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, with 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 »
Nickelodeon 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 order, 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 »
UPDATED: Nickelodeon is expanding its 26-year-old 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.
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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 … Read More »
This 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, … Read More »
UPDATE: 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 … Read More »
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. Read More »
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 »
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 … Read More »
Nickelodeon has ordered 40 half-hour episodes of Go Viral, a studio game show that features kid contestants as they compete in elimination challenges revolving around viral videos. Each round will test kids on the … Read More »
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.
Related: Nick Two Animated Series, Four Live-Action Pilots
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. Read More »
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, … Read More »
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 … Read More »
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 Read More »
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. Read More »
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: Read More »
Comedy writer-producer Andy Gordon has set up half-hour projects at Fox and Nickelodeon. At Fox, he has Falling Into Place, a multi-camera ensemble comedy about five college friends who, four or five years out of … Read More »
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. Read More »