Thursday, January 28, 2021

Jay Kogen Reveals Whether 'iCarly' Revival Will Feature Creddie and Seddie

When iCarly aired its series finale back in 2012, fans believed that they were saying goodbye to the show forever. But, thanks to the show's enduring legacy with fans, the beloved show is getting a reboot. Miranda Cosgrove, Nathan Kress, and Jerry Trainor, who played Carly Shay, Freddie Benson, and Spencer Shay have all signed on to the reboot, but what can fans expect from the show?

‘iCarly’: There’s Little Hope for Creddie and Seddie Shippers in the Reboot

The original run of iCarly spanned six seasons and was one of Nickelodeon’s biggest hits. The show followed three teenagers Carly, Sam, and Freddie as they navigated adolescence and their wildly popular web show, iCarly. Carly and Sam served as the show’s hosts while Freddie handled filming and all things technological. Meanwhile, Carly’s older brother Spencer, a quirky artist, served as Carly’s fun legal guardian.

While Carly, Sam, and Freddie, were all good friends, there was also a love triangle between the three. At different points of the show, Freddie dated both Carly and Sam. iCarly fans even created couple names for the characters. Seddie shippers are those who want Sam and Freddie to be together whilst Creddie shippers believed Carly and Freddie belonged together. In the show’s series finale, there was potential for either of the couples to get back together, but ultimately it was left unresolved.

But it seems that the love triangle won’t be a factor in the iCarly reboot. Of course, one of the main reasons for this could be Jennette McCurdy’s absence from the show. Though McCurdy remains on good terms with Cosgrove, Trainor, and Kress, she has opted out of the reboot, however, the door if left open for her return. Since Sam’s character will be absent from the show, reuniting Seddie would be impossible.

But Seddie shippers aren’t the only ones who may be let down by the iCarly reboot. Creddie shippers will be sad to hear that their favorite couple won’t be reuniting in the reboot either. Jay Kogen who is one of the writers and showrunners for the reboot has shared that Carly has new love interests in the show. Furthermore, Freddie has found love elsewhere as well and is actually married in the revival.

“I know there are Seddies and Creddies,” Kogen wrote about the iCarly reboot on his Twitter page. “I’m not dismissing them. But you don’t know about Carly’s new loves. Freddie’s marriage. And Sam’s new life. It’s all changed. Life doesn’t stand still for any of us. We move on. We grow. It’s not a sad thing. It’s joyous.”

While some Creddie shippers are still holding out hope that Carly and Freddie will be endgame, fans are sure to love Kogen’s perspective on things. The characters on iCarly have done a lot of growing up since we saw them last and it’s great that the reboot will reflect that.

Kress did attempt to settle the debate on whether Freddie ended up with Carly or Sam when he guest starred as himself on Game Shakers, however, however, he was interrupted before he could spill the beans.

The original iCarly series is currently available to stream on CBS All Access/Paramount+, with the first two seasons also heading to Netflix in February.

The iCarly revival will stream on Paramount+ later this year.

Are you more of a Creddie or a Seddie? Let me know in the comments!

Original source: Showbiz Cheat Sheet; Additional source: Monsters & Critics.

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Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for Thursday, January 28, 2021 | Nickelodeon

Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for Thursday, January 28, 2021 | Nickelodeon
Rugrats, provided to Creators Syndicate by Nickelodeon, based off the popular animated television series has been created for children and family's to laugh and enjoy together.

Follow these comics and their take on real episodes of the show and their own spin on hilarious adventures.

Read more Rugrats comic strips!:

More Nick: Nickelodeon Unveils First Look at CG-Animated 'Rugrats' and 'Big Nate'!
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Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida | Retro Commercial | NickRewind

Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida | Retro Commercial | NickRewind

Did you ever get the chance to visit Nickelodeon Studios? Let me know in the comments!

Watch all your ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s Nickelodeon favorites on NickRewind, your late-night destination for your favorite childhood Nickelodeon cartoons and live-action shows! NickSplat doesn't question football-shaped heads, but embrace them - along with Reptar bars, a Big Ear of Corn, orange soda, and even slime for Pete (and Pete's) sake. Make your slime-covered Nickelodeon childhood dreams come true every night on TeenNick USA, and anytime you want Nick Pluto TV, NickHits on Amazon Prime Video Channels and Nick on CBS All Access!

Like NickRewind on Facebook, subscribe to the NickRewind YouTube channel and follow NickRewind on Twitter and Instagram for exclusive digital content from all of your throwback favorites like Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, iCarly, Victorious, Kenan & Kel, CatDog, Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, The Amanda Show, Clarissa Explains It All, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and so much more!

