Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Nickelodeon Postpones Live-Action Productions, Temporarily Closes Animation Studio in Response to Coronavirus

In the wake of the COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) outbreak which is gripping the globe, Nickelodeon is postponing the network's live-action productions as a precaution. Additionally, the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, California has closed to “virtually all staff” and the studio is moving to alternative, offsite locations “wherever possible”, a Nickelodeon spokesperson has told Kidscreen.


The news follows Nickelodeon wrapping the first season of Young Dylan, which was being filmed in Atlanta, Georgia a few episodes early on Sunday, March 15 due to the pandemic.

The news also follows ViacomCBS holding a company-wide remote work day on Friday, March 13.

ViacomCBS Networks Australia's offices in Darlinghurst, Sydney, home of Nickelodeon and MTV have also temporarily closed, which staff members being told to work from home.

Update (5/19) - Production on season two of Blue's Clues & You! was reportedly completed before the lockdown. 9 Story Media Group, who produces the show for Nickelodeon, has hired 32 people in the past six weeks, according to CEO Vince Commisso.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Coronavirus is going to make film shoots more expensive. Here’s how

Hollywood is hoping that film shoots — shuttered more than two months ago because of the coronavirus crisis — will resume as early as mid-June. But once production gets going, there will be a new line item on studio budgets: COVID-19 prevention.

Studios and production companies will have to hire additional personnel, such as health and safety experts and sanitation crews. They’ll need to pay for additional equipment for cleaning sets, washing hands and checking temperatures. Work will go slower, and shoots will go longer. All of that adds up on the ledger.

Experts and executives estimate that enhanced cleaning and staffing for coronavirus prevention could add more than $1 million to a typical movie budget. On top of that, staggered shifts for crew, meant to minimize the number of people on set, could stretch what would normally be an eight-week shooting schedule to as many as 10 weeks. That would significantly increase expenses for major films, which can cost up to $400,000 a day to make.

“The budgets will definitely be going up for productions,” said Paul Swanson, a Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney at Loeb & Loeb. “If you have 50 days [of shooting], you might end up with 10 extra days. And depending on the production, that could be very costly.”

The prospect of rising production costs comes at a precarious time, when the industry is also facing a period of falling revenues. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter estimates the 2020 box office will end with $6 billion in ticket sales, down nearly 50% from last year.

New coronavirus spending will put an another financial strain on studios that were already keeping a tight lid on budgets because of the challenging theatrical market, even before movie houses closed in mid-March. Analysts also expect TV networks to try to cut programming costs because of the decline of advertising and acceleration of cord-cutting.

“It’s going to be a hit, for sure,” said one production executive who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

Studio executives have been talking internally about how to manage costs by reducing spending in other areas, such as international travel, which will be challenging anyway in the current environment. Some say they’ll be able to adapt with smaller crews and casts. Companies may even boost efforts to lobby state officials for expanded tax incentives that would allow more movies to shoot in California.

“It’s going to vary from project to project,” said Jesse Sisgold, president and chief operating officer of Santa Monica-based studio Skydance Media. The company’s productions include the relatively contained Netflix comedy series “Grace and Frankie,” along with expansive sci-fi epics such as the upcoming “Foundation” series for Apple TV+. “We’re still looking at the same budgets we did prior to COVID, but we’re just shuffling costs within those budgets.”

It remains unclear when productions will be able to resume locally. Los Angeles County officials recently began gradually easing restrictions on businesses to get the economy moving. Studio sources say they could begin getting back in gear as soon as next month in the U.S., and are already fielding inquiries from states that have reopened more aggressively, such as Georgia. Productions are currently underway in countries including Iceland and South Korea.

Still, there’s little doubt the coronavirus will add extra challenges for companies as they allocate funds. Plans are “obviously a work in progress,” production controller Nour Dardari, who has worked on blockbusters including “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” said in a recent webinar hosted by production services firm Entertainment Partners. “But we can definitely see there will be ... some allowance to make sure everyone is safe.”

When crews go back to work in the states, how they operate will have changed dramatically. To manage the on-set health and safety measures, studios are expected to hire “COVID coordinators” who will lead staffs of 10 to 15 people on smaller movies, according to one production source. For bigger shoots, that staff could be 30 people or more.

Call times will be coordinated so that certain teams, such as set dressers, come to the set in staggered shifts to reduce crowding. In some cases, casts and crews may be quarantined before a shoot begins. Sets may be built and left to sit for several days before the filmmaking teams can come in. All of that means more time and money.

“What will be costly is the whole rearrangement of the process,” said Los Angeles entertainment attorney Kenneth Kleinberg, of Kleinberg Lange.

Crew members will also work shorter days because people are more susceptible to illness when they’re exhausted. The industry may move to so-called French hours, in which crew members work up to 10 hours on set instead of pulling 14-hour days. That could extend the length of shoots.

