Friday, May 31, 2019

David Hasselhoff Joins the SpongeBob SquarePants 20th Anniversary Special, 'SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout'

Update - Below is Nickelodeon USA's original press release announcing the exciting news!:

Nickelodeon Reveals First Look at SpongeBob SquarePants Voice Cast
as Human Versions of Their Characters in SpongeBob SquarePants, “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout” Mixed Live-Action/Animated Special

David Hasselhoff to Appear in Special, Premiering Friday, July 12, at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT)

Nickelodeon today revealed a first look of the upcoming SpongeBob SquarePants one-hour special, “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout,” featuring for the first time the celebrated voice cast behind SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, Squidward and Plankton playing human versions of their animated characters and guest star David Hasselhoff (Baywatch). The all-new mixed live-action and animated special premieres Friday, July 12, at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

In the episode, Patrick and SpongeBob journey to the surface world, where the duo come across a few familiar faces during lunchtime rush at The Trusty Slab restaurant. Meanwhile the Bikini Bottom residents set up a surprise birthday party for SpongeBob.

Donning his famous lifeguard attire, Hasselhoff guests as himself in the special, where he runs into a little trouble in an ocean kayak and on the beach. Hasselhoff also notably played himself in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. His return is a special nod to his original performance for fans around the world.

“I experienced the world of SpongeBob first-hand when I appeared in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which was an amazing experience,” said Hasselhoff. “After making that cameo, kids around the world recognized me from the movie. How awesome to now come back to be part of the 20th anniversary special. I got to interact with Tom Kenny and SpongeBob. It also was a heartwarming tribute to Steve Hillenburg. Happy 20th SpongeBob. Hooray!!”

“Steve Hillenburg gave me the gift of a lifetime when he asked me to voice his porous alter ego, SpongeBob SquarePants.” Said Kenny. “He changed my life and all of our lives. To reach the 20-year mark is a huge milestone and we wanted to celebrate by throwing a big party Bikini Bottom style. SpongeBob only comes up to the surface world on special occasions and this time one stop on his journey is The Trusty Slab restaurant. Stepping on the set and acting alongside my friends and fellow cast members was a true out of body experience. Fans are truly going to love it.”

Additional guest stars in the special include Kel Mitchell (All That), Jack Griffo (The Thundermans) and Daniella Perkins (Knight Squad).

SpongeBob launched July 17, 1999, and has reigned as the number-one kids’ animated series on TV for the last 17 years, generating a universe of beloved characters, pop culture catchphrases and memes, theatrical releases, consumer products, a Tony award-winning Broadway musical and a global fan base. The “Best Year Ever,” leads up to the Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies theatrical, The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge, coming summer 2020.


Update (5/31) - “Happy birthday, Spongebob henny!”: To celebrate SpongeBob SquarePants' 20th Anniversary, RuPaul recorded a special birthday message for the beloved animated character during the taping for the 11th season finale of the hit show, RuPaul’s Drag Race! RuPaul also recorded a birthday greeting for Blue, but it's currently unknown whether he was referring to Blue Ivy Carter or Blue from Blue's Clues.

According to the attached photo, Tom Kenny will portray a character named JimBob (Jim Bob) in the live-action portion of the special.

Update: The live-action version of Squidward will be named Mr. Manford, Mr. Krabs will be named Mr. Slabs, and Plankton will be named Charleston.

Photos: Robert Voets / NICKELODEON/ROBERT VOETS, Nickelodeon

Original post:

David Hasselhoff joins the Spongebob Squarepants 20th anniversary special

Hasselhoff told EW "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout" is a "heartwarming tribute" to creator Stephen Hillenburg.

SpongeBob Squarepants is bringing back one of its most iconic guest stars for its 20th anniversary special, “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout”!

Baywatch star David Hasselhoff is returning to the SpongeBob universe 15 years after he first tucked SpongeBob and Patrick in between his pecs and shotgunned them back into Bikini Bottom in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.

Hasselhoff tells EW, “After making that cameo, kids around the world recognized me from the movie. How awesome to now come back to be part of the 20th anniversary special.”

In “SpongeBob Big Birthday Blowout,” SpongeBob and Patrick reunite with Hasselhoff after a tour bus the two Bikini Bottom residents are on runs over the Hoff’s foot.

Hasselhoff also shares a scene with actor Tom Kenny, who is doing triple duty for the 20th anniversary special voicing SpongeBob, playing Patchy the Pirate, and cameoing as SpongeBob’s surface world counterpart who’s a fry cook at The Krusty Slab (the surface world’s version of The Krusty Krab).

The rest of the voice cast is in on the fun with Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star, Roger Bumpass as Squidward, Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, and Mr. Lawrence as Plankton.

Kenny told EW that “stepping on the set [of The Krusty Slab] and acting alongside my friends and fellow cast members was a true out of body experience. Fans are truly going to love it.”