Join Nickelodeon's official I Was A Nick Kid Facebook Group!:

More Nick: Nickelodeon Unveils CG-Animated 'Rugrats' Series!

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How to Achieve a Sustainable Diet 馃崕 | Planeta Bala | Nickelodeon Latin America

C贸mo lograr una alimentaci贸n sustentable 馃崕 | Planeta Bala | Nickelodeon en Espa帽ol

Podemos cuidar al planeta mientras comemos, y en este video, Bala nos explica c贸mo es que podemos lograr una alimentaci贸n sustentable. Junto al invitado Mart铆n Barba, actor de Yo Soy Franky y Club 57, tambi茅n aprenderemos a preparar algo delicioso que podemos usar en nuestro d铆a a d铆a y que resulta una gran opci贸n para cuidar al medio ambiente.

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

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Miranda Cosgrove Shares Behind-the-Scenes Photo from 'iCarly' Revival

Wake up the members of our nation: The iCarly cast has officially reunited!

Last month (Dec. 2020), it was announced that Nickelodeon Studios are going to be reviving Nickelodeon's beloved live-action comedy iCarly for a brand new season for Paramount+, with original cast members Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor and Nathan Kress returning to reprise their respective roles of Carly, Spencer and Freddie, respectively.

Filming for the iCarly revival is expected to commence in March 2021 for a premiere later this year, and it seems like production is already ramping up, as Cosgrove today (Jan. 27) posted a special behind-the-scenes photo on Instagram of Trainor, Kress and herself having a mini-reunion! 'iCarly Set 1' can also be spotted on the fake wall behind them!

Jerry also shared the photo, writing "Prepare yourselves" in the caption, as did Nathan, who captioned the pic "My people."

Nickelodeon also shared the photo, saying "so excited to see these faces together again".

iCarly starred Miranda as the titular Carly Shay, a teen who starred on the popular web series iCarly alongside her best friend Sam Puckett, played by Jennette McCurdy. Nathan portrayed Freddy Benson, Carly's neighbor and the show's tech producer, while Jerry appeared as Carly's older brother and guardian Spencer. 

Jay Kogen (School of RockThe SimpsonsFrasier) and Ali Schouten (Diary of a Future PresidentChampionsMerry Happy Whatever) have signed on to develop the update. They also will executive produce and serve as co-showrunners.

The photo also seems to confirm that Jennette won't be involved in the revival. Kogen revealed that the door is open for the actor to re-join the show if she wants to. She previously starred in the spin-off Sam & Cat opposite Ariana Grande. In addition, Noah Munck, who portrayed Carly's pal Gibby Gibson, is also nowhere to be seen.

While many fans were disappointed to learn that Jennette possibly would not return to the series, it seems the actor is focusing on new projects ahead. On her podcast Empty Inside, the former Nick star has interviewed performers like comedian Taylor Tomlinson and American Idol runner-up David Archuleta.

Last December, Nathan took to Instagram to share the good news of the show's revival, writing that this news was "a little something to look forward to in 2021." 

While Miranda hasn't posted much about the iCarly reboot, she did send some love to co-star Jerry last January with a throwback photo from their time on set. She wrote on Instagram, "Happy Birthday to a perfect human @jerrytrainor."

One thing is certain: It seems everyone is thrilled to be reunited.

We also have some more insight to the new show, thanks to a series of tweets from producer Jay Kogen. What will the title of the show be? Will the Pear Phone be making a comeback? Find out below!:

The original iCarly series is currently available to stream on CBS All Access/Paramount+, with the first two seasons also heading to Netflix in February.

Originally published: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 21:46 GMT.

Source: @DiscussingFilm; H/T: @NickSchedules; Additional sources: E! News, Just Jared Jr.

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'As Seen On Burrito' Sneak Peek | Unfiltered | Nickelodeon

Taco 'bout a cool guest! Nickelodeon's brrrrringing you a brand new episode of Unfiltered, Thursday, January 28 at 7p/6c! Check out a sneak peek below, and tell me who you think is behind the filter in the comments! Brought to you by The Burrito Channel.

In the all new Nickelodeon's Unfiltered episode "As Seen On Burrito," host Jay Pharoah introduces two mystery celebs hiding behind 3D animated filters. All That's Lex Lumpkin, Ryan Alessi and Kate Godfrey ask questions and gather clues to unveil Nick's two special guests. (#204)

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Test Friends | Danger Force Promo | Nickelodeon

In the all new Danger Force episode "Test Friends," Captain Man (Cooper Barnes) puts Danger Force through a series of tests to see if he can trust them; but when the tests get out of hand, the tables are turned. Tune into the all new episode, premiering Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT), only on Nickelodeon! Check out the promo and sneak peek below!:

Sneak Peek:

Episode #115.

