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[03/13/08 - 10:22 AM]
Nickelodeon Downloads Its New Directions, New Content to Advertising Community in 2008 Upfront Presentation
"The strength of the Nickelodeon brand comes from how we embrace everything important to kids, and how we are with them virtually everywhere they want us to be," said Nick's Cyma Zarghami.

[via press release from Nickelodeon]

Nickelodeon Downloads Its New Directions, New Content to Advertising Community in 2008 Upfront Presentation

Nick Announces Gym Teacher: The Movie -- Original Primetime TV Movie; One 4 All -- Music-Based Live-Action Comedy Series; Returning Hit Series Pick-Ups; and a Brand-New, Multi-platform Pro-Social Environmental Campaign -- The Big Green Help

Upfront Event Highlighted with Special Appearances by Amy Poehler, Miranda Cosgrove and Jennette McCurdy, Rob Stringer, Christopher Meloni and Natasha Bedingfield

NEW YORK, March 13 -- At its 2008 annual upfront presentation, top-rated kids' brand Nickelodeon presented the advertising community with a host of new ideas and creative content demonstrating the network's dedication to innovation and its open-platform programming philosophy. Offering advertisers the greatest opportunity to reach viewers across its core kid demographics because it is virtually everywhere kids are, Nickelodeon also advanced its creative leadership through new programming announcements and partnerships with top talent across the worlds of television, music and film.

"The strength of the Nickelodeon brand comes from how we embrace everything important to kids, and how we are with them virtually everywhere they want us to be," said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon & MTVN Kids and Family Group. "Our open philosophy to give audiences access to everything they love, and our commitment to making relevant and innovative content, have put us at the top of cable, VOD and online. Nickelodeon has strong momentum as a brand and as a business, and we have a great foundation built on great talent and relationships with some of the best creative leaders in our industry."

As part of its presentation, Nickelodeon announced new programming initiatives spanning an array of entertainment genres, including: the original prime-time TV movie Gym Teacher: The Movie; the development of One 4 All, a music-based live-action comedy series, produced in partnership with Sony/BMG Music Entertainment; pick-ups for returning hit animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, Back at the Barnyard and the preschool- focused The Backyardigans; and the network's new global multi-platform pro- social environmental campaign, The Big Green Help. Nick also offered a preview of the forthcoming animated series The Mighty B!, premiering April 26 and co- created by Saturday Night Live's Amy Poehler.

Held this morning at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Nickelodeon's upfront presentation featured special guest appearances and contributions from: The Mighty B!'s Poehler; tween stars Miranda Cosgrove and Jennette McCurdy from the multi-platform Nick hit, iCarly; Christopher Meloni, Emmy-nominated actor and now star of Gym Teacher: The Movie; and Chairman of Sony Music Label Group Rob Stringer. The event was capped by a musical performance from recording artist Natasha Bedingfield, who sang her hits Love Like This and Unwritten.

Zarghami added, "We've been number one in cable with kids and adults for more than 13 years, and our expansion onto other platforms has been equally terrific. We are now embarking on some exciting initiatives that will be transformational to our business as the first generation of parents who grew up on Nickelodeon come of age and have families of their own. As well as the hits we create on television, we want to give kids and their parents entertainment and recreation choices that have dual appeal."

Nick's New Programming Content:

Included in today's upfront presentation were several announcements of new programming from a variety of genres, including:

-- Gym Teacher: The Movie-Premiering August 2008, Gym Teacher: The Movie is a comedy with a combination of stars and story that will entertain both kids and their parents--and anyone who loves to see an underdog have his day. The movie tells the story of Dave Stewie, a failed gold- medal contender-turned gym teacher, played by Meloni (Law and Order: SVU, Oz, Runaway Bride; upcoming feature films--Nights in Rodanthe, Harold and Kumar 2, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and Carriers). Stewie gets a shot at redemption as he vies for the coveted Gym Teacher of the Year Award, but standing in his way is Roland Waffle, an uncoordinated transfer student without an athletic bone in his body. The movie stars Meloni, Nathan Kress (iCarly), Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy) and David Alan Grier (Life with Bonnie, Martin, In Living Color) and is produced in association with Dolphin Entertainment. Executive producers are Lauren Levine (Bridge to Terabithia, Shredderman Rules!), Stanley M. Brooks (Broken Trail), Jim Head and Bill O'Dowd. Paul Dinello (Strangers with Candy, The Colbert Report) directs a teleplay by brothers Daniel and Steven Altiere.

-- One 4 All -Developed in partnership with Sony/BMG Music Entertainment, One 4 All is a live-action scripted comedy that hilariously follows the story of a talented young singer who is recruited by a top record producer to move to Los Angeles and become a pop sensation. When he insists on bringing along his three best friends, they become the world's most unlikely boy band. Scott Fellows (Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Johnny Test, The Fairly OddParents) is the creator.

-- The Big Green Help-Announced live onstage today by MTV Networks Chairman and CEO Judy McGrath, Nickelodeon's latest pro-social campaign is The Big Green Help. Designed to empower kids to take action on the environment through gaming and grassroots activity, the multi-platform The Big Green Help will provide information and tools to help explain climate change to kids, and connect them to energy saving and earth- friendly activities in their everyday lives. The centerpiece of The Big Green Help will be the first-ever global multiplayer online green game for kids, which will provide actionable, measurable steps and information to directly link them to ways that they can positively contribute to helping the environment, on individual and community levels. As the campaign begins to roll out in April, Nickelodeon also will team up with national environmental and youth-focused organizations on all aspects of The Big Green Help to engage kids on environmental issues and partner on local grassroots activities where kids will carry out their virtually volunteered hours in various ways.

-- The Mighty B!-Debuting Saturday, April 26, at 10:30 a.m. (ET/PT), this new animated comedy stars Amy Poehler as the voice of Bessie Higgenbottom, the world's most ambitious and lovably unhinged 9-and- 3/4-year-old Honeybee troop member. Bessie wears her uniform every single day, leads her troop with zeal General Patton would have admired and has earned more badges than any Honeybee in history. But a bunch of badges still elude her, and Bessie's not stopping until she has every last one. The series is co-created by Poehler, Cynthia True, a recent staff writer for The Fairly OddParents, and Erik Wiese, the Emmy and Annie-nominated storyboard artist and writer who has worked on SpongeBob SquarePants.

-- Returning Series-Nick announced additional series pick-ups of a number of its key hit properties, including:

-- SpongeBob SquarePants -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, The Fairly OddParents' popularity 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 to 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, and ranking second only to Super Bowl programming among overall TV shows this year with kids and tweens.

-- Back at the Barnyard-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 The Backyardigans has been picked up for an additional 20 episodes for 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.

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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