NICKELODEON SHOWCASES POWER OF ITS ECOSYSTEM AND HIGHLIGHTS NEW CONTENT SLATE AND UPCOMING INITIATIVES FOR 2015-2016 SEASON AT ANNUAL UPFRONT PRESENTATION
Nickelodeon Unveils Noggin - New Preschool Subscription Service; Previews Innovative,
New Content Initiatives; Announces More Than 600 Episodes of New and Returning Series
Nick Brands Its Partnership Marketing Services Under New Banner
of Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions
NEW YORK - Feb. 25, 2015 - Nickelodeon, at its annual upfront presentation held today at the Skylight at Moynihan Station, outlined the power of its unmatched, 10-screen ecosystem to deliver the biggest and most engaged audience of kids and families, and announced numerous key initiatives from its content pipeline. The new series and development projects underscore Nick's commitment to fresh and innovative formats, from a wide range of creative sources and voices.
Announcements at the presentation included: Noggin, a mobile subscription service for preschoolers; numerous new content innovations; a sneak peek at a potential SpongeBob SquarePants Broadway musical; future spinoff possibilities for the wildly successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise; and Nickelodeon Sports, which brings content from the major sports leagues to Nick's platforms. Nickelodeon also detailed the suite of its partner services that provides consumer insights, advertising solutions and branded-entertainment opportunities, now formalized under the banner of Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions.
The presentation was augmented by an appearance from Will Arnett--star of Paramount Pictures' global theatrical hit, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the forthcoming sequel set for 2016; a performance of a song from the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, currently being developed for a potential Broadway debut; and a closing set of songs by pop hit-makers, Echosmith.
"The proliferation of platforms and massive amounts of new content are having an unprecedented impact on entertainment, and we are using these opportunities to super-serve our audience with fresh content, new formats and innovative storytelling," said Cyma Zarghami, President, Viacom Kids and Family Group. "We remain laser-focused on using all of the screens and tools in our ecosystem to deliver the biggest audience of kids and families, and creating hits and building franchises that thrill our audience and deliver unrivaled reach."
Nickelodeon highlighted a selection of content drawn from its pipeline, with each project showcasing the network's commitment to reinvent genres and introduce new formats and ideas to its audience.
These projects include:
· Game Makers (working title), just picked up for 26 episodes, is the newest creation from hit-maker Dan Schneider. It's a live-action sitcom about two 12-year-old girls who start a multi-million-dollar gaming company and take on rap superstar Double G as a business partner. As part of a multi-platform experience, the games seen in the episodes will be released through apps and online. Schneider will also serve as Executive Producer.
· Make It Pop, picked up for 20 episodes, is a comedic, music-infused daily strip about three unique girls who come together to start their own K-Pop-inspired band. Randomly selected to room together at boarding school, bookish Corki, fashion-forward Jodi and social media maven Sun Hi meet and bond over music. With the help of fellow boarding school classmate and DJ hopeful, Caleb, the girls grow from roommates to bandmates as they become a school-wide sensation and compete for a place in the upcoming school musical. The series, which will feature original songs and performances in every episode, is co-created by Thomas W. Lynch and Nick Cannon and produced by DHX Media. Make It Pop is executive produced by Lynch and Cannon, together with Steven DeNure and Anne Loi for DHX Media.
· Talia's Kitchen (working title), just picked up for 40 episodes, is a live-action series inspired by the daily telenovela format that follows 14-year-old Talia who moves in with her grandmother and starts spending time in the kitchen of their family-owned restaurant. There, she discovers her true calling: cooking. With the help of her special "salt and pepper sense"--and her late father's magical spices--Talia is able to infuse emotion into her food and cook just what each customer needs. Talia's Kitchen is created by Catharina Ledeboer and produced by Viacom International. Tatiana Rodriguez will serve as Executive Producer.