Originally published: Sunday, January 24, 2021.

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Zedd to Fool the School in New Episode of 'The Substitute', Premiering Thursday, Jan. 28 on Nickelodeon

Zedd is ready to take flight on the next brand new episode of The Substitute, premiering Thursday, January 28. 2021 at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT), only on Nickelodeon! Check out a sneak peek below below!

In the all new episode of The Substitute, Grammy winning musician and DJ Zedd is the god of humor when he goes undercover as The Substitute where he’ll tackle his quirky superstitions and go on the ultimate birdwatch. (#207)

More Nick: 2021 on Nickelodeon | New Shows, Specials, Podcasts, Events, Movies, Episodes, and More!

Originally published: Thursday, January 28, 2021.

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Nickelodeon Renews 'The Casagrandes' for Season 3


Hit-Animated Series Ranks Number Two Across All Television with Kids 2-11
on the Heels of Sister Series, The Loud House

Danny Trejo, Ally Brooke, Jorge Gutierrez, Stephanie Beatriz, Justin Chon and More
To Lend Voices Throughout Season Two, Kicking off October 9 at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT)

The Casagrandes family and friends gather together in Nickelodeon’s The Casagrandes.

Share it: @Nickelodeon @TheCasagrandes @NickAnimation #Nickelodeon

BURBANK, Calif. – September 24, 2020 – Nickelodeon, the number-one network for kids, has greenlit a third season of The Casagrandes, which will find Ronnie Anne and her family members on a variety of adventures while exploring different areas of the city. A spinoff of Nickelodeon’s top-rated animated series The Loud House, Emmy Award-winning The Casagrandes has ranked as the number two animated property across television with Kids 2-11 since its Oct. 2019 debut.  Season three is currently in production by Nickelodeon Animation Studio.

“Our audience has loved the diverse characters, relatable stories and rich animation found in The Casagrandes since the series debuted last year,” said Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation. “The success of the show is due to the creative leadership who continue to showcase the love and laughter of this family, living in an environment that reflects the global world we live in today.”

Since its debut, The Casagrandes has told stories infused with humor, heart and the everyday escapades of family and friends. Season two of The Casagrandes kicks off with “Fails from the Crypt,” where the kids try to break a local record for staying in the cemetery overnight. Followed by “Bad Cluck,” where a haunted chicken is pestering the Casagrandes, on Friday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. Season two will debut internationally later this year.

The original animated series will feature a variety of guest stars giving voice to new and returning characters throughout season two, including Danny Trejo (Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Spy Kids), pop star Ally Brooke, Jorge Gutierrez (El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, The Book of Life), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Justin Chon (Twilight) and more.

The Casagrandes voice cast includes: Izabella Alvarez (Westworld) as Ronnie Anne; Carlos PenaVega (Big Time Rush, WebHeads) as Bobby; Eugenio Derbez (Dora and the Lost City of Gold) as Arturo; Carlos Alazraqui (Rocko's Modern Life, The Fairly OddParents) as Carlos, “Tio;” Roxana Ortega (The League) as Frida, “Tia;” Alexa PenaVega (Spy Kids) as Carlota; Jared Kozak (Born this Way) as CJ; Alex Cazares (The Boss Baby: Back in Business) as Carl; Ruben Garfias (East Los High) as Hector, “Abuelo;” Sonia Manzano (Sesame Street) as Rosa, “Abuela.” Additionally, Ken Jeong (Wonder Park, Dr. Ken) gives voice as Stanley; Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina the Teenage Witch) as Becca; Leah Mei Gold (Legion) as Sid; and Lexi Sexton (The Loud House) as Adelaide.

Emmy Award-winning The Casagrandes tells the story of Ronnie Anne, who moves to the city with her mom and older brother to live with their big, loving family, the Casagrandes. A spinoff of The Loud House, the series showcases the culture, humor, and love that’s part of growing up in a multigenerational Mexican-American family. The series is executive produced by Michael Rubiner. Miguel Puga serves as co-executive producer, Alan Foreman is supervising producer and Miguel Gonzalez serves as art director, with award-winning cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz as consulting producer and cultural consultant.

The series also has a companion podcast series, The Casagrandes Familia Sounds.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 41st 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 brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location based experiences, publishing and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC).

# # #

Diversity in TV Animation: Finally, Some Progress!

***This article originally appeared in the February ’21 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 307)***

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a much-needed effort to have women and people of color play more prominent and influential roles as creative forces in animation. While change hasn’t come easily or overnight, a quick look at the types of shows being made and the artists who are making them are indications that a shift is finally happening.

