Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Lee Ann Chmielewski-Larsen Named Executive Vice President Of Production, Viacom Kids and Family Group

Original Nickelodeon USA Press Release via


*Headshot available upon request

NEW YORK – Feb. 2, 2016 – Veteran production executive Lee Ann Chmielewski-Larsen has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Production, Viacom Kids and Family Group, it was announced today by Sarah Levy, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom Kids and Family Group. In her new role, Chmielewski-Larsen will head up all physical production and production management for existing and future live-action series, original TV movies, short form content and live events across the entire Viacom Kids and Family portfolio of brands which includes: Nickelodeon; Nick at Nite; Nick Jr.; Nicktoons; TeenNick; TV Land and CMT. Larsen will continue to be based in New York and report to Levy.

"Lee Ann has a deep partnership with our content teams and ensures we continue to evolve our production capabilities to keep our pipeline flowing with content for our audiences," said Levy. "As she adds oversight of production for TV Land and CMT, Lee Ann is a vital resource, as each brand ramps up the programming slate and live events."

As Executive President of Production, Chmielewski-Larsen will oversee all planning for production facilities and broadcast operations; supervising all physical production and technical and operational personnel; and managing all production budgets and plans for the networks under Viacom Kids and Family Group.

A 25-year veteran of Nickelodeon, she most recently served as Senior Vice President, Production Nickelodeon Group, overseeing production for all Nickelodeon networks and their hit live-action series and live TV events. Chmielewski-Larsen has worked on several iconic Nick series such as iCarly, Victorious and Big Time Rush, as well as popular TV movies and specials like Rufus and the Nickelodeon Ho-Ho Holiday Special. She also spearheaded production logistics for Nick Jr. animation and live-action shows, including hits like Bubble Guppies and Blaze and the Monster Machines. Additionally, she supervised the physical production for Nickelodeon's annual live TV events, Kids' Choice Awards, Kids' Choice Sports and Nickelodeon HALO Awards.

Throughout her tenure with Nickelodeon, Chmielewski-Larsen has held several positions within the production management group. She joined the network in 1991 as a production coordinator and worked on Weinerville and Legends of the Hidden Temple. She rose through the ranks and was named Vice President of Production in 2000, and became Senior Vice President of Production in 2008. Over the years, she's played an instrumental role in development and production of several classic Nickelodeon series including All That, The Amanda Show and Kenan and Kel.

Chmielewski-Larsen is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and she received a Master of Arts degree from Governors State University.

Nickelodeon, now in its 36th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature film offerings. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 20 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).


Photo via Broadcasting & Cable.
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Nickelodeon Opens 2016 Global Animated Shorts Program; Announces 2015 Finalists

Nickelodeon has officially opened its 2016 global Animated Shorts Program for submissions, which will be accepted from Wednesday 3rd February 2016 through Friday 15th April 2016!

Designed to mine and cultivate a new generation of creative talent, the 2016 Global Animated Shorts Program will accept domestic and international pitches that will be developed into animated shorts for Nickelodeon (boys and girls, ages 6 to 11) and Nick Jr. (boys and girls, ages 2 to 5) audiences.

Nickelodeon also named 22 participants from the 2015 Animated Shorts Program, whose projects will be developed into shorts that will potentially air on Nickelodeon, or appear on the network's site,, or Emmy Award-winning Nick App.

One of the projects (whittled down from almost 950 pitches from across the globe) is created by Rikke Asbjoern and titled "My Friend Pancake." The short follows the fantastic adventures of young Hazel and her best friend, a giant talking cat named Pancake. Together they explore a mystical, living forest where the rules of nature don't apply and strange things hide in the shadows, shrouded in mystery. You can watch a fantastic first look at the short below!

My Friend Pancake from Rikke Asbjoern on Vimeo.

"We continue to garner terrific worldwide response from our Animated Shorts Program, and we look forward to working with this new creative group to develop and bring to life original characters, innovative content and kid-inspired storylines across all of our Nickelodeon platforms," said Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon's President of Content Development and Production.

The submitted shorts must be original, humor-based and character-driven. Pitches specific to Nick Jr. should come from a child's POV, and focus on science, technology, and/or family for a preschool audience. Animation styles are encouraged from 2D, stop motion, CG or mixed media, and final pitches should be 2-3 minutes in length. More information on the program can be found at

You can also find the latest news about program here on Nickelodeon's official Animated Shorts Program Tumblr blog.

Please note: For Nickelodeon employees: participation is voluntary and unrelated to your employment by Nickelodeon.

You can watch Nickelodeon's previous Short Toons on and the Nick App.

A full list of the 22 participants selected from 2015's submissions is below.

