Thursday, February 04, 2021

BEST SCARES from Are You Afraid of the Dark?: The Carnival of Doom | Nickelodeon

BEST SCARES from Are You Afraid of the Dark?: The Carnival of Doom | Nickelodeon

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is now streaming on CBS All Access! Feeling jumpy? In the mood for a quick fright? Check out the Midnight Society's best scares from Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Carnival of Doom! Make sure to also check out the original series!

Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Curse of the Shadows premieres Friday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), only on Nickelodeon!

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Meowphin Time! | Mighty Morphin Meower Rangers | Episode 1 | Power Rangers Official

Meowphin Time! | Mighty Morphin Meower Rangers | Episode 1 | Power Rangers Official

It’s Meowphin Time!! Five felines with “cattitude” morph into Power Rangers and use their extraordinary abilities to defend their furry friends from evil!

Power Rangers Dino Fury, the 28th season of the iconic long-running Power Rangers premieres Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. (ET/PT), only on Nickelodeon! Info:


For more on Power Rangers, please visit and follow Power Rangers on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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What is Auditory Contamination? ūüéß | Planeta Bala | Nickelodeon Latin America

¿Qu√© es la contaminaci√≥n auditiva? ūüéß | Planeta Bala | Nickelodeon en Espa√Īol

Todo ese ruido de autos, camiones, vendedores y demás cosas que se oyen en las calles pueden tener algunas repercusiones para nuestra salud y el planeta. En este episodio Bala te explicará como puedes ayudar a reducir este tipo de contaminación invisible.

¿No sabes c√≥mo cuidar al planeta o qu√© hacer para protegerlo? Bala te va a explicar semana a semana en esta nueva serie todos los pasos a seguir para cuidar nuestro planeta Tierra. Desde empezar nuevos h√°bitos en casa hasta conocer a personas que est√°n haciendo cosas incre√≠bles por cuidar nuestra naturaleza.

M√°s Nick: ViacomCBS Int'l Studios Announces 'Kally's MashUp' TV Movie, 'A Very Kally's Birthday'!

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February 2021 on TeenNick Europe: Noobees 2 | Spyders | All That | Are You Afraid of the Dark? | Valentine's Marathons + More

Below is a round-up of TeenNick Europe's programming highlights for February 2021!

More Highlights:

January 2021 on: Nickelodeon International | Nicktoons Global | TeenNick EuropeNick Jr. Global

About TeenNick Europe and this guide: Although TeenNick Europe is not the official name of this channel, it's the name I've given it as it broadcasts primarily in Europe. There are a couple of pan-regional versions of TeenNick: TeenNick Comm (aka TeenNick Europe), which broadcasts in France (under the name Nickelodeon Teen) and Hungary; and TeenNick Global, which is available in Latin America and Romania. All times CET, please check local listings for localised air times. Unless otherwise noted, localised episode titles are Hungarian (Magyar). Most of the premieres listed only apply to TeenNick Hungary (Magyarorsz√°g).

--- This February, TeenNick Europe will be airing:

-- Brand new episodes of All That:

- 2021-02-05 21:05 11x04
- 2021-02-12 21:05 11x05
- 2021-02-19 21:05 11x06
- 2021-02-26 21:05 11x07

"All That" is locally titled "Sok hŇĪh√≥" in Hungary.

-- Brand new episodes of Nickelodeon's Spyders:

- 2021-02-08 17:45 1x11 A zsarol√°s (Blackmail)
- 2021-02-09 17:45 1x12 A fedŇĎsztori (The Cover Story)
- 2021-02-10 17:45 1x13 Az √ļj bizony√≠t√©k (New Evidence)
- 2021-02-11 17:45 1x14 Szívfájdalom (Heartbreak)
- 2021-02-12 17:45 1x15 Az √ļj vend√©g (The Guest)
- 2021-02-15 17:45 1x16 Fordul a kocka (The Switch)
- 2021-02-16 17:45 1x17 A lebuk√°sok napja (Eavesdropping)
- 2021-02-17 17:45 1x18 A szöktetés (Prison Break)
- 2021-02-18 17:45 1x19 A csapda (The Set Up)
- 2021-02-19 17:45 1x20 V√°ratlan fordulat (Unexpected Twist) - season one finale

-- Brand new episodes of Noobees season 2:

- 2021-02-01 16:30 2x14S.O.S sz√ľlŇĎk (S.O.S. Parents)
- 2021-02-02 16:30 2x15 A fogadóóra (Transportation Issues)
- 2021-02-03 16:30 2x16 Rossz, rossz és rossz (Bad, Bad, Bad)
- 2021-02-04 16:30 2x17 P√°rok napja (Couples Day)
- 2021-02-05 16:30 2x18 Emlékek, hazugságok és avatárok (Memories, Lies, and Avatars)
- 2021-02-08 16:30 2x19 Tilos hipnotiz√°lni Silvi√°t (Forbidden to Hypnotize Sylvia
- 2021-02-09 16:30 2x20 Az avatároknak vége (The End of the Avatars)
- 2021-02-10 16:30 2x21 Avatárok karantéban (Avatars in Observation)
- 2021-02-11 16:30 2x22 The Brothers United or Divided
- 2021-02-12 16:30 2x23 Goodbye Rocco
- 2021-02-15 16:30 2x24 Problems, Problems and More Problems
- 2021-02-16 16:30 2x25 Hypnosis for All
- 2021-02-17 16:30 2x26 Athina, Missing in Action
- 2021-02-18 16:30 2x27 NOOBees Must Lose
- 2021-02-19 16:30 2x28 The Return of the Powers
- 2021-02-22 16:30 2x29 An Unexpected Return
- 2021-02-23 16:30 2x30 The Secret
- 2021-02-24 16:30 2x31 The Renunciation
- 2021-02-25 16:30 2x32 Ruth in Action
- 2021-02-26 16:30 2x33 Laura's Return

"Noobees" is locally titled "Noob csapat" in Hungary.

- 2021-02-08/09/10/11/12/13/14 15:15-16:30 A Valentin-nap hete

-- A selection of Original Nickelodeon Movies and specials every Saturday, replayed every Sunday morning:

- 2021-02-06 20:50 Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Part Two: Opening Night (Félsz a sötétben?: A nyitóest)
- 2021-02-13 20:50 Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Part Three: Destroy All Tophats (Félsz a sötétben?: A leszámolás)
- 2021-02-20 20:50 Rufus
- 2021-02-27 20:50 Rufus 2

"Rufus" 1 & 2 are locally titled "Un ami qui tombe pile-poil" and "Un ami qui tombe pile-poil 2", respectively, in France.

More Nick: ViacomCBS Launches TeenNick Channels in Hungary and Romania!

Febru√°ri; √©vadz√°r√≥; √©vadnyit√≥; Maratonok febru√°rban; Filmek, k√ľl√∂nkiad√°sok febru√°rban: - szombatonk√©nt, ism√©tl√©s vas√°rnap d√©lelŇĎtt; Saint Valentin.

