EXCLUSIVE: 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 …
EXCLUSIVE: 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 oversee 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.
EXCLUSIVE: 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, based 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.
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.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: Nickelodeon has ordered a 22-episode second season of promising new comedy series Haunted Hathaways. Additionally, the cable network has picked up a third season of Nick at Nite‘s See Dad Run with an order for 13 episodes. In its first season, Haunted Hathaways is drawing 2.3 million total viewers and averages a 4.0/1.3M with kids 2-11 and a 5.0/959K with kids 6-11. The series is posting 13% year-over-year gains with kids 2-11 and 6-11 in the Saturday 8:30 PM slot. In its second season, See Dad Run is averaging 1.2 million total viewers, up 3% among adults 18-49 in the Sunday 8 PM period.
Following a much publicized ratings slump, Nickelodeon has been on a rebound, finishing the recent third quarter up 12% vs. 2012. Since May, Nick has successfully launched five new series: Sam & Cat, Haunted Hathaways, Instant Mom (on Nick at Nite), Sanjay & Craig, and Paw Patrol. Nick’s next live-action series, The Thundermans, premieres November 2.
EXCLUSIVE: The kids cable channel has greenlighted a 26-episode second season of the hit animated preschool series based on the characters created by Beatrix Potter in her classic children’s book series. Launched on Nickelodon in December 2012, …
This spring, the Writers Guild of America, West demanded a $3 million bond from Nickelodeon because of “chronically late residuals payment and inadequate reporting practices”. At that time, the Guild threatened to issue a stop work order …
The company’s leading Wall Street critic, Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger, raises the provocative idea this morning in a report that questions whether Viacom‘s stock — now hovering around its all-time high — can continue to rise. The share price has appreciated 55.4% so far in 2013 as investors grew confident that the company had reversed a startling decline in Nickelodeon’s ratings that began to show in late 2011. CEO Philippe Dauman says the turnaround largely reflects the success of new programs including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But Juenger says this morning that the ratings gains — and improvements in ad sales — are about to slow. Nickelodeon benefited in part because it began to target pre-Kindergarten viewers from 8:30 AM-2 PM — loading up on programs such as Dora The Explorer, Umizoomi, and Bubble Guppies – while Nick Jr focused on franchises “with arguably less audience appeal.” As a result “Nick Jr. lost about 250-300k average daily viewers [while] Nickelodeon gained about 100k.” Meanwhile, Nickelodeon squeezed SpongeBob SquarePants which now accounts for 45% of the channel’s programming hours, up from 25% in January 2012. “We know of no other network that relies so heavily on one single franchise,” Juenger says. It’s “undeniably risky to be so dependent on one franchise, especially
There appears to be a trend here that might disturb studios that released family films with the expectation of seeing a windfall from licensed merchandise sales. The new pre-holiday recommendations from Toys ‘R Us (it lists its “Fabulous 15″) and Walmart (it has 23 items it says were “Chosen by Kids”) feature TV characters including Disney Junior’s Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins, Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Sesame Street’s Elmo. But when it comes to films, Toys ‘R Us suggests one from Universal’s Despicable Me 2, and Walmart has something from Disney’s Planes — but there’s nothing from DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo, Fox’s Epic, Pixar’s Monsters University, or Sony’s Smurfs 2. It’s a sign of a larger trend says International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association SVP Marty Brochstein. “TV seems to be grabbing more of the attention and shelf space,” he says. Some film properties were hurt by the summer’s animation glut.
Nickelodeon has greenlighted two new animated series, Bad Seeds and Pig Goat Banana Cricket, ordering 26 episodes of each. In addition, the kids network has ordered four live-action pilots – Smart Alec form veteran producer Tommy Lynch; Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Don; Twang; and Untitled Cheerleader Project, – greenlighted a pair of digital series (Welcome to the Wayne and Junior Eye), and inked young actors Noah Urrea, Jace Norman and Haley Tju to talent deals from its recent talent showcase at The Groundlings in LA. This marks the first greenlight slate for Russell Hicks as Nick’s President, Content Development and Production. “All these projects represent fresh, new creative voices from diverse backgrounds who want to make great, funny content for kids,” he said. Here are details on all newly ordered series:
EXCLUSIVE: Nickelodeon has ordered 6 more episodes of The Haunted Hathaways, bringing the supernatural comedy’s freshman season to 26 episodes. The Haunted Hathaways will return with originals on September 14 at 8:30 PM. Since its July 13 launch, which drew solid 3.3 million total viewers, the live-action series has averaged 2.8 million total viewers, 1.5M K2-11 and 1.1M K6-11, improving its time period by double digits. The Haunted Hathaways joins another new Nick comedy series whose freshman season was recently supersized, Nick at Nite/NickMom’s Instant Mom.
NEW YORK, July 25, 2013 — Nickelodeon and Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), today announced a new global, multi-year agreement to develop and publish video games featuring pop culture phenomenon SpongeBob SquarePants. The first game to be published in the new partnership will be SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge, an all-new action-adventure video game set to be released on Oct. 22 for the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Nintendo Wii™ and Wii U™ systems, and the Nintendo DS™ and 3DS™ handheld systems.