Nickelodeon Hits ‘Reset’ Button, Orders Toon Series ‘Breadwinners’, Renews ‘TMNT’
UPDATED: At the Nickelodeon upfront presentation in New York this afternoon, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said that the kids cable network, which has gone through some rough times lately, “has hit the reset button” and is “reinventing itself.” There will be a big investment in animation, including the company’s upcoming feature offshoots of Nick toon series, the SpongeBob Square Pants 3D movie and the Michael Bay-directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, both slated for a 2014 release. Coincidentally, Nick’s upfront announcements today were all in the animation arena — a series pickup for Breadwinners, a new animated series based on the animated short by animator Gary “Doodles” DiRaffaele and writer Steve Borst (Mad), and a third season renewal for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. DiRaffaele and Borst, who came from Nickelodeon’s Animation Shorts Program, are also behind the Nickelodeon series about two booty-shaking ducks, which has received a 20-episode order. (watch the short below). Breadwinners joins recently picked up new live-action series The Haunted Hathaways, The Thundermans and Sam & Cat.
During the presentation, Nickelodeon Group president Cyma Zarghami acknowledged that the network has had a “tough year” where “new competitors came on strong,” a reference to upstart Disney Jr. She outlined the network’s strategy for getting back on track by targetting “post-millennial kids,” born in and after 2008.