Upfronts 2010: Nickelodeon Looks to The Future With Five Pillar Strategy
Slates six new shows, 16 returning series, move into feature films at 2010 upfront presentation
By Alex Weprin -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/11/2010 1:58:04 PM
Nickelodeon President Cyma Zarghami was joined by teen pop star Justin Bieber, Nick stars Miranda Cosgrove and Victoria Justice and band Big Time Rush to make the pitch Thursday morning (March 11) at the Manhattan Center ballroom in New York.
The five areas Zarghami outlined were to continue Nick's leadership in animation, "win with tweens," "ignite our family position," expand the Nick brand and "supercharge key franchises."
"Every decision, every investment, everything we've done for the past few years serves at least one of these," Zarghami said. "It is listening to kids every day that has kept our business successful, and it is our success that has inspired us to expand our audience."
For its key franchises, Zarghami pointed to Dora the Explorer, now entering its 10th year on the channel. Dora is at the center of a new pro-social initiative called Beyond the Backpack, which aims to help preschoolers prepare for going to school for the first time. Nick also has other Dora-themed events throughout the year.
With regards to expanding its brand, Nick is entering the franchise film business, serving as a producer, along with sister company Paramount Pictures, on Avatar-The Last Airbender. Avatar aired as a cartoon on Nickelodeon from 2005-2008. M. Night Shyamalan has been tapped to write, direct and produce the film, which will be released on July 2, timed to the July 4 weekend.
To "ignite" its position with families, the network is looking to Nick at Nite. The start time for Nick at Nite was moved up to 8 p.m., where the channel programs acquired family sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris, Malcolm in the Middle, George Lopez and Home Improvement, as well as original series Glenn Martin, DDS. The goal behind the switch was to build a programming block that families would watch together.
To help "win with tweens" Nick is once again looking to its existing lineup to develop shows based on current talent, as well as discovering new talent that would appeal to younger Millenials.
Among the new shows are Victorious, which stars Victoria Justice from the network's Zoey 101.
In the animation field, Nick will premiere the second new show from DreamWorks Animation in 2010, Kung Fu Panda: The Series, and will also debut new animated shows from the creators of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and The Backyardigans.
The six new series Nick will premiere in 2010 are:
House of Anubis (working title), originally developed for Nickelodeon in Holland, the show follows eight students trying to solve a mystery at an English boarding school. The series is slates for fall 2010.
Victorious, which sees Justice navigating life at an elite performing arts school. Nick hitmaker Dan Schneider is behind the series, which will premiere after the Kids Choice Awards March 27.
Kung Fu Panda: The Series, based on the DreamWorks Animation film.
Planet Sheen, a spinoff of Jimmy Neutron, and starring Sheen Guevera Estevez from that series.
T.U.F.F. Puppy, from producer Butch Hartman, follows a puppy recruited into a secret crimefighting organization, T.U.F.F.
Bubble Guppies, which is described as an interactive, animated variety show for preschoolers, from the team behind The Backyardigans.
Also on tap are five new shows for Nick's digital networks, TeenNick, Nicktoons and Nick Jr.
Gigantic, a live action series from Reveille following a fictional "it" kid in Hollywood. The series is being developed for TeenNick.
Voltron Panthera Force, an animated series picked up by Nicktoons.
Dragon Ball Z Kai, which will premiere on Nicktoons in May 2010.
A revamped Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, set to debut on Nicktoons
Dino Dan, a hybrid live action-CGI series which is for Nick Jr.
The 16 returning series on Nickelodeon are:
iCarly, True Jackson: VP, BrainSurge, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, Big Time Rush and The Troop.
Spongebob Squarepants, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Fairly Oddparents, Fanboy and Chum Chum and Glenn Martin, DDS.
Team Umizoomi, Go, Diego, Go!, The Wonder Pets, The Backyardigans and Dora The Explorer.
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