Someone Needs to Stop Aunt Phyllis
Created by: Lisa Vandenberg (graduate of 2013 Nick Artist Program, storyboard revisionist on Sanjay and Craig)
Penny both loves and fears spending time with her Aunt Phyllis – an unstoppable force of nature who doesn't believe in rules or consequences. Simply put: there is no one like Aunt Phyllis!

The Super Dooper Studios
Created by: Sabine Ravn and Stine Buhl
Bernie, a cameraman bear, and Bingo, an actor penguin, work at a once great, now struggling film & TV studio. There, they give the audience a tour and behind the scenes look of the place.

Created by: Greg Kletsel, Valerie Lockhart, and Jaime Bassil
Dez (with her sentient hair, Hair) is the heir to Farkel's Inc., famous for its oddball products and services, where creating fun and silly adventures is just part of her daily job.

Dog and Squirrel
Created by: Andrea Gerstmann (background artist on Pig Goat Banana Cricket)
Dog is a simple dog who likes human food and wants to play as dogs do. Squirrel is neurotic and seed-obsessed as squirrels are.

Girl from Dinosaur Island
Created by: Celestino Marina (graduate of 2014 Nick Artist Program, storyboard revisionist on Harvey Beaks)
Fearless and tough cave girl, Xotchi, along with her less brave sidekick Chuuk and her flying pterodactyl steed must rescue a stolen dinosaur egg from a mysterious group of evil-doers.

Created by: Casey Alexander and Lizz Hickey
Li'l Gil always seeks attention and is full of energy & strange ideas. Her silent sidekick and magical partner in crime, Lazybones, lives in her bag and comes to life when summoned. He can help by transforming into a ladder, car, etc.

Space Mission: Danger
Created by: Lynn Wang and Ed Skudder
Space explorers Diego the dog and Orbot the Robot are stranded on a remote planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth Casey is the last employee at Mission Control after an apocalypse, which she keeps secret from them.

Pig and a Blanket
Created by: Brendon Ingvy Gillas
A very earnest Mr. Rogers-like Pig believes it's his duty to teach others in the woods valuable life lessons. His trusty flying friend, Blanket, helps but doesn't always agree with Pig.

Planet Panic
Created by: Gene Goldstein (background artist on upcoming series The Loud House)
On Planet Panic, giant monsters roaming the city are as normal as morning traffic. Pibbles is a boy hero in training and Zeus is a man-machine hybrid assigned as his partner & mentor.

Created by: Nick Arciaga (story artist on Pinky Malinky)
Toby and Gooby, two scientists at Slimelab, are hungry but have no microwave to cook their frozen burritos.

My Friend Pancake
Created by Rikke Asbjoern (Co-Creator of Pinky Malinky)
The fantastic adventures of young Hazel and her best friend, a giant talking cat named Pancake. Together they explore a mystical, living forest where the rules of nature don't apply and strange things hide in the shadows, shrouded in mystery.

Best Baddies
Created by Max Wittert (selection from Small Press Expo)
Four mischievous baddies turn a sweet little town upside down, making all the good girls go bad!

Mini Cops
Created by: Nicolette Groome
Offier Boi and Officer Gurl aim to save the world with their magical mustaches, but their playful 'rescues' tend to cause mass destruction.

Myth of Robo Wonder Kid
Created by Joel MacKenzie
Robo is an eternally optimistic, magical robot boy created from an ancient blueprint by a group of curious mythical monsters.

Monster Taco
Created by Vincent Scala (designer on Dora)
Olivia and Ferdinand, her cat, run a Mexican food truck serving the best tacos in town!

Created by Brett Jubenville and Morghan Fortier
Norville, Mr. Gobbles and Opee are Ramblers: intergalactic scouts on a mission to explore the universe and earn badges.

Burger Bros.
Created by Kevin Li (School of Visual Arts student)
Kipp becomes BFFs with a flying, talking, puppy-like burger after he discovers a portal in the dumpster behind his fast food employer.

Created by Evan Sussman and Allison Dressler Kramer (Hero4Hire Creative)
Dougie, a young Brontosaurus living in an anthropomorphic animal city, is the delivery dino for his parent's fast-paced courier service. In every adventure, Dougie helps out a member of the community with their unique job, in an unexpected, comedic and heartwarming way.

Created by Ant Blades (Birdbox Studio, UK)
What would life be like if you had your own pony? Who was your best friend. Who lived with you. Who was doing something stupid again. Stop it, Pony. PONY!

Created by Jacinth Tan & Raihan Harun (Chips and Toon, Singapore)
Max thinks he's found his new best friend when he adopts Sharkdog – half shark, half dog, all appetite. But can Sharkdog suppress his ravenous urges and, just this once, not eat Max's homework?

Trufax: Tot Cop
Created by Jason and Méabh Tammemägi (Mooshku, Ireland)
"The name's Truman. Truman Faxfinder. But most people call me… Tot Cop." Join the world's tiniest, cutest detective, on his noir-influenced adventures as he solves preschool mysteries.