Originally published: Sunday, January 24, 2022.

Original source: Mentrum.

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First 'PAW Patrol: The Movie' Merchandise Offers First Look at Film

The pups from Nickelodeon's beloved CG-animated preschool series PAW Patrol are about to leap onto the big screen this summer in their first movie. Just like with the series, Spin Master and ViacomCBS Consumer Products will be releasing a slew of merchandise inspired by the film, the first of which has just gone up for pre-order, offering fans a first look at the movie - including an all-new character!

Currently available to pre-order on Entertainment Earth are two PAW Patrol: The Movie lunch box sets produced by Tin Box Company, both set to go on sale in July 2021.

Set to be released on August 20, 2021, PAW Patrol: The Movie will see Ryder and the pups are called to Adventure City to stop Mayor Humdinger from turning the bustling metropolis into a state of chaos! Get ready for exciting missions, high-stake rescues, new pups and amazing new vehicles making this the biggest Paw Patrol story ever! "No city is too big; no pup is too small!"

"Ryder and the pups off to Adventure City to stop Mayor Humdinger from turning the metropolis into a state of chaos, and if you're going to join them, you need one of these terrific metal totes for your lunch and stuff! Inspired by PAW Patrol: The Movie, there are two exciting and colorful designs. Measuring about 7 1/2-inches wide x 6-inches tall x 3-inches deep, they sport zipper closure and a top handle. One features Marshall, Chase, and Rubble against a city background, while the other presents Chase, Skye, and Marshall along with the words "To Adventure City." You're gonna want them both!

- No city is too big - no pup is too small!
- Terrific metal lunch boxes inspired by PAW Patrol: The Movie!
- Two exciting designs featuring Marshall, Chase, Skye, and Rubble.
- Set contains 2 individually packaged metal totes.

This PAW Patrol: The Movie Carry All Tin Lunch Box Set of 2 contains 2 individually packaged metal totes:

1x Marshall, Chase, and Rubble
1x To Adventure City"

The second set, PAW Patrol: The Movie Workman's Tin Lunch Box Set of 3, priced $32.99, features a first look at one of the new characters set to appear in the movie!

"Set contains 3 individually packaged metal totes.Ryder and the pups are off to Adventure City to stop Mayor Humdinger from turning the metropolis into a state of chaos, and if you're going to join them, you need one of these terrific metal totes for your lunch and stuff! Inspired by PAW Patrol: The Movie, there are three exciting and colorful designs. Measuring about 7 1/4-inches wide x 5 3/8-inches tall x 3 1/4-inches deep, one features Marshall, Chase, and Rubble with the words "No City to Big!, another presents Rubble, Skye, Chase, and Marshall with the words "Braver than Ever," and the third features Ryder and the whole gang! Collect all three!

- No city is too big for these brave pups!
- Terrific metal lunch boxes inspired by PAW Patrol: The Movie!
- Three exciting designs featuring Ryder, Marshall, Chase, Skye, and more.

This PAW Patrol: The Movie Workman's Tin Lunch Box Set of 3 contains 3 individually packaged metal totes:

1x No City Too Big
1x Braver than Ever
1x PAW Patrol Gang
(subject to change)"

PAW Patrol: The Movie will feature an all-star voice cast ensemble, including Kim Kardashian West, Dax Shepard (Chips, Idiocracy), Jimmy Kimmel, Tyler Perry (The Star), Yara Shahidi (Black-ish), Randall Park (Fresh Off The Boat, The Interview), Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon), Marsai Martin (Black-ish), and Will Brisbin (Forbidden Playground).

PAW Patrol: The Movie is currently in production with creators, artists and producers collaborating remotely.

Representing a new chapter for this continually growing entertainment franchise, the PAW Patrol feature film will be directed by animation veteran Cal Brunker (Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature; Escape From Planet Earth). Spin Master Entertainment's Executive Vice President, Jennifer Dodge, will produce the film and Ronnen Harary, Spin Master's Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Adam Beder, Spin Master's Executive Vice President Strategic Partnership & Franchise Development and Peter Schlessel will executive produce.

More Nick: Spin Master Announces Star-Studded Voice Talent for 'Paw Patrol' Movie!

Originally published: Thursday, February 04, 2021.

H/T: Special thanks to @MarshallPupFan for the news!

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JoJo Siwa Talks Decision to Come Out and Announces Nickelodeon Musical of Her Life

JoJo Siwa sat down virtually with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show to discuss her decision to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and announce that she’s working on a Nickelodeon musical about her life.

Last month, Siwa posted a viral TikTok video of herself dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which many of her millions of fans took as a coming out announcement. A day later, she posted a photo of herself wearing a shirt printed with “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever,” a more definitive post that she went over on with her girlfriend.

“I was like, ‘I wanna do a TikTok to ‘Born This Way,’ because it is true. I don’t really wanna be like ‘Yeah, it’s true!’ right away, but I was like ‘I want people to know it’s ok,'” she said. “My cousin had gotten me that shirt; I took that picture like a week before I posted it. I put it on my close friends Instagram story. All my friends know, all my family knows. And then one day I was on FaceTime with my girlfriend…We were talking about it and all the love that came in, and we were both like ‘Technically, I still haven’t confirmed it.’ I was like ‘I kinda just wanna post this picture on my real story.’ And she was super encouraging, she was like ‘Do it.’ I was like ‘All right!’ And I did it.”

The 17-year-old dancer, singer and Nickelodeon superstar said she wanted to start a conversation about coming out and make it less scary for other people.

“My thing about coming out is it can be a very scary thing. Of course, not everyone in the world is going to accept it right now, but there are so many people that are going to accept it right now. And even if there’s a million people that don’t accept it, there’s 100 million that do. And I think that’s something that’s really important,” she said. “Also I was like, ‘I don’t want it to be such a big thing. What am I gonna do? Have a coming out party?’ No, it’s just who I am.”

Siwa also announced that she and Nickelodeon, whom she signed on with in 2017, are working on a musical based on her life, titled The J-Team, featuring six original songs by her.

“This musical is centered around my life, and also centered around being yourself and staying true to who you are. Even when the world is telling you ‘It’s not going to happen,’ you’re believing because you’re you,” she said. “And the music in it, I’m so happy about. I have worked so hard on this soundtrack.”

Originally published: Thursday, February 04, 2021.

Additional source: TV Line.

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'Look Up' (2021 Version) | Hey Arnold! | Jim Lang

A new version of the iconic Hey Arnold! song "Look Up"! Vocal by Manouchca Joseph and artwork by -who else? Craig Bartlett! And oh yeah, piano by Jim Lang!