Both Kenny and Hasselhoff also highlighted how “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout” honors SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenberg, who sadly passed away in November 2018 following a battle with ALS, with Hasselhoff calling the 20th anniversary special a “heartwarming tribute” to him.

“Steve Hillenburg gave me the gift of a lifetime when he asked me to voice his porous alter ego, SpongeBob SquarePants,” Kenny said. “He changed my life and all of our lives.”

In addition to Hasselhoff, the 20th anniversary special will feature cameos from Jack Griffo (The Thundermans), Daniella Perkins (Knight Squad), and Kel Mitchell (All That, Game Shakers).

“SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout” airs Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon USA, kicking off "Best Year Ever", a year-long celebration of Nickelodeon's beloved SpongeBob SquarePants animated series, which will lead up to the Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies theatrical, The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge, coming summer 2020.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Marks 20 Years of "SpongeBob SquarePants" with the "Best Year Ever"!

Originally published: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 4:27pm BST.

Additional sources: Nickandmore!, BuzzFeed.
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'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' Movie/Miniseries Plot Unveiled

Production Weekly has unveiled more details about Paramount Players's movie adaptation of the '90s Nickelodeon horror anthology series Are You Afraid of the Dark?!

The official synopsis for Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? miniseries is: "A group of kids meet in secret every week to tell scary stories in the woods. They're call the Midnight Society. But when a new girl arrives in town and auditions to join the group... things begin to get spooky. A reboot of the classic '90s Nickelodeon show."

The production listing also reveals that filming for the movie will begin Monday, June 10th and wrap Friday, July 19th in Vancouver, Canada, as well as the production credits are:

Produced by: Are You Afraid Productions Inc., Ace Entertainment, Nickelodeon West Coast, Paramount Players
Producer: Matt Kaplan, Robyn Marshall, Mallory Martin, Max Siemers
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Writer/Producer: BenDavid Grabinski
Director: Dean Israelite
LP: Chris Foss
PM: Tia Buhl
PC: Cathy Fullerton

Now, here's where it gets confusing. The production listing for the Are You Afraid of the Dark? project lists it as a new miniseries, although it has the movies' production credits. Paramount Players announced last year that they were producing a new movie adaptation of the '90s Nickelodeon hit. The only major difference is Dean Israelite (2017's Power Rangers movie) is now sitting in the directors chair, taking over from D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, xXx: Return of Xander Cage).

The Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie was set to be released in October this year, but Paramount Pictures recently took the film off their 2019 release schedule. Could Paramount and Nickelodeon have changed their minds about their Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie, and are now releasing it as a miniseries? The Are You Afraid of the Dark? miniseries was announced during Nickelodeon Upfront 2019 in February, and is slated to premiere in October 2019.

Of course, it could easily be just a typo, and it's the movie that's being filming in June 2019, not the miniseries.

Israelite made his feature film debut with the found-footage time travel flick Project Almanac. He then went on to direct Saban's 2017 Power Rangers, based on the wildly popular and long-running franchise. Next, he will write and direct Amblin’s supernatural thriller Minotaur.

It was recently revealed that The Prodigy director Nicholas McCarthy delivered the latest draft of the movie's script.

"I actually just turned in the script and we’re all pretty excited about it," he told SYFY WIRE. "I think the target is to shoot it this summer. I’ve had an absolute blast. There’s been a couple of writers before who have tried to crack it, and I think I’ve done it with this version. I love the series, too, and I’ve already had an amazing time writing it. The people that are behind it also love the series and it’s just been really really cool."

The "couple of writers" to which McCarthy refers are Gary Dauberman (It: Chapters 1 & 2) and BenDavid Grabinski (Skiptrace). When he was still writing an earlier draft of the screenplay last September, Dauberman promised that he would be sticking to the spirit of the original series, which could be incredibly frightening at times. McCarthy also went back to the beloved source material, rewatching those episodes that are truly representative of the show as a whole.

"I couldn’t watch all 90 or whatever it is, but I revisited a huge ton of them," he continued with a laugh. "I shouldn’t say too much more about it because I don’t know how they’re gonna frame what they’re doing with it. I don’t think any of the other writers who have been on it before have talked about the direction of the big screen version, but as a fan of the series and as someone who has really enjoyed going back and watching them, I’ve been really keen to try to capture the spirit of what makes that show so great."

Originally slated to open Oct. 11 of this year, it is now unclear when the movie version of Are You Afraid of the Dark? will reach theater-going audiences. After all, if the project plans to shoot over the summer, there's almost no way it can make a fall 2019 release. Indeed, fans may have to wait until Halloween of 2020 (most high-profile horror films usually open around the spooky holiday) to see it.