· Mutt & Stuff, which has just been picked up for 20 episodes, is a live-action preschool series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft. Set in a unique school for dogs, the series stars Calvin Millan, The Puppy Whisperer and son of The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, interacting with a cast of real dogs and puppets. Mutt & Stuff is filled with unbelievable dog tricks, adorable puppies, and alternating moments of heart and comedy. The series is created and executive produced by Sid and Marty Krofft and Bradley Zweig. Cesar Millan also serves as Executive Producer.
· Roll Call (working title), which is currently in development, is a single-camera comedy series shot in a mockumentary style that follows an eclectic group of kids navigating their way through middle school. Roll Call is executive produced by Sharla Sumpter Bridgett and directed by Ian Pfaff.
Nickelodeon also announced a spin-off of its hit Every Witch Way - The W.I.T.s Academy (working title; 20 episodes). The W.I.T.s Academy will be a daily strip about the comedic adventures of witches- and wizards-in-training. The series is created by Catharina Ledeboer and is produced by Viacom International. The W.I.T.s Academy is executive produced by Tatiana Rodriguez.
"We remain focused on developing breakthrough content that is more fresh and innovative than anything else available anywhere," said Russell Hicks, President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon. "Our new slate builds on a strong foundation of recent launches that is connecting with this new generation of kids."
Nickelodeon also announced that it will air more than 600 episodes of new series and returning hits for the 2015-16 season:
· Among the new series this season are: School of Rock, a live-action show based on the hit movie, and Nick's first collaboration with Paramount Television; Harvey Beaks, an animated show about a good kid who has never broken the rules, and his two best friends, who have never lived by any; and Shimmer and Shine, an animated, curriculum-based preschool series about twin genies-in-training who unintentionally cause chaos in their attempts to grant wishes for their best friend, Leah.
· Nick's returning series feature second seasons of new live-action hits Henry Danger, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and Max & Shred; season four of the live-action, daily series, Every Witch Way; plus more new episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Thundermans, Bella and the Bulldogs, Sanjay and Craig, Breadwinners, The Fairly OddParents, PAW Patrol, Wallykazam!, Dora and Friends and Blaze and the Monster Machines, among others.
In addition to outlining its upcoming development slate, Nickelodeon also highlighted a range of other initiatives, including: the launch of Noggin; and opportunities with sport content, through Nickelodeon Sports:
· Noggin--Nickelodeon is launching Noggin, a new mobile subscription service for preschoolers. Available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch starting March 5, the paid service will be ad-free and offered for $5.99 a month. Nickelodeon is also in discussions with distributors about offering this service as a premium complement to authenticated subscribers. Noggin will feature an abundant volume of long- and short-form content for preschoolers, with additional content added regularly. Noggin's content at launch will include: award-winning, education-based series, including the ground-breaking Blue's Clues, Little Bear and Ni Hao, Kai-lan, among others; music videos featuring kids' favorite Nick preschool characters; and the return of the beloved Moose and Zee characters hosting educational videos that can help kids learn letters, shapes, matching and other important skills to get ready for kindergarten. New content, games and activities will be added regularly. Noggin's content will remain library-based, separate and distinct from Nickelodeon's preschool content currently available on its existing distribution platforms.
· Nickelodeon Sports--Nick's sports initiative encompasses the brand's established relationships with major sports leagues, including NFL, NBA, MLS, NHL and NASCAR, across a myriad of off-channel activations, including pro-social initiatives and marketing partnerships. In 2014, Nickelodeon expanded its sports presence to include programming with its inaugural Kids' Choice Sports Awards, hosted and executive produced by Michael Strahan, and the launch of NickSports. Launched on Nicktoons last fall, NickSports is a primetime (Wednesdays from 9-11 p.m. ET) programming block that features a rotating lineup of sports-themed content including series, specials and documentaries from sports leagues and celebrity athletes, as well as acquired theatrical movies.
Also outlined was Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions, Nickelodeon's newly named integrated marketing and creative content offering for partners. Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions is a collaborative service that connects partners to the strengths of Nickelodeon's platforms and unrivaled characters, and makes available Nick's audience expertise, creativity, advertising solutions and branded-entertainment opportunities.
Nickelodeon, now in its 35th 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 and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 20 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).