More Nick: Nickelodeon Unveils First Look at CG-Animated 'Rugrats' and 'Big Nate'!
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'Bunny Money' Sneak Peek | Unfiltered | Nickelodeon

Getting piggy with it ūüź∑ Asher Angel's back on this week's new Unfiltered and we couldn't be happier ūüėć Check out a sneak peek below, and tell me who you think is behind the filter in the comments! Tune into the brand new episode of Nickelodeon's Unfiltered, premiering Thursday, February 4 at 7p/6c!

Pull a rabbit outta your piggy bank! In the all new Unfiltered episode "Bunny Money," host Jay Pharoah introduces two mystery celebs hiding behind 3D animated filters. Asher Angel, Gabrielle Nevaeh Green (All That) and Miya Cech (The Astronauts) ask questions and gather clues to unveil our two special guests. (#205)

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon and Unfiltered News and Highlights!

Lele Pons to Fool the School in New Episode of 'The Substitute', Premiering Thursday, Feb. 4 on Nickelodeon

Lele Pons is making waves on Thursday's new Substitute ūü¶ą Check out a super sneak peek below and more sure to catch Lele Pons as The Substitute, premiering Thursday, February 4. 2021 at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT), only on Nickelodeon!

In the brand new episode of The Substitute, international creator Lele Pons finds balance in yoga at sea, gets intense as a bandleader, and is a pretentious lunch lady who schools the kids with her cooking as The Substitute. Hosted by Juanpa Zurita. (#210)

Originally published: Thursday, February 04, 2021!

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YTV Canada to Premiere 'The SpongeBob SportsPants Countdown Special' on Saturday, Feb. 6

YTV Canada will premiere The SpongeBob SportsPants Countdown Special on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. (ET/PT)!

The SpongeBob SportsPants Countdown Special is a brand new sports-themed compilation special hosted by the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller, highlighting SpongeBob’s best sports moments and featuring appearances by CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, as well as Eagle, Burleson and Green.

The SpongeBob SportsPants Countdown Special made its debut on Nickelodeon USA on Sunday, Jan. 10 as part of the network's NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon highlights.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon Canada and SpongeBob SquarePants News and Highlights!

'The Astronauts' Scribe Daniel Knauf Receives Nomination in 2021 Writers Guild Awards

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has announced the exciting news that The Astronauts creator Daniel Knauf (Carniv√†le, The Blacklist) has been nominated in the "Children's Episodic, Long Form and Specials" category of the 2021 Writers Guild Awards for his writing work on the show's launch episode, "Countdown"!

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, news, radio, and promotional categories. The winners will be honored at a joint 2021 Writers Guild Awards virtual ceremony on Sunday, March 21, 2021. A full list of Writers Guild Awards 2021 nominees can be found at

A huge congratulations and good luck to Bret Calvert, Seth Harrington, Rosemarie DiSalvo and Nickelodeon!

The Astronauts is a live-action series follows a group of kids who embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they are mistakenly launched into space. The series is executive produced by Imagine Entertainment Executive Chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, and Imagine Kids+Family President Stephanie Sperber.  The series is created by Daniel Knauf (Carniv√†leThe Blacklist), who also serves as writer and executive producer. 

In the hour-long premiere of The Astronauts, the spacecraft Odyssey II is set to launch on a mission to retrieve a foreign object that could potentially save mankind.  The plan quickly goes awry when five untrained kids use their parents’ security clearances to sneak onto the empty ship.  Soon after they board, the onboard AI system triggers the launch sequence.  Unable to stop the ship from blasting off, the kids must assume their new role as astronauts and brave harrowing tasks, as their parents rush to find a way to take control of the situation.

The group traveling together through space are: Samantha “Samy” Sawyer-Wei, played by Miya Cech (Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Always Be My Maybe); Elliott Combs, played by Bryce Gheisar (Wonder, A Dog’s Purpose); Martin Taylor, played by Keith L. Williams (Good Boys, The Last Man on Earth); Doria Taylor, played by Kayden Grace Swan (A Black Lady Sketch Show); and Will Rivers, played by Ben Daon (Child’s Play).  Matilda, the ship’s onboard AI system, is voiced by Paige Howard (The Employer, Adventureland).

The premiere episodes of The Astronauts are directed by DGA Award nominee Dean Israelite (Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Power Rangers movie, Project Almanac), who also serves as executive producer. The series is also directed by Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, The Orville), and Marcus Stokes (Criminal Minds, The Flash, 911). Will Davis served as creative executive for Imagine Kids+Family.

Production of The Astronauts for Nickelodeon is overseen by Shauna Phelan, Senior Vice President, Live Action Scripted Content; and Zack Olin, Senior Vice President, Live Action.  Brian Banks serves as Nickelodeon’s Executive in Charge of Production for the series.

The Astronauts is the first production to hail from Imagine Kids+Family.  Imagine has a rich history telling stories rooted in space adventure, including the multiple Academy Award-winning film Apollo 13 (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year), the hybrid docuseries Mars for NatGeo, and the Emmy Award-winning series From The Earth To The Moon for HBO.

The Astronauts made its world premiere on Nickelodeon USA on Friday, November 13, winning the day with Kids 6-11 across all TV for L+SD and L+3. The premiere posted a +31% increase with Kids 6-11, up from 1.3 (L+SD) to 1.7 (L+3).  It also saw a double digit increase in L+3 ratings (+55%) year over year. Additionally, The Astronauts delivered a strong co-viewing audience with 40% of Adults 18-49 watching the series premiere with a Kid 6-11.

Below is the full nominee listing for the "Children's Episodic, Long Form and Specials" category of the 2021 Writers Guild Awards:

- “Countdown” (The Astronauts), Written by Dan Knauf; Nickelodeon

- “Mo Willems And The Storytime All Stars Present: Don't Let The Pigeon Do Storytime,” Written by Mo Willems, Based on the children's books and published by Hyperion: Leonard the Terrible Monster; Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale; A Busy Creature's Day Eating!; Elephant and Piggy's Waiting is Not Easy!; and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus; HBO Max

- “The Not Too Late Show with Elmo,” Writers: Geri Cole, Scott Gray, Benjamin Lehmann, Wendy Marston, Andrew Moriarty, Ken Scarborough, Moujan Zolfaghari; HBO Max

- “The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special,” Written by Geri Cole; HBO Max

- “The Sleepover,” Written by Sarah Rothschild; Netflix

- “Speaking of Cancer” (Alexa & Katie), Written by Leo Chu & Eric S. Garcia & Julia Miranda; Netflix

A huge congratulations and good luck to Dan and Nickelodeon!

H/T: Variety.

Originally published: Thursday, February 04, 2021.

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Nickelodeon UK to Air Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 on Monday 15th March


Nickelodeon Brings Kids on an Orange Blimp Tour Around the World

KCA Nominees Announced--Justin Bieber, Millie Bobby Brown, Billie Eilish,
Lin-Manuel Miranda, BTS, Chris Pratt, LeBron James, Gal Gadot, Selena Gomez, Jamie Foxx,
Ariana Grande, Robert Downey Jr., Taylor Swift, Patrick Mahomes and More

Share It: @NickelodeonUK #KCA

London--Actor, comedian and Saturday Night Live legend Kenan Thompson (Kenan, All That, Kenan & Kel, Good Burger) will take kids on a wild and slimy ride as host of Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021!

Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 will air live on Nickelodeon in the U.S. on Saturday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT). Following it's U.S. debut, the special will roll out onto Nickelodeon channels internationally, including on Nickelodeon UK & Ireland on Monday 15th March 2021 at 6:00pm (GMT)!

With Thompson at the helm, kids and families everywhere will literally be part of this year’s show like never before for an epic celebration of fan-favourite stars across the worlds of film, television, music, sports and more.

Said Thompson, “Nickelodeon has been part of my life and my family forever and I can’t wait to host this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards. Am I worried about getting slimed? Naaaah. It’s going to come fast and cold, but it’s not my first rodeo--you know what I’m saying? So, bring on the slime and let’s do this!”

For the first time ever, Nickelodeon’s Orange Blimp will leave the KCA venue and take fans on a wild ride around the world and beyond. Filled with slime and messy stunts, viewers will travel to outer space, Bikini Bottom and right into celebrities’ homes using XR technology. This year’s show will also feature live and interactive fan walls that bring celebrities and families at home to the main stage; second screen live voting all night long where fans stay in control; and a KCA award presented by one lucky family chosen during the show.

Nickelodeon has also announced this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards nominees.  Leading the pack with the most nods are: Justin Bieber with five; Stranger Things with four; and Ariana Grande, The Croods: A New Age, Henry Danger, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Soul, Trolls World Tour and Wonder Woman 1984, all tied with three nominations each. Musical performances will be announced shortly.

Beginning today, fans can cast votes on the official Kids’ Choice Awards website, as well as through social media on Twitter.

Thompson is no stranger to Nickelodeon, having won a coveted Kids’ Choice Awards orange blimp for “Favourite Male TV Star” for his work in Nickelodeon’s sketch comedy hit All That in 2000. He was also nominated in that same category in 1998 alongside his longtime collaborator Kel Mitchell, who both serve as executive producers for the current iteration of All That which premiered in 2019.

Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 is sponsored by Barbie®, Goldfish® Flavor Blasted® crackers, got milk?, LEGO® VIDIYO™, Olive Garden®, and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. The presenting international sponsors of Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 are SCOOB! (EU-counties) and LEGO (non-EU counties).

Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 nominees are:


Alexa & Katie
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Danger Force
Henry Danger
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Raven’s Home

Cobra Kai
Fuller House
The Mandalorian
Stranger Things
Young Sheldon

America’s Got Talent
American Idol
American Ninja Warrior Junior
LEGO Masters
The Masked Singer
The Voice

Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks
The Boss Baby: Back in Business
LEGO Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar
The Loud House
SpongeBob SquarePants
Teen Titans Go!

Ella Anderson (Piper Hart, Henry Danger)
Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven, Stranger Things)
Candace Cameron Bure (D.J. Tanner-Fuller, Fuller House)
Camila Mendes (Veronica Lodge, Riverdale)
Raven-Symon√© (Raven Baxter, Raven’s Home)
Sofia Wylie (Gina, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series)

Iain Armitage (Sheldon Cooper, Young Sheldon)
Joshua Bassett (Ricky, High School Musical: The Musical Series)
Dylan Gilmer (Young Dylan, Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan)
Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair, Stranger Things)
Jace Norman (Henry Hart/Kid Danger, Henry Danger and Danger Force)
Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler, Stranger Things)


Hubie Halloween
Sonic the Hedgehog
Wonder Woman 1984

Millie Bobby Brown (Enola Holmes, Enola Holmes)
Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984)
Anne Hathaway (Grand High Witch, The Witches)
Vanessa Hudgens (Princesses, The Princess Switch: Switched Again)
Yifei Liu (Mulan, Mulan)
Melissa McCarthy (Carol Peters, Superintelligence)

Jim Carrey (Dr. Robotnik, Sonic the Hedgehog)
Robert Downey Jr. (Dr. John Dolittle, Dolittle)
Will Ferrell (Lars Erickssong, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton)
Chris Pine (Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman 1984)
Adam Sandler (Hubie Dubois, Hubie Halloween)

The Croods: A New Age
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe
Trolls World Tour

Tina Fey (22, Soul)
Jamie Foxx (Joe Gardner, Soul)
Anna Kendrick (Poppy, Trolls World Tour)
Chris Pratt (Barley Lightfoot, Onward)
Ryan Reynolds (Guy, The Croods: A New Age)
Emma Stone (Eep, The Croods: A New Age)
Justin Timberlake (Branch, Trolls World Tour)


Billie Eilish
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Katy Perry
Taylor Swift

Justin Bieber
Post Malone
Shawn Mendes
Harry Styles
The Weeknd

Black Eyed Peas
Jonas Brothers
Maroon 5

“Be Kind” – Marshmello & Halsey
“Holy” – Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper
“Ice Cream” – BLACKPINK & Selena Gomez
“Lonely” – Justin Bieber & benny blanco
“Rain on Me” – Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande
“Stuck with U” – Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber

“Blinding Lights” The Weeknd
“Cardigan” by Taylor Swift
“Dynamite” by BTS
“Toosie Slide” by Drake
“Wonder” by Shawn Mendes
“Yummy” by Justin Bieber

BTS (Asia)
Savannah Clarke (Australia)
David Guetta (Europe)
Master KG (Africa)
Taylor Swift (North America)
Sebasti√°n Yatra (Latin America)


Emma Chamberlain
Charli D’Amelio
Addison Rae
JoJo Siwa
Maddie Ziegler

James Charles
Jason Derulo
David Dobrik
Ryan’s World

Simone Biles
Alex Morgan
Naomi Osaka
Candace Parker
Megan Rapinoe
Serena Williams

Tom Brady
Stephen Curry
LeBron James
Patrick Mahomes
Lionel Messi
Russell Wilson

Among Us
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Pokémon GO

Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 is produced by Nickelodeon Productions and overseen by Rob Bagshaw, Executive Vice President, Unscripted Content. Michael Dempsey serves as executive producer, with Amy Johnson and Magda Liolis serving as co-executive producers. Nickelodeon’s Unscripted Content executives Rob Bagshaw and Paul J Medford also serve as executive producers. The ceremony is directed by Glenn Weiss.

Thompson stars in and executive produces the new NBC comedy Kenan, premiering Feb. 16 at 8:30 p.m. He is currently in his 18th season on Saturday Night Live as the show’s longest-running cast member. He has made numerous contributions to SNL with his slew of hilarious impressions that include Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey and David Ortiz, and memorable characters such as “Weekend Update” correspondent Jean K. Jean, “Black Jeopardy” host Darnell Hayes and Diondre Cole on “What Up With That.” In 2018, he received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the SNL song “Come Back, Barack” and was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2018 and 2020. Kenan starred in the hit Nickelodeon shows, All That and Kenan & Kel, and the fan-favorite movie Good Burger, and currently executive produces Nickelodeon's revival of the network's iconic sketch comedy series, All That, alongside his former Nick co-star, Kel Mitchell (All ThatKenan & Kel, Good Burger, Game Shakers).

