Nickelodeon announced at its annual upfront presentation in New York a roster of more than 300 new animated episodes in 2012, including premiere dates the for the highly anticipated series The Legend of Korra, a series based on the Raving Rabbids video game and another collaboration with DreamWorks Animation on a Monsters vs. Aliens show.
The animated slate for the channel was part of a larger package of more than 650 episodes of programming covering a wide range of genres.
“Kids have a ferocious appetite for new content and it is our intention to serve them more, innovative work than ever before,” said Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom’s Nickelodeon Group. “We are tapping into new sources and proven hit-makers to maintain our position as the top entertainment brand for kids and families.”
Here’s how Nickelodeon described its animation slate for 2012:
- New episodes of returning hit series including SpongeBob SquarePants, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Fairly OddParents and The Winx Club.
- The Legend of Korra, in which the mythology of the beloved animated franchise from Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko continues. The series centers around a new Avatar named Korra, a 17-year-old headstrong and rebellious girl who continually challenges and bucks tradition on her quest to become a fully realized Avatar in a world where benders are under attack. The half-hour series will debut on Saturday, April 14, at 11 a.m. (all times ET/PT), as part of Nickelodeon’s Saturday morning block (8 a.m.-Noon), which has been the number-one destination for Kids 2-11 for 12 consecutive years and currently delivers more than three million total viewers each week. The Legend of Korra will air regularly on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
- Raving Rabbids, which will join the net’s animation line-up in spring 2013, brings to television the hysterical physical comedy that has become so popular in Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids video games. Nickelodeon has secured global broadcast rights for 26 new CG episodes of Raving Rabbids, which will be produced by Ubisoft.
- Monsters vs. Aliens, the all-new animated television series marking the third partnership between Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation. Green-lit for 26 episodes and based on the popular characters from the 2009 blockbuster hit feature film ($383 million worldwide gross); the new series will continue to follow the funny escapades of the beloved, well-meaning monsters.
- Robot & Monster, which will also be hitting Nickelodeon’s air for a 26-episode run for the 2012-2013 season. Created by Josh Sternin, Jeff Ventimilia and Dave Pressler, this CG-animated buddy comedy is set in a unique world where gangs of Howling Cyber Monkeys roam the streets at night, everybody loves bacon, and robots and monsters live side by side, but typically don’t get along.
- It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! – Nickelodeon’s first full-length stop-motion animated special is inspired by the classic Rankin/Bass (Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town) specials, and the popular SpongeBob song released in 2009, “Don’t Be a Jerk, It’s Christmas,” written by Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley. In It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!, Plankton vows to get his Christmas wish – the Krabby Patty formula – by turning everyone in Bikini Bottom bad by feeding them his special jerktonium-laced fruitcake. The special features John Goodman as Santa Claus, and will air in December 2012.
- Seven new animation pilots picked up for the 2012-2013 season, including four pilots helmed by hit-maker Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, T.U.F.F. Puppy).
The presentation, made at Jazz at Lincoln Center, was punctuated with appearances by Nick Cannon, Keke Palmer, One Direction and musical performances by Nick’s own Big Time Rush and How to Rock‘s Cymphonique Miller and Gravity 5. The evening also featured an exclusive look at a previsualization (3D storyboard) of Paramount Pictures’ highly anticipated live-action Ninja Turtles feature, presented by producer Michael Bay. The feature film will bow in 2013, following this year’s fall TV premiere of the brand-new CG-animated TMNT series on Nickelodeon.