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[03/13/08 - 10:19 AM]
Nickelodeon Picks-Up Returning Animated Hits Including Seventh Seasons of Spongebob Squarepants and the Fairly Oddparents, Plus More Episodes of New Nicktoon Back at the Barnyard and the Preschool Favorite the Backyardigans
"Our key animated properties continue to be innovative and fresh and feature characters that our viewers have grown to love and really connect with," said the network's Brown Johnson.

[via press release from Nickelodeon]

Nickelodeon Picks-Up Returning Animated Hits Including Seventh Seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents, Plus More Episodes of New Nicktoon Back at the Barnyard and the Preschool Favorite The Backyardigans

NEW YORK, March 13 -- Nickelodeon, the number-one producer of television animation in the U.S., announced today that it has green-lit 86 all-new episodes of Nicktoon favorites, including the network's top three ranked animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents and Back at the Barnyard and the preschool favorite The Backyardigans. The announcements were made today by Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon & MTVN Kids and Family Group.

"Our key animated properties continue to be innovative and fresh and feature characters that our viewers have grown to love and really connect with," said Johnson. "We are thrilled to be making another season of SpongeBob SquarePants--a series we hope to make for a long time--as well The Fairly OddParents, and adding additional episodes of our newest hit series Back at the Barnyard and preschool gem The Backyardigans."

Picked up for an additional 26 episodes and currently in its sixth season, SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a pop-culture phenomenon and one of the most popular series in kids' television history. It has been the number-one animated program with Kids 2-11 for more than six consecutive years, and its Saturday morning airing ranks as the top-rated program on television among Kids 2-11. Adult viewers also continue to tune in and have increased by 85% since the premiere of the show in July 1999. The most widely distributed property in MTV Networks' history, SpongeBob SquarePants is syndicated in 171 markets in 25 languages and is among the top rated kids' shows, across broadcast and cable, in every major television market around the world. SpongeBob SquarePants is executive produced by creator Stephen Hillenburg.

The Fairly OddParents, picked up for an additional 20 episodes, has consistently grown among both kids and adults since its March 2001 launch. It is currently the number-three-ranked animated property on broadcast and cable television among Kids 2-11, only following Nickelodeon's own SpongeBob SquarePants and Back at the Barnyard. The series, currently in its sixth season, is also a solid hit among teens and adults, who make up 57% of its 44.8 million viewers each week. Most recently, a February The Fairly OddParents' special, "Fairly OddBaby", hit a ratings high with an average of 8.8 million total viewers as the year-to-date's number-one entertainment program on all broadcast and basic cable television in all kids' demos, ranking second only to Super Bowl programming among overall TV shows this year with kids and tweens.

Picked up for an additional 20 episodes, Nickelodeon's newest animated hit Back at the Barnyard currently ranks as the number-two animated series on television among Kids 2-11. Created by the Oscar(R)-nominated writer/director Steve Oedekerk (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), and based on the hit feature film, the series follows the adventures of a group of party animals who live colorful lives undetected by the humans living around them. Back at the Barnyard chronicles the animal shenanigans that take place in the barnyard when the farmer's back is turned and centers around a carefree party cow named Otis (voiced by Chris Hardwick, Singled Out), who has recently become the patriarch of the farm. The Backyardigans, Nick Jr.'s hit animated preschool series, was picked up for an additional 20 episodes and the series' fourth season. In The Backyardigans, five high-spirited neighbors--Pablo, Tyrone, Uniqua, Tasha and Austin--meet in their adjoining backyards and use their imaginations to transport themselves into different locations for epic adventures. In season four, The Backyardigans will repair futuristic robots, become dragon-riding delivery men, fairytale princess escape artists, Santa's action Elf crew and a flower power superhero on exciting new musical journeys. Preschoolers also will be introduced to a new slate of music genres, including Roller Disco, Strauss Waltzes, Wall of Sound, Stax-Volt, Rembetika and Ragtime. Each half- hour episode of the series features a unique music/dance genre with four original songs, along with real choreographed movements recreated in animation.

SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents are produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif. Back at the Barnyard is produced at the Omation Animation Studios in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The Backyardigans is a co-production with Nick Jr. and Corus Entertainment's Nelvana.

Nickelodeon, in its 28th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 96 million households and has been the number- one-rated basic cable network for more than 13 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

SOURCE Nickelodeon
http://www.nick.com





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