Nickelodeon’s Shauna Phelan and Zack Olin have been promoted to EVPs and Co-Heads, Nickelodeon and Awesomeness Live-Action Series and Films. The news was announced today by Brian Robbins, Paramount President & Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, and Chief Content Officer, Movies and Kids & Family, Paramount+.
Formerly Co-Heads of Live-Action for Nickelodeon and Awesomeness, both brands within Paramount Global, Phelan and Olin are now expanding their purview to oversee all scripted live-action Nickelodeon and Awesomeness series and movies for Nickelodeon and Paramount+, including YA content. They will continue to report to Robbins.
Said Robbins, “Shauna and Zack are behind some of Nickelodeon’s biggest hits from iCarly to That Girl Lay Lay and have been entertaining kids and families across all our demos for years. As the demand for content continues to grow for both our audience and for Paramount+, and given the Studios’ success as producers of top YA franchises, Shauna and Zack are poised to elevate Awesomeness and Nick’s overall output in this space and grow our kids and family and YA audience, who are huge consumers of content.”
Phelan and Olin also announced their first development slate based on celebrated books spanning kids, family and YA. It includes: Junie B. Jones, My Weird School, Hot British Boyfriend, The Babysitters Coven, Sloppy Firsts, This is What Happy Looks Like, and a new live-action series, Majorettes (working title), based on an original BuzzFeed article by Frederick McKindra, “The Rich, Black, Southern Heritage of Hip-Hop Majorettes,” is also being developed in partnership with BuzzFeed.
Current projects led by Phelan and Olin include: iCarly, That Girl Lay Lay, Danger Force, Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan, Side Hustle, Warped! and The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder. Phelan and Olin also oversaw production on 2021 live-action holiday movie, A Loud House Christmas, which was the top entertainment telecast on TV for K6-11 of the year.
Upcoming live-action series and movies under Phelan and Olin’s purview include movie musicals, Monster High The Movie and Snow Day (working title); YA mystery School Spirits; the third season of event series Are You Afraid of the Dark?; the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movie franchise spin-off series XO, Kitty (Netflix); and a live-action series based on the Emmy-winning animated series The Loud House.
Said Phelan and Olin, “We are thrilled to be in a position to identify and build long-term IP for a global audience that spans platforms, and we’re inspired by these exciting book titles for our audience that will complement our owned IP and original development.”
These projects mark the first developments to come out of Nickelodeon and Awesomeness’ new in-house Literary Affairs department headed by Eddie Gamarra, Vice President, Literary Affairs, who dually reports into Phelan and Olin.
Following are details of the development slate:
· Junie B. Jones (Random House): Based on the best-selling book series from Barbara Park about titular character Junie B. Jones – a young girl with an abundance of curiosity, an endless amount of opinions and laugh-out-loud antics.
· My Weird School (Harper Collins): The wildly popular My Weird School series by Dan Gutman follows AJ, a boy navigating his school filled with off-kilter teachers and even more bizarre happenings.
· Hot British Boyfriend (HarperTeen): Based on the book by Kristy Boyce, after a horrifying public rejection by her crush, Ellie Nichols crosses the Atlantic in a quest to rebuild her reputation and find self-confidence and love.
· The Babysitters Coven (Delacorte): Based on the book series by Kate Williams, fifteen-year-old Esme Pearl realizes her destiny—on her birthday—to join a coven of witches who must save the world from evil.
· Sloppy Firsts (Wednesday Books): Based on the beloved book series by Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts follows Jessica Darling as she navigates the highs and lows of high school, often resulting in devastatingly embarrassing results. Sloppy Firsts is the first book in the esteemed, New York Times best-selling Jessica Darling series.
· Majorettes (in partnership with BuzzFeed Studios): Based on an original BuzzFeed News article by Frederick McKindra, “The Rich, Black, Southern Heritage of Hip-Hop Majorettes,” a coming-of-age series centered on high school majorettes as they navigate friendships and family while maintaining this dance tradition.
· This is What Happy Looks Like (Little, Brown) Based on best-selling author Jennifer E. Smith’s book, the movie follows a small-town girl who accidentally befriends a celebrity as they navigate first love and their future together.
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