Wednesday, June 10, 2020

'The Loud House' Gets Set to Celebrate 100 Episodes

Nickelodeon is ready to crank up the cartoon volume to celebrate the 100th episode of its top-ranking kids’ hit, The Loud House. Premiering Wednesday, June 10 at 12 p.m. ET/PT, the milestone episode “A Star Is Scorned” centers on Lola, who ropes Lily into her plans to break into show business with a double-dose of cuteness.

In honor of the 100th episode of The Loud House, Nickelodeon reveals this image featuring some of the most beloved characters, many of whom have become central to the show’s stories.

Animation Magazine caught up with busy show veterans Mike Rubiner (Executive Producer) and Karen Malach (Producer) to get an inside perspective on what makes kids keep clamoring for Lincoln and the Louds a hundred episodes later.

Update (6/10) - It has been announced that Kevin Sullivan will be the new head writer of The Loud House in season 5. He's also keeping a close eye on The Loud House Movie to make sure the film's still in line with what the show is about.

Debuted in May 2016, The Loud House ranks as TV’s #2 animated series with Kids 2-11 and 6-11, second only to Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. The chaotic, comedic adventures of 11-year-old Lincoln Loud and his 10 sisters were recently greenlit for a fifth season. The show has even expanded into comic books, a digital album, mobile games, its own vlog and podcast and a spin-off series, The Casagrandes.

Can you tell us how long you’ve been working on the show now?

Mike Rubiner: Almost since the beginning. I started as the story editor in the summer of 2014. That was when we were just getting the show off the ground, planning and writing the first few episodes. Then in 2017 I became the Executive Producer.

Karen Malach: I started working on the show in July of 2015 – five years next month.

Did you think The Loud House would be such a big hit when you began working on it?

Malach: Actually, I did. It was so endearing, sweet and funny – once we started recording the voices, it really came alive for me and I knew we had something very special.

Rubiner: I had a hunch it would do well. The premise was so simple and appealing – a boy with 10 sisters – and the characters were so fun and distinctive. But I had no idea it would become as big a hit as it did.

What do you think sets the series apart from other animated family series available today?

Rubiner: I think it’s unusually grounded for a cartoon – it’s about real kid and family issues. Even if the stories go off in a crazy, cartoony direction, we always want kids to be able to relate to what our characters are going through, and to see their own lives in the show. The show also has a lot of heart. We always want it to be funny, but if we can make it touching, too, all the better. And then there’s the unique look of the show – that retro comic-book feel, which gives it a lot of warmth.

Malach: We have a large cast of characters – which can be difficult for production at times, but very effective at making an impact on a wide range of viewers. There is something for everyone. All the characters have such varying personalities that I think we’ve done a really good job appealing to a varied audience, whether it’s the kid who is a sports enthusiast, or the kid who is the family clown and joker, or the kid who is a diva princess, which is my personal favorite.

What has been the biggest challenge for you?

Malach: I would say that the biggest challenge has been this work-from-home transition. The crew is so used to being close, and we truly enjoy working around one another. It is difficult to only see each other through video conference screens. We make it work, and it is working about as well as it can, but it definitely feels different because we are not physically together during what is proving to be a trying time.

Rubiner: Now that we’re in our fifth season, the biggest challenge is keeping things fresh, finding new stories to tell. At this point, we’ve told somewhere around 250 stories. Our writers have their work cut out for them, but fortunately they’re an amazingly talented and hard-working team.

What is the most memorable response you have had from fans when they realize you work on The Loud House?

Rubiner: It’s always nice to see kids’ faces light up when I tell them I work on the show. They often have lots of questions about the characters – “What’s going to happen with Lincoln and Ronnie Anne?” is a big one. It shows that they’re really invested in the characters. It’s also really great when parents say they watch the show with their kids and actually enjoy it, rather than fleeing the room.

Malach: I’ve enjoyed having parents tell me how much they enjoy watching the show with their kids – they love the fact that we’ve illustrated some diverse family dynamics and really appreciate that we’re representing the LGBTQ community with the characters of Clyde’s dads and our dear Luna. There really is something for everyone in these episodes.

What has been the biggest lesson you have learned from working on the series?

Malach: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you can find extremely talented, capable and driven people and then trust them to do their thing. It is easy for some people to be intimidated by others who are very talented, but there is a real value in trusting them to use their talents for the good of the project. If we all have confidence in what we bring to the table while supporting and welcoming the talents of others, everything runs more smoothly, and we can create a stronger product.

Rubiner: Probably that you’re only as good as the team you put together. From the beginning, we had a really talented, dedicated and collaborative crew, as well as an incredible cast of voice actors. Our whole team has always been really passionate about the show, and that’s what has made it so good.

Has the stay at home order had any impact on the production of the show at all?