The home of SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PAW Patrol and Nella the Princess Knight, Nickelodeon UK & Ireland Network is available in over 13 million cable and satellite homes and now reaches more than 10 million viewers a month. Launched in 1993, the top-performing Nickelodeon network comprises seven dedicated entertainment channels for kids aged 4-15 and their families: Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon HD, Nickelodeon +1, Nicktoons, Nick Jr., Nick Jr. +1 and Nick Jr. Too. The entertainment company has built a diverse multi-platform business by putting kids first in everything it does – Kids Rule! Content is at the core of the business with critically-acclaimed and hugely-popular television programming from the UK and around the world. In addition to the quality television programmes, Nickelodeon also produces bespoke content available online and on Nick Play, as well as consumer product and recreation opportunities such as the UK’s first-ever Nick theme park, Nickelodeon Land and the slimiest music festival for kids, SLIMEFEST UK.

Originally published: Thursday, February 04.

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Nickelodeon International's Nina Hahn and Jules Borkent Join TV Kids Festival Roster

Nina Hahn, the Senior Vice President (SVP) of international production and development for Nickelodeon International and head of ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) Kids, and Jules Borkent, the Executive Vice President (EVP) for kids and family at ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), will take part in a panel discussion as part of the upcoming TV Kids Festival.

Update (1/23) - Hahn and Borkent will be taking part in the "Keynote: ViacomCBS in Focus" portion of the 2021 TV Kids Festival, taking place on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. EST. Synopsis: "An in-depth conversation with Nina Hahn, the senior VP of international production and development for Nickelodeon International and head of ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) Kids, and Jules Borkent, the executive VP for kids and family at ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI)."

The full schedule for TV Kids Festival 2021 can be found here. Sign up for your free registration to attend here.

In his role as brand lead for Nickelodeon International, Borkent is in charge of all aspects of content and business operations, overseeing brand and content management and strategy, acquisitions, production development, creative and multiplatform for Nickelodeon branded channels and platforms internationally. Hahn oversees international content development and co-production partnerships for all ViacomCBS kids’ content outside of the U.S. She coordinates and drives the development process, spearheads new production models, manages productions from pilot through to series and works in direct partnership with content teams around the world. Registration for this event is free. Information on how to register will be available on Wednesday.

Taking place from February 2 to 5, 2021, the TV Kids Festival will feature keynotes and panels with leading executives and creatives discussing the importance of alliances in producing and distributing top-notch kids’ programming today. It will be streamed live and available on-demand on World Screen’s brand-new, state-of-the-art events and festivals platform.

Sponsorships for the TV Kids Festival 2021 are now sold out. 

TV Kids Festival will also feature a panel session dedicated to the evolution of the distribution business, featuring CAKE’s Ed Galton, Entertainment One (eOne) Family Brands’ Monica Candiani and 9 Story Media Group’s Alix Wiseman; a session on kids’ co-productions, with Toon2Tango’s Ulli Stoef, Serious Lunch and Eye Present’s Genevieve Dexter, Boat Rocker Studios’ Jon Rutherford and Guru Studio’s Frank Falcone; and a panel on acquisition strategies that will include Cartoon Network’s Adina Pitt, M6’s Maud Branly, Kidoodle.TV’s Brenda Bisner and Hopster’s Ellen Solberg.

Also on the TV Kids Festival roster is Jonathan M. Shiff, creator of H20: Just Add Water, Mako Mermaids and The Bureau of Magical Things; Dan Povenmire, whose credits include Phineas and Ferb; Traci Paige Johnson and Angela Santomero, the co-creators of the hit series Blue’s Clues and Blue’s Clues & You!; Eric Ellenbogen, the CEO and vice chair of WildBrain; Claude Schmit, the CEO of Super RTL; and Sebastian Debertin, the head of fiction, acquisitions and co-productions at KiKA.


ViacomCBS’s World of Kids

Nina Hahn, the senior VP of international production and development for Nickelodeon International and head of ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) Kids, and Jules Borkent, the executive VP for kids and family at ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), discussed their acquisitions, commissioning and co-production strategies as day one of the TV Kids Festival wrapped today.

Borkent, as head of the international kids’ and family group at VCNI, oversees content strategy, acquisitions and content partnerships, production and development, marketing and digital.

Hahn has two hats, one at Nickelodeon International and the other at VIS Kids—a division that she described as a “platform-agnostic content Switzerland in the middle of the company that can take that expertise and produce for our owned and operated channels but also pivot and produce for anyone who is buying.”

The creation of VIS Kids was a natural evolution for the company, Borkent noted. “Nina and I have been working for the last ten years on figuring out how to best leverage the creative around the world and get content not only into the international business but also into the U.S. business. We’ve always looked at those opportunities. It started many years ago with our first foray into international production, House of Anubis. For us, VIS Kids is the next iteration of that. There is absolutely a desire to create more content around the world. While we have a fantastic pipeline coming out of our Nick domestic group, over the last couple of years, our international pipeline has grown.”

On what makes a Nick show clearly recognizable, Hahn said, “There’s a casual phrase we use internally. It’s equal parts heart, smart, fart! [That means] something to how we tell stories and depict characters in our shows. That makes kids feel at home. On the other side, there’s been a lot of attention paid to reflecting the world in which kids live. Nick really is the poster child for what it means to have entertainment spoken to you as the world of kids. We make things once and use them everywhere and create that bond with what kids around the world want to ingest.”

At VIS Kids, there’s a set of criteria for producing for ViacomCBS’s own assets and another for third parties. “The success marker is the intersection between the creative and the commercial,” Hahn said. “As we look at both of those sides of the balance sheet, we’re able to bring our expertise at making content and matchmake it with what we know the end-user (the kid) and the buyer” will need to make a show a success.

On shows that have traveled well recently, Borkent mentioned Deer Squad, which was made in China with iQIYI. “It was the first Chinese animated production we were fully on board with: we co-produced, co-financed, etc. It launched internationally in 2020 really well. It was a top performer on Nick Jr. in the U.K. It’s launched in the U.S. We also had It’s Pony, which came out of the U.K. It’s a 6 to 11 animated series and again had great success in the U.S. and internationally.”

Hahn added, “The way we’ve approached it is: What is the way to take the best stories, the best talent, the best production models and the best partners, from wherever they are, and be globally agnostic and build content that we feel like we can make once and use everywhere because it will be relevant and authentic and fun? Those shows Jules mentioned are great examples of that.” Hahn likened the approach to fusion cooking: “In the case of Deer Squad, we take talent from the Chinese market and the production company we worked with there, we used a Western writer across, we used the Asian [ViacomCBS] team. There’s been a lot of different people involved to make it ultimately holistic to a kid at home who just wants to jump into that experience and live with those characters.”