P.E.T. Academy
Created by Robert Smith (UK)
Welcome to PET Academy, a unique school where the animal teachers and students are all masters of their own particular sport. But can they learn to combine their skills and save the day?

Original source: Variety.
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Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon, The First Nick Themed Attraction In Asia, Opens In Sunway Lagoon In Malaysia

Original Nickelodeon Asia Press Release via Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Asia's official Pressroom:


Malaysia's first Nickelodeon themed attraction is now open!

Bandar Sunway, 2 February 2016 – Discover a hidden world covering ten acres of lush tropical rainforest within a jungle previously "lost" to the public! This is now a reality as Sunway and Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) announce the opening of the first Nickelodeon themed attraction in Asia, Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon in Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia.

Today's launch was attended by guest of honour, Selangor Chief Minister, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali; Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah; Sunway Group deputy chairman Tan Sri Datuk Seri Razman M. Hashim, and Mark Whitehead, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, VIMN Asia. Attendees at the launch event were privy to a showcase of fireworks and the iconic Nickelodeon green slime that marked the opening of the park to the public.

After the official launch by Selangor Chief Minister, VIPs pose with some of the Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon characters (SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

No stone was left unturned in the creation of the Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon which boasts 14 immersive attractions, some of which are themed with Nickelodeon's hit properties, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Visitors to Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon can expect an exhilarating experience thanks to interactive play areas, which use the latest in reactive technology in addition to a daily signature slime event, a variety of waterslide rides, retail shops, games and a myriad of food service establishments and more.

True to its name, Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon promises to be an explorer's dream right from the start. Climbing "ancient temple" steps, explorers will pass pineapple columns and intricate carvings leading all the way up to a magnificent SpongeBob SquarePants structure. The adventure continues with geysers, sprouting water cannons, walks along cascading falls, and gooey moments with the signature green slime.

Running deeper into the forest are suspended bridges over rivers, more thrilling wet and wild activities as well as gravity defying rides that twist around trees and hills. Breath-taking views greet visitors who choose to dine and relax by the Lakeside restaurant. They might even have the chance to meet and greet their favourite Nickelodeon characters. Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon is an attraction suitable for all ages.

Moolalah Adventure River ride 2 at Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon (Credit - Sunway Lagoon)

"This park is a fantastic addition to Sunway Lagoon and one that will greatly boost the appeal of Selangor as a tourist destination. Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon perfectly complements Selangor's existing array of attractions and will also be a boon to the nation's growing tourism industry," said Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali, Chief Minister of Selangor.

Hippo Valley - Boa and Cobra ride landing area at Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon (Credit - Sunway Lagoon)

Built with an investment of more than RM100 million, Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon is the result of a joint initiative between Sunway Group and VIMN, lending yet another layer of top-notch family-based fun to Sunway Lagoon's five existing parks, which include its Water Park, Amusement Park, Extreme Park, Interactive Wildlife Park and Lynton V Harris Scream Park.

Hippo Valley ride at Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon (Credit - Sunway Lagoon)

"We are pleased to have worked with Viacom International Media Networks in bringing the first ever Nickelodeon themed attraction to Malaysia. This is only made possible following the ongoing strong relationship developed between Sunway and VIMN over the years through our many other strategic collaborations," said Tan Sri Datuk Seri Razman M. Hashim, deputy chairman of Sunway Group.

Wonder Steps to SpongeBob Splash Adventure at Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon (Credit - Sunway Lagoon)

Sunway Lagoon was named Asia's Best Attraction by International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) four years in a row since 2007.

"Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon will enable kids and families in Malaysia and around Southeast Asia to connect with our brand and Nickelodeon's iconic characters in a unique and meaningful way that will further deepen their relationship with Nickelodeon," said Mark Whitehead, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Asia. "Sunway Lagoon's expertise has made them an ideal partner and we are delighted to make it Nickelodeon's Asia debut as we further expand the Nickelodeon brand in the region," he added.

Splish Splash ride 2 at Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon (Credit - Sunway Lagoon)

Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon opens to the public on 3 February 2016. The opening hours will be from 10:00am to 6:00pm every Monday to Sunday. Enjoy the many attractions on offer at RM150 for those aged 12 years and above, and RM120 for those below the age of 12 years.
More information can also be obtained at Sunway Lagoon's Facebook page: or by calling the park at +603-5639 0000.


- Selangor Chief Minister, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali
- Tan Sri Datuk Seri Razman M. Hashim, Deputy Chairman of Sunway Group
- Mark Whitehead, Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Asia
- Elizabeth Wong, Selangor Executive Council
- Hannah Yeoh, Subang Jaya Assemblyman
- Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah, Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group

SpongeBob Splash Adventure at Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon, Sunway Lagoon