Rubiner: We’re very fortunate to be working in animation, because we’ve been able to keep moving forward. Thanks to technology, we’re able to do everything we normally do by working remotely. Recording our cast has been the biggest challenge, but even that we’re starting to figure out. I think we all feel very lucky to have jobs right now, even if we get the occasional Zoom fatigue (or in our case, BlueJeans fatigue).

Malach: We’ve been able to work seamlessly, which is amazing. Of course, we have challenges, but nothing we haven’t been able to overcome. It is a particularly good time to be in animation, that’s for sure. We all try to stay positive and recognize how fortunate we are to stay working when many other people in different fields have lost their livelihoods.

Do you have a favorite episode?

Malach: C’mon now, that would be like asking to pick my favorite child. Actually, I do have a favorite – It was called “Really Loud Music” and it was a musical we did in Season 3 where we told the whole story through songs. It was awesome and so much fun – working with some amazing song writers. Shout out to Doug Rockwell and Michelle Lewis!

Rubiner: That’s a hard one – there are so many I love! I can’t pick a favorite, but here are a few I’m especially fond of: “Really Loud Music” (the two-part musical starring Luna), “The Sweet Spot” (the kids fight over the best spot in Vanzilla), all the crazy Luan-centric April Fools episodes, “Suite and Sour” (the Louds cause chaos at a resort hotel), “Absent Minded” (Clyde becomes a school Jr. Administrator), “A Grave Mistake” (Lucy wants to become president of the Morticians Club), “Tripped” (the Louds go on a road trip) … But really that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Make sure to catch season three of hit The Loud House podcast, Listen Out Loud!:

From Animation World Network:

Executive Producer Mike Rubiner Talks ‘The Loud House’ 100th Episode

With a 2020 Daytime Emmy nomination in tow, as well as two GLAAD Media Award nominations, the hit Nickelodeon show celebrates diverse characters, realistic storylines, and a centennial milestone as it heads into Season 5.

One boy, ten girls. As if growing up wasn’t enough of a challenge, Lincoln Loud must navigate school and relationships while mashed in the middle of a slew of bossy, musical, comedic, and gloomy sisters. Starring Collin Dean as Lincoln, The Loud House has set itself apart in kids animation, receiving nominations at both the 28th and the 29th GLAAD Media Awards for introducing Nickelodeon’s first same-sex married couple, the two fathers of Lincoln’s best friend Clyde. The show also just received a 2020 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Animated Series. And, in May 2017, Lincoln and Clyde were featured on the cover of Variety as an example of diverse characters in children's television.

Now, the series is marking another milestone as it celebrates its 100th episode.

Executive producer Mike Rubiner has been part of The Loud House crew since its earliest days, first as a story editor and writer, eventually becoming EP in 2017. He’s worked on a slew of animated TV series dating back to Welcome Freshman almost 30 years ago; he’s also worked on similar boyhood, coming-of-age cartoons, such as The Walt Disney Company’s Boyster, which follows the everyday adventures of a 12-year-old boy who has to keep his identity as a half-oyster-half-boy a secret from his elementary classmates. We recently spoke with Rubiner about his personal connection to The Loud House, favorite musical specials, the show’s unique approach to tackling teen troubles, and what to look forward to in the fifth season.

Executive producer Mike Rubiner.

Victoria Davis: How did you first get involved with The Loud House? What attracted you to this coming-of-age comedy?

Mike Rubiner: I had recently moved to LA from New York and heard from friends at Nickelodeon about The Loud House starting up. It sounded like the perfect show for me – I have three sisters, which isn’t ten, but it’s something. And, as it happens, I’m from the same area that the show is loosely set in – suburban Detroit. So, it definitely seemed like it was meant to be.

VD: Speaking of commonalities, you've worked on a lot of other animation shows that focus on young boys and how they navigate through life, like Boyster, Dude That's My Ghost, and Robot Boy. Is that an animation genre you particularly enjoy working on?

MR: I do enjoy it. I was lucky enough to have a great childhood, and that time of my life still has a special, mythical quality to me. It’s fun to relive those memories and bring them to bear on making the show. That said, the appeal of working on The Loud House is about way more than just Lincoln – it’s about all the sisters, the parents and the ever-expanding cast of characters in Royal Woods.

VD: Is that large cast of characters something that makes The Loud House unique from other shows you've worked on?

MR: That’s one of the differences – the 13 members of the Loud family, not to mention all the other characters we’ve added to the mix over the years. But that has been more of an opportunity than a burden. It gives us so many places to go, story-wise. I think it’s part of the reason we’ve been able to keep the show going for so long – and hopefully, we’ve got a ways to go!

VD: You’ve worn many hats on this show. Tell me about your work not only as the executive producer, but also story editor and writer.

MR: I was story editor for the first couple of years, so I spent my days in the writer’s room, helping to shape the stories and hone the scripts. The process of writing the show is closer to a live-action sitcom than your typical animated kids show – it mostly happens in the writer’s room and is very collaborative.

