Nickelodeon has unveiled its 2019 content slate, highlighted by SpongeBob SquarePants spinoffs and an hour-long special, a revival of sketch comedy show All That with Kenan Thompson as executive producer, a reimagined version of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? hosted by John Cena, and a scripted music series set in a boarding/performing arts high school from Simon Fuller and Ryan Tedder.
The slate, announced today by Nickelodeon President Brian Robbins, was put into development in October at the beginning of Robbins’ tenure and will begin to roll out on Nick’s platforms this summer.
Nick will commemorate the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob Squarepants with Best Year Ever, a tribute that includes an original one-hour special, SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout, premiering Friday, July 12. Also planned are SpongeBob spinoffs focused on the core characters into formats such as new series, specials and feature-length movies. The anniversary will culminate with the May 22, 2020 release of the new SpongeBob theatrical, It’s A Wonderful Sponge, from Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies.
The iconic family game show Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader will return with new episodes hosted by John Cena, who will also serve as an executive producer. Mark Burnett, Chairman of Worldwide Television, MGM (Survivor, The Voice) and Barry Poznick, President, Unscripted Television, MGM (Beat Shazam, The World’s Best) will return as executive producers of the reboot. It’s slated to premiere this year.
Nick is reviving its hit All That with a new cast of kids, and former cast members making appearances throughout the season. Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live) and Kevin Kay (All That, SpongeBob SquarePants, Lip Sync Battle) will executive produce, with comedian Jermaine Fowler (Super Donuts, Sorry to Bother You) serving as consulting producer on the series slated to premiere this summer.
The Simon Fuller/Ryan Tedder-Produced Untitled Project is a scripted music series set in a boarding performing arts high school, with original music in every episode. A nationwide search will be conducted to cast the show.
The network also will premiere several Hispanic-focused series. The Casagrandes, a companion to the animated hit The Loud House featuring a multigenerational Mexican-American family, premiering in October; and Santiago of the Seas (formerly The Swashbuckling Adventures of Capitán Calavera) interactive animated series featuring a Spanish-language and Latino-Caribbean culture curriculum. Paramount Pictures, Paramount Players and Nickelodeon Movies also are teaming with Walden Media on a Dora the Explorer live-action movie, opening in theaters this August.
Here are Nickelodeon’s details of additional programming:
• Ryan’s Mystery Playdate – Created and produced by pocket.watch, this brand-new live-action preschool series follows YouTube superstar Ryan, of Ryan ToysReview, his parents and animated friends Gus the Gummy Gator and Combo Panda as they work together to tackle a series of imaginative, physical challenges and unbox puzzles to reveal the identity of his mystery playdate.
• The Substitute – In this new hidden camera prank show, celebrities are transformed by a team of special effects artists to go undercover as substitute teachers to surprise a class of unsuspecting students. A $25,000 donation will be made to each school. The Substitute is produced by The Intellectual Property Corporation, and Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman (Undercover Boss), with Mike Harney serving as showrunner.
• America’s Most Musical Family (working title) – This brand-new competition series, produced by The Intellectual Property Corporation, and Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman (So You Think You Can Dance), follows the nationwide search for the most talented family in America.
• Are You Afraid of the Dark? – The beloved anthology series will return this October as a brand-new miniseries and follow new members of the Midnight Society as they gather around a campfire in the woods to share scary stories. The miniseries will coincide with the upcoming Are You Afraid of the Dark? theatrical movie from Paramount Pictures, Paramount Players’ and Nickelodeon Movies, in theaters October 2019.
• Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Season two of the 2D-animated series will premiere this fall, and follow the Turtles as they continue to hone their ninja skills, uncover new, powerful weapons and encounter a world beneath the streets of New York City. The franchise is also being expanded with an original, feature-length animated movie being produced by Nickelodeon Studios for Netflix.
• Blue’s Clues & You! – This remake of the groundbreaking, curriculum-driven interactive series Blue’s Clues brings back beloved puppy Blue for an all-new generation of preschoolers. Premiering in November, the series features all-new CG animation, updates to favorite characters and stars Broadway actor Joshua Dela Cruz as the new live-action host.
• LEGO® CITY – The all-new high-stakes CG-animated comedy, created and produced by LEGO Group, depicts the funny, smart, and dynamic slices of life within the sprawling and diverse LEGO CITY community. Set to debut this year, the series follows the intertwining paths of the city’s everyday heroes as they work together to stop a mysterious master criminal who begins to wreak havoc on their town.