Borkent added: “The way we looked at it in the past was always, What is a global show? How can you make a show that works everywhere? If you think like that, sometimes it gets too far. We have to be a bit more relaxed about it. COVID has also shown that kids are consuming from everywhere now, whether on YouTube or other platforms. That gives us a lot of freedom to be more open and free about how we approach content. [Deer Squad] is not us making an American show in China. We made a Chinese show. That makes it more authentic.”

On how COVID-19 impacted scheduling in 2020, Borkent said, “With kids being home, we ramped up our preschool schedule with slightly more educational content. Other than that, we brought some shows back and we streamlined the schedule, so there was something for everybody. We are in preschool, we are in 6 to 9 animation, we are in live action, so there’s a lot we could offer. We’re in a good place. The network has performed really well. There was a lot more consumption. That has flattened out a bit now and things are back to more normal times, but it definitely showed us there is a huge appetite for the Nick content all over the world.”

For the creative community, working through COVID-19-related production challenges has been “an incredibly lid-lifting experience,” Hahn added. “We’ve all been allowed and asked to do things differently. We’re figuring out how to make content in a completely different way. We don’t stay in the lines any longer. As a result of that, the innovation that has come out of the way we make content, the stories we’re telling and the people with whom we’re working, has given birth to content that is astounding.”

Animation has proceeded uninterrupted, Hahn continued. “Live action has been a more interesting challenge. We did have to pause on one or two live-action productions, but in that pause point, we rewrote the back remaining scripts that had yet to be shot in order to comply with protocols we knew would be in place when we returned. When we did return, we were able to shoot seamless episodes that didn’t feel jammed into a way of shooting that wasn’t going to work. There were a lot of plusses that came out of it as well.”

Dubbing and language reversioning for animated shows once lockdowns hit was a significant challenge, Borkent added. “We had to be innovative with how we worked with voice actors and sent them kits to their homes. People were recording in their closets! While there was a bit of a hiccup over a couple of weeks, it was fascinating how quickly people just figured out new models and ways of doing that.”

Asked about lessons learned and opportunities created amid this COVID-19 period that will continue post-pandemic, Hahn said, “There are ways to get production up and running and things resourced, written, directed, recorded, scored, that we’ve never done before. I think many will continue, largely because they are super authentic. They feel more real to kids in some ways, which has been an upside. That sense of grounded storytelling and the way we make it has been a big part of it.”

This last year also saw an increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion, continuing a theme that has always been part of Nick’s DNA, Hahn said. “We’ve been figuring out ways to take that message and talk about it across the world, versus in just one particular country.”

The conversation then moved to the keys to working with talent to support the creator’s vision while also meeting the needs of the ViacomCBS platforms. “It starts with a voice and a vision,” Hahn said. “ViacomCBS in the kids’ space is the vessel for that voice and vision. We try to fill the holes in what they need. It all starts with a conversation around development. What is the show about? Why are kids going to care? We work with them across the research side, which we are very in tune with. And we help backfill the vision such that you are toggling between what the show is and the story this person wants to tell, and what we, as the kid experts, know is going to resonate. Around that is the ecosystem, including consumer products, the marketing group, programming, that is part of that lockstep with the story we’re trying to tell. It’s a Venn diagram of how all these circles fit around the [storyteller’s] vision. We are beholden to these amazing voices that want to tell a story we feel should live on at ViacomCBS.”

Carugati asked Borkent how Nick’s Declaration of Kids’ Rights, first published in 1990, continues to resonate today. He said that in May 2020, as the Black Lives Matter protests were making headlines in the U.S. and around the world, the Nick programming team convened to discuss, “How are we going to talk about this to our kids? It’s hard to explain from a global perspective. Not everything is the same in each market around the world. Somebody in the meeting said, ‘We should look at the Declaration of Kids’ Rights.’ Within a couple of days, we translated it into 25-plus languages. We ran it on all our platforms. It was really powerful. The Declaration of Kids’ Rights informs a lot of what we do. It informs the types of stories we want to tell, the types of characters we want to show. We’re figuring out now how we can keep talking about it in different formats. They are very straightforward and very clear. For us to talk like that to our audience is important and we have to continue to bring that message.”

Hahn added, “There’s a discussion happening internally about how we can take that Declaration of Kids’ Rights and make an expanded set for across the ViacomCBS family. It’s such a fantastic compass for us all to walk with.”

On Nick’s continued diversity and inclusion mandate, Hahn noted, “Reflecting the reality of the world a kid lives in today has been [important] since the inception of the channel. It has been so second nature to us. It is across all of our characters visually and graphically. It’s across how we write. It’s across the production companies with whom we work. It’s across the programming plans. There’s not a tentacle in this company that isn’t touched by the notion of how you can authentically reflect the world in which kids live. It has been a great bragging right for us. That said, we are all tasking ourselves with the question of: How can we move the needle even more? What’s the next thing we can do to improve even more?”

For 2021, Borkent said he’s looking forward to the upcoming launch of Paramount+—“it means more platforms we can bring our content to”—Kamp Koral, the SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off; and the return of Rugrats after 20 years. He also mentioned the return of Hunter Street for season four and the upcoming Goldie’s Oldies, a live-action comedy out of the U.K.

For Hahn, working on the expansion of VIS Kids is a key priority. She also highlighted The Twisted Timeline of Sammy & Raj, a co-pro with Nickelodeon India. “It’s a fusion of the best parts of storytelling between the two groups.” From Israel, meanwhile, is the live-action series Spyders, which is rolling out in Hebrew and dubbed into local languages. “Kids are now so much more global, so watching something dubbed will be an interesting barometer of their appetite for that.”

The arrival of Paramount+ provides another sandbox for VIS Kids to play in, Hahn added. “It’s great to have an SVOD service in our backyard. The way you tell stories linearly and the way you tell stories from a streaming perspective can often be the difference between one type of show and another. So creatively, we’re super excited at VIS Kids to create unique and bespoke content for Paramount+ that will be game-changing.”


From Kidscreen:

An inside look at ViacomCBS’s kids studio

Nina Hahn opens up about her role leading the VIS Kids division and what the future holds.

For more than 15 years, Nina Hahn has served as SVP of production and development for ViacomCBS International Media Networks (VIMN). During her tenure, she has worked in direct partnership with Nickelodeon’s content teams around the world, and has been a key figure in more than 2,000 hours of original kids content. Many of Hahn’s launches have marked a number of firsts for the company, including popular telenovela House of Anubis (Nick’s first US live-action show produced outside of North America), live-action series Spyders (Nick International’s first original Israeli co-pro), iQIYI co-pro Deer Squad (Nick Asia’s first Chinese original series) and The Twisted Timeline of Sammy & Raj (Nick International’s first collab with India’s Viacom18).

