Nickelodeon’s special SpongeBob Atlantis SquarePantis debuted on Monday in primetime and nabbed the series’ biggest audience ever, according to the network. A total of 8.8 million viewers tuned in for the spongy one’s first-ever TV movie, which featured the voice of legendary performer David Bowie. The installment led Nickelodeon to its highest-rated total day of the year with kids 2-11 and kids 6-11, and was the top cable entertainment program of the evening among all viewers.
In Atlantis SquarePantis, SpongeBob finds the missing half of an ancient medallion believed to be a relic from the lost city of Atlantis and brings it to the Bikini Bottom Museum where the other half is on display. The two sides are reunited, and suddenly a magical van appears that beckons to take SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward and Mr. Krabs to the legendary submerged metropolis ruled by Lord Royal Highness (voiced by Bowie). The movie is now available on TurboNick and on DVD from Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.
Leading up to the premiere of the underwater adventure, Nickelodeon held a 12-hour marathon of audience-favorite SpongeBob episodes that drew in 4.2 million viewers. The lineup was decided by online voting held between Oct. 15 and Nov. 4. More than a million votes were cast on TurboNick, Nick’s broadband video player on Nick.com.