold and the Beautiful (4), Peg+Cat (3), All My Children (3), Giada in Paradise (3), Peter Rabbit (3), The Young and the Restless (3), Bubble Guppies (2), General Hospital (2), Green Screen Adventures (2), Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (2), Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin (2), One Life to Live (2), The Scarecrow (2), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2) and Transformers: Prime Beast Hunters (2).

All winners are listed below by category: Read More »

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Nickelodeon Greenlights Fourth Season Of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

By | Tuesday June 17, 2014 @ 4:06pm PDT

Nickelodeon Greenlights Fourth Season Of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’Ahead of Season 3′s debut this fall, Nickelodeon has picked up a fourth season of the CG-animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a 20-episode order. It’s slated to premiere in fall 2015. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been a global hit, maintaining impressive numbers across the network’s ratings and our digital and consumer products platforms,” said Russell Hicks, President of Content Development and Production at Nickelodeon. “While new episodes will continue to debut on Nickelodeon, we look forward to propelling the momentum with a fourth season for our loyal fans.”

Season 3 will kick off with Robot Chicken’s Seth Green joining the voice cast alongside Sean Astin, Rob Paulsen, Greg Cipes, Mae Whitman, Hoon Lee, and Kevin Michael Richardson, Josh Peck and Corey Feldman. Ciro Nieli is exec producer. Read More »

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Nickelodeon Greenlights ‘The Loud House’ From Its Animated Shorts Program

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 10:10am PDT

LoudHouseNickelodeon has ordered 13 episodes of The Loud House, from first-time creator Chris Savino. The animated series, about a chaotic life growing up in a huge household, is based on a short from Nick’s 2013 Animated Shorts Program. This is the first project from that initiative, launched in 2012 and designed to identify and develop original comedy-driven content for kids. Pitches chosen are developed into animated shorts with the potential to air on the network or live on the Nick App. The short from Savino (Rocko’s Modern Life, The Powerpuff Girls) follows 11-year-old Lincoln as he gives an inside look at what it takes to survive in the bedlam of a large family, especially as the only boy with 10 sisters. It will air on Nick. The news today dovetails with Nickelodeon announcing the 11 finalists from its 2014 Animated Shorts Program. They are:

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Nick At Nite Adds ‘How I Met Your Mother’, ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ & ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ To Primetime Lineup

By | Wednesday May 28, 2014 @ 12:40pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

All 208 episodesnickatnight of How I Met Your Mother, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air‘s entire 148-episode run and all 212 episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond have been added to Nick at Nite‘s primetime lineup. HIMYM will bow in early fall, followed by Fresh Prince in October and Raymond in early 2015. The deals are not exclusive. “How I Met Your Mother, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and Everybody Loves Raymond are perfect additions to Nick at Nite’s lineup of proven hit series with great characters like Full House and originals like Instant Mom,” said Russell Hicks, President of Content Development and Production at Nickelodeon Group.

Related: ‘HIMYM’ DVD Set To Include Alternate Ending To Series Finale

How I Met Your Mother recently wrapped its nine-season run with over 13 million total viewers tuning in to the finale. The Emmy-winning comedy Everybody Loves Raymond ran in primetime on CBS for nine seasons, consistently ranking among the top 10 programs on television beginning with the 2000-01 season. The Ray Romano starrer also has consistently ranked in the top five of all syndicated programming. The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air ran from 1990-96. It stars Will Smith as a version of himself who is sent to live with his aunt’s family in Bel-Air to escape the dangers of inner-city Philadelphia.

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Nickelodeon SVP Development Brian Wright Exits

By | Tuesday May 27, 2014 @ 11:44am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

wrightEXCLUSIVE: Nickelodeon‘s SVP of live-action development Brian Wright has left the network effective today. “Brian Wright has decided to leave Nickelodeon after 7 years,” a rep for the network confirmed to Deadline. Wright, who joined Nick as VP live-action development in 2007, was promoted to SVP, overseeing all live-action development and pilot production, in 2012. He reported to Nickelodeon Group president of original programming Marjorie Cohn who exited last year. Wright’s departure comes four months after Nickelodeon upped head of casting Sarah Noonan to SVP Live Action Content, overseeing live-action development and production. Wright, who worked under her, most recently worked on the development of Instant Mom, The Thundermans and Haunted Hathaways, which are currently on the air, and recent greenlights Nicky Ricky Dicky Dawn and Bella And The Bullfrogs. He previously shepherded such projects that have gone to series as Big Time Rush, Victorious, Supah Ninjas, How To Rock, Marvin Marvin and Nick At Nite’s first original scripted series, comedy See Dad Run.