To capitalize on the growing appetite for these kinds of international kids shows— especially from third-party broadcasters and streamers—production arm Viacom International Studios (VIS) launched a kids division in October, and Hahn was tapped to lead it. In her newly expanded role, she’s now tasked with growing VIS’s global pipeline to include short- and long-form kids content that will be produced and sold to third parties as well as ViacomCBS brands and platforms. According to VIS, the studio has generated nearly 50% revenue growth on average since it launched in 2018, and kids content has played a big part in those gains.

The studio is now branching out with its first animated series, Gloria Wants to Know it All, a preschool co-production with Marc Anthony’s Magnus Studios, Juan Jos√© Campanella’s Mundoloco Animation Studios and Laguno Media. Additionally, its new children’s musical series Funknautas is the first kids project to come out of VIS’s new strategy to invest 25% of its budget in LatAm to create content that spotlights marginalized characters and creators. The studio is also producing Nick Shorts Program finalist Sharkdog, its first international series made for Netflix as part of a multi-year output deal signed by Nickelodeon and the SVOD last November.

Kidscreen: Why did ViacomCBS Networks International decide to launch a new kids division?

Nina Hahn: Given the enormous global demand for kids content across multiple platforms, and the fact that Nickelodeon continues to produce content that speaks to kids everywhere, VIS Kids was launched to provide opportunities to make short- and long-form content—not only for our owned and operated channels, but for third-party buyers, too, whether they be SVODs, AVODs, terrestrials or hybrid platforms. Linear is still strong, but there are a lot of other ways to deliver your content.

KS: What is the strategic purpose of VIS Kids in the broader ViacomCBS ecosystem?

NH: This is really an expansion of ViacomCBS International Studios, and the goal is to take the expertise we have in producing kids con- tent and super-size it, using our international studios and distribution capabilities. This will not only bring new content for channels and platforms, but also bring new revenue via sales to third parties. It will also be an opportunity to share our expertise as kid experts, as well as increase our presence in the market.

KS: What types of programs does VIS Kids want to make?

NH: We are looking for live-action and animated content across all genres. For our Nickelodeon channels, we want creator-led shows with emotionally-driven characters that the audience will care about, along with the comedy, drama or whatever else might be a part of the project. From a demographic perspective, we will continue to look for preschool and bridge content, as well as shows aimed at nine- to 10-year-olds. A new area we will definitely spend time on is the young adult age group, with a focus on content for 13- to 14-year-olds.

Being platform- and content-agnostic opens up a lot of avenues, especially to people who may never have been able to come to us before because they had a kids drama, or a six-part TV movie idea, or something that is not necessarily the DNA of Nickelodeon alone.

KS: How does VIS Kids decide on developing third-party versus proprietary content and whether they will be short- or long-form series? How do you decide where they will live and how they’ll work with ViacomCBS?

NH: When it comes to project length or project lane, there is no black-and-white decision-maker. VIS Kids is deliberately set up to be creatively fluid, allowing us to form, build and mould a project to meet its full potential. This means that we will look at projects as they grow and decide their specific pathway in real time, maintaining a nimble and opportunistic approach.

KS: How are you working with the studio’s development and production teams in Latin America, the UK, Spain and Israel, along with an expanded central team encompassing international development, production, sales and distribution?

NH: ViacomCBS International Studios already has extensive production capabilities across the world—especially in Latin America, with over 11 stages and 40 editing suites in Argentina, and creative and production hubs in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City and Miami. In Israel as well, ViacomCBS-owned Ananey has the capability to produce high-quality content, thanks to experienced teams and great relationships with top Israeli talent. Finally, across Europe and Asia, we also work with world-class partners such as Zeta and Diagonal TV.

In terms of distribution, our teams are already settled in our key territories, and we’re in a similar position for the development teams, which are already built and working on hundreds of projects internationally. The structure is there, and we’re using it fully to share knowledge and experiences in order to make the most of it and come up with premium content for our own channels and our partners.

KS: What does the new “No Diversity, No Commission” policy mean to you and the industry?

NH: It’s a bold starting point and a wake-up call. We’re working with all of our partners to give a voice to those who don’t have one. And wherever you are in the evolution of diversity and inclusion, [we're sending a message to] do better. If a company comes to us and they are good, but not great [at representation], they need to demonstrate that they’ve upped their game in a way that is significantly better than whatever they were doing before. It is the smartest way for us to move forward with progress that is realistic, authentic and allows producers to be in control of how they are going to change their game. But the new policy also can’t be one- size-fits-all because when you look at the global landscape, some diversity and inclusion issues may be relevant in one country, but not in another. It’s about deliberately avoiding box-ticking.

KS: What are your takeaways from the pandemic, and how should the creative industry approach 2021?

NH: It’s important to look at COVID by asking, “What is the upside of the downside?” For creative people, the upside has been that a lot of rules have been lifted for how to make live-action and animated content. Because of this, it’s been an exciting time of innovation. The pandemic has reminded the creative community to not get stuck doing the same things over and over. For us, we’ve had to shift away from the traditional places we’ve produced live action, and instead consider more countries like Australia, which hasn’t been as affected by COVID and is safer for filming. And although animation has been relatively unscathed, we’ve seen the birth of some amazing new ways of telling stories that I hope continue.

KS: If you could, what advice would you give to your younger self just before you entered the kids industry?

NH: I would tell myself to always remember the smell of Play-Doh because it keeps you a kid forever. I actually travel around with a tin of Play-Doh wherever I go.


Update H/T: Special thanks to @RegularTweetsUK!

Originally published: Friday, January 15, 2021.

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'Blue’s Clues’ Co-Creators Traci Paige Johnson & Angela Santomero Join TV Kids Festival

Traci Paige Johnson and Angela Santomero, the co-creators of Nickelodeon's beloved preschool series Blue’s Clues and Blue’s Clues & You!, have been added to the keynote roster for the TV Kids Festival!

Johnson and Santomero are behind the Nick Jr. preschool series Blue’s Clues (1996–2006), spin-off Blue’s Room (2004–2007) and reboot series Blue’s Clues & You! (2019–present). Together, the creators will take part in a keynote with TV Kids to discuss their creative process, bringing Blue’s Clues & You! to the screen and serving children’s developmental and entertainment needs today.

They join previously announced participants Eric Ellenbogen, the CEO and vice chair of WildBrain; Claude Schmit, the CEO of Super RTL; and Sebastian Debertin, the head of fiction, acquisitions and co-productions at KiKA, on the TV Kids Festival roster.

Taking place from February 2 to 4, 2021, the TV Kids Festival will feature keynotes and panels with leading executives and creatives discussing the importance of alliances in producing and distributing top-notch kids’ programming today. It will be streamed live and available on-demand on World Screen’s brand-new, state-of-the-art events and festivals platform.

More information about the event's key speakers and panels taking place during the TV Kids Festival will be announced in the coming weeks. Registration will open in January.