Recent TV series such as Nickelodeon’s The Casagrandes and Disney Channel’s Mira, Royal Detective feature characters from diverse backgrounds, and the creatives behind the scenes are often just as diverse. When hiring, many shows seek out writers who can speak to a culture based on their own background or personal history. Other times, consultants are brought in to make sure the details included in a story are correct and reflect the authentic culture. Netflix has brought on animation powerhouses such as Chris Nee (Doc McStuffins) and Jorge Guti茅rrez (Book of Life, El Tigre) to develop a slate of projects for the streamer. Cartoon Network, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney +, Apple TV+ and much all the other streamers and cablers have several shows created by and featuring people of color in their pipelines in 2021.

L.A.-based animation veteran Elizabeth Ito has seen the animation industry become more inclusive in recent years. Over the last 15 years, Ito worked as a supervising director on Adventure Time and a feature storyboard artist on Hotel Transylvania, Astro Boy and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. She’s currently developing City of Ghosts, a much-anticipated hybrid documentary-style show about Angeleno ghosts for Netflix.

“There have definitely been some big changes,” says Ito. “There are women creating and running shows, and more women writing, storyboarding and directing in general. We’ve had more diverse characters on screen, in both design and substance. We’ve also seen more minority directors. Studios are finally being more conscious about who voices characters, and whether they could make better choices when casting.”

Real Representation

Another industry veteran, Sascha Paladino, believes there is greater awareness of the need for diversity and inclusion. Paladino is currently executive producer on Mira, Royal Detective, where aside from himself, there is an all-female writers room. The show’s cast is also made up of performers who are South Asian or of South Asian descent.

“I’ve been working in TV for 20 years and I feel like almost all of the shows that I’ve worked on, [diversity] has been top of mind for the creatives behind it,” says Paladino. “But in the last couple of years it’s definitely become a much more important topic, something that’s baked in. To me, it’s really the most important thing that shows are discussing these days. There’s such a movement in the culture toward better and more fair representation, and I think that is reflected in kids’ TV both in the content and by the people making it.

He adds, “For Mira, Royal Detective, we’re portraying South Asian culture, which is a first for Disney Junior so it’s a huge responsibility. It’s something that I, as executive producer of the show, think about and wrestle with a lot because we want to portray this culture in an authentic and thoughtful and sensitive way so that South Asian kids really see themselves on screen and so that non-South Asian kids learn about the culture in a way that makes them want to learn more.”

The Only POC in the Room?

While there has been concentrated effort to bring in voices that can authentically speak for a culture or perspective in some cases, it’s part of a long process. Jeff Trammell, head writer on Cartoon Network’s hit show Craig of the Creek and a voice actor, points out there’s still work to be done.

“I do believe that rooms have become slightly more inclusive and diverse, but I both hope and believe that in the coming years this will become more commonplace,” he notes. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work in a lot of writers’ rooms, but more often than not I’m the only POC in the room and I’d love to see that change going forward.”

Diego Molano is the creator/showrunner of Cartoon Network’s Victor and Valentino, which incorporates Mesoamerican folklore and culture into the show’s storytelling. Molano believes there are many benefits for audiences and studios alike when diverse stories are told.

“Animation is changing, but slowly,” says Molano. “I think companies are just now noticing that we have stories that are not only relevant and entertaining, but that there is a gigantic demand from audiences for it. And if they don’t change with the times, they’re leaving money on the table. It’s honestly encouraging to see more people of color get a chance to tell their stories. This is important, we need to hear those voices because it would be a shame for these stories that we can all learn so much from, be forgotten. Historically, it has been hard for people of color to get traction with anything that isn’t the same story, told in a way that companies are comfortable with. But now with so much demand for all sorts of different content, there is hope.”

The Power of Reflection

Miguel Puga, co-executive producer on Nickelodeon’s The Casagrandes, also wants to tell authentic stories about his culture and hopes the children who watch the show — regardless of their background — will gain perspective.

 “It’s a window into the Latin culture and to normalize that and show their stories count,” says Puga. “Hopefully, I’m leaving the door open behind me so they can come into this industry. And I’m not the first one to do it. There have been so many before me, like Jorge Guti茅rrez and Bill Melendez, that opened the door for me and showed that change is attainable and hard work and dedication pays off. Authenticity makes a great show because kids can tell when something isn’t authentic. It makes a better story, it makes a better cartoon, or a better show or movie. We create these characters so viewers can see themselves. The power of reflection is a huge issue for us.”

As the U.S. population changes, reflection takes on a new meaning and a new mandate. The viewing audience for animation is changing quickly.

