KIDS UPFRONT 2013: NICKELODEON
The content and consumption methods most desired by the post-millennial generation framed Nickelodeon Group President Cyma Zarghami’s presentation at the network’s Upfront last night that included an appearance from Kids Choice Awards host Josh Duhamel and performance by OneRepublic. Nick has been ensconced in a massive research effort as it seeks to regain some of the kids market power it’s ceded over the past year. “We have reorganized our development process in a way that allows us to make content smarter and faster than ever before, tailored specifically for this first generation of post-millenial kids,” Zarghami said. “Our research tells us that for them funny is a badge of honor, and because funny is in Nickelodeon’s core DNA, we believe our position will ensure our success.” Network brass touted look the just-launched Nick App and other new distribution avenues including a new live afternoon daypart called Nick Studio 10, a series of new sketch-comedy workshops for live-action development that will integrate a lot of user-generated content, and a partnership with Brian Robbins’ AwesomenessTV online site. Programming remains at the core, of course, with what looks like a greater focus on live programming aimed at co-viewing and a swell of preschoolers. Here’s a preview of a few of the seven new shows that were green-lighted:
- Animated newcomers include Sanjay & Craig, about a boy and his best bud who happens to be a snake; and Breadwinners, whose creative team heralds from Nick’s animated shorts program. Also new to the roster are previously announced Rabbids and Monsters vs. Aliens. And Nick is picking up a third season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which bowed in 2012 as the No. 1 new animated series with boys 2-11.
- New family-focused live-action series include The Haunted Hathaways, about a family who discovers it’s sharing its new house with ghosts; and The Thundermans, about the sibling rivalry between twins in a family of superheroes. These series join the previously announced Sam & Cat and the recently launched Wendell & Vinnie.
- Lots of attention on preschool series in the coming season, with Nick’s first-ever Dora spinoff, Dora and Friends; Wallykazam!, its first literacy show; and Blaze and the Monster Machines, featuring a curriculum – dedicated to all areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and follows the adventures of an 8-year-old boy and his monster truck.