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Nickelodeon Renews ‘Breadwinners’ For Second Season

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 10:28am PDT

BWS_Press_Art_C_COLOR_Bread_Maker_v08_GD[1]EXCLUSIVE: There’s going to be more Breadwinners flyin’ around on Nickelodeon. The cable network said today it will be bringing the animated series about a duck duo and their rocket van delivery service back for a second season with a 20-episode order. “The popularity and success of Breadwinners is a testament to our commitment to creator-driven animation,” said Nickelodeon’s Russell Hicks, President, Content Development and Production. “We’re thrilled to bring our audience another season of this great show as part of our continued pledge to building our pipeline of original animation.” Nickelodeon picked up the show from animator from Gary “Doodles” DiRaffaele and former MAD and Teen Titans Go! writer Steve Borst last February. Discovered in Nickelodeon’s 2012 Animated Shorts Program, the first season of 20-episodes starting airing in February of this year on Saturdays.

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Joel Johnstone Joins ABC’s ‘The Astronaut Wives Club’; Rahart Adams In Nickelodeon’s ‘Every Witch Way’

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 1:30pm PDT

Joel Johnstone (Getting On, The Newsroom)joeljohnstone1 has been cast in ABC’s 10-episode drama series The Astronaut Wives Club, from Fake Empire, Groundswell Productions and ABC Studios. Written by Stephanie Savage based on Lily Koppel’s book and directed by Nick Cassavetes, it tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history during the height of the space race. Johnstone, repped by BRS/Gage and Working Entertainment, will play Gus Grissom, an average student and athlete who may be the least likely astronaut but proves himself to be one of NASA’s top men. He’s an extraordinary engineer who flies on the Mercury and Gemini missions, and becomes the first man to go into space twice.
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UPDATE: Future Of Nickelodeon Series ‘Sam & Cat’ In Limbo Amid Behind-The-Scenes Drama

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE, WEDNESDAY AM: The behind-the-scene drama on Sam & Cat is not subsiding. I hear the show has been put on a “permanent hiatus” a few episodes early, samcatwith everyone on the crew let go except for those working in post-production.

PREVIOUS, TUESDAY PM: Nickelodeon‘s comedy Sam & Cat has been a runaway success by any measure. The series, from proven hitmaker Dan Schneider, brought together two popular characters from two popular Nick series – iCarly’s Sam Puckett and Victorious‘ Cat Valentine — played by two of the network’s best-known stars and best friends, Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande, respectively. The series has been a ratings hit, quickly becoming Nickelodeon’s highest-rated series. In July, only a month into Sam & Cat’s run, Nick doubled its freshman order from 20 to 40 episodes. Its hourlong January 18 episode drew 4.8 million total viewers and ranked as Nick’s highest-rated telecast with kids 6-11 in two years.

Related: Nickelodeon Greenlights New Comedy From Dan Schneider

But as Sam & Cat is wrapping production on its 40-episode first season, there is no word on Season 2 — a very unusual development for such a successful series. There has been talk about discord on the set, with emotions running high and McCurdy and Grande sometimes showing up late. The grueling, 40-episode shoot has been taxing on everyone. Additionally, McCurdy had been going through a difficult time in her personal life for the past six months and recently had to deal with the leak of racy photos, while Grande’s music career has taken off a big time. Both have been at Nickelodeon for a long time, McCurdy for more than seven years and Grande for more than four. Both are entering adulthood, and word is both feel constrained at kids-focused Nickelodeon and are ready to move on. Read More »

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Nickelodeon Greenlights New Comedy From Dan Schneider, Two Other Live-Action Series