“The truth is that 50 percent of kids under the age of 12 are not white,” says Ramsey Naito, president of Nickelodeon Animation. “This is a very, very diverse day and time in kids’ television, so the emergence [of diverse content] is quite natural, I think. We want our kids, our audience to watch our shows and see themselves and identify with our characters in an authentic way. Kids love to see themselves. They want to see themselves, and seeing themselves empowers them.”

Meredith Roberts, senior vice president/general manager of television animation for Disney Channels, sees their audience becoming more diverse, too.

“We know from monitoring census statistics that the population is changing and we want to change with it,” says Roberts. “In addition to our current slate, the future development also reflects the work to be much more inclusive and authentic with underrepresented writers and directors. We do a lot of work reaching out to historical black universities to identify new writing talent.”

Throughout the last few years, cultural movements have celebrated diversity and inclusion and that’s bound to impact how audiences see shows. This could be especially true for kids who are growing up in a more inclusive and sensitive culture.

An Inclusive Generation

“We are also looking at ourselves across the inclusion and equity spectrum — race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, body type, disability and LGBTQIA+ — to evaluate projects in development, production and in the greenlight process to make sure that our content is truly reflective of the kids/families watching,” says Amy Friedman, head of programming for Cartoon Network and HBO Max Kids & Family.

There’s no doubt animation audiences have incredible access to past animated shows and that might even make the thirst for something new that gives a more real and respectful view of different cultures even stronger.

“With kids being exposed to entire catalogues of animation on streaming sites, I think they expect new animation to be more advanced and considerate in the way we tell our stories, and present them,” says Molano. “Kids are way more knowledgeable about animation than 15 years ago, and I think it’s really awesome that they’re demanding stories that reflect themselves. Historically, kids have only watched what has been presented to them, but now, it’s nice to know they’re taking part in creating what gets made.”

Ito believes audiences still want many of the same things — but with a caveat. “I think audiences are always genuinely looking for a compelling story they can relate to, and in that way, they haven’t changed at all,” says Ito. “The part that has changed is that audiences who have been underrepresented have made it clear how much it means to them when big studios take chances on projects that make them feel seen.”

Karen Idelson is a journalist who loves writing about animation, VFX and technology. She lives in the South Bay Area of L.A. with her husband, daughter, a dog named Disco and a jalape帽o plant that won’t die regardless of how much it is ignored.


Animating Latinx culture and characters on The Casagrandes

It started as a rumour. The first time Miguel Gonzalez heard about The Casagrandes, it was barely more than hushed speculation after a Mexican-American family had been introduced on The Loud House. Keeping his ear to the ground, eventually his friend, director Miguel Puga, told him the rumour was becoming reality — and he knew he had to be a part of it.

Flash forward and Puga is now co-executive producer and director on The Casagrandes, while Gonzalez serves as art director on the groundbreaking Nickelodeon animated series. The Loud House spin-off follows Ronnie Anne, her multigenerational Mexican-American family and their multicultural community in the fictional Great Lakes City (based on Chicago, with hints of New York City and Los Angeles). The show has been celebrated for its diverse, inclusive perspective.

"I don't want to build walls; I just want to build the table longer so we can all have a seat. I have a daughter and I want her to see herself and have a role model in a character like Ronnie Anne and say, 'I want to be like that when I get older,'" says Puga.

Having premiered to widespread praise in October 2019, The Casagrandes has already won an Emmy and was renewed for its third season before its second even launched. For Mexican-American artists like Puga and Gonzalez, the series is a dream come true — not only to help create a cartoon where their culture is focal and authentically shared, but also to have that representation both on-screen and behind the scenes.

The Casagrandes began while Puga was a storyboard artist on The Loud House, and he quietly transformed a new character from a redhead into a Latinx girl: Ronnie Anne. Catching the attention of the show's producers and writers, he was asked to help them develop a show idea they had for Ronnie Anne and her brother Bobby.

Poses for Ronnie Anne, drawn by Miguel Puga.

Puga pitched a concept based on his own life's story growing up in a multigenerational Mexican-American family. That was in 2014. Not long after, the project got greenlit and he has subsequently built out a crew he describes as a family that works together and supports each other.

"One of the first things that I pitched to my producers was let's make our cast and crew reflect the characters that we're working on. I reached out to over 300 Latinx artists and I'm very proud to say I think we're one of the most diverse crews in Burbank. A lot of our artists reflect themselves into the show — they pull characters and designs off of people they know or they grew up with," says Puga.

"It's very important for kids also to see themselves reflected on TV" - Miguel Puga

Gonzalez estimates at least 30 percent of the show's team is Latinx, which helps contribute to the authenticity of the animation and art. He was brought onto the team by former The Loud House creative director Amanda Rynda and, while he was aware he could not change the style massively, he knew he had to bring in a more Mesoamerican colour palette — and Nickelodeon agreed.

