Nickelodeon announced a mix of returning favorites, reimagined series, live-action comedies, and animated shows during the company’s upfront event on Thursday afternoon. The animation slate includes “The Patrick Star Show,” “The Smurfs,” “Star Trek: Prodigy,” “The Hamster Show,” “ZJ Sparkleton,” “Monster High,” “Transformers,” and “Rugrats,” airing alongside live-action series like “That Girl Lay Lay,” “Warped!,” and “The Loud House: A Very Loud Christmas! Live-Action Holiday TV Movie.”
One of the big announcements during the press event was the “iCarly” news. The network has started production on a new original series based on the hit sitcom, slated to premiere on Paramount+ this summer. According to Nickelodeon, the 13-episode season picks up nearly ten years after the original show ended, and finds Carly Shay and her friends navigating work, love, and their family.
The new “iCarly” series adds Laci Mosley as Harper and Jaidyn Triplett as Millicent. The duo will appear alongside returning original series stars Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathan Kress
“Being on the iCarly set has always felt like a second home to me, and it’s so awesome to be back with my pals Jerry and Nathan,” said Miranda Cosgrove. “We served up spaghetti tacos over ten years ago, and I can’t wait to show you what we’re cooking up next with Nickelodeon for Paramount+!”.
During the presentation, Nickelodeon also confirmed the voice cast for the upcoming “Rugrats” series, which is a reimagining of the classic ‘90 animated hit. Ashley Rae Spillers and Tommy Dewey joined the cast as Tommy’s parents, alongside Tony Hale as Chuckie’s father; Natalie Morales as Phil and Lil’s mother; Anna Chlumsky and Timothy Simons as Angelica’s parents; Nicole Byer and Omar Miller as Susie’s parents; and Michael McKean as Grandpa Lou Pickles. The new Rugrats series will launch on Paramount+, and is set to debut this spring.
The new voice actors join previously announced cast members E.G. Daily (Tommy), Nancy Cartwright (Chuckie), Cheryl Chase (Angelica), Cree Summer (Susie) and Kath Soucie (Phil and Lil), who are all reprising their iconic roles.
“This incredibly talented group of actors provides a fresh and very funny take on these iconic roles, combining humor with heart to bring the characters to life in a whole new way,” said Liz Paulson, Senior Vice President, Talent and Casting, Nickelodeon.
“The all-new Rugrats is packed with comedy, music, and adventures that only babies can embark upon, and the role of the grown-ups is an essential piece of the series,” added Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation.
“Warped!” is another series set to begin production this year. The live-action buddy comedy series follows Milo, the beloved head geek at a popular comic book shop, who forms an unlikely alliance with his new quirky and excitable co-worker Ruby to create the world’s greatest graphic novel. The cast includes Kate Godfrey, Anton Starkman, Ariana Molkara, and Christopher Martinez.
“Kevin and Heath are wonderful collaborators and proven showrunners who truly understand Nickelodeon’s audience,” said Zack Olin, Senior Vice President, Live Action. “We are so excited to be working with them again on this new original comedy series that kids and families of all ages are sure to love.”
“That Girl Lay Lay” is new comedy series starring Alaya. The series marks Nickelodeon’s first project under an overall deal with That Girl Lay Lay to develop original multiform programming and music initiatives. The series is set to begin production this spring, with a premiere slated for this summer on Nickelodeon. In “That Girl Lay Lay,” viewers meet the phone avatar Lay Lay, who is the perfect hype girl and best friend that anyone could ever want from their personal affirmation app.
“We’re so excited to have That Girl Lay Lay star in a series that’s just as fierce and funny as she is,” said Zack Olin, Senior Vice President, Live Action. “At its heart, the show David A. Arnold created is about staying true to yourself, and with the immensely talented Will Packer producing, we just know that viewers are going to immediately fall in love with this series.”
“That Girl Lay Lay is a multitalented force of nature destined for mega stardom. I’m so excited about what she represents as a talented African-American girl with her own platform to showcase her unique abilities,” said Will Packer. “David A. Arnold has crafted the right show at the right time and Nickelodeon is the perfect partner.”
In April, Nickelodeon is starting production on “The Loud House: A Very Loud Christmas!,” an original live-action holiday TV movie based on the Emmy Award-winning animated series. Casting is currently underway, with Wolfgang Schaeffer tapped to play 11-year-old Lincoln Loud and Jahzir Bruno as Clyde McBride, Lincoln’s best friend. Additional casting news will be announced soon. The feature-length TV movie will film in Atlanta, with a premiere slated for November on Nickelodeon.
“The Loud House” was recently greenlit for a sixth season and centers on 11-year-old Lincoln Loud and his ten sisters as he gives an inside look at what it takes to survive the chaos of a huge family.
The network also greenlit of two new creator-driven 2D-animated series, called “ZJ Sparkleton” for Kids 6-11, and “The Hamster Show” for preschoolers.
In ZJ Sparkleton, quirky 10-year-old vlogger Ruby discovers her only video channel follower is a tail-zapping space alien from the planet Pudge named ZJ Sparkleton, and they quickly become best friends. Along with their friend Earl, a talking con-man squirrel, Ruby teaches ZJ about her version of Earth, while ZJ learns to control his unpredictable powers.
In The Hamster Show, 8-year-old Harry is the proud owner of a crew of hamsters and the builder of their detailed and expansive tubed home. Little does Harry know that his furry friends are constantly watching him, believing that Harry is their King and they are his heroic protectors. Together, the hamsters explore their kingdom, comedically misunderstanding the human world and braving “royal missions,” such as saving King Harry from daily doom, granting his wishes and keeping his life running smoothly.
“ZJ Sparkleton and The Hamster Show are great additions to Nickelodeon’s growing slate of new content because friendship, humor, and relatable characters are at the core,” said Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation. “The series creators, Brian Morante and Zach Smith have a history of bringing unique stories to life at Nickelodeon and we can’t wait to dive in with our production partners at Nelvana on these originals.”
“Nelvana is excited to build upon our partnership with Nickelodeon and contribute to their massive animation pipeline with new IP for a global audience,” Pam Westman, President, Nelvana. “With lovable characters and hilarious storylines, ZJ Sparkleton and The Hamster Show are two titles that we look forward to adding to our production slate.”
Other animated projects include “The Smurfs” in October 2021 on Nickelodeon, and a “Monster High” and “Transformers” series in 2022. Nickelodeon is also working on a new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, slated for a release in 2023, and new projects from the newly created Avatar Studios. A live-action “Monster High” is also in the works, but the studio did not announce casting.
photo credit: nickelodeon