Mark Gill, chief executive of independent film company Solstice Studios, said pay for workers will have to change in order to prevent costs from ballooning. Crew members, he said, would be paid the same hourly wage, but their hours would be stretched over more days of filming. “This is the only way labor costs won’t rise,” Gill said. “And if they do rise, many films will become un-financeable.”

Studios’ insurance costs are also likely to rise because of the risk of having to pause shooting for weeks when a member of the cast or crew gets sick. Because insurance companies have begun excluding coronavirus from their policies, major studios will probably have to bear the brunt of future shutdowns. Legal costs may also increase to cover potential litigation if employees become ill.

So-called intimacy coordinators, who work with actors to ensure appropriate behavior during sex scenes, may be called upon to help performers feel comfortable during other types of shooting that require people to be near each other, said Jody Simon, an entertainment attorney at Fox Rothschild. “They’re going to be increasingly important going forward,” Simon said.

Some of the more mundane parts of the filmmaking process will have to change, as well, including craft services and security. Instead of long buffet lines for lunch breaks, studios anticipate ordering boxed lunches from catering companies. Sets will have check-in stations to perform health screenings for people coming to work, which may include temperature checks.

For a century-old industry such as Hollywood, changing longstanding ways of doing the physical work is a “puzzle and a challenge,” said Yolanda Cochran, Nickelodeon’s senior vice president of production.

“Other than some technological advances, the approach to production has been the same for decades,” Cochran said during the web panel on production last week. “Getting people to think in a different way can be a challenge. Unfortunately we now have [a situation] that’s unavoidable, and we’re going to have to problem-solve.”

###

ViacomCBS Networks UK's offices in Camden in London currently remain open.

Update (3/21) - ViacomCBS Networks UK's offices in Camden, London have mostly closed to employees, with staffers being asked to work from home or remotely. A few essential staff are currently working in office.


NickALive!'s full coverage of how coronavirus is affecting Nickelodeon can be found here.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Upfront 2020 Roundup!

Originally published: Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
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Lauv Performs ‘El Tejano” Live For All That 🎀 | All That

Lauv Performs ‘El Tejano” Live For All That 🎀 | All That


Lauv takes the All That Stage and performs his hit song ‘El Tajano’ with SofΓ­a Reyes!

What did you think of the brand new All That episode 1126? Vote in the poll here!: http://nickalive.blogspot.com/2020/05/what-did-you-think-of-new-all-that.html

Subscribe to the official All That YouTube channel!: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6UzskfVDPkJ5aSe755ZGgQ

More Nick: Nickelodeon's 'All That' Reunites Jamie Lynn Spears with the Cast of 'Zoey 101' in All-New Version of “Thelma Stump”!
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At Home Playdate #3 w/ Josh & Blue! | Home Activities for Kids | Blue's Clues & You!

At Home Playdate #3 w/ Josh & Blue! | Home Activities for Kids | Blue's Clues & You!


Are you ready for some fun at home with Josh and Blue? In this special playdate, Josh and Blue video-call Magenta, do a science experiment, and stretch!

#StayHome #WithMe #KidsTogether #Playdate #JoshAndBlue #BluesCluesAndYou #BluesClues #NickJr

Subscribe to the NEW Blue's Clues and You! YouTube channel for weekly videos with Josh and Blue! And remember to turn on notifications to never miss them!

Kids can watch their favorite Nick Jr. shows weekdays on Nickelodeon and all week long on the Nick Jr. channel: http://nickjr.com/tvschedule/

Subscribe to the official Blue’s Clues & You! YouTube channel! Subscribe today at https://at.nick.com/BCYSubscribe!

More #KidsTogether Content!: https://bit.ly/kidstogether

More Nick: Nickelodeon Launches #KidsTogether--A Global Prosocial Initiative to Help Kids and Families Stay Informed and Engaged With Activities; Noggin to be Offered Free to Kids in Need in Partnership with National Head Start Association and First Book

Originally published: Saturday, May 16, 2020.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nick Jr., Nickelodeon Preschool and Blue's Clues & You! News and Highlights!

Nick HD+ | Stay Cool, Stay Safe With Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness | Nickelodeon India

Nick HD+ | Stay Cool, Stay Safe With Panda | Nickelodeon India


The coolest panda is here with his super cool kung fu techniques!
Catch Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness every day at 12 pm, only on Nick HD+

#KungFuPanda #Po #SummerVibes #StayHomeStaySafe #HomeSafe #SafetyFirst

More Nick: Nickelodeon India Brings the Playground Home for Kids with #HomeOkPlease Campaign!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon India News and Highlights!

Top 5 Funniest It's Pony Scenes (So Far) | Nickelodeon

Top 5 Funniest It's Pony Scenes (So Far) | Nickelodeon


These It's Pony moments have me in tears πŸ˜‚

Watch It's Pony on Nickelodeon!


More Nick: Nickelodeon Upfront 2020 Roundup!

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'Welcome To Good Burger, Home Of The Good Burger': 3-Year-Old Boy's Birthday Party Pays Homage To Classic Nickelodeon Movie

A 3-year-old boy has a big appetite for Nickelodeon's iconic 1997 movie Good Burger! Jaxton showed off his taste for the throwback during his birthday, celebrating with a theme of Good Burger.