The series' palette draws inspiration from homes in Gonzalez and Puga's families to artist Frida Kahlo's house in Mexico City to luchador masks to pottery and textiles. Each source is brighter and more vivid than the last — a contrast to the more muted Michigan colour story of Loud House.

While statistics for toons are scarce, according to the TV portion of UCLA's Hollywood Diversity report, Latinx actors represented only 6.6 percent of broadcast, 4 percent of digital and 5.5 percent of cable lead roles. Strides are being made in animation, with The Book of Life director Jorge Guti茅rre attributing this to the Dora generation — a cohort of creators who grew up seeing a Latinx central character as normal, according to Variety. The proof is in the productions — Elena of Avalor, Victor and Valentino, Onyx Equinox — as well as rapidly growing industry groups like LatinX in Animation, founded by Magdiela Hermida Duhame in 2018.

For Gonzalez, representation is foundational to his work now: "On The Casagrandes, I can represent my culture — growing up, we didn't really have that. I knew it was important for me to somehow be part of this so that we could be honest with our culture; I feel like a lot of people take on these cultural-themed shows, but they don't bring on the talent that represents that culture. People can see right through it, so I want to make sure we're being represented honestly because if you can't relate to us, then what's the point?"

The team is supported by cultural consultant and cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, who served a similar role on Pixar's Oscar-winning, Latinx-centred animated film Coco. Puga has been a long-time fan of his and he helps to ensure that Mexican-American traditions are shown in a way that can be universally understood and enjoyed, without ever making fun of them.

Puga notes that while the cultural context is different from The Loud House, the pipeline is quite similar — albeit with adjustments currently to adapt to the ongoing pandemic. He aims for the production to be as stress-free as possible, with a floating storyboard artist and designer available to ensure nobody ever becomes overwhelmed or overworked. With pride, he tells me everyone loves to work on the show.

Artistically, Gonzalez integrates drawing styles that overshoot lines, uses black fields to contrast all the vibrancy, and takes direct inspiration from Mexican folk art and culture — from Papel Picado and Sugar Skulls to food to winks to famous wrestlers like El Tigre. As he explored these kaleidoscopic facets of his culture and its shades, he created reference sheets for his painters and colour supervisors.

"I know we're doing really well compared to other productions at Nickelodeon. [Our animation has] a really simple style, but we just make it look easy. Our stuff is comparatively pretty minimal. I think that's one thing that's cool about Casagrandes is that you don't really need all the bells and whistles — just stories with heart that people can relate to," says Gonzalez.

Looking towards Sunday comics strips, many American cartoonists also shaped The Casagrandes' animation style including Walt Kelly, Hank Ketcham of Dennis the Menace and Charles Schultz of Peanuts as well as Spanish-Mexican illustrator and writer Sergio Aragon茅s. Blending contemporary film and television references like the work of Quentin Tarantino and Samurai Jack with old-school toons was also elemental, with The Casagrandes' matriarch Rosa having black dots for eyes similar to The Flintstones.

Characters from The Casagrandes, drawn by Miguel Puga.

Rosa was inspired by Puga's own stoic mother and softer grandmother, with most characters being amalgamations of his real-life relatives and childhood growing up in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighbourhood. Now, with his crew, it has truly become a family affair.

"A lot of these things start with a nugget of a real story and then we try to elaborate and embellish them, and turn them into a universal story that is relatable to everyone. The show launched off the way I grew up and now, with everyone on the crew, I feel like everyone pitches their own little nuggets and we get all these amazing stories," says Puga.

These nuggets include moments from Puga's childhood that ended up in The Casagrandes. The character of Ernesto Estrella, for instance, is based on the flamboyant Walter Mercado. As a child, Puga's mother dragged him and his brother to stand in line for hours at a department store to see the famed Puerto Rican astrologer and actor.

Ernesto Estrella is an Homage to astrologer and actor Walter Mercado, drawn by Miguel Puga.

"We finally saw Walter Mercardo being carried in on a golden throne, and my brother and I were so confused. I think my mom felt embarrassed, and everyone was going crazy. Also, the line didn't even exist anymore because it was just like a zombie horde going towards him so my mom was like, 'Alright, let's go home!' after three hours. I pitched that idea and we had an episode loosely based off of it," says Puga.

Enriched by thoughtful sound design and music, the world these stories and characters live in was of paramount importance. The Casagrandes differs from The Loud House in that it is set in a city, and Gonzalez had to make it look safe so that children audiences would want to spend time there. A trick he used was adding lots of foliage and greenery, as well as the aforementioned bright palette and Sunday comics style.