Subscribe to the official Blue’s Clues & You! YouTube channel! Subscribe today at!

Update (2/4) - From TVKIDS:

Creative Keynote: Rebooting Blue’s Clues

Traci Paige Johnson and Angela Santomero discussed the process that goes into making Blue’s Clues & You!, a reboot of the iconic preschool show for Nickelodeon, at the TV Kids Festival today.

The co-creators and executive producers of Blue’s Clues and Blue’s Clues & You! were interviewed by Kristin Brzoznowski, executive editor of TV Kids and World Screen, as part of the first of the day’s creative keynotes at the TV Kids Festival. The duo began contemplating a reboot of the beloved preschool show—which debuted in 1996—back in the summer of 2016. They knew they wanted to bring something fresh to the reboot, especially as it came at a time when a generation that had grown up watching the original was now having children of its own. And while the media landscape has changed since the show first came out, Paige Johnson and Santomero—who have both studied child development—feel that the fundamentals of what kids need from entertainment have stayed the same.

“For Blue’s Clues, we wanted kids to be heard; that’s why we started the interactivity,” said Santomero, who is also chief creative officer at 9 Story Media Group. “That feeling of wanting to be heard, wanting to understand the world, being asked for your opinion makes you feel smart and empowered. That’s been the mission from day one and we believe 100 percent that it’s still true today.”

As for what to keep from the original and what to adapt, Paige Johnson—who voices Blue—noted, “We knew we wanted to keep the clues, the interactivity, the building the self-esteem of preschoolers, and a live-action host. We wanted it to feel fresh look-wise, so making Blue 3D while still keeping our 2D cut-out aesthetic. And then the biggest thing was the notebook. We had millions of conversations: do we go digital, do we not go digital? It was the perfect kindergarten compromise of, let’s do both!”

Santomero added, “That back to basics of being able to draw something but then also have it so we can have e-mail. And that changed what Mail Time was. We had to keep it, but how could we refresh it? Traci had designed an old-fashioned phone that was so stylized for the world; we didn’t think kids would even know what that was! So the idea of video calls made so much more sense. And then, of course, the music changed. We wanted to have that refresh and give kids something that was their own with also keeping some of the standards there.”

Finding Josh Dela Cruz to serve as host of the reboot was critical. “Nickelodeon did an amazing job casting,” Paige Johnson said. “They got over 3,000 people. We did an open call. They were incredible in helping us find Josh.”

Steve Burns, the first host has also been part of the reboot. “He’s a director on the series, he’s a writer, he started brainstorming with us, helping us get feedback on finding the host, he’s a consulting producer,” Santomero said. “His voice is how we all started.”

Paige Johnson added, “Steve worked with Josh, handing over the baton, all the tools in the toolbelt for how to connect to the camera and feel like you’re talking to the preschooler at home. And the famous pause and the eye blink. It’s so wonderful to have Steve on board as part of the family.”

Brzoznowski then asked the co-creators to break down the production of an episode. “We start with the writing brainstorm,” Santomero said. “So it all starts grounded in what we want as creators. We sit with other exec producers, the network and our writers to figure out what we want from the season, and then work directly with 9 Story and Brown Bag Films to create that mix of Blue in CG and then the 2D world.”

That mixture is key to why the reboot works so well, Paige Johnson added. “The mixed media of live action, 2D, 3D, that had never been done before. It takes a lot of planning. Once we have the script, we go into storyboard for the live-action shoot and we compose each shot as if Josh were an animated character in a storyboard. Then we shoot. Then we start building the designs and animation building around Josh. And then at the same time the 2D characters are animated, the 3D animators are working with the Josh footage, acting to Josh, and then it all comes together in the compositing and rendering.”

The process takes nine to ten months, they said. “We do multiple episodes at one time,” Santomero explained. “Sometimes, the process can go faster. There’s a lot of prep, so the more buttoned-up we are in prep, the faster and smoother the process can go.”

COVID-19, of course, provided some hiccups. “We weren’t allowed to shoot live action for a long time,” Paige Johnson said. “But we wanted to keep on schedule, so we started animating and then when we went into the studio, Josh would act to the animation, which was a new way of working.”

Brzoznowski asked Paige Johnson how she became the voice of Blue. “Angela and I were doing the pilot and we didn’t have a lot of money to do it. Blue didn’t talk and we just went around the room of who could bark. And I could bark! We said, when we go to series, we’ll get a real voice actor. But then, to my delight, everyone just got used to my voice. We auditioned a lot of people and Angela and Nickelodeon said, you’re the voice! It’s my favorite part of the job.”

The discussion then moved to all the multimedia extensions to the show. “We’re looking into the camera and reaching out to kids and making sure they realize how smart they are,” Santomero said. “It works in so many different areas,” leading the team to make podcasts of bedtime stories, play-along videos and more.

“We were so excited when the iPad came along,” Paige Johnson said. “We wanted to do interactivity. We were doing faux interactivity with the classic Blue’s Clues. To have the true interactive episodes where Josh asks for help and you actually choose the right one and you draw your own clues into the notebook, it was amazing!”

There’s also a YouTube channel, a range of consumer products and a presence at events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and amusement parts. “Experiencing Blue together as a family is so important to us,” Paige Johnson added.

Amid the COVID-19 era, Dela Cruz has been hosting virtual playdates that preschoolers can access on Nick and its social media channels, with the host filming direct-to-camera segments from his home. In addition, Burns and his successor as host, Donovan Patton, teamed with Dela Cruz to make the podcast Story Time with Josh & Blue.

“Our themes for new episodes come out of what we think kids need” at this time, Santomero added. “The idea of emotional resilience and feeling that sense of community is really important.”

The core tenets of Santomero and Paige Johnson’s approach to content creation remain unchanged. “We want to empower and challenge and build the self-esteem of preschoolers while making them laugh.”

Paige Johnson added, “Both of us as kids were so inspired by TV. It spoke to us. Wanting to have that impact on others and spreading good messages of creativity and self-esteem. More than just the show, it’s what happens when you turn off the show. What are you inspired to do to make, create, be? We’re so excited to be able to talk to kids and families and spread the message to the world.”

Both Santomero and Paige Johnson have new projects as well. Santomero is working on Karma’s World, created by multi-award-winning American rapper, actor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges. Paige Johnson co-created Gabby’s Dollhouse for DreamWorks Animation. “We’re so excited that there are more amazing shows that came out of the work we have done together,” Santomero said. “There are so many creators of hit shows that started working with us as writers [on Blue’s Clues]. Having shows that are promoting and respecting kids is exciting to us.”

“It’s a wonderful family of all of us who worked on Blue’s Clues,” Paige Johnson added. “We drank the Kool-Aid and are marinated in all the goodness that Blue’s Clues brings and it’s spreading more thousands points of light to different shows and talking to kids and reaching families and inspiring creativity.”


Originally published: Friday, December 18, 2020.

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