I became the executive producer in 2017, so now I’m involved in every step of the process, from storyboarding, to voiceover records, to animation, to music. I’m extremely lucky to have a very talented team that does most of the hard work; I just try to be the quality control person, making sure everything is as good as we can make it.

VD: Having spent so much time on the scripts and now in “quality control” as you say, what were some of your favorite episodes to work on?

MR: Well, there have been a lot, but working on the two-part musical “Really Loud Music” was especially fun and challenging. It was different than any other episode we’d ever done. The artists on the show got to take their game to a new level, and we worked with two incredibly talented songwriters, Michelle Lewis and Doug Rockwell. It was a ton of work, but we were all very proud of it.

VD: And now you’ve hit your 100th episode! Congratulations on reaching that milestone. What can you tell us about the episode?

MR: We didn’t really do anything special for this episode. We tend to reserve that for our two-part specials, like “Really Loud Music.” But we do have something quite special coming up a few episodes later, which is the beginning of the fifth season. We’re moving ahead in time a year, which means Lincoln will start middle school, Lily will start pre-school and Lori will be off to college. We’re excited about the story possibilities that will give us.

VD: The Loud House, in addition to its GLAAD Media Award nominations, has gotten a lot of great feedback from viewers who say the show is very down-to-earth in the way it handles teenage kid situations. What do you think sets its apart as an animated kids show?

MR: I think just what you mention in your question is a big part of it. We try to ground the show in the real lives of kids as much as possible. We try to tell stories that kids can relate to and see themselves in. And in addition to trying to make kids laugh, we also hope that in some small way we can give them positive messages about family and love and growing up…without hitting them over the head with it, hopefully.

VD: What about the show’s future are you most looking forward to?

MR: We’ve been working on an animated feature-length movie for Netflix. And we’re also working on a live-action The Loud House movie. I’m super excited about both of those projects. It’s a really fun challenge to tell bigger, longer, more epic stories about this family we’ve all grown to love.


From Kidscreen:

Overcoming obstacles: How The Loud House keeps fans

From high-profile exits to new platforms, the show's relatable characters and realistic situations helped the Nick series endure, says head writer Kevin Sullivan.

After multiple seasons, and some major challenges along the way, Nickelodeon’s The Loud House remains relevant with fans because it keeps its stories realistic and grounded, says Kevin Sullivan, the story editor and head writer on the show.

Revolving around Lincoln Loud, the only boy in a house with 10 sisters, the show has been a ratings success for Nick since it hit the network in 2016. Now, season five is in production, and the show’s 100 episode airs today. At the core of the show’s success is a feedback loop with fans, who often tell producers they enjoy the series because they can see themselves in at least one of the many characters, says Sullivan.

And though the stories themselves are often goofy and a bit cartoonish (even for a toon), kids also connected with how the stories are always grounded in realism, Sullivan adds. Keeping these elements at the core of the writing, has been a big part of the show’s ongoing success, he adds. It’s also why the show stands out from other popular Nick titles, like Fairly OddParents, which put over-the-top scenarios above realism, he adds.

But the road to 100 hasn’t always been smooth.

Created and executive produced by Chris Savino (The Powerpuff Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants), the show is based on an animated short of the same name from Nick’s annual Animated Short Program. The show hit a bit of a bump in 2017, after Nickelodeon fired Savino, following allegations of misconduct. At the time, Sullivan was a staff writer on the series, and had been writing on the show since its beginning. Although Savino leaving was a shift, the series had been around long enough, and the writers were all experienced crafting the show, that they were able to carry on without too much disruption, Sullivan says. While Savino’s departure was a bit of a curve-ball for production, it was also a positive step towards creating a more inclusive space on and behind the camera, says Sullivan.

“When leadership changed it brought up some small challenges around making sure we were making the best series, and could keep the story and tone consistent,” says Sullivan. “But we had really strong leadership across teams, from art direction to writing, and there was a trust in all the crews that we could get the job done, which helped motivate us all to keep producing it.”

Another challenge was expanding the brand into a film, working with new teams who weren’t as familiar with it, says Sullivan. So, he had to keep a close eye on production to make sure the movie maintained the brand’s humor, didn’t talk down to kids, and that the characters were the same as the show.

Looking forward, to make sure the The Loud House remains fresh and relevant with kids aging out of the demo, season five will see the characters all aged up by a year. This also gives the team the opportunity to tell new stories as character dynamics change, adds Sullivan.

“The secrets to the show’s success is that the characters are reflective of our audience, and it features situations they can relate to,” he says. “It also blends comedy, moments of growth and real emotion to get kids laughing, thinking and feeling, and I’m excited to see how kids resonate with all of its upcoming content.”


Subscribe to the official The Loud House & The Casagrandes YouTube channel!:

More Nick: Nickelodeon Releases The Loud House “Really Loud Music” Digital Album!

Originally published: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 at 20:22 BST.

Additional source: Anime Superhero Forum /@SweetShop209.
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