Nickelodeon is expanding its unscripted slate with two new series. The network has greenlit new holiday-themed competition series Top Elf, created by Mike Duffy and Tim Duffy, and ordered a full series pickup of The Substitute, from The Intellectual Property Corporation.
Top Elf, which begins production in September on five one-hour episodes, features kid contestants with extraordinary building and design skills competing for the coveted title of Top Elf.
More from Deadline
- Nickelodeon Names Ashley Kaplan SVP Digital Studios; Luke Wahl Joins As VP
- Nickelodeon Sets Premiere Date & Unveils Trailer For Lego-Themed Animated 'Jurassic World' Prequel
- Nickelodeon Sets Angelique Yen & Eddie Gamarra To Run Its Studio Business
Following the strong performance of two specials which aired earlier this year, hidden camera prank show The Substitute has been picked up for a full 10-episode series order. Production is underway, with the series premiere set for October.
“Giving our audience a range of unscripted content in different formats is one of our top priorities. Top Elf is an irresistible opportunity to celebrate the holidays with a uniquely comedic approach to a high-stakes competition,” said Rob Baghaw, EVP, Unscripted Content. “Our first new format from this division earned high marks from our audience, so we’re very pleased to order The Substitute for a full series.”
In Top Elf, Santa has invited seven civilian “Elf-testants” to the North Pole in a competition that tests their skills in a series of holiday-themed challenges. Demonstrating the true spirit of the holidays, the Elf-testants compete to have their wish lists granted–not for themselves, but for someone in their community.
The Substitute features stars who are transformed by a team of Hollywood special effects artists to go undercover as professionals in various fields, surprising unsuspecting kids in schools, camps and other locations. During the reveal at the end of the day, each organization receives a $25,000 donation. The Substitute’s first special debuted in April with guest star Jace Norman (Henry Danger), and the second special premiered in May, guest starring comedian Lilly Singh.
Top Elf is created by Mike Duffy and Tim Duffy of Ugly Brother Studios, who will executive produce the series along with Jimmy Fox at Main Event Media, an All3Media America company. Bob Schermerhorn (Project Runway All Stars, America’s Next Top Model) and Lisa Fletcher (The Titan Games) are executive producers, with Fletcher also serving as the showrunner. Michael Pearlman (Chopped, Project Runway All Stars) will direct the series.
The Substitute is produced by Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation. Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman and Todd Hurvitz (Punk’d), serve as executive producers, with Hurvitz also serving as the showrunner.