The birthday boy dressed like Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell from the hit movie, wearing a Good Burger employee outfit and a name badge. Jaxton's party also featured a replica of the Good Burger restaurant that included the menu, chips, aprons and, of course, hamburgers with ketchup.


A party planning company posted the images to Instagram with a caption saying "Welcome To Good Burger Home of the Goodburger. Can I Take Your Order? Happy 3rd Birthday Jaxton."

Kel Mitchell saw the party on Instagram and shared a video of Jaxton repeating the popular line from the show.

"Welcome to Good Burger, home of the good burger. Can I take your order?" the birthday boy said in the video.

"Thank you Kel (Ed) For the Birthday S/O," Jaxton's party planners wrote.

It was nothing but love for the boy after people saw the images on social media.


"This is incredible!!!! All the joy!" one Instagram user wrote.

"This is too cute," another person added.

Starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, Good Burger was inspired by the fan-favorite sketch on Nickelodeon's All That. Last July, a pop-up restaurant modeled after Good Burger opened in Los Angeles in preparation for the All That reboot. The pop-up was planned to make a visit to Chicago this year.

Join Nickelodeon's official I Was A Nick Kid Facebook Group!: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWasANickKid/

Subscribe to the official All That YouTube channel!: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6UzskfVDPkJ5aSe755ZGgQ


More Nick: Nickelodeon and Paramount to Bring 'Rugrats' Back for the Next Generation of Kids!

Original source: Blavity News.
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Bryan Konietzko Gives Status Update on Netflix's Live-Action 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Adaptation

Bryan Konietzko, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender, recently gave an update on Instagram about the production status of Netflix's live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon's beloved animated series, including plans for the open audition, and how the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic may affect it:


Below is Konietzko's Instagram message in full:

"A lot of you are still curious and excited about when there will be an open casting call for the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender for Netflix. As always, thanks for your continued enthusiasm. In my original post about it, I had said it would likely happen in late 2019 — *likely* but not guaranteed, and obviously we have not reached that stage yet or else you would have heard about it from me, Netflix, etc. We’re working on some awesome stuff, but we’re still in development/preproduction. I’m reposting my stories here from 11 days ago, Thursday March 12th, in case you missed them. There are no big announcements in there, just a note about the lack of updates and a *much more important* note about the state of the world in this Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis. If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, film and tv productions the world over have been suspended. At the moment, we are lucky that our small team on the adaptation is still moving things forward as best we can, obviously all working remotely. And as is always the case, when we have news we *can* share we will share it. So please don’t hound me or anyone else associated with us about casting. Just be patient. πŸ’™πŸ™πŸ’™ Avatar can wait, but now it’s up to all of us, in our individual actions and how we support each other, to save the world. For real. Be safe, smart, generous, compassionate, and healthy. Love, Bryan #flattenthecurve"

View this post on Instagram

A lot of you are still curious and excited about when there will be an open casting call for the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender for Netflix. As always, thanks for your continued enthusiasm. In my original post about it, I had said it would likely happen in late 2019 — *likely* but not guaranteed, and obviously we have not reached that stage yet or else you would have heard about it from me, Netflix, etc. We’re working on some awesome stuff, but we’re still in development/preproduction. I’m reposting my stories here from 11 days ago, Thursday March 12th, in case you missed them. There are no big announcements in there, just a note about the lack of updates and a *much more important* note about the state of the world in this Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis. If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, film and tv productions the world over have been suspended. At the moment, we are lucky that our small team on the adaptation is still moving things forward as best we can, obviously all working remotely. And as is always the case, when we have news we *can* share we will share it. So please don’t hound me or anyone else associated with us about casting. Just be patient. πŸ’™πŸ™πŸ’™ Avatar can wait, but now it’s up to all of us, in our individual actions and how we support each other, to save the world. For real. Be safe, smart, generous, compassionate, and healthy. Love, Bryan #flattenthecurve

A post shared by Bryan Konietzko (@bryankonietzko) on


Update (5/19): In January 2020, Daniel Richtman posted that the series is “looking for a mostly Asian cast and a 12-14 Asian kid to play Aang.”

“looking for a mostly Asian cast and a 12-14 Asian kid to play Aang…” The words “Asian Kid” do not exactly imply growing child star, but moreso align with a no-name talent. Forrest Wheeler from Fresh Off the Boat feels like a perfect pick, given his high-energy disposition and contagious upbeat personality. However, he’s already aged out of the role, for he’s 16.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Launches #KidsTogether--A Global Prosocial Initiative to Help Kids and Families Stay Informed and Engaged With Activities; Noggin to be Offered Free to Kids in Need in Partnership with National Head Start Association and First Book

Originally published: Sunday, March 29, 2020.

Original source: News Landed; Additional source: Showbiz CheatSheet.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon News and Highlights!