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 9:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

schneiderdanNickelodeon has given a 20-episode order to Henry Danger, a new crime-fighting comedy from the network’s top creator Dan Schneider who is behind eight Nick live-action series from the past two decades, Sam & Cat, Victorious, iCarly, Zoey 101, Drake & Josh, The Amanda Show, Kenan & Kel and All That. Additionally, at its upfront today Nick is announcing the pickup of two other new live-action comedy series. High school/cheerleading sitcom Bella And The Bullfrogs, which has a 12-episode nickelodeonlogo__120202055840__130313194719order, was written by Gabriel Garza and Jonathan Butler (The Haunted Hathaways). Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, greenlit for 13 episodes, centers on a set of quadruplets. It was created by Matt Fleckenstein. Here are details on the new series. Read More »

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Nickelodeon Unveils Kids’ Choice Sports Awards; Sets Four New Series For 2014-15

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 8:04am PDT

UPDATED:  Nickelodeon is expanding its 26-year-oldnick5 Kids’ Choice Awards franchise to include the world of sports, and will debut four new preschool series as part of its 2014-2015 slate, it announced today at its upfront. The inaugural  Kids Sports Choice 2014 will honor kids’ favorite athletes, teams and sports moments from the year. It’s set for July 17 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion with Michael Strahan as host. The event will also feature a daring, slime-filled sports stunt performed on a star athlete’s home turf, a special halftime live musical performance and top athletes competing outside their sports realm for a KCS, according to Nickelodeon. A Kids’ Choice Sports council consisting of influencers in the sporting world will lend their expertise and experience to help inform the awards show, consult on the nominee process and give feedback on categories. Members of the committee include: Baron Davis, Ken Griffey Jr., Lisa Leslie, Cal Ripken Jr., Deion Sanders, and Misty May-Treanor among others. Ian Stewart and Hamish Hamilton of Done and Dusted will executive produce, with Hamilton also serving as director of the show. Constance Schwartz of SMAC Entertainment is also an executive producer.

Related: Nickelodeon Greenlights New Comedy From Dan Schneider, Two Other Live-Action Series

Nickelodeon says it will roll out four new preschool series in 2014-15. They are Shimmer & Shine, an animated show starring twin genies-in-training and featuring an emotional-intelligence curriculum; and Fresh Beat Band Of Spies, an animated version of the hit live-action series The Fresh Beat Band. They join Dora and Friends: Into the City! and Blaze And The Monster Machines, In all, Nickelodeon says it’s is premiering more than 100 new episodes of educational preschool series. Here are details on the new series.

Read More »

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Nickelodeon Digital General Manager Steve Youngwood Exits

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 7:54pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

youngwoodEXCLUSIVE: Steve Youngwood, EVP and General Manager of Digital for Nickelodeon, is leaving the company. The 14-year Nick veteran announced his departure in an internal memo to the staff today. Youngwood has led and managed the network’s digital content businesses and operations since 2006. His oversight included Nick.com, NickJr.com as well as gaming, publishing, and video across all retail and digital platforms. He also oversaw the acquisition and integration of several companies, including Neopets, AddictingGames, Shockwave, and Babunga. Youngwood previously was SVP Media Products for Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products and before that was in the Corporate Business Development and Strategy Group. His departure follows last month’s exit of two other high-ranking Nick veterans, EVP Paula Kaplan and SVP Sal Maniaci.

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Nickelodeon Taps Sarah Noonan To Head Live-Action Programming, Jay Schmalholz To Run Live Events

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 11:10am PST
Nellie Andreeva

jaysarannoonanEXCLUSIVE: Nickelodeon has promoted head of casting Sarah Noonan to SVP Live Action Content and On-Air Promotions Creative Director Jay Schmalholz to SVP Live Event Television. Noonan will oversee all development, casting and live-action production for the kids network; Schmalholz will Nickelodeon__130926205804-e1380229120953-200x90oversee productions for Nick’s award shows and other events, including the Kids’ Choice Awards franchise. They will report to Russell Hicks, President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon Group. Noonan and Schmalholz succeed EVP Paula Kaplan and SVP Sal Maniaci, who exited last week. Read More »

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Viacom To Launch Customized Kids’ TV Channel: WSJ