Sprinkled throughout the city and series are Easter eggs that are winks to the crew's families, Mexican-American culture and pop references — from candies they grew up with to Gonzalez's wife's name on signage to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While these may be easy to miss, The Casagrandes' positive impact for diversity, inclusivity and representation of Mexican-American families is clear to see.

Looking ahead, Puga hopes The Casagrandes will encourage other artists to pitch and produce shows that reflect their own childhoods — Latinx or otherwise. He says, "I want any kid that's growing up right now to see me and say that their dreams are attainable. Just have an idea and go out there and make it — that's always been my main goal. And if that's the positive impact I'm giving, then I love it. Someone influenced me growing up, and I hope to influence one or two other people."

Hopefully, my daughter will follow in my footsteps; I'm kicking the door open for her so she can come sit at the table too.
Miguel Puga


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More Nick: Nickelodeon Greenlights 'The Loud House' Season 6!

Originally published: Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 17:39 BST.

H/T:; Additional source: @NVidsCentral.
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JoJo Siwa Confirms That She is Part of the LGBTQ+ Community; Opens Up About Coming Out, Says 'Best Experience' in Life

JoJo Siwa has seemingly confirmed on Twitter that the 17-year-old singer, dancer, Nickelodeon superstar and social media phenomenon is part of the LGBTQ+ community! JoJo's latest tweet features a photo of herself wearing a t-shirt with the slogan "Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.", along with the caption "My cousin got me a new shirt".

Credit: JoJo Siwa.

Update (1/24) - JoJo has confirmed in an Instagram livestream that she is gay! Congrats JoJo! :)

The news follows JoJo teasing fans that she maybe gay in a recent TikTok video. In the video, the singer lip syncs the “No matter gay, straight or bi / lesbian, transgender life / I’m on the right track, baby / I was born to survive” part of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way, which is a an LGBTQ+ anthem, leading some of her 31.3 million followers to believe this was her coming out.

Out of the over 260,000 comments on the video, several prominent stars and YouTube influencers, such as Big Time Rush's Stephen Kramer Glickman, James Charles, Colleen Ballinger, Nikkie de Jager, Bretman Rock and more, congratulated and praised her.

Praise and positive reactions poured in for JoJo on Twitter, who became a trending topic on Friday afternoon.

“if u spell ‘swag’ backwards, it’s ‘gay.’ coincidence??” wrote Lil Nas X, who publicly came out on Twitter in June 2019.

“WE LOVE THIS FOR YOU,” influencer Brenna D’Amico wrote in the comments of the TikTok video.

“I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU,” wrote beauty influencer James Charles.

FIlmmaker Casey Neistat showed his love: "been a JoJo fan since day 1 (that is the first day my daughter told me about her 馃槈) very proud to see a role model to so many not shy away from who she is."

JoJo also retweeted some supportive messages, including ones featuring the iconic Pride flag.

JoJo also posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing a rainbow Gucci track jacket on Thursday, with thousands of comments from fans, including musician Luke Eisner, Paris Hilton and other celebrities, congratulating her.

As a dancer, JoJo first shot to fame on the Lifetime reality series Dance Moms and soon skyrocketed with her fashion, accessories and music aimed at a young audience. She signed with Nickelodeon in 2017 and appeared in the TV movie Blurt, Lip Sync Battle Shorties and is the youngest contestant ever on Fox’s The Masked Singer. JoJo has also released songs such as “Boomerang” and “D.R.E.A.M.,”

Siwa, who has built her empire with business savvy, has also lit up the internet by visiting TikTok collective Pride House LA and has collaborated with queer TikTokers.

JoJo has yet to release any sort of statement beyond these posts, so we shouldn't rush to any conclusions. Reps for Siwa did not immediately respond to The Los Angeles Times’ request for additional comment.

The news also follows JoJo recently breaking up with her boyfriend, Mark Bontempo.

Though young, JoJo Siwa has been a "gay icon" for a few years. Siwa knows this in fact and in 2018 when she was asked what she felt about being a gay icon she replied simply: "I love it."

Siwa’s has deep ties to the community. In 2018, was asked about her “gay icon status” by drag queens Izzy Uncut and Poppy during a New York event. According to Out, Siwa said she feels comfortable around everyone and wants everyone to feel comfortable around her, and that she loves and supports people for who they are, with no exclusions.

How Nickelodeon and Elevation Brought Slime and More to the NFL Playoffs

What could possibly make an NFL playoff game better? Obviously, “Nickified” motion graphics courtesy of Atlanta-based creative studio Elevation!

