Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Nick Content

Last week, the Prez of Viacom's Nickelodeon Group previewed the upcoming jams and jellies from the network:

Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Group,previewed the network’s content pipeline, offering a close look at a selection of upcoming projects that underscore Nick’s overall programming strategy, including: an animated series based on the top-ranked live-action hit Henry Danger; a brand-new, reimagined animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, titled Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Lip Sync Battle Shorties, a spinoff of Spike’s global phenomenon Lip Sync Battle; more Kuu Kuu Harajuku from music and TV superstar Gwen Stefani; a TV special and consumer products line based on performer, actress and social media influencer, JoJo Siwa; and the first look at Amusement Park, Paramount Pictures’ animated feature set for release in 2018, which will be followed by a Nickelodeon-produced TV series the next year. ...

Nick knows it has an ongoing hit with the Turtles, but the division has figured out that doing the franchise in a more-expensive CG format doesn't buy it bigger ratings. So the next iteration of the franchise? Ninja Turtles gets "re-imagined" as a hand-drawn show*.

Old and new animated series moving through Nick's pipeline:

Butterbean’s CafĂ© -- (40 episodes)

Sunny Day -- (40 episodes)

Top Wing (26 episodes -- CG show from an outside contractor)

The Adventures of Kid Danger and Captain Man -- (working title, 10 episodes)

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- (working title, 26 episodes)

Bunsen Is a Beast -- (20 episodes)

Pinky Malinky -- (20 episodes)

Welcome to the Wayne -- (20 episodes -- digital series, short episodes)

Kuu Kuu Harajuku -- (26 episodes)

The take-away here is that Nick continues to be heavily invested in the cartoon business, just not so much on the CG side. In this, it follows the trajectory of the other majors: As it sinks in that CG doesn't work in the same magical way on television that it does on movie screens, companies move away from the format.

* A few years ago, Nickelodeon had an ambitious slate of CGI TV series. But little kids sitting at home don't care whether the cartoons they watch are 2-D or 3-D, and if ratings are no better with CG, why spend the extra money to make them? (DreamWorks Television Animation makes hand-drawn series from DWA's CG features; Disney makes the television version of Tangled in a hand-drawn format).

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