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 1:38pm PST

viacom-logo-5__121023210511__130718211402-200x97This sounds like it could be a parents’ dream-come-true. Viacom is planning to launch a new TV channel for kids that can be customized according to parents’ tastes and combines both scheduled programming and on-demand options, such as Netflix, the Wall Street Journal reports. My Nickelodeon Jr will be available first on Verizon’s FIOS service, but Viacom plans to bring it to other pay-TV cable operators in the near nick-jr-logofuture, according to the Journal. Parents will be able to personalize the content by choosing their preference for seven themes such as “word play,” “super-sonic science,” and “get creative.” Based on those preferences, My Nick Jr. will choose content to air from hundreds of episodes in the Nick Jr. library. Children can weigh in by clicking on smile or frown icons, and the service will tweak the programming lineup accordingly. It’s similar to the thumbs-up and thumbs-down rating system used by Pandora and other music services to personalize streaming stations. Parents also can get reports on what their children watch and can program the channel to shut off after a set period. The premium channel will have no ads, according to the Journal.

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UPDATE: Nickelodeon’s EVP Paula Kaplan & SVP Sal Maniaci Exit

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 4:11pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

maniaciUPDATE: 4:10 PM: I’ve also learned that another Nickelodeon veteran, Sal Maniaci, is departing the company. He was based in New York and served as SVP of event and original programming, responsible for overseeing production of Nickelodeon’s franchise events, including the Kids’ Choice Awards, the TeenNick HALO Awards and Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play.

paulakaplanPREVIOUS: Another veteran Nickelodeon executive is leaving the company. EVP Paula Kaplan has informed her team today of her departure, a Nickelodeon spokesperson confirmed. Kaplan had been at the network for two decades, she launched and built its Los Angeles Talent Department and grew Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards into a major event. Her exit, first reported by LA Times, comes a year and a half after Russell Hicks was named President, Content Development and Production for the Nickelodeon Group when Kaplan’s title changed from Talent and West Coast General Manager, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, to EVP Current Series. Now three high level Nickelodeon executives who became Hicks reports have left: President content development Margie Cohn, EVP Nickelodeon Prods. Alison Dexter and Kaplan.

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Nick Developing Kids “Crime Procedural” Comedy With Garry Marshall & Aaron Kaplan

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 4:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

marshallEXCLUSIVE: Garry Marshall, who ruled the sitcom world in the 1970s with hit series Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy and The Odd Couple, has teamed with prolific producer Aaron Kaplan for a multi-camera comedy project at Nickelodeon. Marshall will co-write the script with his son, director Scott Marshall (Keeping Up With The Steins), and is set to direct. The multi-camera comedy, bakaplan__130220013414-150x150sed on an idea by Kaplan, features all kids (10 to 12 years old) playing grown-up characters in the vein of Alan Parker’s gangster musical Bugsy Malone starring young Scott Baio and Jodie Foster. Framed as a crime procedural, the sitcom centers on a male cop,  his DA brother and the female judge they both have a crush on. Also a corrupt mayor and the woman who runs the local “malt shoppe” who is “connected”. Garry Marshall, Scott Marshall and Kaplan executive produce. Kaplan and the Marshalls all have a recent history with Nickelodeon. Read More »

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Nick’s ‘Instant Mom’ Renewed For Season 2

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 11:55am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Breakout Nick at Nite/NickMom comedy series Instant Mom has been picked up for a 20-episode second season. Additionally, Nickelodeon also has ordered six more episodes for the series’ current first season, bringing its total to 26 episodes. The multi-camera family comedy stars Tia Mowry-Hardrict as Stephanie, a party girl who trades in Cosmos for carpools when she marries Charlie (Michael Boatman), who already has three kids. “In just a couple months since its debut, Instant Mom has resonated remarkably well with the Nick at Nite and NickMom audiences,” said Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s President of Content Development and Production. The network has been high on the show from the get-go, ordering 7 additional episodes before its premiere. Read More »

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Nickelodeon’s ‘Paw Patrol’ Gets Second Season Pickup

By | Thursday November 14, 2013 @ 6:00am PST

EXCLUSIVE: Nickelodeon’s series about six heroic rescue puppies and their boy Ryder debuted in August and today earned a 26-episode Season 2 pickup. Airing at noon weekdays, Paw Patrol is TV’s top-rated preschooler series in Live+Seven Day. The next season of the show — which focuses on citizenship, social skills and problem-solving — will introduce new characters, vehicles and gadgets. The series from Spin Master Entertainment is rolling out on Nickelodeon’s international channels this month.

Related: Nick Orders Kids Game Show From Ryan Seacrest Prods

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