On Jan. 10, more than two million viewers tuned into the first-ever broadcast of an NFL game on kids’ network Nickelodeon, with the network adding augmented reality (AR) graphics to the broadcast as well as color commentary from Noah Eagle, Nate Burleson and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Neveah Green (All That, Nickelodeon’s Unfiltered). Nick star Lex Lumpkin (All That, Nickelodeon’s Unfiltered) ­­also served as a reporter during the game.

Nick’s simulcast, described as “a wacky, slime-filled simulcast”, aired live alongside CBS’ official presentation of the Wild Card playoff game between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints.

Among the fun graphics that Nick and Elevation concocted were googly eyes bulging out of helmets, animated slime cannons going off in the endzones (redubbed "Slime Zones") whenever a team scored and Nick superstar SpongeBob SquarePants poking his head out between the goal posts.

“There has never been a live sports experience quite like this on television, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive from audiences of all ages,” said Kurt Hartman, Vice President (VP) of Animation and Motion Graphics for Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Nick@Nite, in a statement. “Not only was it Nick’s premiere splash into major sports, but also it marks the first time an NFL game was simulcasted on two completely different networks.”

Creative company Elevation worked closely with Nickelodeon to develop the branding for NFL on NickPlay, which aims to attract a younger generation to the NFL “in a fun and educational way”.

Elevation’s branding and design toolkit included a logo, type treatments, iconography, graphics, and an bright and kid-friendly — all unified to live across Nickelodeon’s digital, social, and broadcast channels.

“Bridging the gap between the NFL and Nickelodeon audiences, the visual language for this package emphasises the fun of the game while still maintaining the marquee feel of a big sporting event,” explains Elevation’s art director, Dianne Frisbee. “Striking that balance played into every creative choice and, of course, we ‘Nickified’ everything we possibly could, which meant lots of slime!”

Nick’s classic orange and slime-green colors served as the jumping-off point for the package, with Elevation adding bubbly iconography and football-themed visuals to the network’s catalog of iconic characters.

The “NFL on NickPlay” logo zeroes in on a slab serif font with thick, block-like letters, while game-inspired textures—turf, footballs and jerseys—ramped up the playfulness. Incorporating a mix of 2D and 3D animation in the package reinforced that balance.

“Nickelodeon and the NFL have tapped into something that just may come to redefine live sports on TV as we know it,” said Elevation Executive Producer Steph Carson, also in a statement. “We are thrilled with how it turned out and how they welcomed us as a true extension of their team.”

Besides the cross-promotion between Nick and CBS Sports, the partners also had fun dropping in some special guest stars, such as Young Sheldon (Iain Armitage) popping up to explain a rule here and there.

The branding and broadcast toolkit developed by Elevation was then handed over to Nick’s in-house creative team. Here, Elevation also provided animation tests defining the motion behaviour for the in-game graphics for the live broadcast and promo materials.

Once the creative assets were delivered, Nickelodeon focused on game-day logistics working closely with CBS Sports and SMT, which specializes in real-time and wireless data and display systems for major sporting events. This included developing a pipeline between Nickelodeon animators in New York City and the CBS Sports on-site media team in New Orleans to send and receive clips in real time and apply Nick-themed graphics that would air moments later. In total, 125 clips—amounting to 22 minutes of animation—were aired over the course of the game.

“We found a way to make the sport funny and irreverent, taking the business part out of the game for kids, but never losing sight that real football fans were also watching and enjoying,” said Giancarlo Barrera, Senior Art Director for Nickelodeon Brand Creative, also in a statement. “It was a completely new and incredibly ambitious approach to live television for everyone involved — creatively and technically — but we had an all-star team to put it all together in Elevation, Nickelodeon, CBS Sports, and SMT. We’re all excited to see what’s possible and what’s next.”


  • Client: Nickelodeon
  • Chief Marketing Officer, Nickelodeon + Nick Jr: Jenny Wall
  • SVP Brand Design, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr: Michael Waldron
  • VP of Animation & Motion Graphics: Kurt Hartman
  • Senior Art Director: Giancarlo Barrera
  • Animation Director: Tim Lines
  • Graphics Manager: Kerry Villamil
  • Animators: Christian Huthmacher, Hannah Segraves, Chris Stearns, Robert Wallace, Kyllea Kerg, Phil Walton
  • Designers: Livia Lenhoff, Sara Lee
  • Branding & Design Company: Elevation
  • Executive Creative Direction: Stephen Cocks
  • Executive Producer: Steph Carson
  • Art Direction: Dianne Frisbee
  • Designers: David Hendrix, Sean Kiley, Kito Kondowe

Originally published: Saturday, January 23, 2021.

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