In addition, McCarthy confirmed that the tie-in miniseries, set to air on Nickelodeon this October (unless it's being pushed off with the film's production schedule), is still happening, although he isn't involved with it in any way. The Are You Afraid of the Dark? miniseries is slated to start filming in Vancouver, Canada on Monday, May 27, 2019.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a Canadian Twilight Zone-esqie anthology series created by D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel. It revolves around a group of teenagers who called themselves the Midnight Society that meet weekly at a secret location in the woods, where one member tells a scary story to the rest of the group, some of which are based on public domain fairy tales, short stories or urban legends. Subjects range from abandoned houses and vampires to scary clowns, witches and aliens.

The series debuted in 1990 on the Canadian children's channel YTV and was picked up by Nickelodeon USA in 1991, though it didn’t debut until SNICK’s launch on Saturday, Aug. 15, 1992. The show ran until April 1996, and a revival series with new writers, directors, writers and cast members was produced by Nickelodeon from 1999 to 2000. In all, the series ran for 91 episodes over seven seasons. Tia and Tamera Mowry (Sister, Sister), Will Friedle (Boy Meets World), Neve Campbell, Hayden Christensen, Jay Baruchel, Tatyana Ali, Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Jewel Staite (Space Cases), Emily VanCamp, and two-time Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling are just a few of the household names who have lent their acting skills to the anthology.

Each episode is introduced with the storyteller saying “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society,” who then would announce the title of that segment. MacHale said the line was a tribute to the series The Twilight Zone, in which creator Rod Serling would introduce the episode by saying, “submitted for your approval.”

Paramount Players is a new division at Paramount Pictures that focuses on contemporary talent and properties for young audiences while drawing upon the vast resources of the Viacom brands. Nickelodeon is one of those Viacom brands, which Paramount Players will be releasing Dora and the Lost City of Gold, a live-action movie inspired by Nickelodeon's beloved animated preschool series, in Summer 2019.

Update (31/5) - Gary Dauberman has confirmed that he has parted ways from the Are You Afraid of the Dark? project. "That actually hasn’t shot yet," Dauberman confirmed with /Film when asked about the project. "That’s one of those things I’m no longer a part of. I just had a different vision to make it and thought it best to part ways."

He added, "I don’t think that’s out there. It’s unfortunate but as you said, that’s sometimes how it goes."

The writer previously detailed what his approach to the film would be.

“That show is so important to me. I didn’t want to age it down too much because for it’s time, it had some really disturbing episodes and some really dark episodes. Not every story the Midnight Society told ended with happily ever after or a person learning their lesson and it will never happen again," Dauberman admitted to /Film. "I really embraced that side of things and I think it’s been a long time. I think fear is healthy for kids. I don’t think we have to always sand down the edges of things and that’s something I really wanted to do with Are You Afraid of the Dark? I think it is scary and I think kids will be scared watching it at times, and also they’ll laugh at times. I think it’s got a great message. I think it’s got a great heart to it but it is still scary. I think that’s great. I think it’s going to open it up to a wider audience.”

More Nick: Nickelodeon Embarks on New Direction with its Biggest, Most Wide-Ranging Content Slate Ever!

Originally published: Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 8:47pm BST.

H/T: GWW; Additional source: ComicBook.
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Nickelodeon USA to Premiere New Episodes of 'ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks' from Monday, June 10, 2019

Get set for more mischief and mayhem as the lovable Chipmunks and Chipettes are back in brand-new episodes of ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks, including the debut of season four, this June on Nickelodeon USA!

Below is a list of all-new ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks episodes set to debut on Nick USA in June 2019 (all times ET/PT)!:

Monday, June 10, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - The Devil Wears Rodentia; Career Day: Brittany's dream of being a fashion designer turns into a nightmare when she gets a job and her ideas are stolen; Alvin suspects Dave of being a local bank robber when Dave starts acting suspiciously and giving the boys gifts. (#322)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - Lost in Space...Camp: Theodore must prove he's got the right stuff when the Chipmunks and Chipettes head off to space camp. (#323A)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - Super Hot Chocolate: Theodore goes into a deep funk after he burns his tongue on some super-hot chocolate and loses his sense of taste. (#323B)

Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - The Great Chipmunk Detective: (#325A)

Monday, June 17, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - Guitar Hero: Alvin begrudgingly agrees to teach Miss Smith guitar, but she won't reveal why she so desperately needs to learn. (#325B)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - The C Team: (#326A)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - Father Daughter Dance: The Chipettes each want Dave to be their date to the Father Daughter Dance. But how can he choose just one? (#326B; Season three finale)

Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - The Toy: (#401A; Season four premiere)

Monday, June 24, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - Bloodlines: (#401B)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - Theodore's Calling: (#402A)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - Clumsy Jeanette: (#402B)

Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. - Adventures in Babysitting: (#403A)

More Nick: Nickelodeon USA to Premiere '44 Cats' on Monday, June 10, 2019!

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